Room decor is not quite as impressive as at the AKA Times Square
Cleaning service is weekly (daily service for an extra fee)
Some rooms lack views
The AKA Central Park combines the comforts of home with amenities of a hotel, and exclusively offers stays of one week or more. Though lacking views of the park, guests are within a block of the entrance, as well as 5th Avenue stores such as Bergdorf's and Tiffany's. Studios, one- and two-bedroom units -- 134 in total -- have more space than a typical hotel room; all but the studios have full kitchens. The AKA brand has made a mark in four other cities, and the first-floor fireplace lounge here lives up to the brand's reputation for sleek decor, even if the rooms fall a little short. Other features include large fitness and business centers, and guests get backdoor access to an adjacent European-style cafe. It may also be worth comparing rates with the Wyndham Midtown 45 and The Kimberly, which both also offer kitchen-equipped suites.
Contemporary elegance for tourists, corporate travelers, and people in transition
The AKA mini chain has established properties in NYC, Philly, D.C., Los Angeles, and London, and the company's brothers and co-CEOs, Larry and Brad Korman, know how to execute branding. The colossal AKA logo posted on the east side of the building is probably the first thing guests will notice, and there is chic, understated signage on either side of the main door. The exterior of this historic building becomes even more attractive with the addition of large potted plants and trees along the sidewalk. A uniformed doorman will be on hand to greet guests and assist with luggage, and this initial welcome falls somewhere between that of a ritzy hotel and of an Upper East Side apartment building.
An airy lobby has soaring ceilings and sleek surfaces, along with contemporary leather furniture, orchid plants, and tall birch limbs. Interesting lighting fixtures are displayed against the walls around the front desk and elevators. Past here is the private area for guests only (also dubbed residents, since many stay here for weeks at a time) with access to the lounge, fitness center, business center, and backdoor access to the cafe next door.
The lounge is noteworthy, with two side-by-side fireplaces, and a range of seating options, which are great for pulling out the laptop and conducting meetings. Though low-lit, there is one bright source of light coming from the vodka vault displaying the company's own small-batch vodka. In the evenings a bartender is on hand to mix drinks using the house vodka as well as as other spirits, wines, and microbrews. With sexy lounge music, "residents" -- many who are here for business, life transition, or simply to visit NYC for a week or longer -- start their evenings with a drink.
Not exactly on or overlooking Central Park, but just a block away
This historic building sits along 58th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. While 58th Street is a bit quieter, noise can still be heard from either avenue. There are a handful of other AKA properties in NYC, but guests choose this location to have easy access to Midtown offices, Central Park (one block away), and Fifth Avenue shopping highlights like Bergdorf's, Tiffany’s, Apple, and many others. Also within walking distance are Columbus Circle, the Met Opera at Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and the Museum of Modern Art. Several mini-markets are located nearby, and a Whole Foods can be found in the Time Warner Center for those who want to stock the fridges.
The 24-hour front desk and doorman can assist with taxis. For public transportation, the F, E, M, N, Q, R, B, D, E trains, as well as the 4, 5, 6, are all within a 10-minute walk.
An underground parking garage is located just to the side of the building.
Spacious units are clean and sophisticated, but some lack views.
This 17-floor building holds 134 units, and all are only available for one week stays or longer. Studio (Deluxe and Premier) units have kitchenettes with mini-fridges, microwaves, coffeemakers, and two dining sets, while the larger one- and two-bedroom options have fully equipped kitchens with dishwashers, stovetops, ovens, cooking utensils, and dining sets (with wine glasses) for at least four people. Rooms themselves have flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and work desks with free Wi-Fi. Besides the Deluxe Studio, all units have a dining table for at least two people.
The decor is simple and sophisticated with neutral tones: gay carpeting, coffee-colored headboards, and champagne-colored duvet covers. Bathrooms are spacious with tub/shower combos and sliding glass doors, Kohler fixtures, and Bulgari toiletries. Though the sinks lack counter space, there are two shelves above the toilet. The look differs slightly from other AKA properties; for instance, the Times Square decor is more minimalist and design-oriented than what is found here.
The two penthouse units -- ideal for romantic couples -- are situated on the top floor and have chic decor and higher-end amenities like steam showers that can fit two people. Outdoor wraparound terraces have sensational city views, al fresco dining areas, and wood-burning fireplaces.
Housekeeping is offered weekly; daily service can be arranged for an additional fee.
A fireplace lounge, an adjacent cafe, a big fitness center, and communal laundry facilities
As at many hotels, the main features here on the first floor. Guests have private access to "a.cafe" next door through a back door with use of their keycard. This cafe is a modern, European-style espresso bar serving pastries either baked in-house or delivered from Balthazar Bakery. There are stand-up areas -- often visited by nearby office workers -- as well as seating areas for full-service breakfast and lunch. Dinner is said to be on the way, but a date is not yet solidified.
On the other side of the lobby area is the entrance to the "a.lounge" -- a warm and contemporary room that is offered to guests only. Smooth wood surfaces look sophisticated against colorful textiles, and guests will find contemporary seating areas and a stylish chess board. The side-by-side gas-lit fireplaces are a highlight here, and lounge music plays in the background, creating a romantic ambiance. The brand's small-batch vodka called a.vod -- displayed in the visible vault -- is served in speciality cocktails every night. Other cocktails, wines, and microbrews, as well as bourbons and rye whiskeys, fall within the $12 range -- decent prices considering that most hotel drinks are $16 and up.
The fitness center is situated beyond the a.lounge and has a large open layout with hardwood floors and low lighting. Guests are able to use a range of Precor cardio equipment, weight machines, and stretching areas from early morning until night (it closes around 11 p.m.).
The business center is another large space with tables and chairs for laptops, and a wall of desktop Mac computers for guest use. There is a free-to-borrow DVD selection for those who want to watch a movie in their rooms. An Executive Board room has seating for 10 people and a large flat-screen television.
Communal laundry facilities are provided free of charge, including detergent.