Staycation at the Millennium Hilton with FiDi Families
New York City is full of adventures and we love exploring the City and all that it has to offer. It’s so easy to forget that the Big Apple is an international tourist destination. To us, it is simply home. But, the reality is that 60% of all tourists to Lower Manhattan are international and the top 5 international visitors hail from the U.K., Germany, Spain, France and Australia (according to the 2016 tourism report by the Downtown Alliance).
According to the Downtown Alliance, NYC was host to 14.8 million visitors in 2016! So, with all of the interest and excitement for the Big Apple, we decided to experience a downtown stay with a FiDi hotel that is in the midst of the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan and with plenty of amenities and things to do, to entertain any visitor, from young to old.
The Millennium Hilton has been a downtown staple and one of the original hotel brands to put down roots in the Financial District, when most big brands were focusing on midtown. The 55 story hotel was damaged by the attacks on 9/11 but managed to remain open and rebuild itself, just as the rest of the neighborhood did. There are food destinations within walking distance that are well-known and fabulous people watching such as L’Appart at Le District, Mark Forgione in Tribeca, Cut Reserve in Tribeca and the relocated Nobu, just down the street from the hotel. With the opening of Augustine by famed restauranteur Keith McNally, the dining options are endless, when staying downtown. As most New Yorker’s know, any restaurant in New York is used to serving children, as kids have to eat too! So, we love taking advantage of great restaurants that welcome children to the NY dining experience. But, when it is easier to stay indoors, we loved dining at Church and Dey, the hotel restaurant and even took advantage of room service for dinner. The food was excellent and with the incredible views and the dining room table, we felt quite spoiled.
Some neighborhood highlights include Eataly, the Oculus, home to the Westfield WTC Shopping and Transit Center, the Trinity Church cemetery, where Alexander Hamilton is buried, the NYSE, the Charging Bull and of course, his new companion, the Fearless Girl. Plus, 10 subway lines are within 1 block of the Millennium Hilton. So, the option of taking mass transit is easy to do, as well as walking the City streets and exploring the hood. The Brooklyn Bridge is only a 10 minute walk and the views of Lower Manhattan from the bridge are unprecedented. The history and the impressive nature of the Brooklyn Bridge are worth the walk over this historic bridge. Of course, no visit or staycation is complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty, though we always cheat and simply take the free Staten Island Ferry to get a free ride and an up close view of Lady Liberty.
The standard hotel room is approximately 300 square feet and is spacious compared to other hotels in the City. We were lucky enough to stay in a Junior Suite, which includes a private bedroom and sitting area, which was separated by a bathroom. We love the corner units with spectacular views, afforded by wall to wall windows. We highly recommend making this request, when booking a stay. With kids in tow, it was great to set them up on the pullout couch and 42″ t.v. along with cookies and milk for a cozy night and gorgeous nighttime views.
One of the unique aspects of this downtown hotel, is the heated indoor pool. It boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and the natural light is fantastic. It’s a great way to relax on your own or let the kids get their last bit of energy out. On our staycation, the weather was chilly and it was hard to convince anyone to wander outdoors. So, it was really nice to have the indoor pool as an option and a backup plan, if we chose not to go out and explore. Whether you explore near or far, its a nice reward for all of the walking that you tend to do in the City. The chance to indulge in an indoor pool after a day of walking and crowds is hard to beat.
The Millennium Hilton is really central to amazing destinations. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum are steps away and a must-see while in NYC. The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian at Bowling Green is a quick walk south and the amount of public art that is free and open to the public is impressive. The Red Cube, created by sculptor Isamu Noguchi is a few blocks away and is always an Instagram favorite.
An insider tip for FiDi Families is to utilize the itineraries that are posted to the Downtown Alliance website. We certainly have our favorite go-to’s when friends are visiting or if we decide to play tourist for the day, as we did with our staycation. But, they offer a variety of options, based on the length of stay, so its a great resource. And, a little known fact is that guests of the hotel are able to receive a discounted rate at the Seaglass Carousel. This gorgeous carousel is must-do with kids or without. It’s a magical experience.
As a family of four, the Millennium Hilton was a great choice for our downtown staycation and we can’t wait to return. Be sure to ask about the #MilleniumMemories package for some great options for guests of the hotel.
Disclosure: We received complimentary accommodations so we could share our recommendations and experiences with you as a FiDi Families contributor. As always, my posts are based on my opinions and experiences.