The Millenium Hilton Hotels Sits Across From 9/11 Site
Manhattan is back. For months it was blocked off, then clogged with tourists,
then there was the mayhem of putting the pieces back together. Almost twenty months
after September 11, 2001, the shiny refurbished Millenium Hilton Hotel directly
across the street from the World Trade Center Site, has risen from the ashes.
it didn't exactly rise from the ashes because it wasn't reduced to ashes, although
it did suffer damage on that day in September. It had been closed since then for
5, 2003 was the emotional grand reopening. New York City Mayor Bloomberg and New
York State Governor Pataki came to the reopening to raise the flags that were
flying on September 11 - the US flag, the state flag, and the city flag. As they
raised the US flag, darkened with dust from the disaster, many observers had to
wipe their eyes. Most of the people who worked at the hotel in 2001 came back
to work and stood there proudly during the ceremonies. The words "rebirth,
renewal, great comeback" peppered the politician's speeches that day. It
was a historic moment.
luxury hotel, in the heart of New York City's financial district, caters to the
business traveler. Leisure travelers would also find it quite comfortable, but
its location near Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, and City Hall, make
it especially convenient for people in town to wheel and deal. Plus it's close
to many subway lines. The restaurant at the hotel, Church & Dey, is well-lit
and fancy enough to impress any clients. Other business perks include conference
rooms, a business center, high-speed internet connections, and 24-hour room service.
stayed there to check out the renovated hotel. Looking down from the 17th floor,
I had a bird's eye view of the activity at Ground Zero. It still looks like some
kind of lunar landscape with golf carts buzzing around and men in orange still
welding and laying concrete (though not to the extent they were last year). I
also saw the sun set over the Hudson River, a sight I wouldn't have seen when
the towers were there.
That evening I decided to take advantage of the fitness room, which also boasts the view over the Hudson. There's also an indoor pool. When I got back to my room, I closed the curtains, took a bath, then propped up on pillows to watch a movie on the 42" plasma screen TV. Of course, the best perk is the large comfortable bed in a safe, clean room. The contrast between Ground Zero and the cozy, decadent room was striking.
There's a lot to do down on the tip of Manhattan. It's easy to forget that Manhattan is an island, but not down here. On the west side, there's the beautiful Battery Park City, where you can lounge on the grass and gaze at the Hudson River. There's a great walk/run/bike path that runs along the water. At the very bottom of the island you can catch a ferry to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. Walk east a few blocks and you're at the South Street Seaport, where 18th and 19th century shipping buildings, historic sailing ships, and shops and restaurants coexist. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on a sunny day, and catch the subway back. There's also the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Museum of Financial History. Like everywhere in New York, there are more bars, restaurants, and things to do in the neighborhood that you could try in one trip.
In the morning, from my window, I saw people in suits rushing down the sidewalk, and tourists checking out the information posters in front of the World Trade Center site. After a brief breakfast at Church & Dey (where I eavesdropped on many breakfast meetings), I had to join the ranks of people rushing to work.
Things are looking up downtown. Manhattan has put the pieces back together and is open for business. If you're looking for a place to stay, treat yourself at the Millenium Hilton.
The Millenium Hilton Hotel is located at 55 Church Street in downtown Manhattan. Standard room rates start at $299, suites from $499. For more information call (212) 693-2001 or visit www.newyorkmillenium.hilton.com. For reservations, call (800) HILTONS or visit www.hilton.com.