Waldorf Towers and Waldorf-Astoria, New York – Hotel Review

By Jonathan Spira on 28 February 2013
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Once the largest hotel in the world, the art deco Waldorf-Astoria has been at its present location since 1931.DSC_0165  In its original incarnation, built on the site that is now home to the Empire State Building, the hotel transformed the idea of a hotel from a place merely for travelers to stay overnight to a venue that made the hotel both a destination unto itself and the center of a social scene.

Beyond that, the Waldorf is known for a number of additional firsts.  It was the first hotel in the world to offer room service, a huge innovation in its day, and it was the first in the U.S. to allow women into the hotel without requiring an escort.  Of course, it was also one of the world’s first true grand hotels as well.

Today, the Waldorf-Astoria is not only an icon but a New York City landmark, one that attracts people from far and near.

Since I live in New York, DSC_0094 I am usually not in need of a hotel room but an evening gala at the Waldorf followed by an early appointment in midtown made staying overnight seem like a good idea.

Arriving by car at the separate entrance for the Waldorf Towers,located just steps off Park Avenue on 50th Street, I was welcomed by the doorman who seemed a bit surprised by my car’s rather empty trunk (I only had my roll aboard and a backpack with me as I was just staying overnight).  Although there was a bit of confusion about parking because of the renovation of the Waldorf’s driveway, I was soon at the Waldorf Towers’ private and rather quiet front desk (a calm oasis compared to the Waldorf-Astoria’s front desk) and was almost immediately whisked up to my room.  Once I was comfortable ensconced there and saw the amount of closet space available, it became clear why the doorman had been puzzled. The Waldorf Towers, incidentally, is a hotel within a hotel that occupies the building from the 28th to the 42nd floor.

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