Grand Hyatt New York Will Be Torn Down

The Grand Hyatt hotel was Donald Trump’s first big development in Manhattan. It’s been through several rounds of renovations. In the early 2000’s it was fairly run down, but I could regularly Priceline it for about $75.

Hyatt Stay Certificates used to be an amazing value here, too, I once booked 22 rooms nights at $169 all-in when the rate was running $469 to $519 per night plus tax.

The hotel has gotten investment a couple of times since then. The best thing about the property is that it’s often available less expensively than other full service properties in the area. Indeed searching for a room later in the month it was pricing at $171. The second best thing is the club lounge which features a large outdoor seating area.

Now the Grand Hyatt New York is now slated to be torn down although timing for the project is unclear and requires government approvals.

  • Hyatt has a 100 year lease on the property that runs through 2077. That will be sold to an investment group.

  • A new 2 million square foot project will be built including offices, retail, and a much smaller hotel.

  • The hotel will go from 1,298 rooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting space to 500 rooms and 10,000 feet for meetings.

Displaced workers will get a buyout, “A room attendant with 30 years of experience could receive more than $214,000 in cash, plus additional pension credits”

It’s a big busy hotel that’s going to be a lot smaller in the future. I’ve stayed here many times always as a compromise because it was the best deal, so on that score I’ll miss the option if not the hotel itself.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Stayed there last May in a suite on the top floor. It’s about as good as it got for location. I liked the inside of the hotel a lot (especially the view from the restaurant looking out on 42nd St). The lounge was great and always stocked. They had the honor system for wine which I thought worked fine.

    It was busy but if you went up top from the lobby there was always an elevator available.

  2. Wow I feel like I am really old now 🙁
    Realistically the property has outlived its usable life based on property condition and ability to maintain brand assurance and guest expectations going forward
    It makes sense
    There is simply better options at any price
    Its been an embarrassing thorn in Hyatt’s side for a Grand but a cash cow none the less with some of the highest redemption rates historically of any Hyatt Hotels system wide
    There is a part of me that will be sad to see it go despite the hard bumps in the road in this rough and tumble property.
    There are some fond memories too to look back on
    Meeting Neil Diamond at the opening of the Jazz Singer motion picture premier and attending the star studded dinner party held at the hotel
    One of the best Freddie Awards was held there.Going back down memory lane I believe it was 2005
    Seeing Donald Trump and Cruz face off before the election with the FBI and their bomb sniffing dogs casing the property for protection
    Nearly got run over on Lexington getting out of the car when my driver couldn’t turn down 42nd street due to police barricades
    The hotel could be quite generous at time of arrival with room upgrades for Globalists or outright stingy
    I always needed to recover after a stay there from all the lines and a packed old tired elevators crammed with suitcases and travelers
    Finding a seat in the club on weekends typically could be like winning the lottery
    For value stays I will likely turn to Hilton who aggressively always had better prices than the Hyatt with one caveat no late check out
    I remember when the the stay certificate was the best held secret in town 1999 to 2000
    Shared that info with more than a few notable up and coming travel writers at the time not that I would name drop 😉 🙂
    777 Global MH

  3. Will it remain a Grand Hyatt? If memory serves, by way of analogy, the Hyatt Century Plaza is not remaining a Hyatt

  4. huhuhu…I’ll miss this place. We liked this hotel and it was Central to almost everything in Manhattan. Loved the staff. What a shame! I hope the employees get a boatload of separation pay and etc….

  5. 777, you think you’re old.
    I stayed there in the last crumbling days of the Commodore, run by clueless NYCRR management. We had free accommodation over the Thanksgiving weekend as they couldn’t afford to staff most areas, including check-out. The staff told us to leave anytime before Monday! People were making their own breakfast in the kitchen. In the mid 70s, 42nd St chaos extended down to Grand Central.

  6. Curious, how do you globe trotting CO2 spewing leftists feel about your new de facto leadership calling for the end of air travel? Ending fossil fuel usage as the green new deal calls for means that likely the only ones that get to fly are the liberal elites. Sorry, you all don’t qualify. How do you like sailboats?

  7. Hello!

    This hotel is THE real estate “deal” that transformed Donald J. Trump from the son of “just” an “outer borough” real estate developer (his father, Fred) into “The Donald” who then went onto become a major “player” in Manhattan (which in his time, and until only the past decade or so, was viewed by most New Yorkers as meaning, you’re a “nobody” if u haven’t built anything of consequence in “the city” aka Manhattan).

