24-hour business center, plus a 16-person conference room with two flat-screen TVs
Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
13 subway lines within two blocks
Smaller standard rooms
Thin walls between rooms
The 229-room Mela boutique hotel is in the heart of Times Square, but just outside most of the noise. Free Wi-Fi, homey and attractive rooms with great beds, and a high-quality fitness center make the Mela an excellent alternative to the many Times Square chain hotels. Nearby boutique hotel Room Mate Grace also has a 24-hour gym, but its has a steam room and sauna.
An affordable boutique alternative to the Times Square mega-hotels
The 229-room hotel is a smaller, lower-priced alternative to Times Square mega-hotels, like the 863-room Westin or the 1,900-room Marriott Marquis. The lobby has a contemporary Italian feel, with veined white-marble floors and walls with a silvery Venetian plaster finish. There are red velvet cocktail ottomans in front of a long, low, funky S-shaped couch. It's all warmly lit by small crystal chandeliers hanging from the recessed ceiling, glowing sconces on the wall, and two silver globe floor lamps behind the couch.
Around the corner from Times Square, but not so close as to be woken up by the lights or traffic.
Located on the (relatively) quiet 44th Street, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue, Hotel Mela is close to the action but not so close that guests can't get a decent night's rest. The hotel actually feels like a passageway between tourist-y Times Square and the business-centric Midtown West. At the Broadway end of the block, you'll find the flashing lights of the multilevel Virgil's BBQ; at the opposite end, on Sixth Avenue, are the sedately lit offices of the Wall Street Journal.
Times Square has become pretty kid-centric over the years, and there's no shortage of activities here. Same-day tickets to kid-friendly musicals can be found at the TKTS discount-ticket booth around the corner. Radio City Music Hall, where the Rockettes and numerous marquee acts perform each year, is about three blocks away, on 50th Street and Sixth Avenue. Rockefeller Center, home to the famous gigantic Christmas tree and ice skating rink during the holiday season, is at 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, only six blocks away.
More subway lines converge here than anywhere else in the city, all of them no more than two blocks away. The B, D, F, and M lines are at 42nd Street-Bryant Park, while the 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, and R lines are at Times Square-42nd Street.
Standard rooms are a bit on the small side, but they come with great beds, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, a well-stocked minibar, and H2O+ toiletries.
Rooms at Hotel Mela are warm and attractive, with lots of lamps and a color scheme of mostly buttery yellows, pale greens, dark browns, and light blues. Superior Rooms are 190 square feet; Deluxe, 220 square feet; and Executive, 300 square. Suites are between 300 and 400 square feet, and feature separate sitting areas, Lavazza espresso makers, and marble bathrooms.
All rooms are air-conditioned, and include 32- to 42-inch flat-screen TVs with 200-plus channels (including HBO), beds with Serta mattresses and Frette linens, robes, slippers, coffeemakers, ironing equipment, safes, and alarm clocks. They also have free Wi-Fi, though the in-room signal isn't as strong as the one in the lobby.
Bathrooms with baby blue walls and black-and-white flooring are a decent size, but they don't have a ton of counter space. Still, H2O+ bath products (the brand's sea salt body butter, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner) and hairdryers are nice touches. Some standard Superiors do come with bathtubs -- guests just need to request one upon booking. (The same goes for Deluxes and Executives -- some have just showers, some have bathtubs with showers.)
Two next-door eateries, a 24-hour fitness center, and standard business services
For every overhyped New York restaurant, there's another that doesn't get the credit it deserves: Saju Bistro, attached to the hotel, is an example of the latter. The French restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and provides room service. Next door to the hotel on the other side is the Long Room, a classic Irish pub.
The hotel's 24-hour fitness center features LifeFitness treadmills, ellipticals, and cycling machines, plus free weights, yoga mats, towels, and a filtered-water machine. Individual machines don't have private video monitors, but there is a flat-screen TV on the wall.
A meeting space, with two large flat-screen TVs and an automatic coffee machine, can accommodate 16 people at its conference table.
Baby-sitting services can be booked through the concierge, but the hotel will need 24 hours advance notice. The concierge can also help with finding great kids' activities in the area or booking tickets to a Broadway musical.