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Marriott has certainly taken a liking to New York City as of late. First it unveiled the JW Marriott Essex House this past Spring, though recruiting NJ-native Jon Bon Jovi was an odd (but welcome!) choice. In May they debuted the Residence Inn Midtown East and had Iron Chef Cat Cora bless the place with an entertaining culinary demo. Next came a quiet opening two month ago of the Springhill Suites in midtown.
You’d think they’d stop there, and breathe, but nope. Just four weeks ago was yet another hush-hush debut, the Courtyard Marriott Herald Square. Yep, smack dab in the heart of tourist central is a 167-room hotel that commands views of Macy’s and the contained chaos on the streets below. The formerly Atlantic Bank of New York building, constructed in 1928, has been transformed into a rather upscale property—in other words, not your average roadside Courtyard.
But, we’re still hesitant about the location, and we will be stay there at some point to find out if the 34th Street noise level will permeate the Courtyard’s walls in the late hours. However for now, during the afternoon, the place, especially the modern lobby, is pretty tranquil.
Unlike other properties in the Marriott brand like Residence Inn and Springhill Suites, this hotel doesn’t offer free breakfast. Instead they offer a la carte and grab-and-go food service. Oh, and they serve Starbucks coffee, so no need to run outside for a java fix. The small Table 71 Dining Room has a light bar serving wine, beer, some spirits as well as easily prepared snacks (think quesadillas, paninis).
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We were admittedly a little shocked to learn last year that Marriott was planning a new double hotel tower—set to be the tallest hotel in New York at 751 feet—that will operate dually as a Courtyard by Marriott and as a Residence Inn.
And though we were initially excited about the whole Mandarin Oriental-views-with-Marriott-prices thing, juliana was quick to point out that New York is a place where all brands jack up their prices way high (sky's the limit)—even normally affordable brands like Courtyard and Residence.
But now it looks like the monster tower will be getting some competition from Marriott—on the very same block! NY Post is reporting that one developer is in the process of building a 34-story hotel just around the corner on W 54th St, and that a construction sign names the project as a Hilton Hotel.
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If Thanksgiving is the one time of year when NYC's Herald Square can actually become relevant again (Macy's parade, hello?), then it was with good foresight that Marriott waited until this week to announce their new midtown Courtyard property. The worldwide hotel brand will plant a new Courtyard by Marriott Herald Square inside the former Atlantic Bank of New York Building, on the corner of 35th Street and Sixth Avenue.
This news also coincides (then again, in this business, coincidences don't really exist) with Macy's announcement last Tuesday that the flagship Herald Square store will be receiving a $400 million makeover.
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It is now official. According to an article in yesterday's New York Times, construction will soon start on Marriott's 68-story, two-hotel mega tower. The building will be located on the corner of 54th and Broadway, but is likely to be visible from...everywhere.
Apparently, the project, which has been in the works for about ten years, will include ground-floor retail and at least two restaurant spaces (the one on the fifth floor will be outdoors). This will be developer Harry Gross' sixth Marriott hotel. We wonder, is there some kind of award for that?