125 W 45th StNew York, United States of America -See the map
Amy AdejokunSection editor
This New York outpost of the Spanish chain Room Mate is so funky it hurts. It marries great Iberian design with a clever use of space and an impressive range of services given the hotel's size. What's more it has a location (for tourists) to die for and laid back but efficient service. The rooms could be bigger, but then you wouldn't get the value for money that Grace offers. The property is perfect for young couples or groups of friends on a certain budget looking to get the absolute most from their dollars. This one's a definite winner!
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Food and drink
Just steps from Times Square and the Rockefeller Center, Room Mate Grace has a dream location for those visiting New York for the very first time or for those who love the buzz of Midtown. Transport links couldn't be better with Grand Central and Port Authority both within just a few minutes' walk and you've got some of the best shopping in town over on Fifth and Madison Avenues also within easy reach. JFK is 18 miles away, La Guardia 9 miles and Newark 17.
While by no means the smallest rooms in the city, it must be said that some of the accommodations at the Grace are a little pokey, especially those which are shared. There are three types of standard room, all of which are roughly the same size but which accommodate either two, three or four people. They all have the trademark funky wallpaper, as well as a small table and chair, iPod docking station, DVD player (for which there is a selection of DVDs at reception), iron and ironing board, tea and coffee facilities, bathrobes and television (each bed in the quad room has its own screen). The beds, which are queen size (or single for the bunks, the higher of which are accessed by a ladder) are dressed simply in fine white linens and have a false leather base under which it is possible to slide your suitcase so giving you much needed extra space. We especially liked the dog bone shaped wall lamps above the bed which actually have two separate bulbs behind them, one at each end. The bathrooms, which are probably the real asset of the rooms, are very spacious and, include a separate dressing area with sink, good mirrors, refrigerator and lots of counter space, a large walk-in monsoon shower and separate WC. The toiletries come in flashy orange bottles and wrapping with the hotel's name on while there are good hooks to hang towels and clothes on too (seems obvious, but you'd be surprised how often this is lacking!).
The deluxe rooms and premium rooms are decorated and appointed in very similar fashion, but offer extra space and more seating.
Try not to get distracted by the Irish pub next door to Grace or else you'll walk right past the hotel's entrance, despite the thumping music that is piped outside. Once through the revolving doors head left to the reception desk where you will be greeted warmly by a staff of chilled out, Spanish-speaking youngsters behind a steel structure with orchids and a selection of magazines for sale. Behind the desk is a range of drinks and snacks which you can purchase to take away or to fill your minibar while to the other side of the desk you'll see that you can also buy towels and disposable swimwear for the pool (see below). Also in this part of the entrance hall are two PCs for surfing the internet (chargeable) as well as an ATM machine and a couple of cordless telephones. The other half of the lobby is a seating area which is covered in a black and white wallpaper into which one shouldn't stare for too long or else you might go into a trance! In addition to the several sofas and couches, there is an impressive satellite image of Manhattan covering one entire wall and two lifts up to the guestrooms.
Just behind the lobby is the hotel's uber cool indoor swimming pool, surrounded by wood panelled walls and a tribune with cushioned seating. Above the water hangs a huge projection screen onto which are projected various images throughout the year (a simple wood burning fire in winter, for example). Just under the screen is a long glass window which connects to the bar (see 'Food and Drink') and one can even tap on the sliding window in the middle and order drinks to be consumed in the water. Now if that's not luxury, we don't know what is! Also within in vicinity are a steam room, sauna, shower and small fitness centre.
Other facilities offered by the hotel include complimentary wifi throughout (which was being changed during our visit as the signal was not so strong), an ice room on each floor, free provision of yoga mats and umbrellas and a complimentary collection of DVDs for your room (see 'Accommodation').
The hotel as a whole is extremely well maintained and is clean and orderly throughout. Each floor's corridors, which are wide, bright and easily negotiable, have a different psychedelic wallpaper decorating them and the huge room numbers appearing on each room door are a complementing colour.
Up on the mezzanine level is the hotel's breakfast room, open from 7am to 12pm. Featuring banquettes upholstered in black and white fabric from Madrid, Louis Ghost chairs by Stark and tables and lamps by designer Andrew Martin, the space has an intriguing mixture of textures and materials with carpet, steel wire mesh chairs and a wooden ceiling. The buffet consists of both a continental offering as well as a few hot options with guests helping themselves not only to the food but also to cutlery, serviettes etc, which you can't help but think is just a way to avoid employing one or two waiters.
