New York (NY)
Hilton Hotels and Resorts
- Great location for business travellers to maximise their productive and free time
- Free restaurant breakfast for HHonors Gold and Diamond members
- Terrific views from the highest floors
- No Executive Lounge
- It's 'Hilton', but not what you'd expect
Standing tall with 280 guest rooms in the heart of the Big Apple, the Hilton New York Fashion District hotel in Chelsea gives guests a modern place to work, relax and unwind in the heart of the city.
Better yet, the decor blends modernism, professionalism and essential 'chic' to create a space that's both trendy and business-like, which Australian Business Traveller experienced on a recent trip to New York City.
Location & Impressions
Situated within walking distance of Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building and just two subway stations from Times Square, the Hilton New York Fashion District hotel is in the perfect spot for mixing business with pleasure.
Rather than having your typical 'Hilton' look, the entire hotel is styled with fashion in mind as you'll first notice when entering the lobby.
Check-in was quick and painless and the staff initiated friendly chit-chat, which made for a warm welcome on an otherwise chilly day.
My Hilton HHonors Gold status was recognised with two bottles of water and complimentary nuts, provided in a handy carry bag before leaving reception...
... while my basic room was also upgraded to one on the top floor of the hotel, far away from the street noise.
There's a charming play on words as you enter the room, given the hotel's location in the Fashion District...
... which sits aside a soft and comfortable king bed with bedside tables and lamps:
As with the lobby the rest of the space is designed with style in mind, with an eye-catching wallpaper and a blast of colour. Selected rooms also have a nifty gizmo that refreshes and presses your clothes before hitting the runway:
We gave it a try and found it easy to use – you simply hang one item of clothing and attach the elastic clips to keep it taut, slip in a capsule as you would a Nespresso machine, push a button and then relax while the machine essentially does your washing and ironing.
Your business shirt or trousers emerge minutes later, fresh and ready to wear as you slip out of the walk-in shower:
Hilton's signature Peter Thomas Roth amenities are at hand, although the standard yellow beaded shower gel is absent and instead substituted for traditional soap.
There's also a 37" HDTV with full EPG functionality, which comes in handy as you can also browse by genre (sport is green, movies are red and blue covers everything else)...
... plus a Keurig coffeemaker with Newman's Own-brand pods, although they combine to produce your typical American black coffee rather than a refined shot of espresso.
Business travellers have ample workspace with a phone, lamp and desk-level power points...
... and if you're staying on the southern side of the hotel on the higher floors, glance out the window for a great view towards the Financial District and the newly-completed One World Trade Center towering over the city on the far right.
Without an Executive Lounge, business travellers can make do in a small business centre with computer terminals and printing facilities...
... while the in-room Internet sets you back US$14.95 per 24 hours and is speedy enough for most users.
Gold and Diamond HHonors members receive free and unlimited Internet access, which can be used across multiple devices if you'd like to stay connected on your laptop, tablet and smartphone.
But do double-check your folio before heading on your way – charges for Internet usage appeared on this author's bill despite having a HHonors Gold number linked to the (paid) reservation, but were quickly reversed without incident with apologies from the reception staff.
The hotel boasts a rooftop bar for cocktails and other drinks, while you'll find breakfast, lunch and dinner at Rare Bar & Grill – split between tables on street-level and considerably more seating one floor below ground:
As with Internet access and space-available room upgrades, free breakfast is also provided for HHonors Gold and Diamond members who are admittedly a little spoiled at this hotel.
Rather than your average hotel buffet with toast and cereal, HHonors elites can pick and choose from the standard restaurant menu which includes favourites such as buttermilk pancakes, French toast and Eggs Benedict.
As I normally do before morning flights in the Qantas First Lounge, I opted for the Benny and found it mostly delicious, although this particular hollandaise sauce was just a tad spicy for my taste.
The home fried potatoes were the closest match to a hash brown and went down a treat, and the pork sausages were also tasty once mixed with a little tomato sauce.
Coffee and iced water were also available and continually replenished by the friendly waiter – or 'server', as they tend to be called in the States. Just remember that tipping is still customary even when the meal is otherwise free.
If you'd rather keep things simple there's a buffet with the usual breakfast fare, but if you're jetting all the way to the Big Apple, do yourself a favour and order something delicious from the menu instead.