The location, just off Central Park and near some of the city's top cultural institutions and high-end shopping, has always made it a prime spot for tourist hotels. A few blocks to the north is Lincoln Center—home to the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Philharmonic. Just south stands the legendary Carnegie Hall. A few blocks east is the Fifth Avenue shopping district. And right in Columbus Circle: the Time Warner Center, which houses three jazz halls, restaurants run by world-renowned chefs (Thomas Keller, Masayoshi Takayama), and the closest thing to a mall experience you'll find in New York.
The Hearst Tower, built on top of the old newspapers headquarters at 300 West 57th Street on Eighth Avenue, was designed by Norman Foster and is the first "green" building completed in New York City. It's the building with the very distinctive triangular glass pattern.