Review: Millenium Hilton New York
There are few hotels in the United States with a more emotional history than New York’s Millenium Hilton. At 55 Church, it sits literally across the street from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. During a recent stay I struck up a conversation with one of the staff who runs the business center. She was working in the hotel on September 11th, and more than ten years later the trauma of that day was still evident in her face while she spoke about it. The hotel sustained significant damage, and was closed for 18 months after the attacks for renovations.
As it stands today, the Millenium Hilton is a sublime property with some of the most breathtaking and unique views in the city.
Do you still think of Lower Manhattan as a deserted “no man’s land”? While that may have had some truth to it seven or eight years ago, today the blocks around the World Trade Center site are booming with new residential developments, office space, a transit hub and the 9/11 Memorial, now one of the most popular tourist sites in the city. The crowd on the streets in this area can be nearly as thick as Times Square. Walking into the hotel from entrances on Church or Fulton Street is a respite from the chaos, complete with a well-stocked lounge.
As an HHonors Diamond member, the hotel upgraded me to a 53rd floor junior suite facing the World Trade site. The rooms are relatively contemporary and stylish. The hotel doesn’t have the flash of a W or Mondrian, but effectively avoids the kitsch of a Marriott. It’s conservative and classy. But this hotel’s real treat is its views. West-facing rooms get up close and personal with the World Trade reconstruction, while East-facing rooms take in the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and the East River.
Reasons to stay here:
View, Location, Price
Where they could improve:
Service was hit-or-miss, and really depended on the person helping you. Also it would have been nice to be able to keep my room for my second night, which was on points (I ended up having to move to a standard room for that night.)
On the whole it’s a great property with a special history in modern New York. The neighborhood continues to develop vibrancy, and the price is decent compared to comparable hotels in Midtown.