- Some rooms are tiny
- Business center (there's a charge to use it) is the size of a closet
- No fitness center, bar, or restaurant
No frills chain hotel
The Clarion is a 60-room, budget, no-frills hotel. The lobby is small but bright and surprisingly well decorated, with stylish, vintage furniture in two comfortable seating areas. A plush sea-foam green settee topped with decorative pillows sits near the window. Wood-paneled walls look fresh but drop ceiling tiles look industrial. There are vending machines and an ice machine in the back and plenty of pamphlets highlighting NYC tours and attractions. The stairs are steep and although there is an elevator, it is tiny, old, and slow. The hallways are narrow and dingy.
Safe and convenient, within walking distance to many attractions
Located on Park Avenue in the Murray Hill neighborhood, the Clarion has an excellent location, especially for a low-cost hotel. It's one block from the 28th Street stop on the 6 train and is close to the N/R subway line. The hotel is within easy walking distance to many Midtown sites, including the Empire State building, Madison Square Park, Grand Central Station, and Fifth Avenue. Its Park Avenue location offers a calmer ambience than more central Midtown options, such as the Hotel Pennsylvania. The neighborhood is safe and mostly dominated by the office crowd during the day. Murray Hill has numerous affordable food options, ranging from fast food chains to sit-down restaurants. Curry Hill, a small enclave of Manhattan with an array of Indian restaurants, is a block away.
Basic accommodations for travelers on a budget
The rooms are not luxury by any stretch, but they are tidy and convenient for travelers only looking for a place to sleep and shower. The rooms with a single bed are tiny, with barely enough room to lay a suitcase on the floor, while rooms with two double beds are more spacious. Décor is minimal and each room is furnished with a chest of drawers and a small desk. Rooms come with coffeemakers and safes, but don't have minibars. The AC wall units can be noisy. Some rooms face Park Avenue and are subject to street noise, while others face the back of the building and are quieter. The Clarion does offer smoking rooms, which are on different floors than non-smoking rooms. The non-smoking rooms and common areas do not smell of smoke. The bathrooms are adequate and some are nicely renovated with sleek, modern showers and new fixtures, but not much counter space. The bathrooms that have not yet undergone renovation are tiny, with worn, dated tile.
Lots of freebies and a tiny business center
A free, well-rounded continental breakfast served in the hotel’s Café Au Lait breakfast nook and includes lots of choices, like a waffle maker, yogurts, fruit, eggs, and sausage. The café can get busy in the mornings. Guests can help themselves to coffee, snacks, and tea throughout the day. A morning newspaper is free, too. Valet parking here is reasonably priced. The tiny, one-computer business center has a fee for use, but Wi-Fi is free for guests with their own computers. The nearby Ramada New York/Eastside provides a nicer business center as well as a 24-hour fitness center for a similar price.
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