Practically perfect: A review of the Park Hyatt New York

Jul 11, 2020

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Occupying the lower floors of the 75-story One57 building in midtown Manhattan, the Park Hyatt New York is often referred to as the worldwide flagship Hyatt property. From the moment you enter the colossal, glass doors on 57th Street and take an elevator to the hotel lobby, the Park Hyatt New York experience envelops you.

The property has all the aesthetics, details and amenities you’d expect from a Park Hyatt, starting with the concierges in the lobby who greet you in crisp blazers and lapel pins. In your room, you find smart technology that delivers a seamless customer experience. A few areas of the five-star experience need to be addressed but the Park Hyatt comes close to perfection.

In This Post

Booking

The Park Hyatt New York is a Category 7 World of Hyatt property costing 30,000 points per night. Cash rates range from $550 during low-occupancy season to well over $1,000 for a base One King Bed room during busy times in the city. Luckily, the property is not one of the many hotels in New York that charge a resort fee (urban destination fee, etc.) and you are only responsible for hefty taxes on the room rate.

Related: The best credit cards for hotel stays in 2020

We booked my two nights for a total of 60,000 World of Hyatt points. You can earn the points from previous paid Hyatt stays, by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio or by using the World of Hyatt Credit Card. Award availability is above-average in my experience searching for award nights. If the base One King Bed or Two Double Beds rooms are available for a paid stay, they will show as available for points bookings.

Location

In Manhattan, location is everything. Towering over 57th Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue, the hotel is two blocks south of Central Park. Depending on traffic, a taxi or ride-share from New York-LaGuardia can be as little as 25 minutes or as much as an hour. The Queensboro Bridge makes it easy to get to and from the property (again, depending on traffic).

I take public transit in the city and the 57th Street subway station has exits at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue and 57th and Sixth Avenue, making the entrance two either of the stations about a two-minute walk from the front door of the property. The stations are served by the N, Q, R, W and F lines, making it easy to move north or south on the island — or to get to Queens on the F train.

Like almost any hotel in the city, ambient noise from trucks, cars, emergency vehicles and construction is a concern. If you have a room on the lower floors facing 57th Street, you’re likely to hear the noise.

Check-in

I arrived from LaGuardia (LGA) via Lyft around 7:30 p.m. on a Sunday. You enter through large doors that many say resemble a bank but I personally find impressive. You are entering a simple ground-floor lobby staffed only by doormen.

There’s room for improvement here. During my two nights and three days at the property, the doormen never helped with the large doors or went out of their way to greet guests. They were regularly off to the side of the ground-floor lobby chatting with each other and with someone who is perhaps a security officer and sits at a desk in a back corner.

I hopped in the elevator which leads up to the Park Hyatt’s restaurant. Check-in desks are around the corner. Gray marble in varying patterns lines the floors and walls leading to the main lobby area which has a small sitting area and business computer for guest use.

I was the only person checking in when I arrived; the front desk agent greeted me and began the usual arrival process.

She recognized my World of Hyatt Globalist status and explained the property benefits: two bottles of water per day and complimentary breakfast in the restaurant or delivered to my room. She also proactively upgraded me from a base One King Bed room to a One King Bed Suite. She was pleasant and asked if I needed help with anything else and then pointed me off to the elevator banks down the hall that go up to the rooms.

Room

My suite was located at the end of the hallway on the ninth floor.

The room door opens to a hallway where you can either continue straight into the bathroom or head past the closets and into the sitting area.

The piece of furniture in the entrance hallway next to the closets contains a multitude of snacks, coffee and water.

In the sitting area. there are floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking 57th Street with sheer blinds and a light-proof shade that closes with the touch of a button above the bedside table.

The room isn’t technically a suite as there is no barrier between the bed and sitting area, but it was plenty large for just me and much larger than the typical New York hotel room.

A welcome amenity of a chocolate apple (that really looked like an apple), custard pastry with chocolate medallions and a New York taxi toy was waiting for me on the desk along with a handwritten note welcoming me to the property.

I worked on the desk a few times during my stay and, as I’ll cover later, had breakfast delivered and set on it in the morning.

The bed was incredibly comfortable and I slept well each night thanks to the room-darkening curtains. Housekeeping performed turndown service each night with slippers and a fresh bottle of water laid out. Sadly, housekeeping services like this are likely going away for a while due to the ongoing pandemic.

The bathroom had double sinks, a separate room for the toilet and shower and freestanding tub across from the vanity.

The rainfall shower with a fog-free mirror was probably my favorite part of the whole room. The water pressure was intense and I could trim my beard in the mirror.

Le Labo bath amenities were refreshed every day and are my favorite products of any hotel chain I’ve visited.

