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Hotel The Blakely New York Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
136 W 55th St New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

A centrally located property, just minutes away from Central Park, The Blakely is a smart mid-range hotel with spacious rooms, good amenities and a decent little restaurant just next door. Decorated throughout with a nod to the English country manor, the hotel is suitable for those in the city for both business and pleasure and would also be a good base for those on extended stays thanks to the kitchenettes in each room. The service, at times, left a lot to be desired, however on the whole it is competent, while the condition of the hotel too is largely in order. Quiet, low-key and fairly intimate, you probably just about get what you pay for at The Blakely.

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    • Hotel The Blakely New York

      The Blakely New York   -   © Franck Prignet / Easy Voyage

    • Hotel The Blakely New York

      The Blakely New York   -   © Franck Prignet / Easy Voyage

       
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    Location 8.41 /10

    Just a few blocks from Central Park, The Blakely is located on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. So many of the city's major attractions are within a short walk of the hotel including the Rockefeller Center, Times Square, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Columbus Circle and of course the great shopping along Fifth and Madison Avenues. A little further afield, and still within walking distance for those who feel fit enough, are the museums along Museum Mile on the Upper East Side as well as the up and coming area of Hell's Kitchen and the theatre district. There are three subway stations all within two blocks of the hotel which have a total of seven lines running through them meaning you are able to get pretty much anyway you wish within the city. JFK is 16 miles away, La Guardia 10 miles and Newark 16.

    Accommodation 8.20 /10

    You can be assured that whichever of the 117 guestrooms and suites you choose at The Blakely, your room will be spacious and well-appointed, even if the décor is somewhat sober and drab in some cases. All rooms have a kitchenette with a sink, Keurig coffee-maker, well-stocked minibar, snack tray, microwave, crockery and cutlery meaning that you can self-cater, to a certain extent, in the comfort of your own room. The standard rooms, which are known as deluxe at The Blakely, have either a king bed or two queens dressed in white linens on top of which are quite dowdy covers and plaids. The headboards are oak while the bedside tables, as well as the rest of the furniture, are in cherry and have a telephone and iPod docking station. The desk in the corner of the room has a second cordless telephone while a flatscreen television stands atop the drawer unit. The rest of the upholstery, that is to say the curtains, carpet and armchair material, is also rather drab but in good condition and we suppose rather inoffensive. In the closet guests will find Frette bathrobes, a safe and an iron and ironing board. The bathrooms, the vast majority of which are equipped with a soaking tub/shower combination (the rest having walk-in monsoon showers), are done out in marble with the vanity in deep brown and the rest in beige, and have a make-up mirror, plenty of towels and Penhaligon's toiletries. Some of the bathtubs are starting to look a little old now but all the bathrooms we saw were clean and in good working order.

    There are several larger categories of room at the hotel including the studio suite, which has a seating area within the bedroom, the one-bedroom suite which also has a living area but which is separate from the bedroom, and the penthouse which has a bolder colour scheme, wooden floors, a larger WC with jacuzzi and a private terrace looking down onto West 55th Street.

    Overview 7.70 /10

    A mixed bag is how one could describe our initial experience of our stay at The Blakely. We were let into the hotel but an attentive, but seemingly mute, doorman who did not so much as utter a "hello" as we walked in and then came, at the far end of the lobby, to the reception desk where a jolly young lady helped us get checked in. Although it was clear from her personal style that The Blakely might not be her hotel of choice as a client, the gum she was chewing, mouth open, did not become of the hotel's standing. We were able to put these two surprises behind us though once we had a proper look around the lodge-style lobby. The space is wrapped in wood panelling and there are several bookshelves filled with reading material and ornamental vases set into the wall. Almost the entire floor is covered in rugs while there are also a handful of flower arrangements of various sizes as well as hunting scene oil paintings on the walls. At the centre is a seating area with a studded chesterfield couch and a couple of upright armchairs pulled up to a coffee table with orchids. Opposite are the hotel's two elevators which serve all of the hotel's floors but which take an eternity to arrive at times.

    The only other public spaces within the hotel are the fitness room, which has a decent collection of cardio and weights machines as well as complimentary water and towels, and the corridors which are fairly narrow but clean, well indicated and, in the main, in good condition. The hotel is a relatively peaceful place and a nice escape from the hubbub outside, despite its central location.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    The hotel's restaurant, situated adjacent to the property, is called Abboccato (the past participle of the Italian verb abboccare which means to take the bait.) Serving an array of Italian dishes from every corner of the country, the restaurant is open all day and is a good option if you do not fancy going too far for dinner or if you have a theatre show to catch and so require an early bite to eat. Guests at the hotel take their breakfast here although the buffet is not the most bountiful with just breads, pastries, cereals and juices. There is a hot menu available as well which features a few egg dishes, oatmeal, pancakes, sausage, bacon, salads and paninis. During our stay we ate only from the buffet and, nonetheless, were presented at the end of our meal with a slip of paper reminding us that breakfast operates as a buffet and urging us to leave a tip. Not only did we find this incoherent (surely there is less reason to leave a tip if you do all the work), but also pushy and invasive. Most people realise that a tip is expected - shoving a piece of paper under guests' noses asking them to do so seems rather rude in our opinion.

    Dinner, however, proved to be a better experience. We found the service to be excellent and attentive with our waiter being patient and giving us an explanation of any dishes we were not familiar with. We went for the scallop salad and arancini for starters, both of which were excellent and more or less authentic, while the saltimbocca and ravioli as mains were also extremely appetising as well as filling - the side orders of spinach and potatoes were probably a little greedy! The panna cotta for dessert was a little disappointing, but there is a good selection of other sweets to choose from.

    Abboccato also offers prix fixe menus at lunch time and at dinner as well as a terrazza menu which is served between 3:00pm and 5:00pm and which offers lighter dishes for when hunger strikes in between meals.

    To know

    The hotel has several rooms adapted for those guests in a wheelchair with wider entrances and roll-in showers and loos fitted with bars. There is a self-park garage nearby which is priced at $35 for sedans and $42 for SUVs. There are no in and out privileges.

    Equipment

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

      keep fit, Turkish bath

    • Sports equipment

      fitness, sports

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe

    advantage

    • Central Midtown location
    • Spacious rooms

    disadvantages

    • Service, at times, careless
    • Lifts often occupied for long periods

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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