Last month, I was invited as a media guest to have a staycation in Midtown Manhattan, at the recently opened Embassy Suites by Hilton New York – Midtown Manhattan. For about four days, I stayed at the property and joined their staff and other media pros for some sightseeing during the day and excursions at night.
Staying in Midtown Manhattan
Most visitors and locals to New York City probably think of Midtown Manhattan as mainly a district for getting to and from Grand Central Terminal or even Penn Station. Or that it is the area for reaching attractions such as the New York Public Library, Times Square, Bryant Park, Empire State Building, and Macy’s. However, take note: there are hotspots where commuters unwind after a hard day’s work or head for lunch or dinner that offer another taste of what’s around here.
Now back to the hotel. Based at East 37th Street and Sixth Avenue (or the Avenue of the Americas),The Embassy Suites by Hilton New York – Midtown Manhattan is based in the Garment District, a section of Midtown. It’s within a hearty walking distance or a quick ride share to other venues.
This 39-story hotel has amenities for starting off your day and even for lingering around.
In total, it has 310 studio suites and king rooms; mine reminded of staying in a common NYC apartment. Beginning on the 22ndfloor, city view rooms face north and south; there are also Sky Studio suites with private terraces. My room had a nice window facing view of the Empire State building, with a nice king-sized bed and a divider between my bed and a couch. There was also a seated desk, a micro/fridge combo, coffee maker and a good size bathroom with shower. The room décor is a nod to the nearby Fashion District with a stylish wall print.
Away from my room, the lobby has a centerpiece resembling a light cascading waterfall. To the side, there’s a private lounge space called “The Jewel Box” because of its velvety plush seating area. Near the reception desk, “The Heist” serves up cocktails inspired by famous jewelry heists within its lobby bar space; its restaurant serves Italian cuisine. The cocktail menu was handcrafted by Allen Katz, a leading distilled spirit expert.
While the lounge area is more of an intimate space, The Skylawn Bar & Social Space is the place to be during warm weather. It’s an outdoor deck oasis, neighboring brick buildings and being spacious with chairs and greenery. It’s connected to an interior walkthrough which makes you feel like you’ve set foot in a Brooklyn bar, with a selection of New York produced beers and spirits.
Embassy Suites by Hilton New York – Midtown Manhattan also holds a fitness center and fourth-floor lounge space with a daily reception for complimentary drinks and small bites. The Embassy Lounge serves complimentary breakfast with buffet setups and a made-to-order eggs station. It overall can get a bit crowded during busy times — it’s best to use the touch-screen to order and avoid long lines — but the spread is good.
As for what to do in Midtown Manhattan, here are some suggestions:
National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey
Within Times Square, this visually impressive exhibit immerses visitors into deep waters throughout the globe with amazing technology such as a friendly encounter with a virtual sea lion. See their website for tickets and schedules. (226 W 44th St.)
In business since 1885, this classic New York chophouse keeps this NYC culinary heritage alive and well. Note the wooden pipes atop the ceiling and see famous pipe holders in a display case at the front door. (72 W 36th St.)
THE RIDE NYC
Hop onboard a coach bus with a skylight ceiling to listen to two guides throw down some NYC trivia and witty banter while passing by the Chrysler Building, Times Square and other sights. (42nd Street and 8th Avenue)
At this trendy Mexican restaurant, dine on fanciful yet filling dishes and creative margaritas; start off with the guacamole with seven salsas and begin spicy from the left or mild from the right. (510 Madison Ave.)
The Rag Trader and Bo Peep Cocktail & Highball Store
The street-level The Rag Trader is a restaurant/piano cocktail bar with various small and large plate servings, while the subterranean Bo Peep Cocktail & Highball Store is reminiscent of a 1920s cocktail lounge; its name comes from once being the location for a manufacturing company. (70 West 36th St.)
In Grand Central Terminal, this old-fashioned, ornate cocktail bar re-invigorates the longtime Campbell Apartment bar with a swank setting in honor this one-time apartment of financier John Campbell. (15 Vanderbilt Ave.)
Editor’s note: I was a guest of the Embassy Suites by Hilton New York – Midtown Manhattan, but this piece is solely based upon my opinion and experience.