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North America: New York, New York - Manhattan Hilton Towers
Review by Margaret Pearson, TravelPage.com Contributing Editor
A Paranoid Experience Turns Out Very Pleasant - A Stay at the Manhattan Hilton Towers
What do a native New Englander and New York City have in common? Nothing much in my case, and I only live an hour an a half from this city that everyone calls exciting. Maybe because I never familiarized myself with it, preferring the quiet country life where the only noise in summer are the frogs and crickets. My kind of noise.
At 39, I ventured into the city and even faced my worst nightmare, skyscraper hotels. Yes, I am paranoid about these buildings because I had the good fortune to once be stuck in an elevator between floors for two hours before help came. And this was mid-summer and the elevator fans shut off. Then my fear has always been fire. But I braved it, the clamoring chicken that I am, and nothing catastrophic happened. In fact, it was a terrific experience. One that I would attempt again.
You ask what does the outwardly appearing monolithic Hilton monstrosity
touted as the largest New York City hotel with 46 floors and 2000 rooms have
to offer a traveller? Ambience, excitement, a grand sense of arrival,
convenience and unmatched service and cleanliness which I have seldom seen!
There is a parking garage for starters, which costs about $24/day. There may
be weekly package deals but I forgot to ask. The Hilton Towers just underwent
a massive $85 million renovation and you can readily notice it in the
reception lobby with its wonderful wood and marble feel and the Bridges Bar
overlooking the lobby perfect for people-watching. The 200 seat bar salutes
the mystique of New York City's seven famous bridges with lighting, murals,
metallic design touches. Cables, bridge murals and stands of light evoke the
majesty of the Brooklyn, Queensboro, George Washington, Triboro, Manhattan,
Williamsburg and Henry Hudson bridges. It also has a signature, "Best Martini
And once inside, I had no feeling I was in a skyscraper and even the
elevators have CNN television running 24 hours a day so if I did get stuck at
least I could watch the news!
You will find thirty five floors with non-smoking newly decorated rooms and
nine floors of smoking rooms. It is located at Rockefeller Center near many
major attractions. The hotel is one block from Fifth Avenue shopping, two
blocks from trendy Madison Avenue with its boutiques and bistros and up the
street from Radio City Music Hall. You are down the street from Central Park,
Broadway theaters and Times Square. It is all within ear's shout. The New York
City Visitors Center is just around the block with tons of information on
things to do. Grayline Tours double-decker bus tours leave from the Times
Square Visitors Center with a day-long tour of the city which is remarkable.
The hotel accomodates both the business and pleasure traveller with
facilities for banquets, small meetings, as well as large conferences and
conventions which are usually held at the Hilton.
Staying in a smaller boutique hotel was always my preference but you feel the
excitement of the city staying here. There are two new restaurants, two new
bars, and a new Fitness Club and luxury Spa. An authentic Tuscan Italian
restaurant is located on the premises.
If you are staying for business, there is a business center offering
secretarial services, computers, internet access, laptop, fax, cell phone and
typewriter rentals along with printing and copying. The executive floors
comprise 6 floors with its own manager and multilingual staff. Executive
floor guests enjoy complimentary breakfast, tea, coffee, fruit and cookies
throughout the day and hors d'oeuvres at cocktail hour in the private
The guest rooms are not that large but very comfortable and clean. They have
hair dryers, irons and ironing boards, coffee makers, refreshment centers and
color televisions with remote control. The telephones have two lines with
voice mail. There are also 52 guest rooms that accommodatete disabled wheelchair
guests. Front and back entrances have curb cuts for wheelchairs and there are
also 83 guest rooms to accommodatete the hearing impaired along with Braille
numbers in the elevators and on guest room doors.
The guest hotline is a hotel service which can handle a guest's request with
one telephone call - usually within 15-20 minutes. The new spa offers exclusive
Italian spa products and body treatments including massages, facials and body
treatments, cardiovascular and strength training equipment, steam rooms,
saunas and personal trainers. A therapeutic visit to the spa will completely
relax you. My next visit will include trying out this fabulous spa!
You would expect to pay a lot for all the wonderful services but rates are
very reasonable beginning at around $200/night or even less with special
packages. The stay is one you will truly enjoy and I guarantee you will
return again. The old saying rings true, "face up to your fears and you will
conquer them and learn that they can turn out to be pleasant." You will love
this hotel with all its comfort and international flair and a location within walking
distance to everything you ever wanted to see in the city!
Manhattan Hilton Towers
1335 Avenue of the Americas between 54th St and 6th Avenue
New York, New York 10019
Click Here for Reservations
Other sights, tours and excursions around NYC:
Bateaux New York - Tel 212-352-2022. Wine, dine and dance on lunch and dinner cruises. Nightly and weekend tours on luxury European glass-topped boats. Nightly and weekend tours. Sat. Sun: 11:30 am; Mon-Fri-6:30 pm $60-115
Big Apple Greeter - Tel 212-669-8159. A multi-lingual volunteer guides you around the metropolis. Free.
Big Onion Walking Tours - 212-439-1090. Explore ethic neighborhoods. Times, day vary. $12 adults.
Bronx Zoo - 718-367-1010. Home to over 700 species and special attractions. $5 adults.
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens 1000 Washington Avenue, 718-623-7200. Find serenity at this lush 52 acre paradise. Tues-Fri 8 am-4:30pm, Sat-Sun,holidays 10 am-4:30 pm$3 adults, children free.
Carnegie Hall Tours 881 Seventh Ave at W 57th St 212-247-7800. Get behind the scenes at this amazing musical venue. Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri at 11:30 am, 2 and 3 pm $6 adults and $3 children
Empire State Building 350 Fifth Avenue, 212-736-3100. The obesrvation deck towers more than 100 feet with breathtaking views. Daily 9:30 am-midnight $9 adults and $4 children.
Lincoln Center Tours W 64th and Broadway, Tel 212-875-5370. Culture vultures can take a backstage tour of the Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall, and New York State Theater. Four times daily, $9 adults and $4.75 children
NBC Experience Tour 30 Rockefeller Center right next to Hilton Towers Hotel at West 49th Street, Tel 212-664-3700. Tour NBC studios, pop onto a live set or visit the museum. daily 7 am- 7pm. $17.50 adults and $15 children
New York Aquarium Surf Ave and W 8th St Brooklyn, 718-265-3473. Over 800 specimens of sea creatures live at this underwater zoo. Daily 10 am-4:30 pm.
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