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Imagine you are standing in the middle of a seemingly transparent structure that leaves you wondering if all that you’re witnessing is, in fact, a reality or a mere illusion. With no opaque walls to limit your sight of the horizon, the observation deck at The SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is like walking right into the clouds.
If you remember watching ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, you’d probably recall the Glass Elevator that took Charlie, his grandpa and Willy Wonka high up into the clouds, giving them a sight of the city from above before they were dropped home or the ending of the movie ‘Interstellar’ when Matthew McConaughey enters the future, he steps into a world filled with glasses and mirrors.
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
Well, we all wanted to experience that, didn’t we? The SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, opened on 21 October 2021 in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, lets you have a pretty similar experience. An elevator that shoots you to the 91st and the 93rd floor and you enter The Palace of Mirrors. Though the elevator doesn’t magically drop you home (how we wish that were real), it doesn’t fall one bit short in leaving you stunned.
Summit One Vanderbilt is one of the highest terraces in New York City, with stunning views of of the city. This 65,000 square foot space has multiple levels that offer delicious food as well as cocktails – it’s an ideal place for any visitor looking to have a little adventure!
Summit One Vanderbilt offers visitors thrill experiences from its elevated food menu or experience unforgettable diners on their outdoor patio where they can enjoy breathtaking views while sipping drinks during sunset hour.
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SUMMIT One Vanderbilt sky boxes, glass floor elevators and wrap-around terrace
It is difficult not to feel like a bird soaring through our world, standing on eggshells high above Madison Avenue with the hustle and bustle of city streets beneath you. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt’s LEVITATION sky boxes allow guests 1,063 feet out into space where they can stand inside transparent glass boxes that gives them unparalleled views from their elevated perch in this modern inflight experience.
For thrill-seekers looking for the most extreme experience possible, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt’s ASCENT glass elevator will take you up to over 1,200 feet (364 meters) and offer a transparent glass floor. This world-class observation point offers unmatched views of midtown Manhattan!
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The SUMMIT One Vanderbilt journey comes to an end with APRÈS and the SUMMIT TERRACE. The sky-high lounge features bespoke light fare, innovative cocktails—enjoyed indoors or out on this beautifully designed terrace that wraps around the south and west side of the building with stunning views up to 80 miles away.
Experience of the senses at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
As soon as you enter, you will be given elastic shoe covers. This is done to keep the surface spotless. Your experience begins with a short video, preparing you for all that you’re about to witness, post which you move down a dark corridor only to enter a bright elevator, covered in mirrors.
Once you enter the first floor, don’t be taken aback by all that natural light hitting you. The next room is probably another step closer to the future, covered with silver balloons floating in the air, a delightful sight to behold. There are several activities you can explore on floor 91, such as Levitation, Reflect, Air organised by the Group. On the next level, spot the floor art curated by artist Yayoi Kusama.
When you explore the glass bottom floor, a professional will click your photos and you can procure these later. Before you enter the facility, get a face scan done. As part of the experience, you get to create a 3D image of your face on the digital clouds that will run across the wall.
Once you get accustomed to the light and the glass walls, take a moment to observe and appreciate the view. Let it all in as it will take your breath away, leaving you dumbfounded and overwhelmed as you get acquainted to the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building like you have never before.
Your venture into this ‘House of Mirrors’ leaves you with the feeling that you’re right at the centre of the Universe with the whole world beneath your feet. It takes you to the highest high and lets you dive into the depths of the beautiful city while solar-flashes light up your day.
Getting to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
Travellers have easy access to the entrance of Summit One Vanderbilt through a passage in the Grand Central Terminal, making it easy for you to explore this landmark while you get to travel to other sites of the city.
A few things you must keep a note of:
• Please avoid wearing pointed shoes and heels that could cause damage to the floor.
• Don’t forget to take your sunglasses along, especially during the day. The sunbeams are strong and the reflections, even stronger. Don’t worry if you forget to carry them along, you can always borrow one from the Summit.
• Visitors are urged to wear pants and avoid skirts or dresses because you’ll be standing on mirrored floor.
• Keep your batteries charged, you don’t want to miss getting beautiful pictures.
• For a better experience, visit the place around sunset for the red sky or at night time when coloured lights are switched on, enhancing the view.
45 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 (Entrance located on the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal)
© This article was first published online in Nov 2021 – World Travel Magazine.