As in the previous chapter, hotel listings are organized by location, starting with midtown west, the most sought-after location, and then covering midtown east, lower Manhattan, downtown, and upper Manhattan. Midtown includes the area between Fifty-ninth and Thirtieth streets.
59 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th avenues)
5th Avenue station (7 train); West 42nd Street-Bryant Park station (B, D, F, or V train)
This classic hotel is famous for its Algonquin Roundtable literary gatherings, which included such writers as Dorothy Parker and James Thurber. For many years it was the “in” place for writers to meet, and it housed visiting actors, playwrights, and other artistic greats, including Helen Hayes, Sinclair Lewis, Maya Angelou, and George S. Kaufman. Built in 1902, the Algonquin is now a historic New York landmark. Even if you're not staying there, it might still be worth a visit.
The Algonquin is a great place to have a drink. If you're feeling extravagant, order the $10,000 “Martini on the Rock,” the “rock” being a diamond from the in-house jeweler! Sit in large wing chairs and munch on salted nuts as waiters in traditional black suits serve you. Then there's Matilda, the hotel cat, entertaining guests as her predecessors have done since 1930.
The hotel is rich with history, and it is also fresh from a $5.5 million restoration designed to return the property to the glory of an earlier period, with furnishings from the turn of the century. The antiques that make up the Algonquin décor were carefully chosen to re-create the ambiance of a bygone era.
Today, the 174-room hotel combines the elegance and charm of the early twentieth century with the functionality of the early twenty-first century. Specialty suites are dedicated to and feature the works of Dorothy Parker, with warm, comfortable furnishings in all guest rooms, plus bathrobes, wireless Internet, movies, and safes as part of the in-room amenities. Suites also have a fully stocked refrigerator.
A small but state-of-the-art twenty-four-hour fitness center might seem out of place, but if you read while on the treadmill, you will at least maintain the literary theme of the hotel. Concierge and laundry service are available, and also on premises is (appropriately) a library on the second floor.
The Oak Room, for dining by day, becomes a cabaret at night from September to early July. The cabaret features dining and entertainment Tuesdays through Saturdays. Dinner begins at 7
The Algonquin offers a fabulous Family Celebration package that begins with a shuttle ride from the airport and includes sightseeing and attraction admissions with a room. You can also customize the package to your wishes.
1605 Broadway (between West 48th and West 49th streets)
West 50th Street station (1 train)
The Crowne Plaza enjoys a marvelous location — just north of the busy Times Square area, south of Central Park, and within a short walk of the theater district, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Fifth Avenue shopping. This is a forty-six-story, upscale, 770-room hotel. The views from the higher floors are terrific.
Crowne Plaza sports a friendly atmosphere and provides laundry service, a concierge, and on-site valet parking. Rooms feature video games, high-speed Internet access, CD player, coffee/tea maker, in-room pay-per-view movies, makeup mirrors, ironing boards, and in-room safes. The room charge covers up to four people of any age.
The on-site health club, run by New York Sports Clubs, is huge — nearly 30,000 square feet — and is run by fitness managers with trainers on hand. The health club has one of the city's largest hotel indoor swimming pools. The pool and wide array of fitness equipment are first class, and the hotel offers a wide variety of classes for guests who don't want to miss a workout while on vacation.
For dining, start the day with a light repast at the Lobby Bar Starbucks Station or a full breakfast at the signature Samplings Restaurant. Samplings serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and pre- and post-theater meals. Both Samplings and the Lobby Bar double as lounges at night. In-room dining is available seven days a week.
Doubletree Guest Suites
1568 Broadway (between 46th and 47th streets)
West 50th Street station (1 train), West 49th Street station (N, R, or W train)
“Suites” is the operative word here, with forty-five floors featuring some 460 suites. Like everything else in New York, the Doubletree offers you a wide range of choices, including king and double/double suites, executive conference suites, handicap suites, nonsmoking suites, and two presidential suites. Each suite includes private bedrooms and separate living rooms, plus sofa beds, wet bars, microwaves, refrigerators, cable television, movies, video games, wireless Internet, and more space than many New York City apartments. They all have numerous safety features and good décor. The hotel features a state-of-the-art fitness center, valet service, a gift shop, and laundry.
The Doubletree towers high above the heart of Times Square, with a glitzy, modern look and an off-the-street lobby (common in Times Square hotels) that affords privacy and safety. It is a very child-friendly hotel, and the kids love the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies they get at check-in. The suites, at essentially the same rates as comparable guest rooms in the area, provide much-needed space for family traveling.
Doubletree Guest Suites offers several family-oriented packages that include visits to such favorites as American Girl Place and Build-A-Bear Workshop. They have also had shopping and museum deals as well. A call or Web visit will yield current specials.
The Center Stage Café, despite its name, is a full-service restaurant offering American cuisine from 6:30
Hilton New York and Towers
1335 Avenue of the Americas (between 53rd and 54th streets)
5th Avenue-53rd Street station (E or V train)
It's hard to go wrong with a Hilton property. This massive hotel, located in the heart of Manhattan, is a city unto itself. The Hilton provides all sorts of conveniences, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, concierge service, foreign currency exchange, self-service check-in and check-out, and ATMs.
Elevators with CNN newscasts keep you abreast of what's going on in the world during your ride. There are numerous shops located in this massive structure, including boutiques, a gift shop, a drugstore, a ticket booth, and a beauty salon/barber shop. An eight-level underground parking garage has twenty-four-hour valet parking.