    In other words, in Trump’s formative/aspirational years, the reality pretty much was “yeah, yeah, so what? Who cares? if daddy owns lots of apartment buildings in Queens (Forest Hills, Rego Park) and Brooklyn (Coney Island) – that’s nice…BFD…you’re still a nobody as far as NYC’s real estate dynasties (the Rudins, Dursts, Silverstein, Fisher Bros., Kalikow, Millsteins, Kaskells, Cohens, Tishman, Zeckendorf among the best known – then, and for most, now – even if in today’s NYC real estate universe, big name developers and REITs from all over the country, and the world, have entered the picture and muscled their way into prominence in what once was a far smaller “club” dominated by a handful of families that emerged as dynasties passing down the family’s real estate treasures from one generation to the next).

    Until he took over the dilapidated Commodore Hotel and transformed it into what truly was a beautiful hotel at a time when NYC’s finances were a mess and in fact had been taken over by a fiscal overseer as the “price” for avoiding complete financial collapse and ruin (like, say Detroit, over the past decade), and when many had predicted NYC’s days as a global capital and world class city were gone for good, “Donald Who?” built a glittering hotel next to what was then a run down Grand Central Terminal (as no where near like the gorgeous rehabilitated building of today or the past 20-25 years) – on 42nd Street no less (even if East 42nd Street was NOT beset with crime, seediness, porn palaces and a grittiness that is practically a galaxy away from the “Disney-fied” Times Square of today, back then East 42nd Street was hardly viewed as a desirable place to risk milllions on building a new hotel when the city itself was in decline, and the hotel was just a hop, skip and a jump away from crime ridden, porn theater glutted, Times Square!

    So, while the Grand Hyatt’s days are now numbered due to the passage within the past year or so of what’s called the Midtown East “Upzoning” to allow for redevelopment of many now obsolete mid-century “skyscrapers” into 21st century “Supertalls” (aka 300 meters, or approx 985 feet tall buildings), which converted its very low height/density that was more aligned with NYC’s zoning restrictions dating back to the 1960s into exceptionally valuable real estate ripe for redvelopment into something much taller (and possibly an iconic, skyline defining Supertall such as the now under construction future TD Bank Tower that’s rising to 1,400+ feet and is directly across the street from Grand Central Terminal itself – or about 1 short block away from the soon to be torn down Grand Hyatt, along with many times more buildable square footage, there’s quite a bit of history attached with this building as its success is, in many ways, the foundation upon “The Donald’s” reputation as someone who made it in Manhattan, and as a result went on to building an empire (of sorts – let’s set aside the bankruptcies; questions of an “over reliance” on Russian backed money; allegations of corruption; or his “politics” for purposes of this discussion), that includes Trump Tower (and his many other Trump “towers”/branded properties that until recently were quite many scattered throughout Manhattan and a few surrounding suburbs; his prominence on “Page Six” of the NY Post; and that reality show that ultimately led to that fateful day when he descended the escalators in his pink marbled tower declaring his candidacy seeking to become President…

    …because, had “Donald Who?” flopped when he redeveloped the Grand Hyatt Hotel way back when instead of succeeded as well as he did (and even today, much as I held my nose for an airline industry event held there a few months ago that I attended and otherwise avoid if only because I can’t stomach putting a penny into his pockets, I’ve always been fond on the hotel he (re)built…with the bar overlooking 42nd Street always being where those I liked a lot were taken on dates 😉 ), who knows? …history might’ve been altogether different!

    Like I said, other than note my personal disagreement with his, and his party’s, policies – I’ll leave it aside here, and for others to decide on its own, if we’d all be better off that if instead of his successful redvelopment of the Grand Hyatt Hotel as we have known it to be for much of our lives, “Donald Who?” crashed and burned, retreated to daddy’s empire in what back then was viewed as if the hinterlands worlds apart from “the city” and instead there was no Grand Hyatt Hotel to speak of its looming demise as we’re doing now…

    But, fwiw, this hotel has an important history – since (love him or hate him) it’s where our current president’s fortune and, more importantly, acceptance into the “Big Leagues” as a NYC Real Estate Developer, was made.

    So, guess I just might have to hold my nose one last time and head to the bar overlooking 42nd Street one last time – for old times’ sake given the many, many fond memories of some of the best dates had there!


  8. WR2, it’s called having a vision and I applaud it. You are just a tool for a TV network that thrives on hate and wants you to buy $90 dollar mypillows.

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