Formerly known as the Berkshire Place Hotel, the Omni Berkshire Place was built in 1926 by architecture firm Warren and Wetmore as part of their “Terminal City” vision: part of the brief when they won the commission for the nearby New York icon – Grand Central Station – was to develop residences in the blocks surrounding the terminal. So a stay here is as historic as a visit to the famous concourse itself. An example of Classic-Revival design, many of the city’s socialites and artists subsequently took up residence thanks to the building’s spacious rooms and Midtown location. They include musical powerhouses Rogers and Hammerstein, who met at the hotel to begin collaborating on what went on to become the Broadway classic, Oklahoma!. The presidential suite is still named in their honour today.
Perched on East 52nd Street, between Madison and 5th Avenue, even the hotel’s address screams quintessential New York. It also means the city’s biggest hitters are in easy reach: as well as the aforementioned Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Centre, Central Park, Radio City Music Hall and St Patrick’s Cathedral are all close by.
Tourists looking for a central base from which to explore the city, and those looking for a classic, all-American hotel in an unbeatable location. Fitness fanatics are also well catered for: the fully furnished fitness centre boasts a sundeck overlooking St Patrick’s Cathedral and Midtown, and is open 24 hours a day. You might need that after all the cronuts.
There aren’t many hotels that can boast suites with balconies overlooking Madison Avenue, and it makes one hell of a view to admire over your morning lox-and-cream-cheese bagel. Mini travellers are also well catered for: on check-in, children receive an Omni Kids Crew backpack equipped with an activity book, card games and binoculars. They’re also treated to bedtime milk and cookies on their first night.
If you’re too tired after a day pounding the sidewalks to venture out for dinner, fear not: the in-house restaurant comes in the form of Bob’s Steak and Chop House and is every bit the all-American steakhouse you’d expect. Meals start with bread and a jar of pickles, and are followed by hefty cuts of prime US beef, super-sized salads and a carefully curated wine list.
The hotel’s most recent renovations saw designer Alexandra Champalimaud bringing modern touches while still honouring the building’s glittering history. Think Italian marble bathrooms, luxurious linens and artworks from the Conde Nast collection archives.