Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
In the heart of the quiet, classy, Upper West Side, surrounded by shops, restaurants, and beautiful old buildings
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 of the city's best 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.
Comfortable rooms with a Victorian touch
About 30 to 90 minutes from three airports
New York has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Getting to town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than getting there from Newark, but travel times are heavily dependent on the time of day and traffic conditions. From JFK, a taxi to anywhere in Manhattan costs a flat rate of $45 and takes around an hour in average conditions. From LaGuardia, a metered cab ride to midtown Manhattan costs about $40 and can take 30 minutes if traffic is light, three times that if it's bad. Rides from Newark cost at least $40 (plus tolls) and can take more than 90 minutes. It's customary to tip your driver 15 to 25 percent.
Those looking to save some cash can use the privately run shuttle buses that are available at all three airports for about $14 per person. For more information on the shuttles, go to Super Shuttle or New York Airport Service. Public transit is also available for as little as $7 per person, but travel can take up to two hours and involve a lot of lugging bags up and down stairways.
For mass-transit directions right to the hotel, check out HopStop.com.
This charming, 200-room hotel offers clean, classic comforts (like its leather and velvet-clad lounge, complete with fireplace, library, and rotary phone) in a beautiful setting -- the Museum of Natural History's backyard, next to Central Park. And, given the fitness center, the Excelsior is an excellent value in the Upper West Side.