Published on June 10th, 2012 | by Charu Suri4
Five Wonderful Reasons To Stay At the Omni Hotels (and Bring Your Kids, Too!)
Earlier this year, I was invited to take part in the Family Travel Conference, hosted by TravelingMom.com. The funny thing is that many of the sponsors did not know I was about to become a mom, but I took it as a sign of good luck and fortune and was thrilled at the opportunity to learn more about family travel from the pros.
All of the participants received an opportunity to stay at the Omni Berkshire Place in New York City, and to learn a little bit more about what sets this brand apart from the rest. For starters, the Omni Hotel chain, which consistently ranks high in customer satisfaction in well-known surveys (such as the ones by J.D. Power and Associates), takes pride in the details. I’ve always said: anyone can give you a room with a bed and a few pillows, but few hotels will make you feel like a special guest.
Omni Hotels are considered boutique luxury hotels (e.g. four stars and above) and operate in several major cities. Here’s what stood out to me about the hotel in general, and why I’d definitely consider booking another room in this hotel chain when traveling.
The Hotel Entrance
You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I certainly look at a hotel based on its entrance (just as I do with Italian restaurants and their bread baskets!). The first impression is extremely important! The Omni Hotels Berkshire Place has a romantic marble lobby that’s tasteful art deco without being overdone. The circular table with copious amounts of fresh flowers is a lovely touch!
Nothing says “welcome” like a gorgeous flower-studded entrance
A good culinary experience is highly intrinsic to a good night’s hotel stay, and it’s all the better if the menu offers your dream items plus a dash of creativity. When I recently visited the Omni Berkshire, I sat down with the hotel chef Ron Ulczak after poking around the menu. For vegetarians, the Omni’s Fireside restaurant will always find you something (you won’t leave hungry). From season-ready summer rolls to a delicious Butternut Squash Soup (which sounds more fall than summer, but it was delicious nonetheless without being overly spiced with cinnamon and sumac), to the staple burgers and fries, a Fireside meal caters to all demographics.
The menu is chiefly American but with global influences (Ulczak is partial to anything) but there are fun items like “Conversational Piece” (including a popular “Grilled Cheese with Crust not Included“) and “Make Your Own S’Mores” for kids that comes with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. It’s wholesome and fresh food with a creative twist.
I had a sampler platter that was delicious: vegetarian spring roll, butternut squash soup, and some Middle Eastern Chopped Salad. The pastry chef sent out a kids dessert that’s making its way to the menu soon, called “The Dirty Worm” which is a new, fun dessert with chocolate mousse and whipped cream sprinkled with Oreo cookies on top and a gummi worm coming out (this is part of the summer “Camp Omni” promotion).
“The most popular item for kids on the menu is the Kids Pizza and the Burger,” says Ulczak.
My extremely tasty afternoon meal (from left to right): Mediterranean Chopped salad, vegetarian spring roll, Butternut Squash Soup
“The Dirty Worm”–a new, fun dessert for kids featuring a gummi worm coming out of dish of chocolate mousse, whipped cream and oreo cookies. It’s included in the “Camp Omni” package.
The rooms at the Omni are meticulously maintained, with a turn down service and close inspections by the housekeeping staff. There are various levels of rooms, from the Deluxe Guest Rooms to the Berkshire, Madison and Rodgers & Hammerstein Suites. Because it’s primarily a business hotel, the rooms are elegant but not over the top, with a clean mini bar, storage area and spacious bathroom with plush robes and towels.
What I loved about staying at the Omni was the complimentary “Select Guest Loyalty Program” which gives you plenty of generous perks that are not the norm. For instance, you’ll receive:
- Complimentary morning beverage delivery (teas, coffees, juices);
- Pressing of two items of clothing;
- Free Wi-Fi;
- Complimentary newspapers;
- Points towards a future stay.
Each room is comfortable, elegant and tastefully furnished
Many have chairs and room for extras like cots and cribs, in case you’re traveling with kids
Fun Programs (Camp Omni)
In case you’re traveling with kids, there are fun programs that the hotel institutes, so they too can have a great (not just good) time. The hotel chain has launched its summer Camp Omni Package, perfect for the families who want a bit more bang for their buck (valid now through Sept. 16th):
- 15% discount on deluxe accommodations (minimum two-night stay)
- Complimentary breakfast for kids 12 and under from the buffet or children’s menu
- $10 gift card for kids to use anywhere in the hotel
- Camp newsletter with scavenger hunt that is redeemable for a merit badge and ‘dirt & worms’ dessert upon completion
- Pre-call from camp counselor (concierge)
- Welcome amenity with s’mores-flavored marshmallows, collapsible water bottle and a lanyard kit inside a cinch-up backpack
What kids will receive while enrolling in the “Camp Omni” Summer Package, which runs through Sept. 16th
Last but not least, it would be remiss to gloss over the service at the Omni Hotels. The service staff is so pleasant and courteous, and they’re very quick to respond to your every need! You may have seen my earlier post about “Surviving Poor Service When You Travel” and thankfully none of what I experienced in that post is applicable to the Omni Hotels.
From the caring bartender to the concierge, the hotel chain has gone through special trouble to train its staff well…and it shows.
The Omni Berkshire Location Details
21 East 52nd Street at Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10022
Phone: (212) 754-5000, Fax: (212) 754-5018
This hotel receives a high approval rating from Butterflydiary.com. A complimentary night’s stay was provided but all the editorial opinions are the author’s own.