Round the back of the swimming pool is the bar, which welcomes both guests and walk-ins every night from 5pm until midnight or later. Bar stools line the glass-topped stone counter while just behind is a long banquette with a similar motif to that of the wallpaper in the lobby. Serving all types of alcohol and cocktails, the bar and pool share a DJ several nights a week.
Grace is the only New York property of the Spanish chain Room Mate. It all started with a hotel in Madrid, and now there are 14 of them in Spain, Miami, Buenos Aires and Mexico. The chain was founded by friends Enrique (Kiké) Sarasola, Carlos Marrero, Eduardo Sanzol and Gorka Atorrasagasti.
hammam, sauna, massage, spa, keep fit, Turkish bath, beauty salon
Although the Premier welcomes all guests, it was originally built with the woman traveller in mind. At once formal and relaxed, the hotel is ideally situated for both business and pleasure. It is a fresh, modern and well-considered hotel with good size rooms and some great views. Recommended for lone female travellers or businesswomen as well as for couples looking for a comfortable, discreet yet functional base in New York.
After a recently terminated $15 million renovation, it would be quite wrong to say anything other than "Money well spent!" The hotel, which has a location difficult to better, is certainly one of a kind and has some excellent facilities and original décor. Pet-friendly (to what some would say is an absurd point), it has that edge of eccentricity that one can only find here in New York. Popular amongst bohos and trendy thirty somethings it could equally serve as a familial base for a week or so's stay. However much we liked The Muse, and really, we are fans, it must be said that it has one huge flaw and that is its front of house staff. Shame, because everything else is spot on.
Take a step back in time (through a passage lined with suede and leather, of course) to the golden age of travel and the magnificent new Art Deco hotel The Chatwal. Opened recently in August of 2011, it has quickly become one of the places to stay in New York and to be honest, it isn't difficult to see why: a dream location in the heart of Manhattan, superbly appointed, world ?class accommodations, a luxury spa and a fine restaurant. Marrying both old world glamour and modern day luxury, this 'baby grand' hotel will appeal to those looking for good old fashioned service in a romantic setting with everything that makes this a great city within reach.
You couldn't ask for a better location. Although this is a hotel which markets itself strongly as venue for conferences and events, it finds itself in the middle of the New York tourist area and has facilities that would suit any type of traveller, on business or pleasure. Add to that the little bit of magic that the Hudson Theatre brings to the table, together with the Art Deco surroundings, and you've got yourself the perfect base from which to discover the city that never sleeps. Decent sized rooms, some great views and the best of the city on your doorstep-definitely to be considered.
Squeaky clean and clinical all in white, Cassa is a contemporary hotel and residence tower in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. It boasts 165 well-appointed and light and airy rooms with sleek furnishings and details as well as state-of-the-art fitness room and a brand new breakfast room. The hotel would certainly meet the needs of couples and families visiting the city for pleasure, although business travellers and those seeking a full-service establishment (wellness facility, business centre etc) might have to look elsewhere. A major advantage of the hotel is that, despite being in the centre of town, you can't hear a thing from the roads below at night.
Not to take anything at all away from the Morgans or Hudson, from top to bottom the Royalton is our favourite of the three Morgans properties in New York. It has arguably the best location of all three, the most audacious design and for us the smartest rooms. Over two years since it reopened following a renovation, it is still as legendary as it was in its Starck days. Indeed, parting company from the French superstar designer could well turn out to be a smart move (although the spirit in which he had conceived the first version has been kept, not least because she started her career in his group). The most grown up of the Morgans, the Royalton has something to offer every kind of traveller no matter their motive for travel and whatever the length of their stay. A big thumbs up from easyvoyage.co.uk.
As with any Sofitel in the world, we expect a high standard of accommodation, professionalism in the staff and an honourable place to dine. The chain's property in New York is no exception. Marrying the attributes of good old American service with Gallic flair, the Sofitel is a very smart, yet laid back hotel with an excellent location in the heart of Manhattan. No matter what your motivation for travel in the Big Apple, you'll find that all your needs are met, indeed exceeded. Definitely one hotel that cannot, must not be disregarded.
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.
We were quite simply blown away by this hotel. Rare are the occasions where there is nothing to fault, but staying here was one of those - it just couldn't put a foot wrong. Generously proportioned, impressively appointed rooms are complemented by a relaxed yet top class Italian restaurant, while the spa is a sight to behold. You'll have a tough job finding a property where the service is paralleled and don't even get us started on the views! A magnificent, modern and memorable hotel, we recommend the Trump Soho to all kinds of traveller, newcomers or old hands, couples or families. A huge thumbs up.
