Hotel Z Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
11-01 43rd Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101 New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Z was the first big noise on the Long Island City hotel scene and to a certain extent we can understand why: the building itself is quite imposing, the views across the East River are magnificent and the spacious, nicely appointed rooms offer far better value than you'd find in Manhattan. That said, there are some downsides to staying in this relatively undeveloped part of the city and there are elements of the hotel, such as the staff and the food, which we found to be a little disappointing. Suitable for couples who've been there and done that in Manhattan and who are looking for a new perspective on New York City.

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    • Hotel Z

      Z   -   © IGOR LUBINETSKY/EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Z

      Z   -   © IGOR LUBINETSKY/EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location

    Situated just across the East River in Long Island City on 43rd Avenue, the hotel is within easy driving distance of Manhattan, although the closest subway station, 23rd Street-Ely Avenue (E train) is a good 10-minute walk away. To compensate, the Z offers its guests a complimentary limo service to and from Manhattan everyday between 7.30am and 11.30pm (last pick up time from Manhattan), dropping off and picking up at 127 East 58th Street. Outside these hours however, a taxi is probably your best option, which should not be too expensive as the hotel is close to the 59th Street Bridge. In terms of places to eat close by, you're looking at half an hour's walk at least, while the main attractions such as the MoMA PS1, the Museum of the Moving Image and, in summer, Water Taxi Beach, are best accessed by taxi. Queensbridge Park is a few minute's walk away, while if you're a fan of series such as 30 Rock and Gossip Girl, then you might like to take a tour of the Silvercup Studios close by. JFK is 16 miles away, La Guardia 5.5 miles and Newark 19.

    Accommodation 8.20 /10

    By far and away the best feature of the hotel are its bedrooms. Despite there being three categories, they are essentially exactly the same with only the bed size or number changing. All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows through which is a magical view of Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge from below. The queen or king size beds are dressed in 300-count Egyptian cotton sheets and have padded leather headboards. On each side of the bed is an angle-poise lamp and you'll find a telephone (the hotel offers free international calls) and iPod docking station too. Above the bed on the ceiling are mason jar lamps while on the white wall next to it is one of three murals in grey featuring an NYC taxi cab, Billie Holliday or The Rockettes, a dance company known for their high kicking routines. Every room has a desk and chair as well as an armchair, with the king bed rooms having a leather sofa in addition. Other amenities include a flatscreen television, safe, minibar, bathrobes and a pair of Z hotel flip flops. The spacious bathroom, which extends into the room itself in the form of the wash basin with large mirror, sleek fittings and Essential Elements toiletries, has a deep soaking tub with a monsoon shower or a walk-in monsoon shower and heated floor. There are a total of 10 guestrooms adapted for those guests in a wheelchair.

    Overview 6.20 /10

    There's no mistaking the Z hotel as it's by far the tallest building in the area at 11 storeys high. From the front you can see all the floor-to-ceiling windows of the hotel's 100 rooms separated by narrow columns of red bricks. The lobby of the hotel, which is accessed via a few steps of a wheelchair ramp, is a small space with the reception desk to the left and a cushioned sofa to the right. The former takes the form of a collection of old trunks covered with a glass cage and has painted on the wall behind it a mural of a no longer accessible part of the City Hall subway station. Just next to the desk is the bank of three elevators above which is a mock old fashioned airport departure board welcoming the hotel's international guests in 18 different languages. From the ceiling hangs an imposing black chandelier while there is also a set of stairs heading down to the restaurant and bar (see 'Food and Drink'). While we found the staff to be friendly, they weren't especially efficient and we found it disappointing that they failed to say hello/goodbye when we, or other guests, passed by.

    What is unique about the hotel in New York, as far as we have seen, is that there are no interior corridors at all. Every single one of the rooms' entrances is accessible via external corridors giving on to Long Island City. During the winter these corridors are covered over by colourful tarpaulin (which we think looks a bit out of sorts with the rest of the hotel's décor), however, these are removed during the summer months, giving a whole different feel to the property. On each floor there are a couple of niches where reclaimed furniture from the Salvation Army has been arranged into a kind of seating area. This is a nice idea, although again, the style is at odds with the rest of the hotel and doesn't really call out to be used. Overall the Z is kept in excellent condition and is clean and tidy throughout. Accessing and finding your room is a simple exercise and we love the fact that you don't have to wander around dark, narrow internal corridors. There is free wifi for guests all over the property.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    The hotel's main restaurant, named 24/7 (despite these not being its opening hours), is where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner all through the week. It is located on the lower ground floor of the building and benefits from a long window along the top of one of its walls through which one can see, from the outside only, a black and white New York scene. The space is dominated by the lengthly metallic bar behind which are two flatscreen televisions and a huge selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. As well as the vintage stools along the bar, there are leather banquettes and classic design chairs around square tables and old wooden trolleys serving as tables. Along the wall opposite the bar are bundles of coverless books on shelving which rest on a series of chests whose drawers each have a number on. All around the room are photos and pieces of art by local artists which will rotate as time goes on. A piano, which is from time to time played by guests, completes the picture.

    During the week the continental breakfast selection is pretty poor and we found the service to be almost non-existent. The buffet includes breads, fruit, cheese, juices etc but no cereals, although the deli is open between 7.30am and 10.30am and offers hot options such as pancakes, eggs any style and sides including sausage, bacon and fries. The lunch and dinner menu is all-American and consists of burgers, pizzas and soups as well as build-your-own salads and sandwiches, which we found to be mediocre. What is much more enjoyable is to take a drink at the bar, or, better still at the hotel's stunning rooftop bar.

    Z Roof bar is open during the spring and summer (although the space is accessible all year round) and offers unbeatable views of Manhattan, the East River and the Queensboro Bridge. A great place to watch the sunset or the runners of the New York marathon cross the bridge in autumn, the bar serves a selection of cocktails and small bites. For the moment there is no room service from the restaurant, although guests are invited to take food up to their room if they wish.

    To know

    The hotel is independently owned and opened its doors in July 2011. While the area remains far behind Manhattan and Brooklyn for things to do and see, it is almost certain to be the next 'place to be' so watch this space.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Animals allowed

      (dogs only, 7kg limit)

    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Magnificent Manhattan views
    • More square footage for your money than Manhattan
    • Complimentary limo into city

    disadvantages

    • Relatively cut off from public transport
    • Distance from tourist attractions/restaurants

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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