The Carlton Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Gramercy and Murray Hill, Manhattan, New York City

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Modern, high-tech rooms with 42-inch plasma TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi
  • Highly attentive, cordial, and warm service
  • Excellent seafood brasserie, opened in November 2010
  • On-site fitness center
  • Two blocks from three subway lines

Cons

Bottom Line

This refined 317-room hotel, since early 2012 a Marriott's exclusive Autograph Collection, is in Murray Hill, a quiet but less popular location. It features modern rooms with excellent beds, 42-inch plasma TVs, iPod docking stations, and free Wi-Fi; a brasserie helmed by a Michelin-starred chef; and an on-site fitness center. It's a fair pick for the price, but also compare rates at the nearby Affinia Dumont.

Categories

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Gramercy and Murray Hill, Manhattan

Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Classy and sophisticated, but don’t expect an intimate boutique.

The regal, vaulted lobby
The regal, vaulted lobby

Built in 1904 as the Seville Hotel, the Carlton's 12-story beaux arts building sits in a fairly low-key neighborhood with plenty of small-scale offices, shops, and condos. On weekdays, its elegant, vaulted lobby fills with guests tapping away on their laptops, taking advantage of the hotel's free Wi-Fi. Jazz plays unobtrusively in the background while porters carry suitcases down the stately staircase and across the gleaming floors. Unlike the comparably priced Library Hotel, the Carlton is a bit more stately and reserved than it is cozy. But the rooms are a bit larger here, as is the business center. In December 2008, the hotel underwent an extensive, David Rockwell-designed renovation. Rockwell updated the guest rooms and the first three floors of the hotel, but strived to maintain its historical qualities throughout the renovations.

 Location

In low-key Murray Hill, this section of corporate Madison Avenue becomes quiet at night. The Empire State Building is a 10-minute walk away.

The Carlton Hotel sits on the boarder of several neighborhoods -- Murray Hill, Kips Bay, and the Flatiron District. It's outside the more well-known tourist neighborhoods, like Times Square or Midtown West, but it's still a charming part of the city with a lot of offer. Madison Square Park, the Empire State Building, and the Fashion Institute of Technology are all within walking distance, as are many shops and bars.

  • Two to three blocks from N, R and the 6 subway lines; five blocks from the F, M subway lines
  • 20-minute subway ride to Central Park
  • 15-minute subway ride to Times Square
  • 10-minute walk to the Empire State Building
  • 30-minute subway ride to the ferry terminal to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • 20-minute bus ride to Rockefeller Center
  • 25-minute subway ride to the American Museum of Natural History
  • 30-minute bus ride to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the "Met") and 20-minute bus ride to the Museum of Modern Art (the "MoMA")

 Rooms

Clean and modern, but with an eerily dark bathroom.

The Executive Room
The Executive Room
  • Beds (full-size in standard rooms, king or two doubles in executive rooms) have super-comfortable pillow-top mattresses, soft sateen sheets, and thick down duvets and pillows.
  • 42-inch LG plasma TVs
  • iHome iPod docking stations
  • User-controlled Honeywell air conditioner and heater
  • Molton Brown bath products from London.
  • Stocked mini-bar in every room. Guests can also request an empty additional fridge to stock with their own groceries since there isn’t additional room in the mini-bar.
  • In-room safe large enough for a laptop
  • Desk with a USB and Ethernet port if you couldn’t access the free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
  • The standard room size is 200 square feet, about average for New York City
  • Executive doubles are more spacious, about 315 square feet
  • Bathrooms are especially small (I couldn’t sit on the toilet and close the bathroom door at the same time)
  • USA Today is free, and they’re left outside every room in the morning.
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • Specialty Suites are available with historic themes like in the Speakeasy Suite (Prohibition-era) and the Broadway Dive Suite (New York theater)

 Features

The Carlton is mostly a business hotel, so there is free Wi-Fi and an on-site business center, but not much else.

Small Business Center
Small Business Center
  • Free Wi-Fi everywhere in the building
  • 24-hour business center with computers and ATM
  • 24-hour fitness center with a few cardio and strength machines
  • In-room massages are available
  • Room serivce is available
  • Pets allowed for a one-time fee
  • The lobby bar serves cocktails during the day

 Family

Briefcases over diapers, but there’s space for kids.

There’s not much for children at this hotel, which caters mostly to business travelers. Cribs are available for free, and rollaway beds are available for a nightly fee, but they won’t fit in a standard room, only suites. An executive double (with two beds) would be cramped with kids but not impossible.

The concierge can arrange for baby-sitting with licensed sitters.

 Food

A seafood brasserie from a Michelin-starred chef and a lobby lounge with live music

  • Millesime, a seafood brasserie by Laurent Manrique, has a nostalgic 1930's feel and features a marble oyster bar, and a century-old mosaic floor, and dishes like lobster pot au fin.
  • Salon Millesime, the downstairs lounge and bar, serves up light fare, cocktails, and live music at night.

 Airport Transportation

30 to 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 to 25 percent.

To save some cash, try the group shuttles 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. You can also take public transit from any of the airports, 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.

 Bottom Line

This refined 317-room hotel, since early 2012 a Marriott's exclusive Autograph Collection, is in Murray Hill, a quiet but less popular location. It features modern rooms with excellent beds, 42-inch plasma TVs, iPod docking stations, and free Wi-Fi; a brasserie helmed by a Michelin-starred chef; and an on-site fitness center. It's a fair pick for the price, but also compare rates at the nearby Affinia Dumont.

Things You Should Know About The Carlton Hotel

Address

  • 88 Madison Avenue, New York, NY New York

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Carlton Hotel New York
  • Carlton Madison
  • Carlton Madison Avenue
  • Carlton On Madison Avenue
  • Carlton On Madison Avenue Hotel
  • New York Carlton
  • The Carlton

Room Types

  • Deluxe Double Double Suite
  • Deluxe King Suite
  • Deluxe Queen Suite
  • Deluxe Room
  • Empire Suite
  • Executive Double Double Room
  • Executive King Room
  • Executive King Suite
  • Executive Queen Suite
  • Penthouse Suite
  • Standard Room
  • Superior Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 317
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Gramercy and Murray Hill, Manhattan
Address: 88 Madison Avenue, New York, NY New York
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