Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
No-frills budget option with clean rooms and a convenient location
The 131-room Comfort Inn is what you'd expect from a budget hotel in New York City -- small, but sufficiently clean guest rooms, but little else. Its best asset is its location, which is only two short blocks from the Empire State Building, one block from the Macy's flagship department store, and only a half-block from ample subway lines. And among the hotel's very short list of features, there's free Wi-Fi, a free computer station in the lobby, and a free continental breakfast -- not bad, for the price.
But its intricate, early 19th century achitecture looks a lot better from the outside than it does from the inside. The building's age is evident in its narrow hallways, dingy staircases, and cramped bathrooms.
When you're looking for a good, clean, comfortable hotel in New York on the bottom of the price scale, newer is better. Case in point: the Holiday Inn at 6th Avenue, which offers better rooms, a fitness center, and a business center. Or, consider the newly renovated Best Western President Hotel, which has similar features to the Comfort Inn, but it also has nicer rooms, and a more desirable location in the heart of Times Square. Or, for a little more funky style -- and an indoor pool -- the Room Mate Grace is an excellent option, and it also offers a much tastier free continental breakfast. Overall, the Comfort Inn is a reasonable budget option, but you can get more for your money elsewhere.
Basic services; friendly and efficient staff
The services offered are what you'd expect from a budget hotel. That is to say, there's a porter on hand to help with bags, and there's always someone at the front desk. Beyond that, you can't expect much more.
But more so than at some other budget hotels, the staff is generally helpful. If you need anything extra, like some toothpaste or some assistance with your TV, they'll come to your room quickly (though, when I initially asked for toothpaste, they asked me to come down to the front desk to pick it up). In-room food delivery is available from next-door Anesis Cafe from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., but there's no formal room service.
Located in Manhattan's Garment District, an area packed with the city's wholesale textile designers and shopkeepers, the Comfort Inn is just a five-minute walk from a number of large, more affordable retail chains like the Gap and Victoria's Secret, as well as the popular Macy's flagship department store. In addition, for a more unique New York experience, you can head to Koreatown (three blocks away), which is chock-full of great (and cheap) Korean BBQ restaurants and karaoke joints.
The Comfort Inn itself is located on a street that gets a lot of traffic during the day -- meaning it's easy to hail a taxi. But vehicular activity dies down at night so you can still get a relatively quiet night's sleep.
For subway access, the hotel has one of the best locations in the city -- eight train lines that'll take you just about anywhere in the city (the B, D, F, V, N, Q, R, and W) are just a half-block away. In addition, parking is available on the block, and the hotel offers a discount rate of $27 for 24 hours (not a bad deal for parking in Manhattan).
As you might expect from a value chain of hotels -- value, of course, is relative in New York, where all hotels are more expensive -- the are small. Standard rooms start at 150 square feet and only have room for a full-size bed. In 2008, the hotel replaced the (now they're hard mattresses with scratchy beddings), provided a strong, free Wi-Fi signal, and installed a small but sufficient 27-inch flat-screen TV with pay-per-view and basic cable in every room.These new touches can only add so much to the room, which retains a bland, generic design and a worn look from things like the cracked paint on the windowsill or the exposed radiator in the bathroom. By contrast, similar-priced hotels like Room Mate Grace, the Holiday Inn at 6th Avenue, or the Best Western President are also housed in old, narrow , but all of them have newly renovated, stylish rooms.
Despite the room's small size, it still has a large walk-in closet with a laptop-friendly safe. And though it doesn't have a coffeemaker, you can request a mini-fridge and microwave at no extra charge. The bathroom is unremarkable, but it has the bare necessities like hotel-brand soap and shampoo.
There isn't much variation to the room layouts -- you can upgrade to a room with a queen bed or two doubles -- and rooms at the back of the building are quieter (but they don't get much natural light). Smoking rooms are restricted to floors 3 and 10, but to avoid a room that smells like an ashtray, be sure to request a nonsmoking room.
Next to none, though there is free Wi-Fi
Features are limited to on computer in the lobby, free Wi-Fi, free copies of Time Out New York magazine, and soda and snack machines. Guests at least get a free continental breakfast, which isn't easy to come by in New York.
Cramped rooms, no kid-friendly features
A standard room is too small to fit a rollaway bed, so a family will have to upgrade to a room with two double beds, which can also -- just barely -- fit an additional rollaway bed ($24 a night) to sleep five. Cribs are complimentary. For up to twice as much space at a similar price, check out the apartment-style rooms at the Buckingham Hotel.
Dusty, grimy, and in some sections, smoky -- but for the price, most guests would say that it was "clean enough"
The hotel is aging, and it shows: grimy stairwells; peeling banisters; and hallway carpet that is begining to at the edges. Plus, the slow, creaking elevator doesn't inspire confidence in the hotel's maintenance standards. Rooms are kept tidy, and they've got a few new fixtures. Just avoid smoking floors, the 3rd and 10th, as the cigarette stench can be quite overpowering.
Brendan's Bar and Grill, connected to the hotel through a passageway, serves a mix of classic Irish dishes like corned beef and New American fare like citrus-roasted Chilean sea bass ($20 to $30 entrees). The grand banquet hall, built in the early 1900s, feels worlds away from the narrow, battered corridors of the Comfort Inn. Locals working in the area frequent the , and the food -- like a shrimp and scallop dish for $24 -- is adequate, but not exceptional, especially considering the price. The only real draw to Brendan's is its old-world ambience, created by a marble fireplace and stained glass windows.
In the mornings, the restaurant serves a free continental breakfast for hotel guests, which includes toast, cereal, pastries, bagels, fresh fruit, juice and coffee. The pastries are bland, especially since the restaurant doesn't offer jam or marmalade, and the orange juice is watered down. But a free breakfast can be hard to find in New York City. (If you're looking for a free, quality breakfast, check out the Room Mate Grace hotel.)
Food delivery is available from, also next door, and all orders must be paid for in cash. The menu includes soups, salads and sandwiches under $10. Delivery hours are from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
It's no-frills, but not without perks: free Wi-Fi; free continental breakfast; a good location near the Empire State Building, shopping, and several subway lines. But given the somewhat dingy interiors and lack of features in this 131-room property, you're better off at the Best Western President Hotel or the Holiday Inn at 6th Avenue.