Just as the Affinia Dumont markets itself as a fitness suite hotel, the Affinia Gardens thinks of itself as a tranquil suite hotel. And just as the Dumont justifies its status with corresponding 'kits', the Gardens offers 'tranquility', 'meditation', 'city gardens' and 'rejuvenation' kits. This property is made up entirely of suites, so again, as with the other Affinias, space is not lacking. Similar to its sister hotels, it won't win any design awards but it is a smart, clean, decent base for exploring the city whether you are a couple, family or group friends. Perhaps a little off the beaten track, but then again if it was in the mix of things in New York City it wouldn't be all that tranquil!
The hotel is situated on East 64th street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues slightly north of the southern end of Central Park. It's slightly further out than most hotels, but enjoys a quiet location in a residential area. Central Park is just four blocks away, while Madison and Fifth Avenues are also within walking distance. There are three metro stations not far away from the hotel. JFK airport is 19 miles away, La Guardia 10 miles and Newark 18.
Affinia Gardens is part of the Affinia Group which includes four sister hotels in New York (Affinia 50, Affinia Dumont, Affinia Manhattan and Affinia Shelburne) as well as four affiliate hotels (Eastgate Tower Hotel, Surrey Hotel, The Benjamin and The Buckingham). Each of the Affinias offers complimentary 'Experience Kits' to help you customize your stay, in this instance they are 'tranquility', 'meditation', 'city gardens' and 'rejuvenation'. Guests can all customize their stay by choosing one of six pillow types and adding such items as rubber ducks, putters or cupcakes to their room thanks to the My Affinia application found both on the hotel's website and at computer stations in the hotel lobby.
The entrance to the Affinia Gardens is set amongst residential buildings in this leafy street. The low-ceilinged lobby is a little bare with the reception desk to the left (where you can sip the hotel's refreshing signature drink after a long day's travelling) and a corner couch in the far corner behind which is a display of some of the other 'kits' available. Also at the reception desk is the minibar service with a selection of drinks and snacks (there are no minibars in the rooms). To the other side of the entrance hall is what is called the 'Serenity Lounge' which offers free tea and coffee (each month a different blend is available for sale) and is a place to relax and unwind-a kind of living room for guests. The lounge is also the venue for themed events put on by the hotel such as movie nights or cocktail receptions. It is decorated, like the lobby, is browns which is a shame as it could be an even more pleasant space to spend time in if it was jazzed up a little. You'll also find here an ATM machine and a PC (50c per minute) with free boarding pass printing. The hotel has a small fitness room with a few cardio machines with individual screens and one universal weights machines as well as free weights. There is no spa in the hotel although in-room wellbeing services can be arranged through the SPAffinia scheme which offers massages, facials and hand and foot treatments. The Affinia Gardens is nicely kept throughout although a dash of colour around the place wouldn't go amiss.
The entire inventory of the hotel is made up of suites, meaning no matter which room you choose you'll have ample space. The Junior Suite is the standard room here and can accommodate up to three people either in two Queen beds or in one King bed with the third person sleeping on the sofa bed. The room is equipped with a desk, living space with sofa and coffee table and a drawer unit opposite the bed on top of which is the television. It is bright with natural light and the furniture is simple with clean lines. Just to the right of the door is a dressing table. You'll find a webmail keyboard, CD clock radio, iron and ironing board and safe in the room itself. The bathroom, tiled in white, has a bathtub and Aveda toiletries. The fully equipped kitchen has everything you need for an extended stay with a fridge, cooker, microwave, toaster and crockery. For up to four people there are one and two bedroom suites available which have the same amenities as the Junior except that the living area is a separate room and therefore the bedrooms are slightly smaller. The two bedroom suite has two bathrooms and all rooms on the first floor have patio terraces. Many of the rooms have great views of Midtown. Ask when booking if you can grab one.
The Affinia Gardens does not have a restaurant or bar although room service is available 24 hours a day and comes from four different restaurants in the area, delivered to your room by hotel staff. On offer is Italian cuisine from Accademia di Vino, which also pairs wines to its regional dishes, Chinese and Japanese fare from China Fun, which has an extensive menu, all American food from Jackson Hole Burgers, winner of Time Out NY's 'Best Burger' award and Silver Star, a typical Manhattan diner with a wide selection of dishes. A continental breakfast is available in-room and can be ordered using the slip of paper on your bed.
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