Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Though its neoclassical lobby seems more Park Avenue than 7th Avenue, this 179-room Midtown boutique wouldn't have it any other way -- less than 10 blocks from gaudy, rowdy Times Square, the Michelangelo markets itself as the only European-style accommodation at the center of the city's harried business district. Indeed, the European flavor is more than superficial: This is the only American outpost of the 22-hotel Starhotels group; 20 of its properties are in Italy and one is in Paris. What that translates into, at least in this case, is a richly decorated but unstuffy lobby with marble flooring, couches upholstered in Venetian-inspired textiles, and chandeliers inspired by Roman torches.
Like most successful hotels in midtown Manhattan, the Michelangelo does double duty to maintain its consistent 90 percent capacity. From Monday to Thursday, it serves primarily business travelers of the Fortune 500 variety who largely account for the fact that some 40 percent of the hotel's guests are repeat customers.
The Michelangelo offers the sort of distinguished, personable service more often associated with properties much further east, like the Hotel Elysee or Loews Regency. And the rooms are easily up to that standard as well: At about 350 square feet, they're very spacious (not just for New York City) and feature huge, 55-gallon soaking tubs (a veritable pool for kids!). Not surprisingly, the hotel has received a lot of industry recognition over the past few years, including a spot on the Travel+Leisure 2006 World's Best Value list.
Turndown service, free limos to Wall Street, and an all-purpose concierge
At the center of business-focused midtown Manhattan, with great transportation options and proximity to dozens of popular tourist spots.
The Michelangelo is smack in the middle of midtown Manhattan, on a relatively quiet block -- 51st Street between 6th and 7th Avenues -- that's all business: By midmorning I could see workers in the office building across the street typing, filing, and sipping coffee. Even so, scores of popular tourist attractions are within easy walking distance. Rockefeller Center, for shopping, ice-skating (in the colder months), and dining is just five blocks away; Radio City Music Hall is a mere three blocks; the glorious Museum of Modern Art is an easy four blocks. The hotel's proximity to Times Square and the theater district makes it a prime spot for those in town to catch a Broadway show. Central Park is also about a 15-minute walk away.
Guests will have no problem getting a taxi at the hotel, especially with so many doormen dedicated to the task (one even told some pedestrians who were competing for my taxi to step aside). And because the hotel is nearly equidistant to Manhattan's east and west sides, virtually every subway line in the city is an easy walk away.
Safety isn't a concern. With so many corporate types coming off 15-hour workdays, it's difficult to be alone on the streets of this neighborhood, even late at night.
About 30 to 90 minutes from three airports
New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Getting into town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than 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.
Standard rooms are most appropriate for the early-to-bed, early-to-rise crowd; younger guests may find the neoclassic decor a bit stodgy, though it is at least innocuous. But all guests are likely to appreciate two characteristics of the rooms: At close to 350 square feet, they're larger than most found in New York City, and though the hotel is in a plum midtown spot, the noise stays out of the room.
Not much for kids here -- but large rooms, cribs, rollaways, and a kind and patient staff still make it a decent family choice.
The hotel is a fine family choice, even though it lacks any particularly kid-friendly amenities like milk and cookies, or the "welcome toys" that the nearby Loews Regency doles out.
Cribs are available for free, rollaway beds for a nightly fee.
Insieme Italian restaurant open for breakfast with free morning coffee.
This European-style boutique, located near Times Square, charms both business travelers and vacationing families with impeccable cleanliness, an acclaimed Italian restaurant on-site, bigger-than-usual standard rooms with massive soaking tubs, and free cappuccino and pastries each morning. A very fine alternative to Midtown mega hotels.
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