Walkable and peaceful location two blocks from Bryant Park and five minutes from Times Square
Historic property with stunning facade and antique art and furnishings, reminiscent of old New York
Range of renovated rooms with hardwood floors, built-in window seats, and flat-screen TVs
Cold breakfast buffet includes pastries, cereal, fruit, and coffee
Lively bar and American dinner restaurant, M Bar
Weekly live jazz performances in the bar
Cozy library area with chess boards, fireplaces, and vintage telephone room
24-hour fitness center with modern Technogym equipment and water
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Past celebrity guests and occasional (supposed) ghost sightings
A few rooms have airshaft or courtyard views and are small
Most rooms have window-unit air conditioners
Restaurant closed for lunch
The three-pearl Mansfield Hotel is a charming and dignified throwback to another era in New York City. James Renwick (the lauded architect behind St. Patrick's Cathedral and the New York Public Library) designed the hotel at the turn of the century as a Beaux Arts gentlemen's club and hotel. Today, the handsome hotel houses 126 renovated rooms with hardwood floors and built-in window seats. Guests can mingle in the cozy library, decorated with antiques and a fireplace (supposedly F. Scott Fitzgerald spent time here) or have drinks and dinner in the popular M Bar. Continental breakfast is provided and weekly jazz performances are popular with locals. The walkable location is about five minutes from Times Square and two blocks from Bryant Park. As another historic literary alternative, the Algonquin Hotel and its famous Round Table restaurant are on the same block -- but the rates are higher.
Historic Beaux Arts architecture and antique furniture
The Mansfield Hotel and the land on which it sits have an interesting historical past. An orphanage was torn down in 1867 to make room for a three-story brick stable to serve the mansions in the neighborhood, owned by the prominent Vanderbilts and the Whitneys. When the stable burned down around the turn of the century, the lauded architect James Renwick was hired to design the Mansfield Hotel. He's also responsible for St. Patrick's Cathedral and The New York Public Library. The copper and carved facade are still original (with careful updating) and the interiors pay homage to the hotel's beginnings as a sort of hostel and gentlemen's club. Supposedly, F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed here and was inspired to write "The Great Gatsby" based on characters he met at the hotel. The library still has Old World charm, especially in the library. The wood-paneled space holds brown leather club chairs placed in front of chess boards. Hardcover books line the shelves and there's a vintage red phone room in the back of the space. Framed original sketches and a marble fireplace add to the charm. Look for a 19th century iron bench by the concierge desk in the lobby and the central mahogany and marble staircase that leads from the lobby all the way to the 12th floor (elevators are also provided).
Today, guests are a mix of families and couples from around the world who want a central and historic hotel for their New York vacation. The M Bar is popular with locals, who like the happy hour specials and live jazz performances. Celebrities with shows on nearby Broadway occasionally stay here. Due to the hotel's long history, it's no surprise that the occasional guest reports a ghostly encounter, though long-term staff members haven't seen or heard anything unusual.
Central Midtown West location two blocks from Bryant Park
Mansfield Hotel manages to combine the best of both worlds: it's on a quiet stretch of 44th street and within a five-minute walk of the hustle of Times Square. The Harvard Club is right across the street. There are almost countless casual and fine dining restaurants with a 10-minute walk: The Lamb's Club, Starbucks, Xi'an Famous Food, Whole Foods, Chipotle, Breads Bakery, and Blue Bottle Coffee. Bryant Park is two blocks from the hotel and the surrounding streets are filled with shopping options like Zara and Muji, along with the famous 5th Avenue shopping district. The park is also home to a Christmas market (with a skating rink) and The New York Public Library, and the B/D/F/M/7 subway lines. Other attractions within short walking distance include the Museum of Modern Art and Radio City Music Hall. Expect about a 30-minute drive to LaGuardia Airport and 45 minutes to J.F.K. International Airport.
Handsome rooms with built-in window seats and flat-screen TVs
The rooms at Mansfield have a lovely days gone by type of feel, which is a nice change from the standard decor you'll usually find in hotels in this price range. Though layouts are different, the overall sense of decor stays the same. Rooms feature dark hardwood floors, padded headboards, and a neutral brown color scheme. Wooden blinds cover the windows. Some of the upper-range rooms feature decorative marble fireplaces and French doors with fruit designs etched in to the glass. The Petite Rooms are the smallest at 150-square-feet, but they have space for a full-size bed, mini-fridge, small closet, window bench, and flat-screen TV. Wi-Fi is free throughout. Couples would be more comfortable in Standard Rooms with queen-size bed and more square footage. Families should upgrade to Junior Suites for a queen-size pullout sofa bed and separate bedroom. There's also a Two-Bedroom Apartment that can sleep six people. The lofted Penthouse is an excellent place for events, since it has a wet bar and one-and-a-half baths, plus a whirlpool. One caveat is that window unit air conditioners are less than attractive, though they do keep rooms cool in the summer.
Bathrooms vary in terms of size and whether they feature a shower/tub combo or a walk-in shower. Hairdryers and toiletries are provided. Most of the rooms have picturesque views of the city street, but a few of the Petite Rooms overlook a dark airshaft. Noise isn't an issue here.
Continental breakfast, M Bar, and a fitness center
Features at Mansfield Hotel are well-rounded, especially for an urban historical hotel. Continental breakfast is included in most room rates, and the spread features pastries, cereal, coffee, juice, hardboiled eggs, and donuts. The meal is served in the popular M Bar, open to guests and the public for dinner and drinks. The menu focuses on American fare like shrimp risotto, grilled chicken sandwiches, and a burger with blue cheese. There are also small plates, such as truffle popcorn and pizettes. Guests can order room service from the restaurant when it's open. Jazz performances are held here weekly. Surprisingly, there's space for a gym with Technogym modern cardio machines and weights, plus a small lofted space for yoga. Towels and water are provided.
There's a small business center that includes a desktop computer and a printer. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. The reception desk is open 24 hours, and there's a helpful concierge staff and bell service.