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Sleeping Around NYC: The New York Hilton Midtown

New York Hilton, opening day, 50 years ago
The New York Hilton, opening day, 50 years ago

By Shari Hartford

One of the great things about New York City – and I do mean one of many – is the wide variety of hotel accommodations. No matter your taste, budget or area of interest, there is a place for you to rest your head.

When I am asked for recommendations about where to stay, my first question is always, “Is this your first time?” If so, I will probably steer you away from an out-of-the way small boutique hotel and toward a large conveniently located chain with staff ready and able to answer all questions, book a myriad of tours and procure sought-after theater tickets.

Recently, I rediscovered the New York Hilton Midtown – a looming 50-year-old icon that had been off my hotel radar.

I learned that the hotel had undergone many renovations over the past couple of years in leading up to its anniversary, so I headed uptown to see what was new. When I arrived, the massive lobby was teeming with families, groups and individuals waiting on long lines to check in. Oh, no I muttered…but only for a moment. The staff moved everyone along at a quick and professional pace. And, a lovely welcoming touch was the young lady walking around saying hello and handing out complementary bottles of water. Many other hotels would have charged $3.00 for such a greeting.

The New York Hilton, 2014
The New York Hilton, 2014

My small, but spotless king room on the key-card accessible executive floor was a study in functionality. The crisp linens, snowy towels and basic, but well-appointed bathroom (with a necessary shelf for my toiletries) was perfectly fine. While there was nothing adorning the walls, a huge flat screen television took up most of the wall across from the bed. Just when I thought I could have been in Akron, I stepped out into the corridor and saw the beautiful New York City-centric artwork lining the walls. Ah, home. The rooms at the Hilton no longer have mini bars, but they do have a refrigerator in every room; certainly a better use of space than storage for expensive Pringles.

The hotel, with its 1,985 rooms certainly ranks up there as one of the largest in New York City. What it lacks in charm it more than makes up for in service. Tour groups are checked in through a designated side entrance, there are several concierges available to offer guidance to first timers and there’s a large fitness center. A [smart, I believe] decision was made to eliminate the hotel restaurant. This is New York City, people…the restaurant choices are endless. Instead, there is a self-service establishment called Herb n’ Kitchen that is open from 6 am until 1 am and offers breakfast, beverages, snacks, dessert, sandwiches, salads and pizza. There is ample seating and it’s just the place to relax, take a load off and recoup after a day of sightseeing.

The New York Hilton Midtown is the comfortable place to be if you’re a newbie in my city. You will learn how to get around, see what you need to see and decide what to do next time. Maybe explore another ‘hood?

 

For more information, see newyorkhiltonhotel.com

 

Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.
Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.
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