Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Taking the cue of its Art Deco inspirations, the Hotel Giraffe is decorated in sleek lines and rich (but not supersaturated) colors, and livens things up, 1920s style, in the evenings with a jazz band at the grand piano in the lobby.
This hotel was the only branch of the Library Hotel Collection that could be designed from scratch rather than from an existing hotel space, so owner Henry Kallan filled every space with sleek Art Moderne decor and photographs from the 1920s (fittingly, a jazz band plays the lobby during the daily wine and cheese hour). The designers went light on the giraffe theme, but there are subtle references to the name in the spotted room number plates and the occasional figurine or statue. The hotel has a open-air roof garden and a lobby of cream-cappuccino-and-slate-colored marble and honey-toned wood. As the Hotel Giraffe is right on traffic-heavy Park Avenue in the increasingly posh NoMad district, with plenty of restaurants and shops nearby, the sidewalks outside are a steady buzz of office workers, mid- to higher-end shoppers, and ladies who lunch.
In the increasingly posh NoMad district, the Hotel Giraffe is well-situated for people with business nearby, and for tourists who want to shop and eat in the neighborhood's trendsetting stores and restaurants.
The hotel is well-situated for business travelers who have appointments to meet in one of the nearby Gothic Revival office buildings (say the New York Life Insurance Building). It's also good for tourists who turn up their noses at the hoi polloi in Times Square and want to frequent NoMad's hip restaurants and shop for minimalist furniture or conspicuously inconspicuous clothing. Those more interested in traditional touristy activities -- waiting in line at Bubba Gump's or buying taxicab snow globes or caricatures of themselves climbing the Empire State Building -- may prefer a Midtown location. The 6 train, which can take travelers to the Upper East Side or Wall Street in in 15 minutes, is two blocks to the north, while a short walk through Madison Square Park will bring them to the N and R subway lines right outside Eataly.
Rooms are attractively furnished in the Art Deco style, but the real draw are the balconies, which afford views up and down the ceaseless stream of humanity that is Park Avenue (if you stick your head out a little, that is).
Rooms are the largest in the Library Hotel chain, though Americans not familiar with the New York City economy of space probably won't even notice the relative surfeit of elbow room. Appointed in the same light Art Moderne decor as the lobby, they're attractive and understated, but the real draw are the balconies, for the rooms that have them (any not labeled Classic). The Juliet balconies afford sweeping views up and down Park Avenue -- for guests who area willing to stick their necks out a little. There are no rooms with double beds, so the hotel recommends that families take the Classic King Suites if possible -- they're not only the quietest rooms in the building, they also have a pull-out sofa beds.
The Hotel Giraffe does without many amenities 21st-century travelers take for granted, but offers a period-appropriate jazz band in the lobby during the daily wine and cheese hour.
Guests used to all-the-trimmings hotels may feel adrift without an in-house gym or kitchen, but the hotel offers free passes to New York Sports Club, and contracts out to the Bread & Tulips restaurant next door for room service. (The restaurant isn't open on Sundays, but Sarabeth's up the street steps in then.) The rooftop garden is a pleasant place to while away time on sunny days, and movie aficionados may appreciate following in the footsteps of Carrie and the gang in the "Sex and the City: The Movie," which prominently featured the hotel. (One of its top suites was the setting for Mr. Big's apartment.)
Named after owner Henry Kallan's favorite animal (and because of its tall, slender design), the 75-room Hotel Giraffe is an Art Moderne that will appeal to fans of NoMad architecture, the trendy neighborhood restaurants, and fans of "Sex and the City: The Movie" (in which the hotel was prominently featured). Rooms have understated contemporary decor, and the hotel offers homey extras such as a daily wine and cheese hour and free continental breakfast. There's no gym, but free passes are offered for one nearby. First-time visitors to New York who are determined to hit the sightseeing checklist will probably want to stay somewhere more uptown, however.