You can tell a lot about a place by the way you are greeted upon arrive. Before Jody, the front desk manager at the Westin Grand Central, had even asked for my name, she was all smiles. The hotel knew I was coming to review them, but until they had my name, my sister and I could have been anyone.
From the moment we exited the taxi we were welcomed to the hotel. This was a dramatic difference from the previous hotel I had stayed at that same weekend in New York. We exited the taxi we were welcomed to the hotel. This was a dramatic difference from the previous hotel I had stayed at that same weekend in New York.
I will admit that I am a fan of the Westin line. Their hotel in Bellevue was the perfect place for a luxurious, but comfortable staycation in Washington. I hoped, walking into the Westin Grand Central that I would have the same experience, and I did.
The Westin is just a few blocks from Grand Central Station on East 42nd street and 3rd Avenue. This was just far enough from the crowds to make us feel like we weren’t in the crush, but we still had access to everything. A 10-minute cab ride south brought us down to the Village for brunch, or we could have walked north to Central Park. Of course Time Square, Bryant Park and Rockefeller Plaza were all within a 10-20 minute walk of this midtown hotel as well.
Our corner king room was perfect for my sister and I, but could have easily fit my family quite comfortably. Once we entered the room we had to turn a corner to actually see the room and the bathroom. That little hallway would be the perfect place to set up the baby’s travel crib so he couldn’t see us and he wouldn’t see the morning light, hopefully making it possible for all of us to get a better night sleep.
The loveseat pulled out into a single bed, which was comfy and functional for another child to sleep in, but tucked up nicely during the day to be a sitting area and breakfast spot. Under the TV stand we could fit at least a medium-sized suitcase, as well as storing any loose items and baggage in the closet. Storage is key when you travel, especially in hotels where the rooms are notoriously small. The Westin Grand Central’s average room is 300+ square feet, one of the top five largest hotel room sizes in the city.
Our king bed was exactly what I would expect from a Westin—it was heavenly. When I called down for three extra pillows and a blanket, housekeeping didn’t question me. I’m a pillow hog. I’d rather not get self conscious about that from the staff when I travel.
The bathroom was a typical, modern bathroom with the Westin signature rain showerhead, but it did show a bit of wear and tear. The shower handle was upside down, but easily flipped back in place. There was also an outlet cover missing under the sink.
One of my very favorite new amenities that the Westin Grand Central is offering is their baby and kid bags. These are included in the Family Fun packages, along with a complimentary room upgrade when available. The child bag includes “create your own” postcards, a map, hat and scrapbook, but it’s the baby bag that has me most excited. In that tiny bag is a night light, rubber ducky and outlet covers. If you have children under age 5 (at least!) I would request a baby bag. We have shown up at hotels without our trusty nightlight for my older son. Knowing we could grab one upon arrival is priceless. Plus, who packs bath toys when they travel? I know I don’t, and after a while those plastic cups I give my boys to play with get tiresome for all of us.
I often dream about working out when I travel, but I rarely do it. When it comes to my gym sneakers versus my boots or street shoes, I’m always going to choose the cuter option. My running shoes rarely make the cut. Westin Hotels understand this packing conundrum and have teamed up with New Balance to make the choice easier. For a $5 fee you can borrow running shoes and workout clothes during your stay. I haven’t done this personally, but I have a few travel buddies who swear by it.
The Westin Grand Central also has a RunWestin program, which offers two weekly guided runs with their in-house Running Concierge. So basically I have two less excuse for not working out while on vacation. Thanks a lot Westin!
Overall our stay at the Westin Grand Central was comfortable, quiet and in a great spot to grab dinner at night and wander the city during the day. My sister and I had a fantastic time catching up in person after almost nine months apart (she lives on the east coast, while I live on the west coast). The Westin staff helped us quickly feel at home, and made their hotel the easy choice for our next visit to the city.
Many thanks to the Westin Grand Central for providing a one night stay for the purposes of review. As always my opinions are my own. When they aren’t you will be the first to know.