Let's not mince our words; The Peninsula is quite simply one of the finest hotels in New York, even more so now it is the other side of a renovation. From the very first moment you enter the hotel you'll have no doubt about the quality of experience that awaits you. There is very little to pick holes at here where excellence comes as standard: the large rooms are finely furnished, the restaurants of the highest caliber, the spa one of the most beautiful and complete in the city and the service faultless. Like all top class hotels this all comes at a certain price, however if there was ever one hotel which could justify the cost it would be this one.
Q. What do you get when you take $150 million and put them into the hands of one of the world's greatest architect/designers? A. The Mark. Be under no illusions, what Jacques Grange and co have conceived in the leafy surroundings of the Upper Eastside is now the yardstick against which all other hotels will now have to measure themselves. After over two years under renovation with some of the most sought after names in the creative fields working on the project, The Mark has transformed itself from a decent hotel to a hotel of superlatives. Everything is top draw from the design to the staff, from the food to the wellness centre. This all, of course, comes with the price tag that its quality demands, however rest assured that no other hotel can come close to what The Mark has to offer.
We're going to stick our necks out here and say that of all the hotels we have stayed at in this city, the Setai probably takes top spot. Of course there are many different types of hotel in the city and not everyone is looking for what the Setai has to offer, but as on overall experience, it can't, in our opinion, be bettered. The rooms are not only some of the biggest in the city, but they are likely to be the best appointed in terms of amenities too. The stunning, contemporary spa is as luxurious as it is spacious and in its restaurant the hotel has one of most memorable dining experiences to be had. But what impressed us most, and where the hotel rises above it competitors, is the consistent attention to detail and impeccable service the likes of which we've never seen. Although new (November 2010 opening), this is right up there with the old masters and the best thing is that it can only get better!
This mythical New York hotel has seen its fair share of changes, both within in its walls and outside, however one thing remains constant: The Carlyle is one of the swankiest, smartest, seductive hotels in the city. The very few flaws of the hotel (for example the size of some bathrooms) can be excused by its age; otherwise there are very few hotels of this genre which can claim to offer a similar experience. Not only does it offer top notch service and facilities, but its location and commanding views are also something spectacular. Throw in a rich history, fine dining and exquisite décor and you get a hotel (literally) fit for kings. If you've got the cash, don't even ask yourself the question?
The Pierre has always been a landmark hotel in New York City?and we are glad to report that after its latest $100 million renovation following its takeover by Taj Hotels, it is still very much one of the hotels by which others must judge themselves. It is true to say that it may not have some of the facilities of some of the other top hotels (no spa, smaller rooms), but when it comes to service, style and sophistication, not to mention history, it is untouchable. With a location that would make most hotels weep with envy, fabulously appointed rooms with an Asian touch and a new, top quality restaurant, The Pierre is back on top of its game and ready to welcome once again all types of traveller, no matter their motive for visiting the city. All this comes, of course, at a price, but if you had to choose a place to spend your hard earned cash, this has got to be near the summit of your shortlist.
You may be coming to the United States to see New York, but the St. Regis is a destination in itself. The most sumptuous hotel we have visited to date in the city, its beautiful Beaux-Arts interiors are a sight to behold. It's (rightly) famed for its unrivalled service and King Cole Bar (more in 'Food and Drink') as well as its beautiful, spacious and well appointed rooms, however it does lack some of the high tier amenities of its rivals, such as a swimming pool, and the views are not quite as good. That said it can boast an Alain Ducasse restaurant and original antique décor. It's true to say that some may find the hotel's opulence a little overbearing, but let's not lose sight of the fact that this is nonetheless a true masterpiece. Even if you don't have the means to stay here, come and take a look around as the property has some unique features. Couples, friends or business travellers will all find their calling at the St. Regis.
Although no longer associated with its Parisian namesake, the Plaza Athénée New York continues to offer one of the most refined hotel experiences in the city. Its style may not be as subtle as some of its competitors and thus some many find it a little overwhelming, but there is no getting away from the fact the hotel is a class act from top to bottom. It boasts capacious, well-appointed and recently renovated rooms (January 2010), a fine wellness centre, a celebrated restaurant and bar and an impeccable service from a smart, professional staff. If you're after that classic European opulence the other side of the Atlantic then the well-located Plaza Athénée is one to consider.