Nestled between two Irish pubs, the relatively new Hyatt Times Square (it opened December 2013), offers a simple, stylish décor with a splash of vibrant colour. More on the colour palate later. If you wish to be amongst the hubbub of the theatre district, it's a perfect Manhattan location between Broadway and Sixth Avenue. Just metres from the entrance, for instance, is The Lyceum theatre, with the likes of Toni Collette and Marisa Tomei treading the boards. It's not ostentatious, brimming with welcoming, smiling staff with super-sized name tags (I snagged the delightful Diedre) to assist with queries and luggage. The only issue is the foyer is so sparsely furnished that it's difficult to snaffle a seat on the super-popular couch and ottoman.
There are 49 suites and 438 guest rooms in the 54 storey hotel filled with quirky, brightly-coloured modern art which lends a fun tone. There are splashes of greens, blues and reds in the gorgeous photographic artworks on the walls. Burnt orange and muted aqua feature in the graphic designs of the modern arm-chair. It can be rare to find New York hotel rooms with ample floor-space (we've all heard the horror stories which can include "I couldn't even lie my suitcase flat on the floor" or "I had to shuffle into bed sideways"), so the spacious standard room is a great relief. The pristine fitness centre is filled with state of the art equipment and is open 24 hours a day.
A 47 inch flat screen is in every room. There is a comprehensive list of items that can be dropped off at your room, impressively including curling iron, free weight set, yoga mat, humidifier, lint mitt and deodorant. There's an ergonomic chair at the timber-coloured bench near the television, just in case you have to spend time at "your desk." There's isn't always a view, or at least one worth looking at, so if that's important, check with reservations before booking. The 24 hour help-line (outsourced) is extremely handy for wi-fi issues or queries.
Comfortable mattress and pillows are part of the deal. There's soft carpet underfoot while heated tiles in the bathroom are dream-like. An absolute treat is Bar 54: the roof- top bar with perfect mood-lighting, cool bearded bartender, mind-boggling views of the city-scape and ultra-cosy couches to sink into. The first Timeless Marilyn Monroe ™ Spa in New York has found a home at the hotel. A signature massage setting you back around $A145 for under an hour, while the "stiletto relief" treatment at around $A46 could be the go after a day of pounding the pavement.
The biggest disappointment is there is no traditional room service. In a 24-7 city such as New York, this is quite a surprise. The T-45 Diner adjacent to the foyer is more café than restaurant, offering classic American fare. One of the menu treats: Fried Chicken Wing and tabasco butter with NY State maple syrup. While there is no conventional room service, guests are encouraged to "grab and go", meaning people don't need to feel too conspicuous if they buy food and "smuggle" it into their room. Deliveries can be made to guest rooms on request.
Worth Stepping out for
The hotel is embedded in the theatre district, so the choices are exhilarating. It's about two minutes walk to Times Square, where the souvenir stores, burger joints and people dressed as super-heroes are a dime a dozen. Not far away is fancy Fifth Avenue shopping and Bryant Park, where you can watch the locals play chess in pretty tree-framed surrounds. The enormous Macy's at Herald Square is also close by and warrants a full day of perusal for serious shoppers. Grand Central Terminal is a short walk, and even if not taking a train, it's worth a look. Don't forget the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and Madison Square Garden.
It's the perfect spot for a city experience. It's a tad noisy, crowded and chaotic outside but that's New York. Many major attractions are either within walking distance or there are numerous main train lines nearby, including the 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R and S lines. Staff couldn't be more helpful.
How to get there
Countless airlines fly to New York. The John F Kennedy International Airport is 27 kilometres from the hotel, La Guardia is 16 kilometres and Newark is 24 kilometres.
Hyatt Times Square, 135 West 45th Street, New York, New York.
Rooms start from $A312.
Phone: 646 364 1234 Fax: 646 640 3739