Former boutique hotel joins the Marriott big leagues; excellent beds, great service, and attention to functionality means an easy stay in Midtown East, near Bloomingdale's and other major shopping destinations. The neighborhood doesn't have much nightlife, but the on-site Opia bar is pretty happening.
Featuring sleek, contemporary design, the hotel hosts many European business travelers and families.
Formerly a boutique, Hotel 57 has flown the Renaissance flag as part of the Marriott hotel consortium since April 2009. The bottom six stories of the red-brick building that houses the Renaissance date to the 19th century; the remaining 11 floors were added in the 1920s, when developers converted it into the Allerton Hotel for Women. The hotel underwent renovations in early 2009.
The lobby features minimalist design in black, red, and white hues -- it's laid out well but is nothing spectacular. The space consists of a few leather couches and coffee tables. The dim lighting makes it less than ideal for either work or socializing. Opia, however, creates a lively nighttime social scene that, thanks to solid soundproofing and some seriously awesome beds, doesn't disrupt a good night's sleep.
Lots of shopping and office buildings in the area, but not much nightlife. Central Park is a 15-minute walk away.
At 57th Street and Lexington Avenue, Renaissance New York Hotel 57 sits in Midtown East, which combines high-end shopping with high-rise office buildings. The hotel is basically one more drop in Midtown's great sea of commercial real estate. The fast-walking crowd, rife with shoppers and well-heeled professionals, crosses the intersection in waves that continue through the evening and only ebb late at night.
With office buildings and shops dominating the scene, the nightlife can be a bit drab. Midtown East is only as cool as a cocktail after a round of shopping or a loosened tie and a finger of scotch. In this neighborhood, the majority of indiscretions are not that youthful.
That said, there's still a draw here, especially for shoppers. Hotel 57 offers ready access to many of New York's famed shopping destinations. Bloomingdale's is two blocks away on 59th Street. Other stores, such as Emporio Armani, Hermes, Kenneth Cole, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany are also within ready walking distance.
Hotel 57's rooms underwent an overhaul in September 2007 and were touched up again in November 2008 as part of a $22 million project to transform this former boutique into a Renaissance hotel, part of the Marriott chain.
Standard rooms range from 200 to 250 square feet, small, which is but about average for a New York City hotel room. Superior rooms range from 260 to 330 square feet. But the hotel makes efficient use of the space; the work desk and closets were built into the walls and face the bed. The bedside desks sport a phone and an iPod dock, and the 37-inch LG flat-screen TV was positioned intelligently in an alcove above one closet. The wood paneling, gentle lighting, and olive-green drapes warmed the fairly minimalist arrangement.
All rooms include:
Excellent bed: feather comforter; six pillows, of either foam or feather; Egyptian cotton linens
Small rooms, swanky adult restaurant, and no kid-friendly infrastructure.
There are relatively few tykes in this business-traveler-heavy hotel. Add the narrow confines of the rooms and a restaurant that caters to a Midtown adult crowd, and there isn't much to recommend the place to families. However, the property does offer cribs and babysitting services upon request.
New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Flying into JFK or LaGuardia is typically easier and less time-consuming. From JFK, it's a (one-hour) $45 flat-rate taxi ride to anywhere in Manhattan. From LaGuardia, it's about a (30-minute) $40 metered cab ride to Midtown Manhattan. Rides from Newark cost at least $40 (plus tolls) and can take more than 90 minutes. Don't forget to tip your driver 15 to 25 percent.
To save some cash, try the group shuttles that are available at all three airports for about $14 per person. For more information on the shuttles, go to New York Airport Service. You can also take public transit from any of the airports 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 stairs. For mass-transit directions right to the hotel, check out HopStop.com.
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