Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
On the quiet, largely residential space between Gramercy and Murray Hill, near great bars and restaurants
The Marcel is just a five-minute walk from the beautiful Madison Square Park, and its few surrounding subway lines. Dotting the area, low-key, but high-quality, bars and restaurants -- such as Eleven Madison Park (two blocks away) or 'inoteca (just downstairs from the hotel) -- attract more locals than tourists.
Primarily residential, the neighborhoods of Gramercy and Murray Hill don't have the tourist crowds of Times Square or Midtown East. For most visitors, the main draw is that it's a quiet, convenient place to stay, just outside the theaters, funky shops, and restaurants of the East Village (to the south) and the business-focused hub and high-end 5th Avenue shopping of Midtown East (to the north).
Standard rooms are on the small side -- that's the norm in New York -- but they're all comfortable and very well designed.
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.
Located in an quieter, residential neighborhood more popular among locals than tourists, the Marcel fits a bit of style and top-notch comforts -- like Lather bath products -- into its 135 well-designed guest rooms. Though it lacks a gym and charges extra for Wi-Fi, the trendy Polar Lounge, the discounted New York Sports Club passes, and beautiful outdoor terrace tend to compensate.