A range of customize-your-stay experiences and grocery packs available
Hotel facilities fee for Wi-Fi, bike rentals, and daily wine hour
Some complaints about room maintenance
Located in residential Murray Hill, the upper-middle-range Shelburne Hotel & Suites by Affina is an easy walk to a number of Midtown tourist sites and there are an abundance of reasonably priced restaurants and bars nearby. The hotel has its own rooftop bar and inventive burger grill. The 323 rooms and suites are spacious with spa-inspired bathrooms, colorful custom furniture, and fun touches like pillow menus, plus an array of experience and grocery packs to customize your stay (kids aren’t overlooked). Some suites have kitchens, and others have wraparound terraces with iconic skyline views. Bike use and daily wine hours give the Shelburne a perks advantage -- but "freebies" are actually covered in a hotel facilities fee. Those seeking a chain hotel close to Times Square could try the Grand Hyatt New York.
Chain hotel with amazing rooftop views and a bold lobby
The hotel, formerly known as the Shelburne Murray, underwent a renovation by the Affinia chain of urban boutique hotels in 2009, getting its new name in the process. Fittingly located in Manhattan's largely residential Murray Hill neighborhood, the mid-range Shelburne Hotel is a quiet, low-key, chain property that appeals to a wide range of travelers, from the young business traveler, to couples and families, to tourists in their golden years.The Affinia Shelburne isn't a scene -- far from it -- but off-the-lobby Rare Bar and Grill has become a destination in its own right, thanks to creative gourmet burgers that run from a no-frills to a stuffed Kobe sirloin infused with Roquefort cheese and Cipollini onions. And in the summertime, Rare View lures twentysomethings up to the 16th floor rooftop with cocktails (albeit pricey), and stunning skyline views showcasing both the Chrysler and Empire State buildings.
In Manhatttan’s Murray Hill neighborhood, and a few blocks from subway lines -- but near lots of pubs and affordable restaurants
The Shelburne Hotel is located in the middle of Murray Hill, a largely residential neighborhood on Manhattan's east side known for its mix of classic 19th-century townhouses and towering high rises. It's a bit sleepy, though a migration to the area of young professionals in their 20s and 30s has led to a considerably more bustling nightlife over the years. Third Avenue is now home to a substantial strip of bars and restaurants. The area generally lacks tourist attractions (save for the Empire State Building) but it's conveniently poised between the Midtown business district and all that downtown Manhattan has to offer.
Specifically sited at the corner of 37th Street and Lexington Avenue, the hotel is also just a four-minute walk from Grand Central Station, a major transit hub where subway lines (4,5,6,7, S) can quickly shoot you up toward Museum Mile on the Upper East Side, down to Greenwich Village or SoHo, or across to the west side. New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey), and travel times from each are heavily dependent on the time of day and traffic conditions. Generally speaking, it should take around an hour from JFK, 30 minutes from LaGuardia, and about 90 minutes from Newark.
Spacious and comfortable rooms and suites with deluxe bathrooms -- some units with kitchens or terraces.
Rooms and suites feature contemporary furniture in surprising and cheery, yet tasteful, colors. Light blue lounge chairs sit opposite burnt orange desk chairs. Lime green headboards back orange printed pillows. All rooms feature work desks, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, Cuisinart coffeemakers, safes, irons, and ironing boards. The free pillow menu lets guests choose an additional pillow, made from natural buckwheat, hypo-allergenic, down, magnetic therapy, Swedish memory, or sound (with its own iPod-connected stereo buried in the filling). Studio Deluxe Suites (410 square feet) have a living room and full kitchen. One- and Two-Bedroom Suites (450-650 square feet) upgrade to large living rooms, dining areas, separate bedrooms, and full kitchens. Kitchens come with a stove, fridge, and microwave, and are fully stocked with cutlery and dishware. Terrace Rooms feature narrow wraparound terraces with city views, though this room type is limited. Bathrooms feature large black granite vanities, shower/tub combos, and Comfort Zone toiletries. Most rooms have excellent city views, but some rooms peek out between buildings.
A warm-weather rooftop bar with great views, a great burger joint, and a 24-hour fitness center
Features are well-rounded and cater to tourists. The rooftop bar and lounge offers sweeping city views that showcase the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings. The space is called Rare View and it's open seasonally from April to October. Regardless of the bar’s operation, guests have rooftop access 24/7. Located off the lobby, Rare Bar & Grill offers over 20 different burgers and a fun vibe. The restaurant also provides room service during limited hours.
A range of Fresh Direct grocery kits are available for guests to purchase. They can be reserved at the time of booking, or at the front desk. The signature My Affinia program allows guests to create a profile for themselves online and order a variety of supplementary treats (cupcakes, rented guitar, rubber duckie, blow-dryer diffuser) to greet them at their room. Some amenities come with a small charge and others, like the Affinia Experience Kit (which includes a picnic blanket for the park and an iPod city guide), and the six-pillow selection, are free. Affinia Junior caters to a kid-friendly hotel experience offering perks (some free; others add-ons) such as custom coloring sheets, camp-in experiences with teepees, starry night lights, and bedtime stories (available for larger room types only).
The 24-hour fitness center is well-equipped with modern Lifefitness cardio- and weight-training equipment. Other appealing features include the nightly wine hour in the lobby, plus bikes to borrow, a daily $10 credit to the sundries store (though guests find products to be terribly overpriced), and Wi-Fi -- although most of these “freebies” are hidden in the daily Hotel Facilities Fee. Meeting and conference space are available for up to 100 guests. Pets are also welcome, and their owners can upgrade to a VIP program (for a fee) that includes walking services and treats.
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