Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
La Quinta is on West 32nd Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue, which puts it 10 short blocks south of one of the busiest intersections in the world, at 42nd and Broadway in Times Square. Those 10 blocks make a big difference, though. While it's not exactly quiet, the area is significantly less touristed than its neighbor to the north.
The area is a bit of a no-man's land. Some New Yorkers would classify it as the Garment District; others would say it counts as part of Chelsea. But the distinction isn't really important -- the boundaries of Manhattan's neighborhoods have always been fuzzy. If you feel compelled to describe the location by name, call it Koreatown, or K-Town -- which isn't an official neighborhood but is a perfectly good tag for the two blocks outside the hotel home to a myriad of karaoke clubs and Korean BBQ restaurants.
In fact, 32nd Street is K-Town's main drag. Walk down the block and most of the neon you see will be in Korean. You barely have to leave the hotel to get a taste -- literally -- of Korea. You can grab a plate of bibimbap at KumGangSan, then go across the street to Ding Dong Dang for karaoke. At the least, you'll have fun explaining to your friends what you did last night ("Had me some bibimbap at KumGangSan, then got my sing-song on at Ding Dong Dang ...").
Very small, but up-to-date
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.
One block from the Empire State Building, in the unique, lively area best known as Koreatown (for its Korean restaurants and karaoke joints), the 182-room La Quinta Inn is a reasonable, convenient option with great features -- free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour gym, and the colorful Vu Bar. Just be aware the especially small standard rooms.