Guest rooms are clean and roomy and sport a modern décor. Refreshment centers, pay movies, video games, and high-speed Internet are among the expected amenities. The Hilton also has specially designed wheelchair-accessible rooms.
Stay at the Hilton and your kids can borrow toys to play with. The 53rd Street hotel has a Vacation Station — a collection of toys for borrowing, as well as a folder of activities for kids to do around the city. The Vacation Station is open during the summer months.
The Towers is a special private sector from the thirty-fourth through forty-fourth floors, featuring a lounge for complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, hors d'oeuvres, and more. There are various other amenities for Towers guests.
The Hilton has long been a favorite of visitors to the city because of its first-rate service, easy accessibility, and wide range of amenities. The hotels draw families in with their “children under 18 stay free” policy (providing they share a room with their parents or grandparents).
Restaurants include Etrusca, serving Tuscan cuisine in an elegant yet casual atmosphere (business attire required), and New York Marketplace, an indoor “sidewalk café” reflecting New York's cultural diversity, ideal for a family breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For drinks, the Bridges Bar and the Lobby Lounge are pleasant for drinks, wine, coffee, tea, and pastries.
1535 Broadway (between 45th and 46th streets)
Times Square-West 42nd Street station (1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, S, or W train)
In the heart of the theater district, and housing a Broadway theater within, the fifty-story Marriott Marquis is one of the premier hotels in the Times Square area. The modern skyscraper is accentuated by a thirty-seven-story open atrium with glass-enclosed elevators that provide a spectacular ride.
The 1,900 rooms are modern and spacious, with in-room safes, coffee/tea makers, videos, bathrobes, fax machines (in some), wired Internet access (wireless in public areas), and other conveniences. The hotel is a small city unto itself, with shops, six restaurants and three lounges, a beauty salon, and a health club. Amenities include laundry service, concierge, parking (limited and for a fee), babysitting, airport service, and a tour and transportation desk. The entire hotel is nonsmoking.
Marriotts are usually well run, and this big, bold, bright Broadway hotel is no exception. The energy and excitement of the theater district is prevalent throughout, but with the main lobby several floors above the street, there's also a feeling of being secure and away from the hustle and bustle of the busy area.
If the city doesn't have enough to offer, the hotel has more than its share of places to visit and to stop by for a bite to eat. The View is New York's only revolving rooftop restaurant, and the Atrium Lounge has a spectacular thirty-seven-story ceiling. Other places to dine include Encore, Katen Sushi Bar, the Broadway Lounge, and a Star-bucks. While you browse the premises, you might want to pick up a map to avoid getting lost!
Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers
811 7th Avenue (between 52nd and 53rd streets)
7th Avenue station (B, D, or E train)
790 7th Avenue (between 51st and 52nd Streets)
7th Avenue station (B, D, or E train)
Sheraton is another highly trusted, top name in the hotel business, and these two impressive establishments are no exception. The Sheraton New York is a 1,750-room skyscraper; the 665-room Sheraton Manhattan, across the street, is much smaller by comparison. Both hotels are a few blocks north of the theater district, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, and Rockefeller Center and just south of Carnegie Hall and Central Park. Guests of the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers can cross the street and use the Sheraton Manhattan's fifty-foot swimming pool. In return, Sheraton Manhattan guests can make the reverse trip to benefit from the Sheraton New York's 4,000-square-foot fitness center and health club. The hotel also offers a theater desk.
In-room amenities at the Sheraton New York include coffeemakers with complimentary coffee, video games and movies, bathrobes, iron and board, and high-speed Internet. The Sheraton Towers houses the Club Level Rooms from floors forty-four to fifty, with a lounge on the forty-fourth floor.
Restaurants in the Sheraton Towers include Avenue Restaurant, a large glass-enclosed café that seats 180 people on various levels for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hudson Bar is home to thirty large-screen monitors, all featuring sporting events, and serves as an “information café” with data port outlets. Breakfast and lunch from Starbucks is available, as well as dinner in the bar. Breakfast and lunch is also available in the Lobby Restaurant where you are surrounded by leather, wood, and velvet. Drinks and conviviality are to be had in the club like Library Bar. Dining at the Sheraton Manhattan is at Russo's Steak and Pasta Restaurant, featuring steaks, seafood, and pasta. It is open for breakfast and dinner only.
The Time Hotel
224 West 49th Street (between 8th Avenue and Broadway)
West 50th Street station (C or E train)
One of the city's new breed of hip, modern hotels, the Time is a luxury boutique hotel in the middle of Times Square, featuring 164 rooms and twenty-eight suites.
Rooms are sleek and modern, decorated in bold colors. You'll find curtains in place of closet doors, canvas covers for the television set, and essays on the choice of color for the room — all part of this unique and somewhat eclectic Manhattan experience.
The hotel provides large-hotel amenities in a smaller setting. Basic amenities include a coffee/tea maker, an in-room safe, high-speed Internet access, a Bose Wave radio, a VCR with video loan service, an iron and board, and complimentary bathrobes. The Time also offers a concierge, fitness center, foreign currency exchange, laundry and dry-cleaning service, valet service, express checkout, and a second-floor lounge. While the designer rooms and fragrances may not be for everyone (check out the Web site for a preview), the hotel is excitingly different and modern, and its smaller size, compared to its Times Square counterparts, can be comforting.
The Oceo restaurant is, like the hotel, eclectic, with an American menu treated with international flair. The Time Lounge on the second floor offers a tapas menu, plus cocktails and specialty drinks.