Rooms have modern decor and technologies, with flat-screen TVs and iPod docks
Great gym; private TVs on cardio equipment
Staffed concierge desk; room service (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Great beds with six-choice pillow menu
Steps from sports/concerts at Madison Square Garden
Across from six subway lines at Penn Station
Small standard guest rooms
Fee for Wi-Fi
Street noise in lower-level rooms; common for New York
Cramped bathrooms; some do not have tubs
The 618-room Stewart Hotel offers great beds with a six-choice pillow menu, a top-notch fitness center, Aveda bath products, in-room kitchens, and David Rockwell design (a $24 million renovation was completed in 2011). It's a great option near the Javits Center or Madison Square Garden; just beware the street noise on lower-floor rooms.
Excellent upscale hotel with in-room kitchens and David Rockwell design
The 618-room, 28-floor Stewart Hotel (formerly the Affinia Manhattan) is an attractive choice for both business and leisure travelers thanks to its comfortable beds (down duvets and 300-thread-count sheets), Aveda bath products, and knowledgeable concierges. Aside from its classic architecture (the building dates back to 1929), the Stewart Hotel's big differentiator -- and primary selling point -- is that most if its rooms (all but the base-level guest rooms) are large studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments that include a full kitchen with a four-burner gas range, oven, and a full set of utensils. And all rooms were part of a $24 million dollar renovation in 2011, so they look posh and modern. Once you add in its excellent fitness center and fashionable on-site bar and restaurant, Niles New York City, the Stewart Hotel has a considerable advantage over similarly priced hotels in the neighborhood.
The lobby also got an overhaul as part of the David Rockwell renovation, and the seating area is designed to reflect the topography of New York City -- while the glass chandelier above mimics the city skyline.
Located across from Penn Station (a major transportation hub), the Stewart Hotel has a convenient location for getting around the city. But given the area's high traffic, abundance of fast food restaurants, and scarce activity after dark, this is the kind of dull area most New Yorkers avoid (unless they are working). It's nowhere near as beautiful as somewhere closer to Central Park, like near the Hotel Beacon in the Upper West Side (which also has a full kitchen in every room) or as fun as somewhere downtown, like the Washington Square Hotel in Greenwich Village. And if you're after the flashing lights of Times Square or the Theater District, you can still afford it at this price range -- look to the Hilton Garden Inn.
Across from Penn Station, the Greyhound bus depot, subway lines, and the New Jersey PATH trains (very convenient if you're flying into Newark)
New York has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Flying into JFK or LaGuardia is typically easiest and the least time consuming. From JFK, it's a flat-rate $45 (one-hour) taxi to anywhere in Manhattan. From LaGuardia, it's about a $40 (30-minute) metered cab ride to midtown Manhattan. Rides from Newark cost at least $40 (plus tolls) and can take over 90 minutes. Don't forget to tip your driver 15 to 25 percent.
To save some cash, group shuttles are available at all three airports for about $14 per person. For more information on the shuttles, go to Super Shuttle or New York Airport Service. You can also take public transit from any of the airports for as little as $7 per person, but travel times can take up to two hours and involve a lot of lugging bags up and down stairs.