I am a frequent visitor to New York, and am constantly on the lookout for interesting new places to stay. Hotel construction has kicked-up in the Big Apple over the last few years, so there are a lot of new choices. Here are a couple good ones to consider:
If you need to stay in mid-town. I am typically doing business in mid-town, and since I prefer to walk to meetings I like a centrally-located hotel that is out of the Times Square traffic, but within easy reach of the theatres and restaurants in the area. Hyatt has recently opened a new chain called Andaz, presumably designed to compete with Starwood’s W Hotels. One of the newest is the Andaz on 5th Avenue at 41st street (www.andaz.com). Though the hotel is built in a rehabilitated old building, you would never know it was not constructed from the ground up. It is a beautiful facility from the moment you walk in the door. Instead of a reception desk, you are met at the door by beautiful young people clad in black that look like they just walked off a modeling gig. They use tiny netbooks to check you in, and walk you to your room. The accomodations are sleek and elegant with large, incredible spa bathrooms (they even have foot baths), comfy beds, and the most sophisticated electronics I have ever seen in a hotel room, including web televisions with a myriad of features, and the nicest iPod / clock radio I’ve ever seen. Another great touch… the non-alcoholic drinks stocked in the room are free, as is the Wi Fi. They serve quite decent free wine in the lobby from 6 – 9 pm – outdoing the great Kimpton wine hour. There is a very hip bar and a good restaurant. Overall this is a wonderful addition to New York, and I plan on trying their expanding Andaz chain in other cities.
The Village. If I don’t need to stay in the business district I much prefer staying in the Village. My new favorite hotel in the area is The Crosby Street Hotel, at 79 Crosby Street (between Spring and Prince) – www.crosbystreethotel.com. Located on a quiet street between the heart of the Village and Little Italy, this is a little “Britain meets New York” hotel, as the chain originates in England. It is a small, wonderfully equipped hotel, again meeting all my requisites with “great beds”, “great bathrooms”, “great room service”, “great gym”, with a good restaurant and bar. A bit stuffier and less futuristic than The Andaz, it has a completely different kind of charm. If you are spending the weekend in the city and want more romantic accomodations, this is the place, surrounded by good shopping, art galleries, and close to great night life. And one of the more interesting aspects of the hotel is its movie theatre. In the basement there is a lovely and suprisingly large full-featured movie theatre, and once a week they show interesting films. It can also be rented if you wanted to have an interesting corporate event.