The Westin New York Grand Central
New York, New York – It's a wonderful town! I couldn't help sing this as my family and I walked down Broadway, together at last for a much-needed family vacation.
Cheesy? Yes. True? Absolutely. This was the second half of our journey. The first part being a trip to New Haven, Connecticut for a wedding and some down home apple picking. So, venturing in to the big city after several days in the country was an amazing and welcomed change.
We arrived at the newly refurbished, still-had-that-new-hotel-smell, Westin New York Grand Central on a rainy evening. We were greeting by doormen who already had their umbrellas waiting to whisk our many bags and us into the lobby.
To say that the Westin is centrally located would be a grand understatement. You have the Chrysler Building, Daily News, Grand Central Station and Times Square all within blocks of each other and some literally right across the street.
It’s a hop skip and a jump to some of the tastiest eateries you'll ever want to go to. Queue post vacation diet stat. I think I had my weight in lox at Essa Bagels and enough concretes at Shake Shack to take out some stock in the company. Yikes!
We stayed in a top-level corner deluxe king room, which also had a comfortable pull out sofa sleeper.
Awaiting us was a nice bottle of sparkling water and a tray of fresh fruit. All of these added touches are just what one needs when traveling far from home. They make all the difference. And nothing keeps a four-year-old kid quieter than having him peel his own orange or banana or whatever.
The shades were closed when we arrived, but pulling them back revealed breathtaking views of the iconic NYC skyline. We were literally up close and personal with the Chrysler Building – close enough to see the details of the gargoyles on the highest floors. Our son was obsessed with watching the taxis and police cars down below, which appeared to be hot wheel sized from our high-rise building. Heck, I was mesmerized myself.
The patented Heavenly Beds were a dream to sleep on after long days of sightseeing. Even our son who usually wakes a few times in the night stayed snuggled and conked out all night long. It was a dream come true for weary parents.
I loved that fact that the Westin was not just a place to sleep, but also a place to recharge mentally and physically. My favorite amenity came from their partnership with New Balance. If you forgot to pack your workout clothes they can lend you some for a minimal fee per day, complete with workout shoes in your size.
They also offered detailed running maps of the City if you'd prefer to jog outdoors instead of indoors at their WestinWorkout gym. That's why staying at the Westin is so great. They think of everything – not just you're personal comfort but your health as well. Travel is so much more than a place to stay and they get that. Thank god. Especially when it's an extended stay.
The hotel's proximity to Grand Central station was optimal for our travel with a four year old; we never had to venture to far to take the subway.
Best quote from a preschooler about the NYC subway system? "Mama, it smells like someone did something naughty in here!" A truer statement was never said. But I digress.
Grand Central Terminal was always a convenient place to grab a quick lunch or bite to eat, with over 30 dining options to suit everyone's tastes. Magnolia Bakery, Hot & Crusty Bagels,
The Beer Table Pantry and Café Spice were all great. But if you get a coveted night out without kids, please, please visit the Campbell Apartment – a historic restaurant slash lounge that serves up some of the best drinks I've ever had. And you can sip them while watching the action down on main hall of the station.
Overall the Westin Grand Central NYC is a definite must for traveling families. Helpful concierges are there every step to recommend local eats and activities that full fledged locals would otherwise have kept to themselves. And really, it's all about location, location, location.
Take the video tour below.
Nightly rates can be as low as $200 a night.
—Submitted by cool Cali mom and writer, Christina Montoya Fiedler. Read more from Christina on her blog, Mama to the Rescue.