Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
Low-key and classy, as befits its location well north of the Midtown hubbub, and close to Central Park and museums.
This 250-room hotel, housed in a sturdy, 15-floor building from the 1920s, considers itself a "boutique hotel." The atmosphere reflects this: small lobby; cheerful service; sleek, low-key design; minimal accoutrements. It attracts a healthy mix of business travelers and tourists. It's an ideal pick for parents or anyone else visiting Columbia University -- it's just five stops south of Columbia on the subway line -- or the couple who wants a romantic getaway near Central Park but doesn't want to mortgage their house to stay at the St. Regis.
The low-key lobby lounge is fit with suede sofas, a marble-topped coffee table decorated with single pink flowers in square glass vases, and a striking neo-Cubist painting by New York artist Alfonso Munoz. A piano player appears most nights, guests curl up to read or write postcards, and everyone from the concierge to the suit-wearing doormen smiles and inquires about your stay.
On the Ave's motto is "Style and comfort with an authentic New York neighborhood experience," and that's not a bad summation of the place. Located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, it's a good 30 blocks from Midtown's tourist center in Times Square. But in exchange, you get some peace and quiet, along with a sense of what it's really like to live in one of the city's upscale, residential neighborhoods. Somewhat comically, though, On the Ave’s name is a bit of a misnomer -- it’s actually located on a relatively quiet corner of busy Broadway and West 77th Street.
On the Ave refers to itself as "OTA" -- or, to go with the double acronym on the elevator floor, "OTA NYC" -- and the colloquialism fits the casual atmosphere. (You don't see the Four Seasons calling itself "TFS.")
Some visitors might prefer the bustle of Midtown or the trendiness of SoHo, but On the Ave's location offers the best of both worlds: tons of restaurants and shops but much less chaos.
The hotel is located in the heart of the residential and leafy Upper West Side, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. It's two and a half blocks (about a 10-minute walk) from , the Museum of Natural History, and the New-York Historical Society, but a bit farther from sites like Lincoln Center and Riverside Park. There are dozens of restaurants (and multiple grocery stores) within a two-block radius of the hotel, and the 1 train is two short blocks up Broadway at 79th Street. (The B and C subways are about 10 minutes away at 81st Street and Central Park West.)
Standard rooms start at an ample 240 square feet, and are comfortably decorated in neutral tones, but the marble bathrooms are otherworldly.
If you want a view of the city, you'll have to shell out for the higher-priced suites and lofts -- many of which come with their own private balcony -- or go up to the shared balcony on the 16th floor. Outside my window was not much more than an unexciting look at the walls of other buildings.
Though not the cheapest place in the neighborhood for this range of accommodations -- the Upper West Side. A rule to live by: If you can find a room for $175 at a nice place, in the heart of Manhattan, in the 21st century, grab it -- and be thankful., up the road a few blocks, had rooms the same night for a bit less -- OTA compares favorably with its main competitors on the
A tranquil penthouse terrace sets On the Ave apart from many other hotels, but features are otherwise pretty standard.
Kids (and pets!) are more than welcome.
The management here takes pains to make the hotel family-friendly: Cribs can be rented for a nightly fee, and pets are even welcome. There is a weight-limit and nightly fee for pets.
Highly touted (and priced) food in the lobby, and hundreds of other options within a block or two.
Other eating options in the neighborhood are nearly limitless. Fast-food restaurants line Broadway, and New York bagel emporium H&H (of ‘’Seinfeld’’ fame) is three short blocks away, across Broadway at 80th Street. As a total boon to the hotel, two very popular restaurants, Dovetail and Shake Shack, are only two blocks away at 77th Street and Columbus Avenue.
Tucked into a quiet, classy, residential side street on the Upper West Side, this 250-room boutique comes with snazzy touches like a 16th-floor common terrace, a top-notch gym, friendly doormen, and good-sized designer rooms with excellent beds. For under $250, On the Ave is a great pick for anyone looking to explore -- and experience -- New York as New Yorkers do.