212 E 42nd St, New York, NY | Directions 1001740.750361 -73.973879
Neighborhoods: Murray Hill, Midtown
A high-end executive link in the Helmsley chain. – The Scene
It's understandable why so few first-time visitors know what to make of this hotel. After all, the U-shaped driveway is so clogged with Jaguars, BMWs and Range Rovers that visitors often think they've arrived at a high-end auto dealership. In fact, the indomitable Queen Leona has made sure that every aspect of this establishment is efficient and modern in a nondescript, contemporary fashion.
The 788 rooms are spacious and airy, with access to the kind of white-gloved service associated with the best of the best. Amenities include no less than three dual-line phones (it is, after all, a business district) with data ports among the numerous standard amenities. But business doesn't necessarily rule the day. The hotel also offers romantic weekend getaways such as the bed-and-breakfast package for the pleasure-seeking set. Tri-level Mindy's restaurant showcases modern American cuisine, while Harry's Bar keeps up its reputation for martinis.
A Rip Off – The thermostat offered "on" (for boiling hot) and "off" (for merely uncomfortable).
The carpet was fairly new, but was not attached to the floor at the baseboards.
Showers were intolerable. The water cycled from scalding to ice cold with no touch of the knobs.
The laptop connection was unpredictable.
The television had the ubiquitos half-broken remote control, but substantially more irritating was the sound on the TV. Every 10 or 15 seconds the sound was unintelligible for about 5 more seconds. We called the TV service hotline, and the man at the other end said that it was probably a setting and that there was nothing to be done to fix it.
Unannounced construction started in the next room bright and early on our last day, ensuring we had lots of time to pack up and get out.
Time for a facelift – Stayed at the Helmsley last week on business and the room was just tired. As I rode down on the elevator, I laughed with some other guests at how old the interiors looked. Time to spend some cash and replace the stale bedpreads and draperies at least. The roller shades don't cut it!
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