Free business center with two computers and a printer
Free buffet breakfast
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Rooms and hallways feel cramped
Stuck between high-traffic streets and elevated train tracks
On a desolate block of half-built buildings and construction sites
Location is the main reason to book a room at this well-maintained but somewhat cramped 80-room value hotel in Long Island City. The Red Lion Inn & Suites Long Island City is one block away from a major elevated subway station and one of the city's major public-transit hubs, and only two train stops from Times Square. It's one of the best bets for those who want to be near the heart of Manhattan while paying non-Manhattan hotel prices; just be prepared to stay on a desolate block in Queens, amidst construction sites.
Bright and airy lobby that successfully masks the construction sites outside
With a breakfast area that overlooks the lobby, a curving staircase encased in frosted glass, and floor-to-ceiling windows that let the sun pour in, the lobby at the Comfort Inn is bright and surprisingly airy, as if the construction sites and industrial traffic right outside were a world away. The hotel attracts European families and budget and business travelers from around the world and the front desk area can get busy with guests checking in and out.
An industrial block in Queens full of construction sites, but near a transport hub and a short hop to Midtown
The Red Lion Inn & Suites Long Island City looms over an industrial block of half-built high-rises and construction lots and is wedged between a heavily trafficked elevated highway on one side, and several elevated-train lines and the off-ramp to the Queensboro Bridge on the other. On the upside, the subway one block away offers easy access to the 7, N, and Q subway lines, promising entry to Manhattan in 15 minutes or less. LaGuardia Airport is a 15-minute drive from the hotel without traffic, JFK takes closer to 25 minutes, and Newark is around 40 minutes by car.
Well-maintained but small and generic rooms with old carpets and a cramped feel
Rooms have a well-kept but generic ambience familiar to anyone who's checked into a motel at midnight during a road trip. The emphasis is on efficiency rather than orifinality, and every room we checked out was same right down to the two art prints on the wall of white and green leaves. Small bathrooms have a fair amount of counter space and shower/tub combos. Rooms are tiny and cramped and the carpeting could use an update and although smoking has been prohibited in New York City hotels for over a decade, there was a cigarette smell in one of the hallways when we visited. Despite nearby traffic, rooms remain quiet.
Free but tiny business center, small fitness room, and free breakfast in an airy, sunlit room
The feeling of claustrophobia that pervades the hallways and hotel rooms is doubly noticeable in the fitness room, which consists only of a few weights, a bike, and a stairclimber. Wedged into one corner of the fitness room is the free business center, which is outfitted with two computers and a printer. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. The breakfast area on the second floor is strikingly airy compared to the rest of the common areas, and has tables set against a glass partition overlooking the lobby, making it feel like the most open space in the building.
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