45 West 44th Street,New York, United States of America -See the map
Amy AdejokunSection editor
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.
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The Sofitel New York is located on West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Times Square is just minutes away, as are the theatres of Broadway and the Rockefeller Center. Central Park is a pleasant stroll away while you can take your pick from the areas restaurants and shops. Several blocks the other side of Bryant Park is the Empire State Building. The closest Metro stations are 42nd Street-Bryant Park and 47th-50th Streets-Rockefeller Center. JFK airport is 18 miles from the hotel, La Guardia 9 miles away and Newark 17 miles.
The Sofitel boasts a shade under 400 rooms, including over 50 suites, on 29 floors. The standard room is well-appointed and decorated with a nod towards Art Deco (you half expect the music system to be a gramophone!). The colours are sober yet warm and together with the classic furniture and soft lighting help to give a homely feel to the room. Despite the timelessness of the décor, there are plenty of modern touches such as the flatscreen television, Bose clock radio and adapter and internet cable. You'll also find the room equipped with an iron and ironing board, bath robe and slippers. The spacious bathrooms are beautifully crafted in brown marble and feature both shower and bathtub as well as hairdryer and l'Occitane products. Tea candles placed on the sink unit are a nice touch. The only advantage of opting for a more expensive room is the additional space (for example the suites have a salon), otherwise, the features (bar hi-fis in the superior rooms) and decoration remain pretty uniform.
Once past the smart entrance (and the concierge which lies just inside the door), a delightful Art Deco lobby awaits with cosy drawing room-like seating clusters on either side of the hall, timeless lamps and objets d'art and a custom-made carpet which enhances the space's décor. The flower arrangement resting on the table which itself is poised upon a golden globe is magnificent. At the back of the lobby at the foot of a spiral staircase is 'The Bird', a wooden sculpture encircled by groups of flowers. You'll also find here three free-to-use PCs with free boarding pass printing. The reception desk itself is behind the lobby to the left and is manned permanently with sufficient, attentive staff; they even have some left over to greet you as you file out one of four lifts just opposite. It is worth taking a peek in the small room just next to reception at the work of local artists which changes on a six-monthly basis. All public spaces around the hotel are irreproachable in their condition and the environment is an agreable one to be in. The SoFit fitness centre is open 24 hours for guests and boasts recently replaced machines with individual screens on the cardio apparatus. Internet (both wired and wireless) is available at a charge throughout the hotel while other services offered include currency exchange and 24 hour room service. Sofitel is a pet friendly property.
Food and drink
The hotel has its own restaurant, Gaby, named after the Coco Channel model and wife of one of Accor's founders. Here again we see the Art Deco/roaring 20s theme in leopard skin central seating bank and indeed in the style of Gaby herself, portrayed in a painting behind the bar and again on the glass panel separating the bar from the rest of the restaurant. Although the eatery is best known for its power breakfasts, lunch and dinner are also served. The cuisine, like the hotel, is a mix of French and American and chef Sylvain Harribey offers a good selection of dishes at each meal as well as daily specials. Dinner main courses from $24.
Sofitel is part of the mammoth French hotel group Accor and everything has been done to make sure guests are in no doubt as to the roots of the business. You'll notice in the public areas, as well as in your room, black and white photography of French (and American) landmarks upon the walls. Don't be surprised either to be greeted with a jolly "Bonjour!" by the doormen (who you should not attempt to prevent from taking your luggage out the taxi as this is a battle you will lose!) and receptionists. But rest assured all front of house staff are bilingual and there'll be no need to dig out that French phrase book.
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.
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.
The Iroquois is a classy, timeless property right in the heart of Manhattan, close to all the big tourist attractions as well as transport links. As well as its great location, it boasts decent sized, beautifully appointed rooms for this part of town, a superb dining room and cocktail bar and service of the highest order. There is a real attention to detail here which cannot be taken for granted whether you are travelling for business (business centre) or pleasure (Finnish sauna), as a family or as a couple. The Iroquois is a classically decorated hotel which will live up to all your expectations.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.