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How to be a delegate and tourist in New York

New York Marriott Downtown hotel

Michelle Chenery takes a small bite of the Big Apple from the New York Marriott Downtown hotel

Any delegate attending a conference in New York will also want to be a tourist. That is why the New York Marriott Downtown hotel is a favourite for MICE events. It has excellent meetings facilities and is a typically New York property, extremely well placed for making the most of any free time.
I took a small bite of the Big Apple by staying in the heart of New York’s Financial District in one of the 497 rooms of the New York Marriott Downtown.

It is a great place from which to explore, being within walking distance of Wall Street, the Charging Bull sculpture, NYSE, Trinity Church, the 9/11 Memorial, Battery Park, South Street Seaport, and Brooklyn Bridge. A short ferry ride away are the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Groups an also explore Soho, Little Italy and Chinatown easily.

Situated at 85 West Street on the corner of Carlisle, the building spans the entire block. The main entrance is on West Street but guests can enter conveniently through Bill's Bar & Burger on Washington St.

I was delighted that my room was ready even though I had arrived earlier than planned and I couldn't wait to see just what views of New York I had from my room. Yes, my ears did pop in the lift on the way up the 38-storey building. Opening the curtains I was stunned by the views of New York City Harbor, the length of West Street and the new World Trade Centre.

The property has undergone recent major renovations. The new décor of the lobby features neutral tones against dark wood, soft great carpeting with large artistic pinwheel swirls in blue and red. The pressed copper-clad elevator bank is accented by futuristic starburst chandeliers and soft lighting. New seating areas have been placed, all with leather-backed chairs, inviting guests to watch the world go by or catch up on business. Wi-Fi is free in the lobby, but charged at $12.95 a day in your room. The large graphic artwork that graces the lobby's main staircase, created by Liz LaGumina, features six square repeated images of the head and crown of the Statue of Liberty revealed in bright blue, orange and mustard, clearly inspired by Andy Warhol and the Pop Art movement.

With 1,500sqm (13,809sqft) of newly renovated meetings space, the hotel has everything an event planner would need. The 14 meeting rooms mirror the decor of the lobby with a fresh new vibrant look. There is an app designed especially for event organisers that allows them to keep in constant contact with hotel staff. The Grand Ballroom, the largest of the rooms, can seat up to 450 theatre style or 350 for a banquet. It also converts into three salons for 130 up to 150 delegates. The intimate Capital room, measuring 50sqm (450sqft), seats 12 at a boardroom table or 30 theatre style. The hotel can provide event planners with teleconferencing and video-conferencing, backed up by an in-house a-v department. It also houses a business centre and a FedEx Office Print and Ship Center, offering packing, shipping, signage, copying and office supplies. Organisers can submit orders in advance for promotional material and have it ready and waiting on their arrival.

Bill's Bar & Burger restaurant serves up an array of American comfort food for breakfast lunch and dinner. From the healthy breakfasts of oatmeal, fruit and granola to the massive omelettes and, of course, a huge range of burgers, there's something to satisfy everyone’s appetite. Bill's West Side bar located at the front of the hotel offers the same menu as the restaurant, but in a more secluded lounge setting, available for dinner and private dining. Guests can sample one of the many beers they have on offer while catching up on the latest sports events on screen. The hotel's newly renovated Starbucks is at street level. Its close proximity to so many downtown attractions brings thousands of visitors to the area every day, making this one of the busiest Starbucks outlets in the city.

Rooms at Marriott Downtown New York start at £110 per night, to book, visit

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