Wednesday, 28 June 2017

USA: 463 All-suite Hotel Goes For US$457 A Night Without Breakfast, Presidential Suite From US$2,000

The Conrad New York at the tip of Lower Manhattan boasts an outstanding location, among the largest hotel rooms in a city where they can be depressingly compact, views of the Hudson River and Statue of Liberty, and every modern convenience.

It’s close to Goldman Sachs and therefore well-located if your business takes you to the heart of global capitalism.

The hotel interior is ultra-modern and only five years old.

It could easily feature in a future Star Trek film, with a soaring atrium dominated by a huge blue mural by the American artist Sol LeWitt called the Loopy Doopy.

In fact, there are more than 2,000 modern artworks in this property that enliven an otherwise rather starkly minimalist interior.

It’s a popular conference venue with 30,000 square feet of meeting space that can be sliced and diced into up to 15 meeting rooms, from typical boardrooms to its 6,200 sq ft Gallery Ballroom.

But the reason the hotel is consistently rated so highly by booking websites is undoubtedly the size, quality and price of its 463 suites – and this is an all-suite hotel. They average 430 sq ft and cost from US$457 a night without breakfast.

Guests rated this hotel at nine, out of 10, for location on booking.com and also rated it the best value in New York in comparison with similar properties.

The presidential suite, from US$2,000 a night, lacks the opulence you might expect but would suit a chief executive wanting something a bit bigger than his staff without wishing to go over-the-top.

Personally, my needs are simple and I just adored the standard heavenly Hilton bed as a cure for jet lag.

Perhaps the hotel’s quiet location also helped, and the absence of police sirens. You have large-screen TVs in each room and a big rainfall shower. The iron and ironing board are tucked in a wardrobe. The Wi-Fi rocks at 20.2 Mbps and can handle up to six devices.

Plus, guests can bypass the front desk entirely with a Hilton Digital Key with the Hilton Honors app uploaded into your smartphone. The human check-in swift and perhaps more accommodating to a request for early occupation.

Peter Cooper expands on what the Conrad New York has to offer:

Which room would you recommend?

Go for a corner suite with a Hudson River view if you can for the best views.

What else is in the room?

The Nespresso machine by the spacious desk is ideal, though the desk’s two American standard plugs needed an adaptor that was not provided.

The safe in a draw under the tea and coffee station was big enough for my laptop and the room service was fast and courteous. A grilled chicken sandwich was US$20, a pizza, $22, and a 10oz Hanger steak, $35.

Soft drinks cost $6.50 and a small bottle of Evian water $7.

What about dining out?

All-day dining at the Atrio grill is perfectly adequate although the absence of a buffet breakfast might not be to everybody’s taste.

The upmarket Brookfield Place shopping mall has many alternative restaurants, or try one of film star Robert De Niro’s joints in this neighbourhood.

But do not miss the hotel’s rooftop bar named after the iconic Loopy Doopy mural in the lobby.

It’s got splendid Hudson River views and is the ideal place to socialise.

Anything lacking?

Yes, a swimming pool and spa, though the fitness centre is rather good with six running machines.

Jogging around the parks at the tip of Manhattan is popular too.

What about sightseeing?

Must-dos include the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.