HomeDestination FeaturesITTN Interviews Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, New York - NYC Tourism Trip

ITTN Interviews Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, New York – NYC Tourism Trip

ITTN’s Shane Cullen is staying in Fitzpatrick Hotel Manhattan, part of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, New York. This is part of the New York City Tourism + Convention trip, in conjunction with Fitzpatricks and JetBlue.

Interview with Chris O’Sullivan – General Manager, Fitzpatrick Hotel Manhattan

Shane interviewed Chris O’Sullivan, General Manager from Fitzpatrick Hotel Manhattan 

In terms of room occupancy, what are the room types here at Fitzpatrick’s?

“The one-bedroom suites are normally for families, like two adults and two children and a sofa bed so you can add a third. We have rooms you book directly with the hotel which are two full-size beds in the bedroom and a pull-out sofa in the living room. So they accommodate the larger families.

Then we have the presidential connecting suites. They have a king-size bed and pull-out sofa connecting to a room with two beds and that gives you two bathrooms so it’s a little more space when you’re in New York.”

So, in order to get those larger room types, do you have to book direct?

“It’s easier if you do book direct. Obviously, some of the agents have direct contracts with us but to be honest, these larger rooms are only bookable direct from the hotel.”

Tell me about the room I’m staying in, what room type is it?

“So, you’re in a one-bedroom suite which is a king bed and then the living room space. You’ve got the wet bar area. For some of the families, what we do is we give them a microwave so that way, you know if the kids want to have a snack, they can.”

I thought it was a really nice touch that you had Barry’s Tea [in the room].

“Well, we have to have Barry’s Tea, it’s an Irish hotel! [Said in jest], Tryphavana would lose it, if she couldn’t have a cup of Barry’s Tea.”

(to be fair, my other half is the same, Irish tea or nothing).

And then, in terms of other facilities within the hotel?

“If you book through a third party, there is a resort fee. If you book direct, there isn’t. We work with an exclusive gym called TMPL, which is on 53rd and Lexington, you’ve got Wi-Fi, you got internet access which is full speed 100 megabytes and bar and restaurant facilities.”

(it is fast & was comfortably able to upload batches of photographs)

“And then you have your full concierge service so any of the tours can be booked directly from the hotel.”

And in terms of Fitzpatrick Hotel Group New York, what should the Irish travel trade know?

“We’re the only Irish-owned, Irish-operated properties in New York City which gives a little bit of a different feel to New York. It’s very much a sit-down, check-in type of place… 

We run c. 70% repeat business so half the time we’re not even asking people for credit cards because we already know who they are.”

Chris’ philosophy is to really look after the guests, to sort issues they might have (from lost wallets to helping with banking issues across the pond) 

“You have to accommodate, people have them out as best as possible and that’s why, like most of my team, we don’t hire on experience, we hire solely on personalities because you really want that Cead Míle Fáilte” when they come to New York.”

It really feels like a home away from home. 

“John set the business up as a family-run business and we like to keep that family aspect about – the longest serving staff member is 35 years since we opened. I’m here 11. We’re all here a good long time.” 

A Genuine Identity in a World of Homogenous Hotels

I don’t need to buy in to what Chris is saying, you can feel it. The minute you walk in the door you get a sense that this is an elegant hotel but more than that, the staff are genuinely happy. The length of service of the staff is a testament to this. There is a friendly rapport with customers and colleagues alike. The engagement is personal and in a world of homogenous hotels, this hotel and its staff feel as though they have a clear identity – they know who they are and what they stand for. I love this hotel and her sister hotel, Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel. The staff in both are equally engaging and genuinely interested in all the Irish connections, of which there are many.

I am staying in the Fitzpatrick Hotel Manhattan and enjoyed a drinks reception at their other property, the Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel. Both have great locations too. 

Fitzpatrick Hotel Manhattan

It’s a home away from home. They get the Irish traveller. It’s a personal, friendly service and it’s very easy to see why so many come back, not just for the Barry’s Tea but for the great attitude, friendliness, location, service and offering.

You will find the Fitzpatrick Hotel Manhattan in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The hotel offers a blend of luxury and Irish charm in a refreshingly classic atmosphere. The hotel is located on Lexington Avenue and is close to some of the city’s most popular museums (a stone’s throw from MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) which I would highly recommend), theatres and shopping districts. 

Rockefeller Center and observation deck, Top of the Rock and Central Park are equally a short stroll from the hotel. Famous landmarks like St. Patrick’s Cathedral (the largest Gothic Revival Catholic cathedral in North America & featured in Godfather III) are very close. Also, almost directly across the road from St. Patrick’s Cathedral is The Lego Store, 5th Avenue which is worth a peek to any Lego fans. Plus, tourist attractions like the Russian Tea Rooms and Carnegie Hall are moments away.

Less than 15 minutes on foot, Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel is literally down the road.

Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel

The Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel is located next to the world’s largest and most famous train station, guests staying here have the advantage of easy access to anywhere in Manhattan. The hotel is within walking distance of the Theatre District, Times Square, the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Center and shopping on Fifth Avenue. Equally, around the corner is Summit One Vanderbilt (and its observation deck) and the Chrysler Building. 

As a guest of either hotel, you can enjoy complimentary access to the New York Sport Club located three blocks away. The club offers a wide range of equipment, a sauna and a steam room.

The Wheeltrapper Pub is located off the hotel’s lobby and is a very popular destination for locals and hotel guests. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served throughout the day with a heated outdoor patio making it the ideal spot no matter what time of year.

Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen has been managing director of a media production studio for nearly 20 years working on projects for a global clientele. He has worked in the travel industry for over a decade and as a travel journalist since 2015. He is passionate about travel, film & photography. He also has a keen interest in emerging technology.

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