The toilet was a Japanese-style setup with a heated seat, bidet and air dryer. It also had a motion sensor so when I entered in the night, a blue light turned on and the toilet seat automatically lifted.

A great tech touch to the room was an iPad next to the desk that allowed you to learn about the property, order food and even schedule services. I used it to request the turndown service at a specific time.

One thing to consider is how dark the room, and the entire hotel, tends to be. As you can see from the pictures of the hallways and the room, if you are looking for a bright experience, this property isn’t going to deliver.

I prefer a darker hotel and was impressed with the room. The bathroom, work area and bed were great for recovering each night after long days at the office.

Food and Beverage

Your options for food on property are limited to the lobby restaurant called The Living Room, which also has a bar, or room service. I had free Globalist-status breakfast delivered to my room on the first morning. I called and ordered the breakfast the evening before and specified the delivery time. You can review the breakfast menu on the iPad in your room.

Breakfast was delivered right at my specified time of 7 a.m. by a friendly gentleman who took the cart that he used to deliver the food, set it up as a table and neatly laid out the breakfast.

Hot tea, bacon, eggs, breakfast potatoes and a few pastries, with Sportscenter on the television in front of me, was an excellent way to start the day. The following morning I had breakfast in The Living Room on the lobby level to test the experience.

The Living Room needs improvement, especially the service. I couldn’t find a hostess at 7 a.m., so I walked all the way into the restaurant to find a staff member and get a table. Every waiter was lackadaisical — I had to get a server’s attention to order tea, once again to order breakfast and once again after the food was delivered to ask for milk for my tea and a refill.

Despite the service, the restaurant decor, the views of 57th Street and the atmosphere make you feel like you are in the lap of luxury. It was time to try the food.

I ordered the Thick Cut Brioche French Toast ($26) with a side of crispy hashbrowns ($12).

The breakfast bill, including a mandatory 18% service charge (perhaps this is why the waitstaff is unmotivated to provide good service), came to $60.90 just for me, all of which was taken care of by Globalist status.

I headed back to The Living Room my second evening after work to try the evening cocktail menu and food offerings. There was a bar menu offering hot bites and a specialty cocktail menu that has a reputation for being above-average.

Again, the service was poor. I waited patiently for the bartender and a server to finish chatting before finally getting up from my seat at the bar and politely asking to place an order. I started with the ‘No Apologies’ cocktail ($24) which the bartender recommended as the most popular.

I’m typically a bourbon drinker but branched out for the clear brandy drink. It was crisp, portioned perfectly and cool thanks to the large ice cube taking up the majority of the glass. My only gripe would be paying $24 plus tip for a cocktail isn’t something I can recommend.

For food, I settled on the Grass Fed Burger Biters ($23) and Tarragon Fries ($13) which proved a worthy complement to my cocktail.

This was arguably the best fries/slider combo I’ve had; the burgers were cooked perfectly and the fries seasoned just right. For the steep price tag, the dishes should be great, but service was almost nonexistent during my visits to the restaurant.

Amenities

In my opinion, the pinnacle of the Park Hyatt New York experience is the pool and gym area located above all the hotel rooms in the building.

The spectacular indoor pool is set up for lap swimming and was monitored by a lifeguard. A large hot tub and steam room are in the main pool area and were the perfect way to decompress after long days in the office.

Men’s and women’s locker rooms with combination lockers and showers lead from the main pool entrance and gym area to the pool.

Plenty of bath amenities, towels, shave kits and toothbrush kits were available for the taking in the locker room.

One floor above the pool area is the incredibly well-equipped gym containing two Peloton bikes, two treadmills, the Mirror workout system and multiple other free weights and weight machines.

I woke up early before breakfast both mornings and did a Peloton class. I used the hot tub and steam room in the evenings. The fitness suite with the gym and pool area made for an incredible hotel stay.

Spa Nalai is on the same floor as the pool and offers your typical treatments and packages, but the prices induced sticker shock. Sixty-minute massages start at $225 without tip/service charge.

Service

The front desk staff, housekeeping staff, concierges and gym/spa attendants were friendly, provided top-notch service and took care of my requests quickly. The ability to request things on the iPad and have housekeeping turn up within minutes was fantastic.

The Living Room staff and the situation with doormen who don’t tend to the door need improving, however.

Overall Impression

If you want a few nights in New York City that you’ll never forget and have the World of Hyatt points or cash required for a stay, I highly recommend the Park Hyatt. The service shortfalls were minor and the property proactively reached out in response to my post-stay survey to say that they would be addressed.

If I could decompress from long days in the office with the hot tub and steam room and then start the following day with that gym and breakfast delivered to my room, work-life would be an entirely new experience. The Park Hyatt New York may not be perfect, but it is a luxurious respite from the hectic life in the city.

All photos by the author.

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