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Oyster Hotel Review
This stately boutique hotel with gargantuan suites pulls in traveling businessmen on extended stays and the occasional politician.
The 192-room Kimberly may qualify as a boutique hotel, but think spacious and stately more than tiny and trendy. The large rooms -- almost all of them are suites (nearly 700 square feet) -- make the Kimberly a favorite for extended-stay visitors or business executives who need room to bring the work home. More than one bachelorette party has packed itself into a two-bedroom suite here.
Many staff members have worked at the hotel for more than 20 years; that's almost unheard of in Manhattan. Their comfort and happiness in the job extends into their treatment of the guests, many of whom they know by name. Porters tell jokes and talk about the news of the day as they welcome visitors to the hotel.
A certain diplomatic air hangs over the Kimberly. The Kimberly's proximity to the United Nations makes it a popular hotel with diplomats and politicians, particularly when the U.N. General Assembly is in session. The Secret Service has been known to bunk here, too. But overall, the crowd is mostly traveling businesspeople in town for week-long stays. In the evening they grab a drink at the hotel's stunning rooftop bar, and wake up early to catch the breakfast buffet before hitting their company's Midtown office.
Veterans with more than 20 years of experience, this staff knows hospitality.
Over many collective years, the staff has grown into an extended family, and they go out of their way to make guests feel like part of it. With some of the staff in the hotel's employ for more than 20 years -- to be a "newbie" is to only have worked here for a mere 10 -- no task is too small for this boutique hotel. Guests can book a babysitter, order a masseuse to visit their room, cash a personal check up to $200, and more through Peter, the hotel's veteran chief concierge.
This business district might close down early, but it's incredibly convenient to Fifth Avenue shopping and only 10 minutes to Rockefeller Center.
The Kimberly Hotel is on 50th Street between Lexington and Third Avenue. As this area of Midtown is mostly a 9-to-5 business district, the streets can empty out in the evening. Businessmen on their way home from a late night at the office and guests from the neighboring Waldorf-Astoria or Marriott appear to account for most of the evening foot traffic.
While this area lacks the extensive number of subway lines available at Union Square or Times Square, it's possible to access the East Village, Chelsea, and the West Village from the nearby E, M, and 6 lines. The E and M are 2 1/2 blocks away, at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue, and they take passengers into lower Manhattan and Queens. The 6 line is at 51st and Lexington, which goes up and down the east side of Manhattan.
East Midtown doesn't have a particularly vibrant nightlife scene but there are a fair number of top-quality steakhouses and sushi spots that cater to the financial powerhouses in the area. Those in need of a New York strip steak can head to Maloney & Porcelli or Smith and Wollensky. One of the four branches of the upscale Mexican restaurant Dos Caminos is around the corner, for those on the lookout for fresh-fruit-juice margaritas.
Fifth Avenue is a 10-minute walk (about three long avenue blocks west) for those who want to catch an early taping of the "Today" show, check out the big Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, or attend mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Fifth Avenue is famous for its high-end department stores and luxury boutiques, most between 34th and 59th Streets. Window-shoppers can take in Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, or head over to jewelry store Tiffany's, immortalized in the Audrey Hepburn movie.
A taxi ride from one of three airports takes anywhere from 30 to more than 90 minutes. Guests can save money by taking group shuttles.
New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Flying into JFK or LaGuardia is usually easiest and the least 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. Guests should tip drivers 15 percent to 25 percent.
To save some cash, visitors can try the group shuttles that 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. It's also possible to 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 to the hotel, check out HopStop.com.
Rooms are gigantic and many have balconies with lovely city views. All rooms and suites were renovated in 2010 or 2012.
In 2012, The Kimberly's completed a massive renovation that included updates to all guestrooms: stainless steel appliances in the kitchenettes, updated decor (though still classic), touch-screen digital concierges, and reconfigured closets. All of the rooms have up-to-date technology (flat-screen TVs and iPod docks) and Frette linens.
The hotel itself is divided into two distinct sections: the Suite side, and the Townhouse side, where the guestrooms are. The Suite side was renovated top-to-bottom and included an update to bathrooms, whereas guestrooms alone were renovated on the Townhouse side. Each room at the Kimberly is uniquely laid out, and has furniture pieces different from others, as well.
All rooms include:
- Classic design elements like neutral tones and refined furnishings
- Flat-screen TVs, and touch-screen digital concierges
- Frette linens and six thick, firm goose down goose-down pillows
- iPod docks and DVD players
- Robes with "Kimberly" woven in, which guests named Kimberly get to keep for free
- Safe big enough for a laptop
- Iron and ironing board
- Mini-fridge or full fridge with non-alcoholic beverages
- Satellite channels as well as on-demand movies, video games, and television shows
- Electric shoeshine machines
- Most of the 192 rooms at the Kimberly are suites -- all of which are fantastically spacious and feature a kitchen.
- Lots of storage space
- City-facing suites also have balaconies with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, with many boasting views of the iconic Chrystler Buidling.
Rooms and Rates
A stunning rooftop bar and a free yacht cruise around the city
- 24-hour fitness center on site, plus free passes to the fancy New York Health and Racquet Club, one of the best gyms in the city. The nearest location is three blocks away on Madison Ave and 50th Street.
- 24-hour business center with computer and printer services available
- A must-do: There's a three-hour sunset cruise around Manhattan aboard a yacht, courtesy of the New York Health and Raquet Club (available May through September, when the weather's nice). As the ship circles lower Manhattan, passengers can help themselves to the cash bar or buffet as they check out views of the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge. Guests of the Kimberly can board the yacht for the same rate as members of the gym.
Large, multiple-bedroom suites with ample closet space make the Kimberly an excellent place for families, particularly if Mom and Dad can score a deal on an extended stay. One- and two-bedroom suites are a good choice, as they come with an additional queen sleeper sofa in the living room. Cribs are free, and rollaways cost a nightly fee.
There is a family-friendly feature on the TV that allows parents to limit the shows their children can view.
The concierge can book a baby-sitting service or plan an entire itinerary, including theater tickets to Broadway shows. A bustling, deluxe American Girl store is four blocks away, at 49th Street and Fifth Avenue. The high-end toy store FAO Schwarz is eleven blocks away, on 58th Street and Fifth Avenue. The Central Park Zoo is a short cab ride away at Fifth Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets.
The business center offers secretarial services, with many more business options available through the front desk.
Many businessmen come to the Kimberly for extended stays. The spacious suites allow them to feel comfortable spreading out and relaxing for a longer period of time.
The stunning 1,150-square-foot penthouse with a wraparound veranda on the 31st floor can be rented out for large meetings or events. A full range of audio-visual equipment can also be rented for presentations. High-speed Internet, a PC/LaserJet printer, fax machine, copy machine, and conference table are also available at no extra cost.
The hotel has a trendy bar and lounge on the roof, and an American restaurant next door.
- Upstairs is the hotel's trendy rooftop bar and lounge, which has a retractable awning for warmer months, and heated floors for cooler months. Upstairs offers a guest-only breakfast buffet weekdays (for a charge), and is open to the public for weekend brunch.
- The hotel rents space to the neighboring restaurant Noir, which serves French-infused American cuisine. The restaurant is two-tiered, with a bar on the top level and dining on the bottom.
- Room service is provided by Upstairs, and is available daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Transport to / from Hotel
Rental Car Service Desk Onsite
|Things to Do||
Mini Bar (with liquor)
Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space
|Address||145 East 50th Street, New York City, New York 10022, United States|
|Also Known As||