Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Quiet, much less popular edge of Midtown West, about a 10-minute walk outside the flashing heart of Times Square
Though it's on West 42nd Street -- the same street that includes the bustling heart of Times Square (about a 10-minute walk east) -- the Travel Inn feels a bit cut-off from the restaurants, the attractions, the parks, and the people that make Midtown West an exciting place to visit. It's in Hell's Kitchen, a former slum transformed by luxury condo developments over the last decade. Near the Travel Inn, the atmosphere still seems to be in a state of transition. Expansive parking lots, warehouses, and vacant crators (where new condos will rise) blend with a handful of bank branches and the scarce nightclub. It's safe (especially given the police station across the street), but not very attractive.
About 30 to 90 minutes from three airports
New York has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Getting to town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than getting there from Newark, but travel times are heavily dependent on the time of day and traffic conditions. From JFK, a taxi to anywhere in Manhattan costs a flat rate of $45 and takes around an hour in average conditions. From LaGuardia, a metered cab ride to midtown Manhattan costs about $40 and can take 30 minutes if traffic is light, three times that if it's bad. Rides from Newark cost at least $40 (plus tolls) and can take more than 90 minutes. It's customary to tip your driver 15 to 25 percent.
Those looking to save some cash can use the privately run shuttle buses 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. Public transit is also available for as little as $7 per person, but travel can take up to two hours and involve a lot of lugging bags up and down stairways.
For mass-transit directions right to the hotel, check out HopStop.com.
Given its two rare but extrodinary features -- a large outdoor pool and a free parking garage -- one might be able to look past the 160-room Travel Inn Hotel's less-desireable location (in a not-so-hip part of Hell's Kitchen, a long walk from Times Square and the subway) and less-than-comfortable, long out of date guest rooms.