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Published on Monday, September 9, 2019

Right in the core of the Big Apple




Vicky Power had her own kitchenette when she stayed at the Wyndham Midtown 45, but didn't need it with so many great Manhattan eateries close by. 

Location: As you've probably guessed from the name, this hotel is in Midtown Manhattan, on..yes, you've guessed it...45th Street. To be more precise, it's almost on the corner of 3rd Avenue, a short stroll from the Chrysler Building, United Nations and Grand Central Station (the closest subway stop) and a 15-minute cross-town walk to Times Square. My husband and I ambled there to get the Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus that was included on our New York Explorer Passes, which I'd highly recommend for sightseers. We also walked to Central Park one morning and back from Greenwich Village one evening, making the most of the fantastic restaurants in the neighbourhood. Dinner at El Parador was one of the highlights of our trip. It's NYC's oldest Mexican restaurant. Don't miss the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, a New York institution under the station's stunning vaulted ceiling.

First impressions: Wyndham Midtown 45 was designed by architect Costas Kondylis, who also designed the opulent Trump Tower and numerous other skyscrapers for the current President. Guests enter the attractive steel-and-glass-fronted building to a sleek, if small, lobby featuring low leather sofas and an army of staff. Some appear to work on Wyndham's timeshare operation (the building also operates on a timeshare basis), but we were guided to the correct check-in desk. Friendly reception staff ensured we had a map of the area, provided lots of information about local eateries, and gave us a discount card to the diner over the road - The Comfort Diner, a typical bustling American diner which does a great breakfast. I can highly recommend the huevos rancheros to power you through a day of sight-seeing.


The Rooms: Our one-bedroom suite on the 32nd floor had a bachelor-pad vibe, with a mix of light wood furniture, walnut flooring, plush sofa and dining table. Stylish touches included a statement leather banquette in the dining area and artistic wooden clothes horse in the bedroom. Giant flat-screen TVs in the bedroom, living room and bathroom ensured we could stay entertained 24/7. The upscale Poggenpohl kitchenette included a welcome pack of tea, coffee, microwave popcorn and washing up liquid - but if you don't fancy self-catering, traditional hotel rooms without kitchens are found on floors 3-10. The bathroom was compact but luxe, with limestone fixtures, rainfall shower and sustainable Under the Canopy bath products.

Work and leisure: The hotel has a business centre, 24-hour fitness centre and clothes-washing facilities for guests to use. You can help yourself to water (American-style, with ice) and tea and coffee at a station in the lobby.


Highs: The rooftop Sky Bar, with comfortable outdoor seating, offers an amazing skyline views, particularly of the Chrysler Building. The hotel regularly hosts happy hours there (you'll be given a calendar of activities at check-in), but in good weather you'll need to get there early to nab a seat.

Lows: The hotel is self-catering, so there's no free breakfast buffet, bar or restaurant, although myriad options for eating are on the hotel's doorstep. Nor is there a free daily cleaning service, although a maid service can be paid for. Had we been staying longer than two nights, we might have minded not having our beds and bathrooms tidied each day.

Verdict: This is a smart base from which to take a bite out of the Big Apple. Rooms are surprisingly spacious and luxurious for the price, and kitchenettes allow guests the option of eating in. With accommodation ranging from studio suites to family rooms, the hotel can provide for business travellers, couples and families. Close to everything, Wyndham Midtown 45 couldn't be more conveniently situated, which made us feel we had an elegant base from which to holiday in the heart of Manhattan.

A stay at Wyndham Midtown 45 starts at $199 (£156) for a studio unit during low season. See ExtraHolidays.com. Travel agents can take advantage of a promotional 12% commission rate when booking for clients at ExtraHolidays.com/TravelAgent. To enjoy NYC's sights, The New York Pass (organised by the day) or The New York Explorer Pass (by number of attractions) allow holders to choose from a huge range of key sites, museums and attractions. www.newyorkexplorerpass.com

 

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