Day 7 – The Waldorf Astoria

On Park Ave somewhere – massive. You can’t miss it.

Possibly the most famous hotel in the world? Certainly in the US. By golly it’s an impressive monster. Originally two hotels (you’ll never guess their names) it even has, or had, its own train station in the basement (it’s on Park Ave under which run the Metro North trains). 

In the history of grand hotels, basically, there is BC and AWA, that is Before Conrad (Hilton) and After the Waldorf Astoria. Hilton is largely responsible for the massive 1000 room hotels we see around the world today. Before him, hotels were more ‘gentlemanly’ in scale. 200 rooms was considered large. After he purchased the Waldorf Astoria, Hilton hotels have always been on a grand scale. Read his autobiography, ‘Be my guest’, if you’re keen to know more.

While massive, it manages to have beautiful human-scale public spaces. There are two lobbies – both magnificent. I sat in the inner one, which is dark and timber-lined. But it wasn’t a very productive day for some reason. Struggled to get going and ended up writing one scene out of order just so I could get it done. Also, forgot to order their famous salad. Instead, opting for their oatmeal.

Today’s word count: 1300

Word count to date: 19,686

  • The view of the main lobby from my office for the day

  • Majesty New York style

  • Feeling at home in the splendour

  • Conrad and Baron Hilton

  • Oatmeal – with almonds, brown sugar and glacé raisins

  • Hard to tell what Kenneth is selling from this display – but it’s my father’s name, so…

  • The Park Avenue lobby