Embarking on a family trip to Manhattan takes a little planning, and perhaps more than in other urban destinations, a key consideration is hotel location. Do you want to be in a relatively quiet neighborhood like Gramercy Park, hipster heaven like Soho, or smack in the hubbub of mid-town?
On a recent trip, we decided to tackle the latter by staying at the 1,306-room Grand Hyatt New York, situated in the heart of the action above Grand Central Station. A quiet boutique hotel it’s not, and to say that the neighborhood is lively is an understatement — but once inside, we were surprised to find a real oasis of calm in the frenetic city.
Hyatt Grand Club Level Rooms offer Grand Family Perks
We were booked in a Grand Club level room, and it’s hard to overstate how much we liked the perks that came with it. We arrived mid-morning before our room was ready but just in time for the tail end of breakfast, served in a Club Lounge space comprising both an indoor lounge with a flat-screen TV and Wi-Fi and an outdoor terrace.
In addition to a free breakfast presentation, families who book the Grand Club level guest rooms receive complimentary snacks and beverages during the day. Parents can enjoy a cocktail on the honor-system, which means that they help themselves to a drink and sign a receipt that later ends up on their bill.
While we were waiting for our room to be ready on arrival day, we got so comfortable sipping cappuccinos and soft drinks at our outdoor café-style table in the Club that we lost track of time.
“Travel provides kids with the opportunity to experience culture, create family memories and the chance to have fun in a new and different environment,” Brad C. Mettler, director of sales and marketing, had told me. Whoops! We had to run to get back on our sightseeing schedule.
Location of the Grand Hyatt Can’t be Beat
Fortunately, getting around from the hotel was ridiculously easy, even for us New York metro neophytes. As the property is literally perched adjacent to Grand Central Station, we just had to go downstairs via an indoor walkway to catch a train to just about anywhere we wanted to go.
Of course, plenty of the attractions we wanted to visit, like the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, the News Building for the Superman fans in our family, and, OK, I’ll admit it, M&M’s World in Times Square, are within easy walking distance of the hotel.
“The Grand Hyatt New York prides itself on helping guests take advantage of all New York City has to offer – our younger guests are no exception,” adds Mettler.
For Kids Food Outlets
Back at the hotel, we tried Market, a café/food shop we liked in the lobby where we grabbed snacks – especially the new line of artisanal chocolates created by executive pastry chef Gonzalo Jimenez — and drinks to go at various times during our stay.
We all enjoyed our sit-down dinner at New York Central Bar and Kitchen, where the waiter knew the source of just about every ingredient on the menu and where we paused between courses to gawk at the view overlooking the city streets.
Finicky young eaters can dine from a For Kids by Kids organic menu whipped up by cookbook author Alice Waters.
Value Family Packages Put You in the Heart of Manhattan
The property is making family sightseeing easy with a few packages that are designed for a range of young tastes, from the cool “American Girl Package” that bundles in milk and cookies on arrival, a $25 American Girl Place gift card, and a doll bed to the the “Explore” package, which includes tickets to the American Museum of Natural History, complimentary breakfast and a 1 p.m. late checkout.
Parents traveling with infants can take advantage of a Babies Travel Lite program through which they can preorder various brands of diapers, formula and baby food to be delivered to their rooms when they check in.
“We help by creating offerings and activities with kids in mind, such as hosting movie nights on property and offering our American Girl package,” Mettler notes. As we go to press, Family Package rates start at $250, per room, per night, double occupancy. Note that at the Grand Hyatt, kids 5 and under eat breakfast free, and children ages 5 to 12 receive a 50% discount on meals.
The Grand Hyatt New York is located at 109 East 42nd Street at Grand Central Terminal, New York, New York, USA, 10017. Check their website or call their helpful agents at 212/883-1234 for more information and to check availability.
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