Though it's not exactly high style, the Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel does offer a good value in an excellent downtown location. The hotel is a block away from the subway and a short walk to Chinatown and Little Italy attractions, with SoHo and Nolita an eight-minute stroll away. Its 102 rooms are clean and simple with handsome bathrooms -- though some rooms pick up hallway or street noise. All rooms include HCTVs, safes, and work desks, and higher categories include mini-fridges and microwaves. There's no full restaurant on-site, but guests can enjoy a daily breakfast for free. And on-site fitness and business centers enhance the property's appeal, as does the rooftop deck. Another nearby option could be the Wyndham Garden Chinatown, which includes a restaurant and bar.
A practical, modern chain hotel with bustling common spaces
This Best Western offers few surprises as a modern chain hotel in the thick of downtown. Its squat, white building with glass doors opens onto a bustling lobby with a long, blond-wood reception desk surrounded by illuminated columns. A few posh touches -- black-and-white photographs of New York landmarks, gray marble accents, Oriental rugs -- attempt to elevate the look, but the flat-screen TV, tourist discount brochures, and white tile floors reflect its practical, mid-range status. And the hallways, topped in wall-to-wall orange carpet and outfitted with vending and ice machines, are all about function. The lobby can feel somewhat tight with guests checking in, using the business facilities, or heading to the simple breakfast room, but guests can find a bit of breathing room in the two alfresco areas off the lobby or on the rooftop, which are perfect for chilling out.
In Chinatown, near the subway and hip downtown
The Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel is located one block from Little Italy on the fringes of Chinatown. Signs in this area are bilingual with Chinese characters, including the hotel's own marquee. The surrounding streets are chockablock with restaurants, bars, and shops. It's a four-minute walk to Canal Street, Chinatown's main consume drag with knockoff purses and perfumes, and a five-minute walk to Mahayana Buddhist Temple. The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, another major draw, is six minutes on foot. From the hotel, other downtown neighborhoods can be reached including the shopping hotspots of SoHo and Nolita, both an eight-minute walk. The Lower East Side is also an eight-minute walk away and offers a happening bar scene and the renowned Tenement Museum. The closest subway stop, the Grand Street station, offers access to the B and D trains that can take travelers father afield. Wall Street is a 12-minute subway ride or lengthy 26-minute walk. Battery Park, which offers ferry access to the
Statue of Liberty, is a 17-minute subway ride away. Midtown landmarks can also be easily reached by the subway, such as the Empire State Building (12 minutes) and
Times Square (16 minutes). John F. Kennedy International Airport is a 32-minute drive away, and LaGuardia Airport is 18 minutes by car, without traffic.
Comfortable, clean, well-equipped rooms with surprisingly stylish bathrooms
Like the public spaces, guest rooms at the Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel are simple and decorated in a neutral palette of cream hues and wood tones. Dark, silver-trimmed timber
furnishings, white bedding, and bamboo floors give a basic backdrop. Rooms are clean and fairly well sized by New York City standards ranging from Standard
Queens to King Suites, which include separate living areas, pull-out sofas, and microwaves and mini-fridges. All rooms include tea- and coffee-making facilities, digital
alarm clocks with MP3 players, 32-inch HDTVs, safes, and irons and ironing boards. Work desks, two-line
speaker phones, and free in-room Wi-Fi are also welcome amenities for business travelers. Bathrooms are a highlight with handsome striped gray tiles, white pedestal sinks, heated floors, shower/tub combos, fluffy towels, hairdryers, and free toiletries. Rooms for guests with limited mobility that feature walk-in showers are available as well.
Light sleepers should avoid floors with vending machines,
and lower-level, street-side rooms can be on the noisy side as well. In general, the higher the floor,
the quieter it gets and the better the view. Corner rooms offer the most light with twice the
Free hot breakfast buffet, rooftop terrace, and business and fitness
Given its decent mid-range rates, this Best Western offers plenty of appealing features
and a few freebies. The free American-style buffet
breakfast covers all the bases with fresh fruit, cereal, waffles, bagels, and bacon and eggs, along with an array of beverages. The breakfast room can get overcrowded, however, but guests can eat in an alfresco seating area -- weather permitting. And the hotel's most appealing feature could be its rooftop, which offers a refreshing outdoor retreat above all of the urban bustle. (Note: The rooftop is closed in winter.) The 24-hour fitness center, in a narrow windowed room, has several cardio machines but nothing for weight-lifting; its views look out across the expansive roof deck. A business center is in an open area of the lobby, so guests are unlikely to conduct any business in peace or privacy, but it does offer two desktop computers
and a multi-function copy/print/fax machine. Ice and soft drink vending
machines are provided in the lobby and on the fifth and ninth floors. There’s an on-site
ATM, and parking
is available for a fee.
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