Michelle Chenery reports on a stay at St Giles, The Court New YorkA short two-block walk from Grand Central Station gets you to one of the St Giles hotels in New York, The Court, a 199-room, 47-suite boutique property with its sister hotel, the 120-room, 9-suite Tuscany, just a few doors down. Located in the Murray Hill neighbourhood midtown Manhattan on Lexington and 39th, there is no shortage of visitor attractions within walking distance. Just 15 minutes away is the buzz of Times Square, the theatre district is almost on the doorstep, as are the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. The Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Guggenheim Museum are also within easy reach.
The staff proved themselves immediately ready to help as soon as I entered the hotel, before I could go the 10 steps to reception. Even though I had arrived before the check-in time, my room was ready and waiting for immediate occupation.
The hotel works on a keycard system for the lifts and for the rooms, so you have one key for the lift and another for your room. A short time spent listening to some good tunes in the lift and I was at the door to one of the junior executive suites located throughout the hotel. I was greeted by the smell of baked goods and found a box full of cookies and muffins with a bottle of complimentary water. The cookies melted in my mouth.
The suite was so big (700 sqft) that I first imagined I had walked into an apartment. It offered two LCD screen TVs, one in the lounge the other in the bedroom, a desk for working as well as the docking station for an IPod and a wired hi-speed internet connection, although wireless internet is also available all over the hotel. Large windows let plenty of light into the room and I was pleased to find two aircon units as the city was having a heat wave.
The king-size bed was nice and comfortable, complete with 350 thread-count linens so I had no trouble falling asleep and, in spite of New York buzzing 24/7 and frequent siren calls from a fire engine or police car, I didn’t hear a thing all night. I really was in a haven of peace and quiet away from it all.
The hotel has a business centre with 3,900sqft of flexible meeting space, comprising seven break-out rooms. All are equipped with av, hi-speed internet and a Signature St Giles service is offered for every meeting.
On the ground floor is the Lex bar, one of NY's places to be seen in the evenings. Must-have cocktails, great music, and ambient lighting certainly give the whole place a trendy vibe. It is not unusual to rub shoulders with celebrities there. Prince had been a client a little while before my visit.
There is a 24-hour fitness centre equipped with everything from free weights to all kinds of machines for a full body work out.
I used the hotel’s shuttle service to the airport, at a cost of $65. This was sorted out as I was being entertained by the receptionist. She was demonstrating her English accent, which was very good considering she was obviously a native New Yorker.