The newest Hilton
in New York offers all the expected amenities: room service, express check-out, concierge, high speed (DSL) internet access, cable TV with in-room pay-per-view movies, and mini-bar. The neighborhood is much improved, and if you're in the city to see some theater, this is a perfect place to stay. One interesting feature here is the fact that the lobby is way up on the 21st floor. What exists at ground level is a sort of nicely decorated passage between 41st and 42nd streets, with doormen, valet parking, a manned 24 hour baggage check and an elevator. This area has personnel on duty 24 hours, so you'll feel perfectly safe coming "home," even late in the evening. You'd be hard pressed to find a room without a view, as they are all more than 22 stories high; facing south you'll usually get a glimpse of the Empire State Building
and the Hudson River. The rooms are comfortable and beige (not necessarily in that order), and you'll find a hair-drier, coffee machine, minibar (the dangerous kind, which automatically registers items as "purchased" when they're removed, although a call to the main desk will set things straight), TV with Cartoon Network and the Discovery Channel
only (no Nick or Disney) and family friendly movies on the pay menu. The TV also has a Playstation hook-up
, but if you have more than one child, this may lead to some contention, as there's only one controller. We were also disappointed to see that the games (accessed through the TV menu for $7.95/hour) are not rated, so if you're not familiar with them, you might not be able to tell if they're acceptable for your child's age group. The Room Service
menu has a kid-component for breakfast, lunch-and-dinner, and snacks. At first it looked great, but our 7 year old's $10 pancakes came without milk or juice, so even though the prices look more reasonable, the cost will mount when you add obvious necessities. Room service is available 24 hours - a big plus if you have a child who wakes extremely early. The bathrooms are smaller than you'd expect, and opening the door while a child is in the tub is a bit of a challenge. The Fitness Center
is open from 6am-10pm daily. Be sure to peruse the Hilton Guest
magazine, published quarterly and available in your room, for ideas on where to go and what to do with the kids. Check-in is 3pm; check-out a very reasonable 12n.