- Fee for Wi-Fi
- No-frills business center
- No spa on-site (but in-room treatments available)
This hotel is a real looker. Guests, predominantly 30-something professionals, sip specialty cocktails in the spacious, moody, cosmopolitan lobby lounge.
Designed by powerhouse decorating duo Stephen Alesch and Robin Stadnefer of Roman and Williams, the Royalton achieves the kind of sultry mystique that so many boutique hotels aspire to but don't quite achieve. The expansive, mood-lit lobby, doubles in the evenings as a cocktail lounge for 30-something professionals. The paneled or carved walls and abacus-like metal screen at Fourty Four create a sultry and sophisticated atmosphere complemented by music selections that range from cool jazz in the daytime to The Smiths and Radiohead at night.
The Royalton is run by Morgans Hotel group. Cofounded by Studio 54 creator Ian Schrager -- who has since left -- the chain is still known for high-end, design-driven hotels with solid service, and the Royalton fits that reputation precisely.
Diligent doormen and lightning-fast service earn the Royalton high marks.
Fast, professional, slightly formal service is the rule. Several doormen are posted at the doorway, dashing out to grab a guests' bags and ever-ready to run through the rain to flag a taxi. Check-in was virtually instantaneous. Room service was extraordinarily fast -- 16 minutes for my yogurt parfait. And housekeeping met a request for extra towels in three minutes (and dashed away so quickly I almost didn't have time to extend a tip).
A relatively calm block in otherwise busy Midtown West, the Royalton sits near the Times Square theater district and Bryant Park. Nightlife in the area isn't great, but there are plenty of eateries nearby.
Although the neon-lit, 24-hour pedestrian madness of Times Square is just five minutes on foot from the Royalton, the street scene outside the entrance is relatively calm. The block is home to the Harvard, Yale, Penn, and New York Yacht clubs, plus several other luxury hotels, including the Algonquin, Sofitel, City Club, and Iroquois.
With subway stations at Grand Central Station, Bryant Park, and Times Square all within walking distance, the hotel is an easy walk to virtually every major subway line.
Nearby are the Museum of Modern Art, the famous Fifth Avenue luxury shopping corridor, and Bryant Park, which in the winter months is home to the city's only free ice-skating rink. Other popular attractions within easy walking distance include Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, and the Chrysler Building.
High design and great lighting coupled with futuristic bathrooms make the rooms feel very cool.
The gym has nice equipment but is small. The unimpressive business center charges for Internet.
The fitness center on the fourth floor has well-maintained equipment, but the small space has just one window and it faces a cinderblock wall. The six cardio machines -- two ellipticals, a recumbent bike, and three treadmills -- each has a personal flat-screen TV. A set of free weights, a pulldown machine, water, and apples round out the offerings.
Similarly, the business center next door is functional but uninspiring: one computer, a photocopier-fax machine, and an easy chair sit next to a glass table with six chairs.
No spa on the property, but the concierge can arrange in-room treatments.
A decent daily dinner deal at high-end American Forty Four, and solid and speedy room service.
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