Mammoth 1928 Hotel in Theater District of Midtown Manhattan
When the Milford Plaza Hotel opened in 1928, it provided the nation's largest city with a hotel worthy of its size, with 1,300 guest rooms inside a 28-floor art-deco building. Over the next seven decades, the hotel's Theater District location has positioned it in the center of Manhattan's excitement—the Empire State Building would be completed 1 mile from the hotel in 1931, and the 1945 V-J Day celebration would take place a few blocks away in Times Square. Currently undergoing a $140 million renovation, the Milford Plaza Hotel has begun to solidify its future in Manhattan by upgrading the lobby and guest rooms and adding a rooftop bar overlooking the city's twinkling lights and the Hudson River.
Inside one of the newly renovated queen or double rooms, a vivid mural of a neon "Open 24 Hrs" sign covers the wall behind the platform bed. Minimalist white furnishings and colorful flashes give the room a spacious yet stylish feel. At check in, staff members greet visitors with two welcome gift bags filled with I Heart NY T-shirts, mugs, key chains, and discarded parking tickets as mementos of their stay.
Theater District and Times Square: Neon Lights and World-Class Entertainment in the Heart of Manhattan
Just around the corner from the hotel, Times Square bustles with crowds, flashing billboards, souvenir shops, and boisterous restaurants. A calmer scene lies a mile north at Central Park, an 843-acre urban park surrounded by several cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, and the American Museum of Natural History.
With flashing marquees at every corner, the Theater District is one of the world's epicenters of performance art, featuring Broadway hits such as The Lion King and Billy Elliot as well as lesser-known off-Broadway productions. Historical theaters line the streets, from the 1926 Eugene O’Neill Theater to the Lyceum Theatre, whose intricate stone columns and baroque façade date back to the turn of the 20th century. Bordering the Theater District, the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood is known for its gritty heritage as well as its assortment of ethnic eateries clustered along a stretch of Ninth Avenue. Further south, art lovers peruse the Chelsea neighborhood with its myriad art galleries and troupes of Dalí surrealist dancers.