Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
An unpretentious hotel in a quiet but tourist-friendly neighborhood
The best feature of the Excelsior is its Upper West Side locale. The Museum of Natural History is across the way from any front-facing room and Central Park is a block away. Three subway lines (the 1, B, and C) are all within walking distance. The neighborhood may be upscale, and the lobby may be grand with its wood paneling, marble floors and rich red suede sofas, but the hotel's relaxed atmosphere prevents it from feeling stuffy or pretentious.
The hotel itself is charming, with design focusing on the building’s Art Deco roots. The public spaces are swanky, dimly lit, and old-world.
As close you can get to the Museum of Natural History without actually living through "Night at the Museum".
The Excelsior looks out onto the Hayden Planetarium and Museum of Natural History park -- a refreshing vista of green grass and trees. Guests are a stone's throw from the Hayden Planetarium, Central Park, and the Museum of Natural History -- three very popular New York City attractions.
Safe, residential, professional, and full of families, the Upper West Side is sandwiched between Manhattan's Central Park and Riverside Park. Beautiful low-rise brownstones blend with tall, swanky apartment buildings on the numbered streets that branch off Columbus Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway, the area's major thoroughfares. Kid-friendly museums like the Children's Museum of Manhattan, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Hayden Planetarium make this a prime location for families looking to get away from the tourist crowds in Times Square.
Spacious rooms have excellent views and Art Deco style
Rooms at the Excelsior come equipped with flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, but there is an unfortunate fee for Wi-Fi access. The chocolate and beige decor is inspired by the hotel's Art Deco roots, and it shows in details such as the headboards, which are upholstered with squares of suede, and the geometric patterned pillows (found in most rooms). Front-facing rooms offer lovely views of the Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium, a unique boon to the hotel.
Bathrooms are spacious and have attractive tile details as well as Tarrocco toiletries.
Spacious business and fitness centers
The hotel's business center has multiple work stations, and the fitness center has a wide variety of cardio and weight machines, as well as plenty of windows offering natural light (a rarity in NYC hotels).
The lounge, which also doubles as a breakfast area, shares the lobby's wood paneling and refined style. There are movies, books, and games available to peruse, and children also have a small play area set aside.
Calle Ocho, the on-site restaurant, serves delicious Cuban fare for dinner and hosts a popular bottomless brunch on the weekends. The unlimited sangria is popular with guests of the hotel and locals alike so reservations are recommended.
The upper-middle-range Excelsior boasts an excellent Upper West Side location, across the street from the Museum of Natural History, one block from Central Park, and within walking distance of three subway lines. Art Deco-inspired rooms are clean and modern, though they lack mini-fridges and there is a pesky fee for Wi-Fi. Hotel features include spacious fitness and business centers, a relaxing lounge and breakfast area, and a popular restaurant for brunch on the weekends.