NEW YORK, June 2, 2011 — A frequent visitor, every trip to the Big Apple is met with the question: “Where can we stay to get some respite, and yet be close enough to enjoy the city’s unique joi de vivre?”
After traveling to NYC for more than thirty years (my first visit was 1976) the city has changed, and stayed the same. It is loud, busy, expensive and non-stop. For the first-time visitor and the native New Yorker, it is vibrant and exciting.
The downtown financial district, the Village, upper east side—I’ve tried them all, and while each neighborhood has its charms, it’s mid-town where the action is.
But the question of the large luxury chain or small boutique property looms: Where to stay to enjoy the city, but get away from the din?
This newly built property (2010) has plenty of luxury elements, however the feel is less big city hotel and more private condominium residence, which is how the experience was planned.
West 57th by Hilton is part of the Hilton Club timeshare program, and units are designed to feel as though the guest has walked into their own New York Pied-à-Terre. A NYC secret is that you can, without being a Hilton Club member, book rooms for an overnight or weeklong stay, or anything in between, at West 57th.
Whether you are there for a weekend of world-class museums and Broadway, a week exploration of all Manhattan has to offer, or when business calls, staying at West 57th offers both the Club owner and the casual guest a home-away-from-home while maintaining some of the better Hilton amenities we know and love.
One consistent Hilton amenity encountered was the very helpful, and oh-so-polite, desk staff. First time to the city, or looking for somewhere new to eat, there is always someone eager to help you find exactly what you are looking for, even if it is just a friendly good evening welcoming you home at the end of the day.
Beds and linens are comfortable. Design is modern chic utilizing woods browns, apricots and sage greens. Bathrooms are large with walk-in showers and soaking tubs. Some units offer kitchenettes, while all units feature mini-fridges.
Large ceiling-to-floor windows provide city views looking out over mid-town - request a higher floor, or step out onto the 25th floor terrace for fabulous nighttime views and romantic interludes.
And—contrary to what you might believe, West 57th by Hilton Club invites the casual stay; you do not have to be a time-share owner to take advantage of the property or the owners lounge, where daily breakfast and evening happy hour delightfully book end your day. **
Items in the lounge are from leading restaurants in the immediate vicinity of West 57th and offer plenty of previews for future meals. The quality and quantity of offerings is nothing less than impressive. And here again, the staff is attentive, helpful and just plain cheerful.
While West 57th has a more “in town” and less tourist feel than, say, Times Square, it is thick in the middle of everything, including being an easy six-block walk to Broadway’s epi-center. From the very close Carnegie Hall and Central Park, both within a couple of blocks, to Lincoln Center, Museum of Modern Art, a scant four block walk, you can wander over to Rockefeller Center, first stopping at Radio City Music Hall to enjoy their back stage tour of this historic American entertainment icon.
To merge is to meld two or more elements into one. Cars into a flow of traffic; two lives into one lifetime; perfect ingredients to create a delicious dish. In order to have optimum health and well-being, we must merge the scientific/medical with the holistic/whole being care – to tend to ourselves body and soul.
Spa Merge at West 57th takes the meaning of merge seriously as they bring together the best of natural and medical spa practices to create a healthful and holistic experience.
From high performance facials using Skin Ceuticals, a scientifically formulated product with Nathuropathica, a leading organic luxury product line to therapeutic massage designed to enhance how you feel today, and tomorrow, Spa Merge’s goal is to bring all your elements into alignment, allowing your heart rate to reduce, your vitality to increase, and your overall visage to glow.
Whether a native or just visiting, Spa Merge offers a fifteen-minute bathing ritual that immerses the body into a soak tub powered by high intensity back jets along with 310 strategically placed water and air jets targeted to your body zones.
While the air and water jets rhythmically massage your body, your mind and soul are relaxed and rejuvenated through essential oils and aroma. Choose Rest - French Lavender to nurture a nervous system wrought from the constant sounds of NYC or Renew - Alpine Arnica – a bath designed to ease muscle strain.
If your trip includes boardrooms and dining rooms with free flowing cocktails, wines and rich foods, choose the Detox Deep Forest to stimulate your circulatory system, and make you stronger for the days stress while reducing fatigue-inducing toxins.
One can easily imagine making the Spa Merge Bathing Ritual a regular experience – swirling away the stress and tension that comes from a busy big city lifestyle. Luckily for New Yorkers, Spa Merge is available as a Day Spa, meaning you can bookend your week with visits to keep you invigorated and in tip-top shape.
During a visit to Spa Merge, a facial, a necessary indulgence for men and women, follows the bathing ritual deeply stimulating the skin on one’s face, cleaning pollutants and imbuing a shine and tone that says to the world “I am at the top of my game” and ready for all the this big city has to offer.”
A good facial is almost like your own personal zipper light display and Spa Merge does not disappoint. A variety of offerings target concerns and each facial is designed to pinpoint spa goers concerns.
Offerings include antioxidant, collagen and hydrotone facials, as well as microdermabrasion, peels and enzyme facials.
Spa Merge features facials are designed for the special needs of women, teens and men. It would be a delight to work through and compare the various varieties. Until then, when booking your appointment, ask to speak to an esthetician or the spa manager to choose the right procedure for your age, skin and lifestyle.
The Spa Merge menu is extensive, offering the healing touch and aroma therapy of an organic lavender massage to the scientific med-spa treatment, like the hour-long Salicylic Mandelic Facial that deeply exfoliates the skin while removing surface oils, bacteria and helps to minimize acne.
While a New York City jaunt is always exhilarating and exciting, West 57th Street by Hilton Club and Spa Merge also make it welcoming and relaxing.
Trips to travel NYC:
- Read “Mid-Town” New York’s Big-Apple core” (coming soon) for more information on the Mid-Town neighborhood, places to eat and things to do.
- Though not necessary, it always makes sense when staying at a Hilton property to sign up for the Hilton Honors points program. They add up quickly to a free stay and they offer some upgrade benefits such as free Wi-Fi or breakfast as it is available at some Hilton and Hilton family properties.
- Access to the owners lounge is contingent on your stay level and is not available to guests using Hilton Honor’s points when booking a stay. However, when making reservations, please ask to confirm availability if this amenity is important to your stay satisfaction.
- Parking in NYC is expensive, easily as much as $50 a day, if not more. There are ways around it. IF you can’t take the train from your home to NYC, park outside of NYC and take the train into Grand Central Station (check the maps depending on where you are coming from). It is a bit inconvenient, but if you are there for a longer stay, it may be worthwhile to check into. (Editor Note: Shoutout to Ray - I referenced Union Station, which is Chicago. NYC is, of course, Grand Central - thanks for the catch Ray!)
Jacquie Kubin is a 15-year, award-winning veteran of travel and culinary writing. Today, Jacquie edits and directs a staff of writers for Donne Tempo Magazine, where you can read more of her entertainment, travel and culinary reviews. Jacquie is always looking for new talents who want to expand their horizons.
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