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.