Detailed review by LovesTravel
In 2002, Himself and I finally embarked on a long-planned weekend in New York City. Our brief itinerary called for one night with friends in Midtown Manhattan and one night in a hotel. It was our first trip to New York, and we were hoping for a hotel experience that would be truly special. Our choice, and it was a grand one in fact as well as name, was the Grand Hyatt.
Located at Park Avenue and Grand Central Station in Midtown East, the Grand Hyatt is ideally situated for a first time visit to the Big Apple. Bus, train, and subway service are all close at hand. Taxis are omnipresent. Attractions within easy walking distance include the Chrysler Building, Broadway with its many theaters, the United Nations complex, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and (of course) Grand Central Station. Shops, restaurants, and nightclubs are too numerous to count--especially for those of us from small-town America.
The lobby of the Grand Hyatt shines with pale-colored marble, crystal, and reflections off water cascading down from a magnificent fountain. Doormen and busboys are plentiful. Guest reception is efficient and pleasant, though the wait on Friday evenings can get a bit long. The courteous concierge staff was adept at dealing with all manner of requests--ours included:
~ Could you give us directions to the Empire State Building?
~ Where can we hire a carriage in Central Park?
~ What's a good nearby diner for breakfast?
~ How much is bus fare, and is exact change required?
The 35-floor hotel boasts over 1300 rooms, most of them non-smoking. Room rates started at $295 per night for standard rooms (equipped with two double beds, a queen-sized bed, or a king-sized bed). Discounts--often very significant discounts--are available to those with persistence and chutzpah. For example, we got our 26th-floor room with a king-sized bed for only $79--complete with a great view of East 42nd Street. Standard amenities included cable TV with 40 channels, pay-per-view movies, daily newspaper, voice mail, fax, computer hookup, hair dryer, and an in-room safe. Some amenities, however, must be requested--such as an iron and ironing board or bed turndown in the evenings.
Support services available to hotel guests included a business center, extensive meeting and banquet facilities, valet parking, currency exchange, laundry and dry cleaning, automated check-out, fitness center, and 24-hour room service. A number of shops and three restaurants/lounges are located in the hotel itself. Affiliated recreational facilities also provide access to a full-service health club (Bally's), golf courses (through Kuma Golf Tours), and a putting range (Randall's Island). Chances are, if you have a whim (a legal whim, that is) for your visit to New York, the hotel can help you achieve it. The Grand Hyatt is also equipped to accommodate disabled guests.
Our stay at the Grand Hyatt was entirely pleasant, and we highly recommend it to those considering either a personal or business trip to New York. Our room and bath were relatively spacious--particularly by New York standards. The decore had character as well as functionality. Our surroundings ranged from attractive to magnificent, depending on our location within the hotel complex. Even the elevators were equipped with small-screen monitors that tick off the latest numbers from the stock exchange. In our experience, the hotel staff was numerous and unfailingly courteous--and (on the whole) multilingual. None of the legendary rudeness associated with New York was in evidence during out stay.