Luxury Hotels: There is no city like New York City. The people. The buildings. The food. The shopping. There is an energy there that crackles with electricity everywhere you go. The apex of the energy emanates from Times Square.
Tucked about half a block from Times Square is a hotel with an international flavor that often goes unseen. It has a history spanning more than eight decades and has been home to many celebrity patrons during the years.
Opening as the Hotel Paramount and renamed the Paramount Hotel in the late 1980s, this boutique-lodging establishment is ideal for theater lovers, business travelers and anyone visiting the city for any reason.
The Paramount has a beautiful faÁade facing 46th Street. Designed by Thomas Lamb, the hotel was finished in 1928. Lamb was a well-known movie and legitimate theatre designer of the time. Due to the narrow street, the front of the building is hard to view. The first floor features intricate archways in a double high arcade. Higher floors have detailed terra-cotta moldings and ornaments. The street is really a side street and very narrow. You have to crane your neck to really see the complex French Renaissance work on the building. Look high to be sure to see the copper cover roof with ornate dormers, unique urns and pediments. The roof and building are best viewed from a distance or from another building in the area, so that you can really see the complexity of the facade.
If you like living in the past, this recently renovated place is a portal back in time. From the Memphis Stompers to jazz great Charlie Barnet, the Paramount has been home to many celebrities from the last 80 years. During the 70s, a well-known nightclub, housed in the basement, was frequented by stars of the day.
Location is everything in New York and the Paramount is no exception. It is very conveniently located in Times Square. Across the street is the Richard Rogers Theatre. You can walk a block or two to find other Broadway theatres, clubs, restaurants and shopping. Itís a nice walk to Central Park, a little longer to Lincoln Center and a 40-minute stroll to museums, including The Met, The Guggenheim and others. I love to play native New Yorker and walk all over the city. At night, youíre only two minutes from the lights of Times Square.
Lobbies are the heart and soul of a hotel. You can tell by looking at it what to expect inside the rooms, the restaurants, and even the staff. The lobby at the Paramount is one of the nicest Iíve seen. Itís been rated as one of the best hotel lobbies in the city. Itís modern, yet has a feeling of an old film from the 30s. You can almost see Fred and Ginger dancing down the theatrical long winding stairway.
There is a distinct International flavor here. On my stay, I heard at least half a dozen languages including French, English (from England), Spanish, Italian and German. Oh and "American" as well. There are most likely more. The staff is multi-cultural as well and can offer assistance to travelers from around the world.
Located just off the lobby is one of my favorite quick bite places, Dean and Deluca Cafť. This local chain is well known as purveyors of fine food, wine and kitchenware and can be found online as well. This is a small location and offers fare from sandwiches to salads, all unpretentious and prepared for people on the go. Itís perfect before theater outings or on the way to a business meeting. Coffee and pastries is a staple for breakfast.
For a business meeting, we met at the Mezzanine Restaurant, which overlooks the grand lobby and serves as a great place to people watch. Other tables have street views of 46th Street and the hustle and bustle of New York in the morning. We had a sampling of a full breakfast with eggs, pastries and coffee. Service was friendly.
The Library or Bar 46 is great for drinks at anytime.
Rooms are comfortable with trendy bright furnishings. Our room was bold with red, black and white colors. The bathrooms have been redone with modern fixtures. Flat screen TVs display what you want to watch when you watch it. Pillows and comforters are plush and comfortable, with luxury linens. Beds are very sleepable (compared to the industrial type bedding in many hotels) but seem smaller than standard beds. My suite had two rooms with the bed taking up most of the space in the master. A large sitting area had a pullout bed, which folded up, making the room less cluttered.
From check-in at the front desk to check-out, the service was friendly and the staff hospitable. Concierge service is available for everything from theater to restaurant reservations. I needed a haircut and the staff pointed out several salons within walking distance. At night, there are several bars available to meet, people watch or just relax. Celebrity sightings are common, with the 46 Bar being one of the hottest hotel bars in the city. The lobby changes atmosphere with people dressed up for clubbing, theatre and bar hopping.
The Paramount Hotel was a great place to stay because of its history, service and convenient Times Square location.