I have spent many nights in New York City and many of those nights have been in Midtown East or Murray Hill. Yet none of those nights were in a hotel until recently when I checked in to the Millennium property – One UN New York. I rolled my suitcase across town to my old neighborhood and wondered what I might find.
I found a renovated hotel with amazing views, a great place for dinner where I discovered Shochu and a tour of the United Nations building. A great twenty four hours.
New York City Skyline
The view. When I enter any hotel room, I always rush over to curtain and open it with great anticipation. The One UN New York delivered. My biggest debate became did I enjoy the view in the evening or in the morning more.
It’s Shōchū not Soju (or Sake)
We group walked a few blocks in familiar territory (for me), but stopped for dinner at an unfamiliar restaurant. Sobo Totto, established in 2007 (long after I left the neighborhood), delivered delicious dishes of Yakatori and Soba. The Zagat rating of 25 for food was surely earned too. And as much as I loved the food, the special tasting of Shochu (not Soju) left the biggest impression.
Shochu, not to be confused with Sake or any standard whiskey or vodka, is about 25% alcohol (50 proof) and apparently follows strict standards that separates it from its Korean cousin Soju. Plus, I was told the distilled beverage never leaves you with a hangover. Now after a few “data points” I tend to agree with that statement.
A United Nations Tour
For many of us New Yorkers, a tour of the UN might be our first since our childhood. Why do many locals and even visitors skip the UN? Well, with the hotel across the street from the attraction, staying at the One UN New York, you’ll probably make your way over. I am glad I did.
The tour, during a busy working session allowed us to watch nations vote on resolution after resolution. But with the UN in action the tour didn’t allow for many photos to be taken. Regardless of the images I wanted, it was when we walked outside in the back along the water and I touched a piece of the Berlin Wall that made the day.
Also, The Millennium One UN New York Plus, is where many of the nations leaders and diplomats spend their time I believe I sat in the same chair as numerous heads of state. I felt rather comfortable in it too.
Swimming a Few Laps
In the morning, I woke up early to swim a few laps. However the pool (and full tennis court) were in the other tower. I needed to cross through the lobby. Even with an impressive tapestry art collection, the space was not constructed or necessarily comfortable for people walking through in robes.
But however you take passage through the lobby, in a robe or dressed for success with the idea to change at the gym, swimming laps with views, including one of the Freedom Tower is definitely worth it.
The property holds a valuable midtown location close to Grand Central Station and the subway. Also, the hotel is located close to Times Square but also far enough away not to feel its activity and crowds. The location provides more of a neighborhood feel. I’d recommend One UN New York to visitors spending a long weekend or some one conducting business in NYC since the “madmen” modern feel to the rooms come complete with amble desk space. But regardless of the reason you select the hotel, I guarantee it will be the views that truly make you appreciate your selection.
I stayed as a guest of the hotel, but the lowest rate online I found was $298 a night for June 28th, 2013 (booking a week in advance,and I even noticed lower weekday rates) although I am not sure of the view at that rate. And yes it is worth it an upgrade if needed. The New York Skyline is one of the most impressive in the world, enjoy it.
Stay adventurous, Craig