Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
On the northern outskirts of the understated Upper West Side, the Marrakech Hotel is between two beautiful parks and about 10 blocks from the Columbia University campus.
On the corner of West 103rd Street and noisy, bustling Broadway, the Marrakech Hotel is next door to a Starbucks coffee shop and Sookk, a delicious Thai restaurant, housed in the same building as the hotel. The subway station is right outside, but many sights, shops, and eateries are within walking distance.
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 outside the tourist crowds in Times Square.
About 30 to 90 minutes from three airports
New York has three nearby airports: JFK, La Guardia, 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 127-room walk-up hotel (no elevator!) is a bit cramped and worn around the edges, but a beautiful Moroccan-style lobby and a cocktail lounge from Sookk Thai restaurant make it a fair option if you want to be near Central Park and Columbia University, in the nontouristy northern outskirts of the Upper West Side.