Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
Much of the hotel staff speaks both English and French, which attracts the majority of the guests -- well-dressed European couples, ladies in from Paris,, and . Signs throughout the hotel are also in English and French, and the concierge speaks with a heavy accent.
The hotel's lobby is on the seventh floor, so guests enter at street level and then take one of two elevators up to the lobby. Once inside, guests are introduced to a startling purple, blue, terra-cotta, and peach color scheme, busy patterns, and . The hotel's décor is both heavily stylized and somewaht out-of-style, reminiscent of late-'80s/early-'90s south Florida. There are also odd pop-art touches in primary colors throughout the lobby, like a red leather couch and pieces of involving taxi cabs painted on large puzzle pieces. But there are also classy, if expected, touches like and fresh flowers. The lobby's best attribute, however, are the windows all along the east side that present startling views of Broadway and .
The hotel's restaurant and bar, Café Nicole, spills out into the lobby, with no clear separation between the two. It's typically pretty empty. In the warm months, there's a huge balcony spanning one full side of the hotel. It's great for hotel guests who want to eat and drink outside with a view, but it's not very lively and not so hip a scene as to draw in locals.
At 52nd Street and Broadway, the Novotel places visitors right in the theater district with a clear view of Times Square.
While it bills itself as the Novotel New York Times Square, the hotel is actually 10 blocks from the famed square. Still, it's quite close, and guests can clearly see its bright lights from the lobby, and possibly their room.
The bright lights closer to the hotel belong to Broadway theaters. During my stay, Jersey Boys was playing at the August Wilson Theatre across the street, while Mamma Mia and Wicked were playing at the Winter Garden Theatre and Gershwin Theatre, respectively, just around the corner.
A McDonald's, and the 24-hour pharmacy is on building's ground level, as well a discount luggage and electronics shop. Despite the hectic nature of Times Square and the surrounding area, there's a relative sense of calm around the hotel's entrance on 52nd Street. Just around the corner, Broadway bustles all night with pedestrian and automobile traffic.and multiple Russian piano bars share the hotel's block on 52nd Street. On the Broadway side of the hotel, there's a
About 30-90 minutes from three airports.
New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Flying into JFK or LaGuardia is typically easiest and the least time-consuming. From JFK, it's a (one-hour) $45 flat-rate taxi ride to anywhere in Manhattan. From LaGuardia, it's about a (30-minute) $40 metered cab ride to Midtown Manhattan. Rides from Newark cost at least $40 (plus tolls), and can take more than 90 minutes. Don't forget to tip your driver 15-25 percent.
To save some cash, try the group shuttles that are available at all three airports for about $14/person. For more information on the shuttles, go to Super Shuttle or New York Airport Service. You can also take public transit from any of the airports for as little as $7.50 per person, but travel can take up to two hours and involve a lot of lugging bags up and down stairs. For mass-transit directions right to the hotel, check out HopStop.com.
Rooms at the Novotel are spacious and contemporary, with white and grey decor, and a few bright pops of color. Times Square view rooms have a six-foot window stretching across the wall, giving an impressive view of New York's famous, brightly lit square. Rooms facing Broadway or the Hudson River are also likely to have an interesting view, given the bright city lights that surround the hotel on all four sides.
There are large rooms, good safety features, and free breakfasts for kids ages 16 and under.
With spacious rooms and 24-hour security, the Novotel is quite family friendly, provided families don't mind the lobby being on the 7th floor.
There is no charge for cribs and rollaways, and the rooms are spacious enough to handle them. Connecting rooms are available but only for Times Square View rooms.
Though the hotel is quite close to the hustle and bustle of Times Square, the area immediately surrounding the hotel's entrance is relatively calm. A 24-hour security guard is stationed on the ground floor, watching over guests as they board the elevator to the seventh floor lobby. The lobby being on the seventh floor provides an extra layer of safety and insulation from the chaos of Times Square, but it could be inconvenient for families not wanting the hassle of taking not one, but two, elevators to their room.
The Novotel allows cats and dogs within the weight limit, and there’s no extra charge for bringing a pet.
There's no extra charge for bringing a pet to the hotel, but guests must sign a waiver at check-in saying they'll take responsibility for any damage caused by the pet. Guests who plan to bring their pets should alert the hotel prior to arrival.
It might be a French hotel, but it serves typical American fare -- not fine French pastries.
This Times Square outlet of a French hotel chain offers big, clean rooms with great views and a prime, slightly quieter location 10 blocks north of . Rooms have contemporary decor in white and grey with a few bright pops of color, and up-to-date technologies. But it's not cheap, and the food is only average.