Business travelers ask a lot of their hotels: comfort, good working
conditions and reasonable prices. Lately, judging from the response
from New York City properties, their requests have been well
Following is a rundown of some of the ways New York City
properties are improving their lineup of facilities and amenities
for the business traveler and corporate meeting groups.
Apple Core Inc. recently added the 80-room Hotel Remington to
its roster of four corporate boutique hotels and completed
renovations at their properties.
Best Western Manhattan, an Apple Core property, recently added
meeting rooms and an exercise room, as well as a business center
with computers and meeting space for up to 70.
All 100 rooms at the Quality Hotel East Side have been remodeled
and now offer an Early American design. In addition, the hotel
staff is multilingual, a huge asset for international business
At the Quality Hotel & Suites Rockefeller Center, all 200
rooms are newly renovated and offer business amenities such as
voice mail and dataports. New meeting rooms, a business center and
exercise facilities are now available at this Apple Core site.
Manhattan East Suites has refurbished the 172 rooms at the
Beekman Tower Hotel. The hotel has five meeting and banquet rooms
ranging from 350 to 1,450 square feet. The Beekman's restaurant,
the Top of the Tower, which recently got a facelift, is available
The chain also completed renovations at the Lyden Gardens and
Plaza Fifty, as well as at Lyden House.
Sheraton Hotels of New York opened its Executive Conference
Center, a freestanding, 25,000-square-foot facility located at the
Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. Designed for board meetings
and small conferences, the center features 12 meeting rooms for up
to 75 people.
The 146-room Sheraton Russell (formerly the Sheraton Park
Avenue) and the 650-room Sheraton Manhattan both have been
renovated to all-corporate club room hotels. All rooms have
oversized desks, ergonomic chairs, dataports, dual-line phones and
printer, fax and copiers.
With its restoration, The Algonquin, A Camberley Hotel, has
added numerous amenities for its business travelers. They include a
full business center, special corporate rates, meeting facilities,
dataports, concierge service and fitness center.
Best Western Woodward last year added a voice-mail system to all
guest rooms, along with electronic card key locks. This year, the
property is undergoing refurbishment of 93 of its 140 guest rooms
and suites. A penthouse suite is being added.
Crowne Plaza Manhattan moved a full-service business center to
the hotel lobby. It offers computer and cellular phone rentals, fax
stations and secretarial support. The 46th floor Crowne Plaza Club
offers amenities such as continental breakfast, personal concierge
service and check-in and check-out. Priority Club, the property's
frequent guest program, has waived its $10 enrollment fee.
The Hotel Pennsylvania was purchased last September and will be
associated with the All Star Cafe. The hotel expects to change its
name to the All Star Hotel sometime this year and take on a sports
theme. A renovation, scheduled to begin midyear, will encompass the
lobby and public areas, and guest rooms will be upgraded. Several
floors will be devoted to corporate travelers, and all rooms will
have a desk, fax and dual-line phones.
The Millennium Broadway plans in January 1999 to open a 124-room
hotel tower adjacent to its Hudson Theatre. The addition, the
Premier, will boost the property's room count to 751.
Le Parker Meridien recently upgraded its business center, and it
now offers personal computer, printer, high-volume copier/fax
machine, Internet/e-mail, secretarial, translation and messenger
service and other features which complement the property's in-room
business amenities. The hotel has introduced a Stretch Break for
business travelers, during which an instructor from the hotel's
Club La Raquette leads meeting attendees in a stretch routine as an
alternative to traditional coffee breaks.
The New Yorker Hotel's Merit Account Program, which offers
corporate clients a choice of guest rooms, two ballrooms and seven
meeting rooms, has added a new fitness center to its menu.
New York Hilton and Towers, which last year spent $10 million on
renovations and redecoration of guest rooms and meeting space, has
upgraded its telephone system to provide two lines with a hold
button in every room.
The New York Marriott Marquis is renovating two of its
ballrooms, the Astor and the Marquis.
The Ramada Milford Plaza has upgraded its business,
transportation and entertainment services center and gave it an
expanded amount of space in the lobby. The desk offers secretarial
help, fax and cellular phone rental. The property also has added a
new phone system with voice mail.
