Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Rising 32 stories above the bright lights of Times Square and the theater district, this Manhattan outpost of a French chain offers its mostly European guests comforting familiarity.
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, young families, and airline crews. 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. Once inside, guests are introduced to dramatic futuristic style and a sophisticated lighting scheme that's somewhat reminiscent of the flashing lights in Times Square. The dimly lit reception area has blue and purple neon lights, while the massive lobby has curved hanging lighting fixtures that change all sorts of colors, as well as paneled pillars that electronically project changing patterns. Some of the "tables" are really interactive screens where guests can play electronic table games, and there's also a dedicated video games corner. The lobby's best attribute, however, might just be the floor-to-ceiling windows all along the east side that present startling views of Broadway and Times Square.
The hotel's restaurant and bar, Supernova, serves upscale comfort food. In the warm months, there's a huge balcony panning one full side of the hotel where guests can bring cocktails (the lobby bar even has a window that opens up to this area). The Times Square views are tough to top.
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 heart of 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. The August Wilson Theatre is across the street, while the Winter Garden Theatre and Gershwin Theatre are just around the corner.
A steak place and multiple Russian piano bars share the hotel's block on 52nd Street. On the Broadway side of the hotel, there's a McDonald's, and the 24-hour pharmacy Duane Reade Express 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.
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.
Stylish, contemporary rooms -- many with excellent views
Rooms at the Novotel are spacious and contemporary, with white and grey decor, and a few bright pops of color. Times Square View Rooms each 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. Rooms with two double beds are available, and empty mini-fridges are provided for storing food. Small but sleek bathrooms have rainfall showerheads, though some complain about the shallow sinks.
The fitness center and business center are small, but they're free, clean, and open 24 hours.
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. Older children will likely appreciate the video games section of the lobby.
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.
The restaurant serves upscale American comfort food with an international twist
This Times Square outlet of a French hotel chain offers stylish rooms, some with great views. The prime location is a major asset: It's just blocks north of Times Square, and within easy walking distance of theaters, Rockefeller Center, and Central Park. Rooms have contemporary decor in white and grey with a few bright pops of color, and modern technologies. There are cheaper upscale hotels in the city, but guests here pay more for the premium location.
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