· Hotel Belleclaire:
We’ve frequently seen the Belleclaire advertised on HotelTonight and it’s usually at a shockingly reasonable price (sometimes $99 a night). Naturally we thought it must be a dump! Then we took a look. What a surprise, it’s not! Sure, the Upper West Side location is out of the way for many tourists (unless the plan is lots of Central Park and museum exploring), but who cares? That’s what public transportation is for.
The rooms are all nearly renovated , though truthfully, the ones with older bathrooms are scary/moldy even with the fab C.O. Bigelow products. We're told those will be nearly finished though. The perks come in spades—complimentary Dean & Deluca snacks, WiFi, and even a business center with huge Macs (plus a Sanctuary station with a billion charging cables)that also doubles as a game room with two full-sized arcade games--no quarters, needed!
The last time we mentioned The Chandler we referred to it as “quiet”, which is almost almost baffling considering its midtown location just off 5th Avenue. Indeed this hotel truly is a secret, dare-we-say-it, gem, and we’re hesitant to talk much about it, for fear it’ll change its chill vibe. That could happen after a $10 million investment in 2012 that’s revamped the 1905 Beaux-Arts building just enough to outfit rooms with rainforest showers, Molton Brown toiletries, Frette linens and robes, and free WiFi, so they’re sorta sexy now.
Besides the tiny bar, we’re certain the soon-to-open organic Juni Restaurant will succeed on a street aching for something to pep it up. Still what we love most about the Chandler is the original marble staircase, hand-blown glass fixtures and guessing the origins of odd wall art and antiques that blend with modern details that create one cozy, character-filled haven.
· Best Western Plus Hospitality House:
No lie, we were hella nervous booking this one on HotelTonight. But we’d heard it was decent and in a good location (midtown next to all public transportation). Plus, the price was right $312 including taxes and fees for two nights. What’s great? Rooms are all suites as this was obviously a former apartment building. The check-in desk is mad tiny and so is the elevator so we hyperventilated about our decision until we opened the door and saw what looked like a huge New York apartment.
We loved the separate living room with dining table, a clean and comfy bedroom and decent-sized bathroom. But it’s the kitchen that flipped us out. Full-sized with stove, microwave and when you open the fridge is a welcome gift basket from Best Western with free snacks! Bottled water, chips, cookies, and more. Aw! We wanted to move in! There’s also an extensive free hot breakfast spread in the small dining room, though we didn’t partake, as we used the kitchen to heat up leftovers. The included WiFi is a bonus, but there’s no restaurant or fitness center, so search elsewhere if those are must-haves.
Also know you may not get any kind of view. We had a fantastic scene of the…self- parking garage (which is $35 a night, btw). FYI, when they say check out is 11:30 a.m., they mean it. Reception called our room at 11:45 requesting our exit. Obviously we were dragging our feet to leave.
What NYC hotel do you love that doesn’t get enough attention? tell us in the comments below!