Paramount Hotel New York
Okay. So, here’s the thing. We went to Times Square with our 2 year old. What? Like you’ve never thrown caution to the wind? Actually, after watching 152 hours of The Wiggles in the last 3 months, there was no way Times Square was going to rattle my kid. Anyway, our Poshbrood was too busy enjoying the beautiful calm of the Paramount Hotel to be thrown by a few blinking signs. This recently renovated boutique hotel is located at 235 West 46th Street and manages to be a serene anchor in the middle of the exuberant storm of lights, sound and people. From the Paramount’s doorstep, you will be a few short blocks from theaters, mega-stores, high-end restaurants or simply the vendor selling pizza by the slice. Central Park is about a 20 minute walk when you’re pushing a stroller with a toddler pointing & screaming, “See! See!” If you can hustle unencumbered, you’ll do it in 15. To be honest, it’s a bit longer of a trek if you stop in at FAO Schwartz on the way.
We had the opportunity to stay in the Paramount’s new and utterly stunning Couture Suite. We had an unheard of 950 square feet of living space. Anyone travelling with kids in tow will tell you, the more space for them to let loose, the better. My family of three spread out with room to spare. The landscape included one bedroom, one den, 1.5 bathrooms, living room, dining area and a kitchenette. The closet space was so ample it was an embarrassment of riches. With three very large flat screen TVs, a stereo with an Ipod dock, a DVD player and free Wi-fi, all of us were easily occupied & entertained. I would suggest to the staff that they consider a Wii or Xbox for families with older children.
The kitchenette included an espresso machine & dark chocolate rum cordials for those who desired a second and third wake up call. It also sported a wine cooler, champagne flutes and bar tools, along with seltzer and tonic water for mixed drinks. The fridge held a surprisingly large amount of food and the freezer was stocked with ice cubes already made. A microwave and a few place settings would have been really helpful, but unfortunately, those items were missing. However, the black out shades that hung over double paned windows allowed my rambunctious son to sleep in both mornings and lulled him into a 2.5 hour nap one afternoon. I seriously could have kissed the hotel management for that luxury!
The suite’s décor celebrates America’s much loved style icons. The walls were adorned with art and quotes by Jackie O, Andy Warhol, Blondie and Marilyn Monroe. The crystal chandeliers above us twinkled and animal print rugs and ebony hardwoods underfoot dwelled together seamlessly. After pondering the preferences of my favorite fictional characters, I concluded that this space would be best suited for Samantha, though Carrie came in a close second. While our son enjoyed his reflection in the mirrored coffee table and pointed to the colors bouncing off the light fixtures to the white walls, he couldn’t really appreciate his surroundings. For instance, the glassware was elegant, but we needed to secure the premises and move fragile items to higher ground before he got to them. This suite is better suited for a Mom and her pre-teen daughters who relish every detailed Lady Gaga outfit and plan to catch a few Broadway shows while in town. We did color very nicely at our ensuite office during some "quiet time."
The hotel did not offer any kid specific welcome kits or a dining menu. However, we did find the concierge to be very helpful with offering his take on toddler-friendly Broadway shows, restaurants and nearby activities. He hit it out of the ballpark with his recommendation for dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. My future American Idol wannabe was transfixed watching the talented singing and dancing waitstaff while sipping a black & white milkshake.
Speaking of food, the hotel’s Mezzanine Restaurant offered a breakfast buffet that left nothing to the imagination. At $30 per person, you could grab a fruit smoothie, sample the finest lox the city has to offer and make your own gourmet waffle with all the trimmings. Stacks of New York Times were available for the taking while guests relaxed on plush arm chairs and couches. For a quicker breakfast option, there’s a small Dean & Deluca shop for coffee and outstanding pastries.
The Paramount Hotel standard rooms start at $259 a night and up to $1,500 per night for the Couture Suite. Hotel amenities include a fitness center with an air purification system (genius!) and upon request, a personal trainer and in room massage. Babysitters can be arranged by hotel concierge.
--Submitted by Karen Nudelman