Checking In: The Conrad Hotel New York City

In a past life, New York City’s ritzy Conrad Hotel was once a budget hotel.

It’s certainly hard to tell today. In 2012, this luxurious Lower Manhattan Hilton hotel was renovated into contemporary glass building with 463 sleek and chic suites. Stepping inside, it feels downright sexy and stylish. Guests are greeted by a striking lobby atrium that soars 16-storeys high and glows shades of electric and purple. Talk about dramatic entrances.

It sets the tone for the rest of the visit. For those craving comfort and style in NYC, the Conrad New York has it all, plus some little surprises in store for guests.

Sleep in Style

Honey, I’m home! The Conrad’s suites have a contemporary two-room layout, feeling more like an apartment than a hotel. Frosted glass doors separate the living room, the bathroom and bar, and the bedroom. With an average size of 420 square feet, it’s possible to entertain in your suite – and how many visitors to New York City can actually say that?

Each suite has a wet bar with espresso machine, flat-screen television with premium channels (HBO!), and rainforest shower. Guests also get access to a virtual concierge. Basically, you can be a demanding diva from your TV, laptop, touch pad or smartphone. If only we could figure out a way to do this at home.

Insider’s tip: book room 724 for fantastic views of the sunset over the New York Harbour and the Irish Hunger Monument.

Location, Location

The Conrad is all about comfort and convenience. It’s walking distance to Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum (a must see). The ferry terminal is nearby, making visits the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island pretty easy, and just a brisk 10 minute walk to the subway.

Battery Park New York City

Photo by Albert Paul

Although the hotel is new, history lies at its doorstep. Across the street, there’s Battery Park – a strip of greenery offering gardens and concerts in the summer. In the early days, this spot was also the first point of arrival for immigrants. Long before Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty were built, incoming boats docked at Battery Park.

Insider’s tip: take the Conrad’s elevator to the seasonal rooftop bar. It offers incredible views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, as well as Prosecco on tap.

Feast Your Eyes on This

Veal & pork meatballs at Atrio Wine Bar & Restaurant

Veal & pork meatballs at Atrio Wine Bar & Restaurant

If you’re hankering for a hearty meal, grab a table at Atrio Wine Bar & Restaurant – the hotel’s first floor eatery that serves exquisite Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine with a modern twist. Executive Chef Antonio Cardoso makes some of the best damn meatballs in town. It’s an understatement when the waiter cautions us that “they’re a bit addictive”: veal and pork are minced with fresh herbs and fried until crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside; and then, the meat is coated with a thick tomato sauce that leaves a zing on the tongue. This dish should be re-named “crackballs,” because you’ll want to compulsively consume them, ball after ball.

For a main course, the Spanish Chorizo Crusted Halibut ($34) more than does the job. The fillet is dipped in chorizo crumbs, made from coarsely chopped pork, paprika, swiss chard, and garlic; the fish is then roasted until flaky inside and served atop a creamy purée of root vegetables.

Spanish Chorizo Crusted Halibut

Spanish Chorizo Crusted Halibut at Atrio Wine Bar & Restaurant

Despite its refined decor, Atrio is actually a perfect place for a relaxed supper or a cocktail before hitting the clubs. Just chill out in the café-style dining room and watch the chefs pull pizzas from the stone-fired oven. An extensive menu of seasonal cocktails plus a “wine wall” also give lots of leg room to be choosy.

Conrad New York - Atrio RestaurantBut what’s really cool about this resto? The chef tosses seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs into the dishes, freshly plucked from the rooftop garden.

Fresh fruit at Atrio Wine Bar & Restaurant

Fresh fruit at Atrio Wine Bar & Restaurant

What We Loved

The “Conrad Self-Guided Art Tour” is a pretty rad concept. You can browse over the art collection lining the hotel’s walls, using your phone as a guide. Just download the app and point your phone at one of the 2,000 pieces for all the deets about the artist and the artwork itself. Start with the 16-story atrium lobby that showcases Sol LeWitt’s “Loopy Doopy (Blue and Purple)” mural. It’s always awesome when hotels can create a beautiful and cultured space for guests, as well as support artists.

If I Could Change One Thing

Okay, so we’re being a bit princess here, but an extra terry cloth robe in the suites would be handy. There was only one in our room, and neither of us wanted to share. Although we could have likely asked for another, a game of “rock, paper, scissors” settled the squabble.

This is an Ideal Hotel For:

Business travel and weekend getaways. Some suites have pull-out couches, making it possible to split the room between two couples or accommodate a family. Super convenient for visiting Lower Manhattan sites, such as Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

The Details:

The Conrad New York City
102 North End Avenue
New York City, New York
Tel: 1-212-945-0100
http://conradnewyork.com

Rates vary based on season and availability, but expect $300 and up. Check for deals and you can score a room for less.

The writer was a guest of the hotel. The hotel did not review or approve this article.

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