Paradise for kids can take many forms. For my kids, it was a day at the Battery Park City playground. So if your child is a playground connoisseur, or an outdoor enthusiast of any kind, a stay at the Conrad New York fits the bill.
The all suite luxury hotel, filled with modern art, has family friendly rooms, with pull out couches and sliding doors that close off the bedroom from the living room. There is no tub, but the huge shower room (next to the toilet and sink) has both a rain head shower and hand-held attachment.
My kids are now too old for the playground, but the location is still spectacular. The Battery Park Conservancy loans out balls, Frisbees and board games, and the well-manicured grass (no dogs allowed) invites sunbathing or ball play.
Directly across the street from the hotel, a CitiBike kiosk offers access to the protected greenway where you can bike all the way up to the George Washington Bridge. We had brought our own bikes, since we were just coming from Brooklyn, and locked them at other nearby racks.
The Conrad is next to the destination restaurant, North End Grill, but its restaurant, Atrio, holds its own. The Mediterranean restaurant features local, seasonal produce and wood-fired pizzas; you can sit on couches or chairs.
The hotel is attached to a multi-screen movie theater, and if you go out the rear entrance of the hotel, you are at a covered pavilion with several casual restaurants, all with outdoor seating. Around the corner is a branch of the BBQ place, Blue Smoke; in the other direction, you’ll find the gourmet mini chain, Le Pain Quotidien. You won’t go hungry here.
The World Financial Center is across the street; currently under renovation, almost all the restaurants and shops are closed. But once it opens, there will be even more choices. And the WFC has many free activities; on a recent evening, the River to River festival featured live music and a film screening.
My husband, teen daughter and her friend and I recently stayed at the Conrad to experience the new Family Fun package. In addition to the suite, we got breakfast, reusable water bottles, passes to the 9/11 Memorial and water taxi passes.
The breakfast was billed as Continental; it actually offered a more comprehensive choice of homemade granola with Greek yogurt; steel cut oats; berries with carrot bread; bruschetta with scrambled eggs and cheese or a basket of pastries, with fresh juice and coffee. There is also a kids’ menu.
If you have to wait for breakfast for the teens to get up, you can make an espresso in the room and eat an apple from the fitness center. I did this so I’d have energy to work out, but I had to vault over the coffee table; when the sofa bed is open, there isn’t much room to get by.
The NY Water Taxi has water tours of the harbor; particularly compelling is the Statue by Night tour (it rained when we were there). Thrill seekers can choose the SHARK Speedboat ride.
The Conrad has a rooftop lounge, the Loopy Doopy Bar. (open seasonally). The views are of New Jersey – not the most magical, but the twinkling lights at night are pretty cool.
In fact, paradise.