A few months ago I said goodbye to my roaring 20’s in style. We booked the penthouse at the Hilton Midtown for the weekend, and Saturday night hosted an unforgettable party in honor of my 30th birthday.
If you want to be in the center of it all, the Hilton Midtown is the location for you. It’s walking distance to Times Square and Rockefeller Center. But before I get into the hotel itself, let me tell you about the penthouse, because the history is unbelievable! While it doesn’t date back to the 20’s, inside it feels like you stepped back in time, and into a super posh NYC pad.
A lot has happened here too. Lucile Ball lived here. The Beatles stayed here in 1964 when they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, and it’s so cool to stay somewhere where not only so and so stayed, but in the ACTUAL room they stayed in. In 1971 John Lennon penned the lyrics to the song “Imagine” on hotel note paper here (which now hangs in the hall of fame). And, in the penthouse’s living room sits the actual piano, and photos of the aforementioned people in which they are sitting/posing around/playing the piano. Other notable past guests include John F. Kennedy, Stevie Wonder, and Frank Sinatra. In more recent years this penthouse has been in films such as American Gangster, and I was even recently watching The Carrie Diaries on Netflix and spotted it on there! I freaked out lol!
At 7,500 square feet and 5 bedrooms, this duplex penthouse allowed for the perfect party for about 30 of my closest friends. We gave the bedrooms to family, and what makes a hotel venue so great is that people are able to spend the night if they don’t feel like heading home. Even if the Hilton tried to screw some of friends by overcharging the group rate. Ugh!
Anyway, some of my favorite things about the penthouse are…
- The View. From pretty much absolutely everywhere.
- The Library. It had a hidden door. I’m pretty sure our next house will now have one of these too.
- A duplex. I don’t know why but I think stairs in suites are SO cool. The penthouse had it’s own elevator too.
- So all five bedrooms were upstairs, and the living spaces are downstairs. Two of the three bedrooms are master suites.
- I really love the way it’s so spread out! The dogs found their favorite spots, and had a blast running around.
While I loved the penthouse I did not love the hotel itself. There were some shady practices that I did not care for. Like when they charged us PER bell cart. There were four carts between all of us, but we had five bedrooms. Plus, we had brought supplies for the party (which we were paying a hefty penny for). We knew it was a lot for the bellmen, we tipped them well, but also it was totally reasonable considering there are five bedrooms. Then, we found a crazy charge on our bill (I’m talking $100 to transport luggage), because we required more than one bell cart. So absurd. I really love the Hilton brand, but this hotel needs help.
Then, there were things from the party planning aspect that we did honestly, and got taken advantage of. It was really disappointing. We did not have a good experience planning here, and do to the hassle I would not recommend this place. It all started with a date war for the penthouse. Then, when we were honest about some of the things we were bringing in (on top of what we were paying the Hilton to provide) they charged us for it.
Let me be clear – they charged us for bringing in our own things. I’ll give an example. I wanted specialty cupcakes to fit the theme. The Hilton could only do plain ones for $10 each, and said if I wanted the specialty ones from the bakery they would still charge me $100, plus 23%. It was crap.
I went with the Hilton for my birthday cake (vs. going with the specialty cake I wanted). They charged $750 for their (much less awesome) cake (for 30 people). I couldn’t swallow spending for the cake I really wanted, plus paying the $100 outside fee, and another $200 for the 23% they would charge me for bringing the bakery one in. Legit I probably could have just invited my friends up and brought in all my own things, instead of them overcharging for everything. So ridiculous. I should have just had them do the bar only. I’ve planned a lot of hotel parties before, and this is the first time I ran into issues like these. They were so unaccommodating.
The worst was the Hhonors points they screwed us out of.
So yeah, our overall experience with the Hilton Midtown was NOT a good one, but the room and party itself was perfect.
I know aside from trip photos I never share an inside look at our lives. My 30th birthday party was so special that I thought I’d step out of my norm and share it with you all.
Thank you so much to all of my close friends and family who came to celebrate, to the vendors who made the party so awesome, and to all the hard working (and honest) staff members at the Hilton Midtown.
Hair & Makeup courtesy of NY Prostyle.