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A hotel located near Times Square might not be the most obvious location for finding solace in New York City, but I couldn’t help but feel awe from my room on the 38th floor of The Westin New York at Times Square. At my favorite wide window facing west, I had an unobstructed view of the Hudson River — which, like looking into a burning fire, invited daydreams. My attention alternated from the boats sailing along the edges of New York and New Jersey with the yellow taxicabs and pedestrians whizzing their way through the streets of Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.
More stories were unfolding from other windows. With so much space inside compared to the density of detail outside, it was hard not to feel like the room — one of 873 spanning 45 floors — was a private retreat into another world. Westin regulars will recognize the luxurious niceties they’ve come to choose the brand for: the Heavenly Bed, the Heavenly shower, the in-room SuperFoods dining menus and other feel-good amenities.
But they’ll also find some upgrades thanks to the hotel’s recent $39 million renovation, which included improvements to guestrooms and the lobby; eco-friendlier measures in line with the hotel’s earned Gold Certification by Green Seal; and the new Foundry Kitchen restaurant. Having stayed at the property twice prior to the renovation, I found that the most recognizable in-room difference is the bathroom, which now offers the Westin Heavenly Shower II, an 8-inch rainhead and a hand shower that also reduces water and energy use.
The Westin New York also renamed its Presidential Suite the Empire Suite, which received a full makeover to match its grandeur. Located on the top floor of the hotel, the 1,800-square-foot suite looks like a city loft and can be used for meetings and parties. The Empire Suite offers two bathrooms, one bedroom, a living room, a kitchenette and even a glass writing wall to utilize during meetings.
And while business travelers have 34,000 square feet of renovated (more airy and eco-conscious) meeting and pre-function space, the conversion of 65 king rooms to rooms with two double beds or two queen beds cater to families. These new rooms are among the property’s largest and include refrigerators and microwaves.
The sprawling lobby also received a big upgrade: It now feels warmer and cozier, like a living room designed for an extended family — one with parents who hope to squeeze in some work and teens who are wondering where to chat and plug in their devices. A diversity of books, seating areas, light fixtures, natural elements and furniture suggest that the Westin New York has taken some design cues from community-oriented boutique hotels and co-working spaces alike.
The Westin New York at Times Square recently completed a $39 million renovation. // © 2016 The Westin New York at Times Square
Deluxe Guest Rooms start at the 23rd floor and offer beautiful views of the NYC skyline. // © 2016 The Westin New York at Times Square
Grand Deluxe Guest Rooms offer 400 square feet of space. // © 2016 The Westin New York at Times Square
Bathrooms now feature the Westin Heavenly Shower II, an eco-friendly rain shower. // © 2016 The Westin New York at Times Square
The hotel’s new lobby, created by Icrave innovation and design studio, is a more inviting communal space than it was before the renovation. // © 2016 The Westin New York at Times Square
The hotel’s new restaurant, Foundry Kitchen & Bar, features an extensive bar and several seating types. // © 2016 The Westin New York at Times Square
Another space that’s intended for wiling away the hours is the new Foundry Kitchen & Bar. Inspired by its metal namesake, the restaurant features metal art pieces, a copper bar, leather seating, brick walls and an open window that frames the city beyond. Cushy seating, a supersized bar and a menu full of shareable plates — including New York pizza,freshly made ricotta and chicken quesadillas — make the space an attractive option day and night.
For such a large hotel only footsteps away from the bustle of Times Square, the Westin New York will surely surprise some guests. Here, the opportunities to soak in the city energy are balanced by opportunities for recollecting and finding calm — on ground or cloud level alike.