The Salisbury Hotel is equipping its corporate rooms and suites
with a business center including a large work area with a pull-out
port for laptops. The three prototype rooms on the 17th floor
served as a starting point for this project, and the hotel is now
working to have such rooms placed throughout the hotel as needed.
Such rooms include dual-line phones with speakerphone, as well as
executive chairs that tilt and swivel. The hotel also added
electronic locks on all guest rooms doors.
As part of a $25 million renovation, the Grand Hyatt New York
has refurbished its meeting space, including the 19,000-square-foot
ballroom. All guest rooms now have work stations with large desks,
extra outlets for laptops and an easy chair. The property also
expects to open a new executive health center on its penthouse
level, which will be available to hotel guests only.
The Direct Dial meeting program at the Hotel Inter-Continental
New York provides one-stop planning for small meetings being booked
within 30 days or less. Planners should call (212) 906-3127, where
an on-site manager will handle all arrangements.
Rooms at The Kitano feature large desks, dual-line speaker
phones, fax, computer hookup and voice mail. Other amenities
include international newspaper delivery and multi-lingual guest
services. The property's two penthouse suites are available for
The new Drake Executive Conference Center and the Park Avenue
Spa and Fitness Center are the big news items for business
travelers to Swissotel New York, The Drake. The 8,000-square-foot
conference center has two boardrooms for 12 and 20 people, as well
as six meeting rooms, including a 2,000-square-foot suite for
banquets of up to 100. There are also two dining areas that can
also serve as meeting rooms. Guests receive a 15% discount on spa
All guest units at the Fitzpatrick Manhattan now have fax
machines, dataports for laptops, and coffeemakers.
New York Palace opened its Villard Center in April, 1997, as a
15,000-square-foot meeting and function facility. It occupies two
floors at the hotel and can accommodate 10 to 200 people. A new
business center is open, which offers computers, fax, Internet
services, secretarial help and private offices. All rooms have
oversized desks, dataports, fax machines and safes.
Barbizon Hotel has added 11 terrace suites (including seven spa
suites) with views of the city, and has completed renovations of
all 310 rooms, the lobby and the breakfast room. All rooms have
entertainment centers with CD/cassette player, two-line phones with
dataports and computerized minibars. In-room faxes and laptops are
available upon request.
In addition, the hotel has added an Equinox Fitness Club &
Spa, with special access for guests.
Hotel Lexington & Towers, which recently became part of
Golden Tulip Hotels, offers a business center with secretarial
service, fax and audiovisual equipment, as well as one small
meeting room. All 700 rooms have been renovated, and a new Italian
restaurant has been added.
The Lowell, a boutique hotel, recently added a new phone system
with voice mail and multiline phones, and installed fax units with
private lines in each room. In addition, four of the property's
eight deluxe one-bedroom suites have been redecorated.
The Mark has introduced cellular telephones upon arrival, with
individual phone numbers, battery and charger free for each guest
(but there is a usage charge).
The Lucerne introduced corporate rates for the first time last
year, and added ironing boards, coffeemakers and hair dryers in all
rooms. The property is also in the beginning stages of a project
which will add a new business center and lounge. The hotel's
banquet space accommodates 70, and has an adjacent deck.
The Mayflower has completed the refurbishment of the property's
conference room, which holds from 10 to 30 and offers park views.
In addition, the hotel's other meeting rooms here can hold up to 58
classroom-style, 100 theater-style and 160 for dinner. There are
two penthouses with terraces that can hold up to 75 for a
reception. All rooms offer voice mail, and cellular phones are
available for rental. Free shuttle service is provided to the
Javits Center for major trade shows.
About 85% of the leases at the Phillips Club, an extended-stay
hotel adjacent to Lincoln Center, are held by corporate clients.
The minimum stay is 30 days. Residents receive membership in a
nearby sports club, and can use the 24-hour business center and a
boardroom for up to 10. The property has introduced high-speed
Internet access, which is available either in-room or at the
Trump International Hotel & Tower provides cellular phones
upon request for use throughout their stay (usage charges apply).
Free business cards (with cell phone number) and personalized
stationery is provided. Local phone calls, in-room fax machines and
computers (upon request) also are free. Each guest gets his own
personal Attache, a combination business assistant and concierge,
who remains at their service during the stay.