Breakfast served each morning in lobby bar (for a fee)
Spacious standard rooms with oversized soaking tubs
Late standard checkout time
Free weekday limousine service to Wall Street
Location convenient to Midtown business district and Broadway theaters
Business center with printing and faxing services
Small windowless gym
Pesky daily residence fee covers Wi-Fi, a beverage allowance, and fitness/business center access
No iPod dock in rooms
This European-style boutique, located near Times Square, charms both business travelers and vacationing families with impeccable cleanliness, an acclaimed Italian restaurant on-site, and bigger-than-usual standard rooms with massive soaking tubs. A very fine alternative to Midtown mega hotels.
Though its neoclassical lobby seems more Park Avenue than 7th Avenue, this 179-room Midtown boutique wouldn't have it any other way -- less than 10 blocks from gaudy, rowdy Times Square, the Michelangelo markets itself as the only European-style accommodation at the center of the city's harried business district. Indeed, the European flavor is more than superficial: This is the only American outpost of the 25-hotel Starhotels group. What that translates into, at least in this case, is a richly decorated but unstuffy lobby with marble flooring, couches upholstered in velvet, and chandeliers inspired by Roman torches.
Like most successful hotels in midtown Manhattan, the Michelangelo does double duty to maintain its consistent 90 percent capacity. From Monday to Thursday, it serves primarily business travelers of the Fortune 500 variety who largely account for the fact that some 40 percent of the hotel's guests are repeat customers.
The Michelangelo offers the sort of distinguished, personable service more often associated with properties much further east, like the Hotel Elysee or Loews Regency. And the rooms are easily up to that standard as well: At about 450 square feet, they're very spacious (not just for New York City) and feature huge, 55-gallon soaking tubs (a veritable pool for kids!).
At the center of business-focused midtown Manhattan, with great transportation options and proximity to dozens of popular tourist spots.
The Michelangelo is smack in the middle of midtown Manhattan, on a relatively quiet block -- 51st Street between 6th and 7th Avenues -- that's all business: By midmorning I could see workers in the office building across the street typing, filing, and sipping coffee. Even so, scores of popular tourist attractions are within easy walking distance. Rockefeller Center, for shopping, ice-skating (in the colder months), and dining is just five blocks away; Radio City Music Hall is a mere three blocks; the glorious Museum of Modern Art is an easy four blocks. The hotel's proximity to Times Square and the theater district makes it a prime spot for those in town to catch a Broadway show. Central Park is also about a 15-minute walk away.
Guests will have no problem getting a taxi at the hotel, especially with so many doormen dedicated to the task (one even told some pedestrians who were competing for my taxi to step aside). And because the hotel is nearly equidistant to Manhattan's east and west sides, virtually every subway line in the city is an easy walk away.
Safety isn't a concern. With so many corporate types coming off 15-hour workdays, it's difficult to be alone on the streets of this neighborhood, even late at night.
New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Getting into town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than 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 and takes around an hour in average conditions. From LaGuardia, a metered cab ride to midtown Manhattan can take 30 minutes if traffic is light, three times that if it's bad. Rides from Newark 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 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.
Oversized standard rooms are comfortable and clean, with large soaking tubs, sumptuous bedding, and tasteful neoclassical decor.
Standard rooms are most appropriate for the early-to-bed, early-to-rise crowd; younger guests may find the neoclassic decor a bit stodgy, though it is at least innocuous. But all guests are likely to appreciate two characteristics of the rooms: At 450 square feet, they're larger than most found in New York City, and though the hotel is in a plum midtown spot, the noise stays out of the room.
Shiny bedspread with matching throw pillow, and clean, high-thread-count white linens
Bathrooms have deep soaking tubs and two plush terry bathrobes
Etro bath products
Plasma flat-screen TVs get basic cable, and pay-per-view movies are available
No iPod docks, but the Bose CD player has great sound
Minibars features a standard assortment of drinks and snacks
The Lobby Lounge serves breakfast in the mornings (for a fee). The rest of the day and night, it serves wine, cocktails, and Italian-inspired dishes like flatbreads and ravioli. Guests receive daily beverage credit as part of the mandatory residence fee.