When the Hyatt Herald Square opened for business last year, the architects were faced with a major challenge: making the most out of a relatively small space. Not only did they succeed, they turned it into a smart modern hotel with a personalized touch.
We had the opportunity to spend a night there recently and also visit the in-house restaurant, The Den. The lobby is cozy and modern, and the elevators (located directly in front as you walk in) aren’t in the best spot, but it’s charming and homey thanks to an espresso bar, a lounge and work area, a small main desk, and the dining room beyond that. The check-in process was a breeze, and the room afforded a great view of the Empire State Building a couple blocks away. All of the rooms are quite small (aside from the slightly larger king suites), but there was ample space for a king-size bed and the bathrooms are surprisingly large (with C.O. Bigelow products, to boot). The rooms are expertly laid out: Little nooks all over the place allow for much more storage than you might realize at first glance, elevating the refrigerator and coffee maker off of the floor opens up floor space, and the top of the end table next to a small couch spins around to become an impromptu tabletop. There are also plugs just about everywhere you turn, and, because the hotel is on a side street, the rooms are surprisingly quiet.
The small restaurant located in the hotel, The Den, is divided into two rooms. The first is located in the lobby and more closely resembles a bar or lounge, and features a smartly appointed adjacent dining room. Breakfast options include the standard assortment of bagels and pastries from Balthazar, egg dishes, cereals, and pancakes, and the lunch and dinner menu is surprisingly well-executed. It’s divided into bar snacks, appetizers, and entrees; snacks include deviled eggs with jalapeño, bacon, and chives, a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato, and a flatbread; appetizers include soups and salads; and entrees include gnocchi, orzo risotto, pan-seared salmon, a roasted chicken breast, an eight-ounce steak, and a cheeseburger with caramelized onions and watercress. The menu rotates according to what’s in season, but everything we tried was well-prepared and made with high-quality ingredients, and would be right at home on the menu at any of the city’s best bistros. There’s also a solid cocktail menu with a nice mix of classic as well as modern libations. It was unfortunately too cold to visit the rooftop bar, Up on 20, but from the website, it looks like one of the area’s hidden treasures, and we’ll certainly keep it in mind when the weather warms up.
The area around Herald Square is loud, bustling, and full of hotels, but the sparkling new Hyatt Herald Square, tucked away just off the main drag, is a welcome port in the storm and should be on the radar for any visitor looking to stay in the heart of Midtown.