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Inside the AKA Central Park Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 42 W. 58th Street [map], New York, ny, United States
December 7, 2009 at 3:54 PM | by | ()

Yes, this is where we made some hot green tea last week--The AKA Central Park. As you can see here in the video, this is not some itty bitty shoe box hotel room.

AKA Hotels --there are five in New York, one in Philly and two in the DC-area-- are hotels for the extended stay/business traveler and the room sizes range from studio suites to two bedroom suites with either half or full kitchens. Even better, just because you get more room doesn't mean you have to pay more as room rates start at $295 a night.

So what do you get for all this space? Let us tell you now.

Check-In: We arrived close to midnight in the pouring rain. There was no bellman to open the door or assist with luggage since the hotel has somewhat limited services at night. But this was fine with us. We lugged that bag through two airports and to the taxi stand at JFK. We were perfectly capable of pulling it through the hotel lobby. The front desk then checked us in with no problems and we were on our way to the 12th floor.

Room Reaction: It took a while for us to explore the entire room and we were quite happy with that. We had a huge living room and a full kitchen. The seating area faced the kitchen and not the TV which was strange but again, not an issue for us.

The bedroom was practically the same size as the living room with another flat-screen TV sitting atop a dresser. The bathroom was however on the smaller side with not that much counter space to place your toiletries.

Amenity Madness: The kitchen was fully stocked down to knives, plates and paper towels. In the bathroom, there were Molton Brown toiletries and AKA-branded bathrobes. In the closet, there were plenty of extra towels and linens along with an iron and ironing board.

Internet Connect: Free and fast wireless, with a code given to you at the front desk.

Dining Scene: The hotel recently opened up its A Café which serves breakfast and coming soon, lunch. There is no room service but you can order from any other food delivery service, much like you would from your apartment.

Work in Progress: When we were there, the hotel was just putting the finishing touches on its martini lounge and fitness center, both of which will only be open to guests. The spaces are expected to open shortly.

Location: The hotel is just one block from Central Park, The Plaza, the shops on Fifth Avenue, Carnegie Hall and The Time Warner center. It's also a short walk away from 30 Rock and Rockefeller Center.

What We Liked: The space, of course, especially the ginormous walk-in closet. Seriously, you could put a cot in there and make it another bedroom. The room also felt comfortable and livable. Not quite homey but not so much an anonymous hotel room either.

What We Didn't Like: The bathroom wasn't as "grand" as the website said it would be. The size was quite average and the water pressure in the bathtub was extremely low. Also, we were hoping for more fluffier bed linens but these were pretty flat.

Bottom Line

While most of the other AKA hotels do require a minimum night's stay, the AKA Central Park is available for folks who just need one night. Sweet. With rooms this big, especially the one-bedroom, you can squeeze in a few of your friends and split the cost. Rates for a deluxe room begin at $295. The one-bedroom suites start at $445. We were kindly given a media rate of $150 for our stay.

We'll have more on AKA Hotels tomorrow with our interview with Larry Korman, the founder of AKA Hotels. He'll be dishing on some of the "entertainment folk" who use AKA Hotels for their extended stays. Just a teaser: Madonna gets name-checked.

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