Friday, September 13, 2013

A Different Kind of Railway Hotel

When I think of railway hotels I think of The Royal York Hotel in Toronto, the Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, The Palliser in Calgary.....Originally CP Hotels (Canadian Pacific - as in the railway) and now flying the Fairmont flag these "Grand Dames" were built to accommodate the railway travelling public, thereby encouraging rail travel: putting bums in seats and as bodies in beds.

Adjacent to arguably the most famous railway station* in the world - Grand Central Terminal - stands the towering Grand Hyatt New York, at 42nd Street East and Park Avenue.

Newly-renovated to the tune of $130 million, $90-million of it in guestrooms alone, the Grand Hyatt New York offers 707 guestrooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting space. The rooms-to-space ratio works well for a property whose business mix is 70/30 transient-to-group.

Red and blue "gobos" welcomed the United State Tennis Association (USTA) while we were there - during the prestigious US Open Tennis Championships

The wide-open and bustling lobby mimics Grand Central Terminal in encouraging efficient movement and travel. Unlike the railway terminal, though, the Grand Hyatt features welcoming seating, free w-fi, and the serene faces of Awilda and Chloe bearing dreamlike witness "encouraging the world around them to pause and perhaps join in the dream".

*Grand Central Terminal - celebrating its 100th anniversary this year,  is not really a "station", as trains do not literally pass though it - but people do.

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