Ground Zero hotel opens - but is it too soon?

The new hotel next to the site of the former World Trade Center in New York officially opened June 9, although guests won't have much of a view for a few years.

The World Center Hotel is located on the southern edge of the World Trade Centre rectangle and offers views of the new One World Trade Center ("Freedom Tower"), which is currently under construction and expected to be completed in 2013.

The hotel offers five types of guest rooms, a private restaurant and club on the 20th floor, instant check-in, free wifi and a host of "green" innovations such as eco-friendly showerheads and room occupancy sensors.

Many of the 169 rooms feature floor-to-ceiling window walls, to help guests feel close to the action happening on the building site outside their window.

Cheryl Palmer, an executive from the hotel, said that the property "offers an accessible view of the new World Trade Center for those individuals who want to experience the rebuilding up close."

Indeed, with its very central location in the heart of New York's financial district, the World Center Hotel should easily be able to draw both leisure and business travelers to the Ground Zero area, which already boasts a nearby Millennium Hilton and a Marriott.

One guest told the AP news agency that being able to see the rebuilding was "phenomenal".

However, influential news and blog website the Huffington Post described the opening as "shocking."

"Not yet 10 years since 9/11 and we have a hotel overlooking the spot where thousands lost their lives. To its credit, the 169-room hotel is steps from Wall Street and the headquarters of many companies, but who would want to stay there?," asked the website.

http://www.worldcenterhotel.com

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