Styled like an old British social club, the quaint, 118-room Blakely boutique offers a hushed vibe, great Midtown West location between Central Park and Times Square, and large rooms with coffeemakers, microwaves, Frette robes, free Wi-Fi, and marble bathrooms. The Blakely's on-site restaurant, Black Tap, serves a free continental breakfast. Guests seeking a bit more service and an on-site bar may prefer the nearby London NYC, which offers 24-hour room service, a full-time concierge, and a chic bar with food and cocktails.
An English-club-themed boutique hotel that's more about quiet comfort than chic style
Housed in a classic 1929 building, the Blakely was opened in 2004 by the same group behind the boutique Mercer Hotel and the Robert DeNiro-fronted Greenwich Hotel. But the owners didn't have another splashy celebrity hotel in mind with the Blakely. Traditional raised-paned wainscot walls define the Sherlock Holmesian lobby, where a fox-hunting oil painting hangs above a thick leather couch and inlaid bookshelves are filled with gold-leaf hardcover books and ceramic antiques. Hunter-green velvet Ralph Lauren wall coverings in the hallways are an emblematically quaint detail of this cozy, handsome little hotel. With its English library vibe, the Blakely serves families, older couples, and business travelers looking for a comfortable and convenient Midtown West base.
Within walking distance of Carnegie Hall, Central Park, Radio City Music Hall, and Rockefeller Center
Directly across the street from New York City Center, the Blakely is well-positioned for exploring Midtown's many, many sights; Broadway shows, Central Park, and the famed luxury shopping stretch of Fifth Avenue are all about a 10- to 15-minute walk away. Though it's technically in Midtown West, the Blakely is closer to Central Park (just four blocks south) than the crowds of Times Square. Expect more business commuters than tourists, unless you're at Radio City Music Hall or Rockefeller Center (both just a few blocks away from the Blakely).
Two-minute walk to the F train subway stop, at Sixth Avenue and W. 56th Street
Three-minute walk to the N, Q, R trains' subway stop, at Seventh Avenue and W. 57th Street
Three-minute walk to the E, B, D trains' subway stop, at Seventh Avenue and W. 53rd Street
Large, English-club-style rooms with all the high-end extras: minibars, dark marble bathrooms, Frette bathrobes, Keurig coffeemakers
In general, the Blakely's guest rooms are a solid step up from the typical boutique hotel room. Rooms start at 310 square feet, which is big for NYC, but about average for any other city in the U.S. Their comfortable beds have pillow-top Sealy mattresses, Egyptian cotton sheets, and cherry-wood frames. Dressers, side tables, and writing desks are also cherry wood. All rooms feature kitchenettes with microwaves, Keurig coffeemakers, kettles, well-stocked minibars, and extra sinks. Flat-screen TV come with free HBO and DVD players.
One notable advantage over many other boutique hotels is the beautiful wall-to-wall marble bathroom. The bathrooms are a bit on the small side in base-level rooms -- as is typical in New York -- but all feature handsome wooden-base sinks, Frette robes, jetted tubs or rainfall showers, and bergamot-scented toiletries from London heritage brand Penhaligon's.
Free access to a 24-hour fitness center with a separate shower, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, and free breakfast at nearby cafe
The 24-hour fitness center isn't huge, but it has all the essential equipment -- two True Fitness treadmills, an elliptical, two bikes, some weights, and a multiuse strength training machine. Plus, its windows let in plenty of natural light and the attached bathroom comes with a rainfall shower -- a cut above the usual, windowless dungeon of a gym at many other New York hotels.
Wi-Fi is free in all the rooms and common areas here. If you don't have a laptop, you can also use the computer and printer in the lobby for free, 24/7 (though note that there is only one hotel computer in the hotel, so be prepared to wait if it is already in use). Room service ends early (before midnight) and the 24-hour "concierge services" are actually just performed by an omnipresent 24-hour bellman who can offer directions or a city map.
A free continental breakfast is provided at Black Tap Craft Burger, adjacent to the hotel. The restaurant serves burgers, beer, and cocktails for lunch and dinner.
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