Downtown and Lower Manhattan
There are some truly lovely small hotels below Thirty-fourth Street in lower Manhattan. Many of them have been catering to sophisticated travelers for generations.
Chelsea Savoy Hotel
204 West 23rd Street (at 7th Avenue)
West 23rd Street station (1 train)
This is a small and funky hotel in New York's artsy district. Its ninety rooms are comfortably furnished and include wireless Internet, continental breakfast, and cable television. Several parking lots are close by.
The Millennium Hilton
55 Church Street (between Dey and Fulton Streets)
Chambers Street station (1, 2, or 3 train); Franklin Street station (1 train)
Reopened after sustaining damage in the September 11 terrorist attack, this sleek modern marvel rises fifty-eight stories into the New York sky. The 569-room Millennium has a lot to offer, including king-sized beds in most of the guest rooms, forty-two-inch plasma televisions, video games, movies, iron and board, high-speed Internet access, in-room safes, minibars, and makeup mirrors. Guest rooms are large and modern and offer a warm residential ambiance.
The spacious lobby is filled with the sounds of piano music. There is a fitness center and a glass-enclosed heated pool. A concierge, laundry service, and babysitting service are also among the various amenities offered at the Millennium, a popular hotel with both business and leisure travelers.
Church & Day Restaurant is on the third floor and offers authentic American regional cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is twenty-four-hour room service and special children's and diet menus. Parking is available for a fee but is quite limited. There are various specials throughout the year that make this luxury hotel very affordable.
New York Marriott Financial Center
85 West Street (between Carlisle and Albany streets)
Rector Street station (R or W train)
There are two Marriotts in lower Manhattan. The Financial Center property houses 497 modern guest rooms and suites complete with pay movies, minibars, and standard in-room fare. The hotel is located a short walk from Wall Street and the ferries to Staten Island, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. Amenities include an indoor pool, exercise room, saunas, concierge, business center, and gift shop.
Marriott has banned smoking in all of its 2,300 hotels in the United States and Canada. This includes all guest rooms, restaurants, lounges, meeting rooms, public spaces, and employee working areas. Smokers will be accommodated in specially designated areas outside the building. Guests who violate the ban will be charged a fee to cover the cost of restoring the room.
Since this is primarily a business hotel, you may find good deals on weekends and during the summer months when there are fewer business travelers. Marriott also runs family package specials throughout the year in all its hotels, so check on potential promotions.
The lower Manhattan location puts you out of the fast pace of midtown, which may be a plus or a minus depending on what you are looking for and what sights you are interested in seeing. Though the hotel is close to the numerous downtown sights, there is less nightlife, and the museums of Fifth Avenue are a bit of a walk. But with New York's excellent public transport and convenience of street-flagged taxis, it's a matter of choice. On-site valet parking is $40 a day.
For the unusual in dining (or lunching), even for New York, Roy's New York features Chef Roy Yamaguchi's Hawaiian fusion cuisine. Breakfast here is a full American buffet. For dinner only, 85 West is a lovely cocktail lounge with a surprisingly satisfying and eclectic menu for light snacking to serious dining. From pizzas and burgers to shrimp and steak to low-carb dishes, there's something for everyone. There's live entertainment every Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7
124 East 28th Street at Park Avenue
East 28th Street station (6 train)
This boutique hotel is housed in a restored historic 1906 building. It has 141 rooms, all newly redecorated. There is a long list of services and amenities, including a complimentary continental breakfast, concierge, fitness room, cable TV, DVD player and an extensive DVD library, bathrobes, and an in-room safe. Several very interesting and creative packages are available.
Dinner is at the Black Duck, a much-praised restaurant serving an eclectic, nonfrightening menu that will have you wondering what to order first. It is very kid friendly and will make half-portions on request. Along with the grilled seafood and meats, it has pasta and burgers. Every Sunday night it shows movies, and there is live entertainment Friday and Saturday evenings.
Washington Square Hotel
103 Waverly Place (at MacDougal Street)
West 4th Street-Washington Square station (A, B, C, D, E, F, or V train)
Prospective New York University students and parents visiting NYU students have stayed here for generations. Nestled across from Washington Square Park, this small 165-room hotel evokes Paris of the 1930s, yet it includes all the modern amenities one has come to expect. Guests may use the free Wi-Fi service while sipping their afternoon tea. Other amenities include a continental breakfast and a gym.
Rooms are appointed with deluxe furnishings, in-room data ports, and cable television. North Square Restaurant is a beautiful little place serving imaginative meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, and afternoon tea in the Deco Room. There's also a jazz brunch every Sunday. As if that weren't enough, the famous Blue Note jazz club is just down the street.