It would be hard to argue that Times Square isn’t the heart of New York City. It’s the destination within the destination—the neon-colored crossroads of the urban jungle. So when offered a chance to spend a night at a chic hotel in Times Square, I couldn’t say no.
The Westin Times Square sits partially next to and partially on top of a multiplex movie theater. Outside, far below, the gaudy, bawdy, naughty (well, not so naughty since Disney moved in) insanity of 42nd Street shuffles along—but inside, all is quiet, with only the slightest hum to indicate the traffic sixteen stories down. The newly renovated Atrium Club rooms, which are just being unveiled now, have large soundproof windows that let in plenty of light but little sound. If skyscraper-gazing doesn’t appeal (hey, vertigo is no laughing matter!), the rooms come with enormous flat-screen TVs and iMacs for guests to use. (Check out some cool before-and-after shots.)
|A Murphy Bed is behind those cabinet doors|
|My room at the Westin—That's me in the mirror.|
The walls of the entryways have shoji-like sliding doors into the bathroom (with Occitane products—if one can’t make it to the spa on the 23rd floor, one can simulate the experience with these!) and closet space (surprisingly small for this particular room). Some rooms designed for connecting have the signature Westin Heavenly Beds set up Murphy-style, folding down from the wall. This allows the room to become a sitting room, living room, meeting room—whatever—or just frees up space if the bed isn’t currently needed. (Sofas and chairs can be moved around in these rooms to fill up the space as the guest needs.)
As the names might suggest, the rooms wrap around an inner atrium, which, unlike others of its kind, is not capped by an outside window to flood the space with natural light. While this makes the somewhat atrium darker than others might be, it also gave the hotel's designers a chance to play with unnatural light, projecting stars onto the walls and balconies, for example, for a fresh and funky effect.
On the eighth floor is the new Atrium Club, designed by Vicente Wolf. As one might guess from the name, guests of Atrium Club Rooms have access to the 24-hour club, which offers more complimentary computers (in case one isn’t enough), breakfast in the morning and hors d’oeveurs in the evenings as well as coffee 24-hours. (After all, if you’re jonsing for coffee at 3 a.m., you gotta get your joe!) The club also has a 24-hour dedicated concierge who can help guests with whatever they need—certainly useful in a city this big!