The Inn at Irving Place Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Gramercy and Murray Hill, Manhattan, New York City

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Lovely individually decorated rooms with antiques and modern amenities
  • Most rooms have non-working fireplaces and wet bars
  • Gorgeous tea salon with upscale afternoon tea service
  • Free minibar items (except liquors)
  • Central location a block from Union Square and its 7 subway lines
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • No full restaurant on-site (but many nearby)
  • Hard to find (name not posted on the façade)
  • No elevator and lots of steep stairs

Bottom Line

Thorough attention to detail and old-world charm set this quaint boutique hotel apart. Its 12 rooms have been individually decorated with period antiques and fireplaces, and feature modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. The property lacks most of the amenities of larger hotels, including a fitness center and a full restaurant -- but it does offer an elegant tea salon, a central location a block from Union Square, and an intimate feel that's hard to come by in New York.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A charming hotel with a popular upscale tea room

This charming, cozy inn is a hidden gem -- quite literally. There is no hotel sign at all, and from the street, the two 19th century red-brick townhouses that make up the property could be mistaken for residential homes. (Tip: Look for the small plaque next to the door that says "Lady Mendl’s," which is the hotel’s gorgeous tea room.)

The brown wooden door at the top of the exterior stairs opens onto a small hall. A door on the right leads to a cozy lobby with elegant, old-world-style decor. There’s a tiny front desk and several couches where guests can relax or play chess. This space is shared in the afternoon with non-guests waiting to be shown to their seats in the tea room, but the vibe here is generally hushed. There are two other two doors off the entrance hall, one leading to the rooms and the other to the tea salon.

Most people know this place because of its famous tea salon, Lady Mendl’s, which can also be rented for events. The three rooms that make up the tea room have decadent embroidered silks on the walls, china with golden edges, upholstered chairs in dark pinks and gold, and fireplaces. While popular with couples, Lady Mendl’s is also a favorite for mothers and daughters and groups of friends.

The inn’s 12 rooms are distributed among the two adjacent townhouses. Narrow, steep stairs lead to hallways with three rooms each. Antiques and old black-and-white photos line the walls, and rugs muffle the sound of steps on the wooden floors. This is probably not a place for kids, but it's a great pick for a romantic getaway. Its intimacy makes it feel removed from the hustle and bustle of New York City, but it's still within walking distance of attractions.

 Location

On a quiet street a block from bustling Union Square

The Inn at Irving Place is located on a relatively quiet street lined with restaurants. It is a two-minute walk to Union Square, site of the city's premier farmers market and a major subway hub. A few minutes beyond that is Washington Square and all of Greenwich Village. Major attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Times Square, and Central Park are just a short subway ride away.

  • 20- to 45-minute drive from LaGuardia Airport
  • 30- to 50-minute drive from JFK Airport
  • A block from Union Square
  • 8-minute walk to the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park
  • 15-minute walk to Washington Square
  • 20-minute walk or a 13-minute subway ride to the Empire State Building
  • 22-minute walk or a 14-minute subway ride to Chelsea Market
  • 8-minute subway ride to Chinatown
  • 9-minute subway ride to Grand Central
  • 13-minute subway ride to Times Square
  • 14-minute subway ride to Central Park
  • 16-minute subway ride to City Hall
  • 21-minute subway ride to Lincoln Center
  • 25-minute subway ride to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Rooms

Spacious rooms full of old-world charm

If there is one word to describe the 12 rooms at The Inn, it's charming. They have all been individually decorated with antiques and one-of-a-kind furniture, and most rooms have special touches such as wet bars, non-working fireplaces, and window seats. All three room types (Superior, Deluxe, and Junior Suite) are fairly spacious -- with at least a small sitting area -- and have large windows, either overlooking a community courtyard or the street. Bathrooms are of varying sizes, but all feature black and white tiling, pedestal sinks, and upscale toiletries.

  • Flat-screen TVs with HBO
  • DVD players
  • iPod docks
  • Frette linens and towels
  • Penhaligon toiletries
  • Air-conditioning
  • Minibars with free items (except liquors)
  • Wet bars and non-working fireplaces in most rooms
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Shower/tub combos or showers in all rooms

 Food

A beautiful tea salon and a martini lounge, but no full restaurant on-site

New York City's first upscale raw vegan restaurant is in the same building as the hotel, but it is unaffiliated with the property. Next door, Chef Mario Batali whips up Spanish tapas at Casa Mono, and many other restaurants can be found across the street. Union Square offers a wide array of dining options, too.

  • Continental breakfast served daily for an extra fee
  • The hotel’s tea salon, Lady Mendl’s, serves afternoon tea in an elegant space with fireplaces and candles. It’s a popular spot for a quiet afternoon, and reservations are required.
  • At night, the tea salon turns into an intimate lounge serving cocktails. The space can be rented for private events.
  • Cibar is the hotel’s martini lounge. It has a few small candlelit tables and opens until well after midnight daily; outdoor seating available in the warmer months.

 Services

A few luxury services

  • Nightly turndown service
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Valet service and concierge available on-site
  • 24-hour room service (though menu is limited)
  • Free New York Times
  • One meeting room

 Bottom Line

Thorough attention to detail and old-world charm set this quaint boutique hotel apart. Its 12 rooms have been individually decorated with period antiques and fireplaces, and feature modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. The property lacks most of the amenities of larger hotels, including a fitness center and a full restaurant -- but it does offer an elegant tea salon, a central location a block from Union Square, and an intimate feel that's hard to come by in New York.

Things You Should Know About The Inn at Irving Place

Address

  • 56 Irving Place, New York City, NY 10003 United States of America

Room Types

  • Deluxe Room
  • Junior Suite
  • Superior Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 12
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Gramercy and Murray Hill, Manhattan
Address: 56 Irving Place, New York City, NY 10003 United States of America
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