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Hotel Algonquin Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
59 West 44th Street 10036New YorkUSA New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

We finally got round to visiting the then newly-renovated legendary New York hotel, The Algonquin, in early 2013 and if anything it was a relief. A relief, because we could finally understand what all the fuss was about. It might not be up there with the very best hotels in the city, but it is certainly a hotel of high standing with heaps of fascinating history and an excellent central Manhattan location. The rooms, while smartly appointed and restored somewhat to their former glory, can be on the small side, but are quiet and comfortable and functional. There is a decent restaurant in the hotel's lobby area while the intimate bar is legendary. More than just a hotel The Algonquin is a New York landmark, a meeting place for all types of people which will live on for years to come. If you are looking for a bona fide New York hotel experience, look no further than here.

A New York landmark and a legendary hotel, The Algonquin is lookng great after its 2012 renovation.

+
  • International Standard
  • Well located
  • Charm
  • Flight
    • Hotel Algonquin

      Algonquin   -   © Franck Prignet / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Algonquin

      Algonquin   -   © Franck Prignet / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 9.71 /10

    The Algonquin is situated on West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues meaning it is close by to the majority of the most famous attractions you might want to see as a first time visitor to New York. In just a few minutes you can be in Times Square, Grand Central, New York Public Library, the Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, Broadway and the Empire State Building. You also have great shopping on your doorstep on Fifth and Madison Avenues, as well as several subway stations in close proximity to the hotel with a range of lines going all over the city. For eating out there are plenty of places in the area, including Restaurant Row with a huge choice of types of cuisines. But at weekends, your best bet is to head Downtown as Midtown is a lot quieter Saturday and Sunday. JFK is 17 miles away, La Guardia 9 miles and Newark 15.

    Accommodation 7.95 /10

    After a multi-million dollar renovation, The Algonquin re-opened in 2012 and the rooms during our visit were still looking a million dollars. Over three quarters of the 181 accommodations (all of which have a copy of The New Yorker) are queen or king rooms, with the rest being one bedroom suites. Some of the guestrooms are on the small side however they are all extremely well appointed and feature fine furnishings and fittings. The new colour palette for the rooms is based on yellows and golds which might sound garish but in fact is done with class and style. The walls are a deepish yellow hue while the motif on the black carpet is almost honeycomb both in colour and shape. Fitting in to the scheme of things too is the bed's plaid and skirt as well as the trimming on the cushion. Above the leather Chesterfield headboard is a black and white shot of the city while another colour night shit hangs on the adjacent wall. In terms of furniture, there are two bedside tables with telephone and iPod docking station, a drawer unit on which is some complimentary water and a long writing desk with telephone, make-up mirror and, above, a larger mirror so madame can get ready before going out in the evening. Amenities in the room include a flatscreen television, iron and ironing board, safe and bathrobes and slippers. The bathrooms are relatively contemporary compared to the bedrooms and are tiled with beige with black and white mosaic detail. Most of them have a walk-in shower although some, the larger rooms, do have tubs. They are all in great condition and are functional and a pleasure to use (although some natural light would be welcome. The toiletries of choice here are L'Occitane.

    The one bedroom suites offer far more living space with a separate salon featuring a sofa, armchairs, a desk and a second television. Named after members of the Round Table, some of them are on two levels, with a small set of steps separating the bedroom from the living space.

    Overview 8.70 /10

    The exterior of The Algonquin is pretty typical of the majority of hotels in the area which its smart frontage of cream rectangular bricks, black and gold glass doors with engraved glass panels and of course the canopy marked with the name of the legendary hotel. Step inside the lobby and you can feel immediately the history weighing upon you. Even if you were unaware of the hotel's past, the history is almost tangible and you can well imagine the members of the Round Table still sitting here, debating and exchanging and philosophising. The reception desk is just on the right-hand side and no matter who is behind it they will be charming and witty and professional. There is no lobby seating as such in the hall, all the tables and chairs being part of the lobby bar/restaurant so when you take a seat you will be offered a drink, but there is no obligation to order - you can simply sit and relax if you so wish (although the surroundings lend themselves so well to a little tipple it might be hard to refuse). The atmosphere changes throughout the day but it is always busy with locals catching up or business holding informal meetings. Oak and marble feature heavily around the space, while there are several styles of luxuriously upholstered armchairs and couches placed around coffee and occasional tables on large custom rugs. Short trees, a grandfather clock and various Art Deco and Art Nouveau lamps complete the picture. Just past reception are several elevators serving all floors of the hotel. Alternatively, you could take the original stair case.

    The Oak Room is a private space reserved for Marriott Gold Members (The Algonquin is now owned by Marriott) which offers a calmer place to come and work or relax. In the morning members can come here and enjoy their complimentary breakfast while everyone else is free to grab some tea or coffee on the second floor, where the business centre (also free-of-charge) is located.

    The hotel also has a reasonable fitness room with decent machines of both the cardio and weights variety. Towels, water and snack bars are all provided and the setting is a little unorthodox with its fireplace and chandelier.

    The hotel as a whole is very cosy and sophisticated and feels almost residential. It is in excellent condition throughout and simple to find you way around.

    Food and drink 7.95 /10

    The hotel's restaurant, called Round Table, is situated at the far end of the hotel's lobby. The open plan space is presided over by a picture depicting the original group of Round Table members while the rest of the room is wrapped in oak panelling. Gold-coloured armchairs are pulled up to glass-topped dining tables neatly laid with shining cutlery and bulbous red glasses. The setting is a very refined one but is ruined from time to time by inappropriate music impeding flowing conversation. Guests can take their breakfast, lunch and dinner (pre-theatre menu also available) at Round Table and there is even a special vegetarian/gluten-free menu. Both a continental and hot option is available in the morning while the choice at lunch and dinner is pretty classic with the likes of calamari, humous or shrimp cocktail offered for starters and steaks, crab cakes, pasta and salads for mains. Our dinner at the restaurant was a pleasant affair, the food good and the service likewise, but it probably does not reflect the standard of the hotel as a whole, which is a shame.

    Blue Bar is adjacent to the lobby and is a long, intimate affair with only low blue lights illuminating the space. The idea, and hence the name, pays homage to John Barrymore who insisted that blue light was easy on the eye in the morning after a hangover. The bar, despite its size, is extremely well-known and always busy. On the walls of the bar are works by the late Al Hirschfield, the celebrity cartoonist who was a regular at The Algonquin. Open until 1:30am, the bar serves wines, cocktails and a selection of beers as well as a bar food.

    To know

    Between the years of 1912 and 1932, The Algonquin was home to the Round Table club, a group of writers and intellectuals who met here regularly around a round table to discuss ideas. Although their individual success brought an end to the collective (it included the likes of Dorothy Parker, Simone de Beauvoir, Gertrude Stein, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and John Barrymore), their legend still lives on at the hotel and is portrayed in a large painting in the restaurant (see 'Food and Drink'). The hotel is also famous for being the birthplace of The New Yorker magazine back in 1925. Every quarter The Algonquin hosts a 'meet the author' event in collaboration with the publishers Simon and Schuster. If you happen to see a cat mooching around the hotel, fear not, for tha is Matilda, the house cat!

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, beauty salon

    • Sports equipment

      tennis, gym, fitness

    • Animals allowed
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Rich history
    • Central Manhattan location
    • Lobby area
    • Service
    • Well-appointed rooms

    disadvantages

    • Some rooms of small size

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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