Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The London NYC

Another month, another hotel stay! This time, I was lucky enough to swing by The London NYC, where I’ve actually stayed in the past (November 2008). It was good to be back -- if you like a hotel enough in a certain city, why not come back after a few years and see how it’s changed?

In the "Big Apple" on business, I was looking for something centrally located to do some interviews and have meetings. The London NYC, while ideally positioned for a tourist, is also an excellent place to hold court for client meetings. The downstairs restaurant is a dream; the rooms are high above the streets and away from the hustle and bustle of New York that can disturb even a deep slumber if you’re not far enough away. Service is excellent, and if you want to feel glamorous? This is the place to be.

First, the setting: The London NYC is considered one of New York’s “best-situated hotels,” and you can feel that from the second you arrive. The city throbs around it, and while located on a quieter section of street, you simply turn the corner and you are in the middle of it all. You’re just blocks away from MoMA, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Carnegie Hall and Central Park, for starters, and midtown Manhattan sets you squarely between downtown and uptown pursuits--the perfect place to be for business or pleasure.

While modern and perfectly renovated (the hotel was redone in 2006), it's not so modern or futuristic that one feels overwhelmed in its presence. The 561 Suites have fun, large windows that leave you feeling like you’re looking out of a fishbowl into a wild world--you’re in an undisturbed bubble that’s perfect for napping, working, or just recharging before a night out. I loved staying close to the windows and watching what was going on around me--The London NYC has a fun street view without the noise.

And if you want to eat while you’re in New York and at The London NYC? You’ve got to visit Gordon Ramsay’s spot, MAZE, which is called “casual yet sophisticated” by the hotel. There’s an in-suite dining menu and an exclusive Chef’s Table, and it’s been ranked for service, food, and “best experience overall” by Opentable.com. The London Bar offers breakfast and traditional afternoon tea in addition to Ramsay’s MAZE lunches, dinners, and brunches, so you don’t have an excuse to not swing by and have a bite. Who knows? It could be the best experience you have in New York--Gordon Ramsay’s been awarded a total of 16 stars from the Michelin Guide!

I've also created a cheat sheet list of all my favorite features of The London, so you can just scan and book. My mini-list of favorites follow:

1. "The BEST Concierge Service," as voted by New York Magazine (and confirmed by me)
2. Top chef in residence, described above, and great dining options in general
3. A tucked-away feel while still being center of the action
4. Attention to detail regarding design and renovation
5. Exceptional suites with interesting views
6. Fantastic decor and comfortable beds
7. Perfect work areas
8. Exclusive Complimentary Perks

What hotels have you tried in New York City?

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