This was our second visit to New York and after staying at the excellent Park South hotel back in May 2007, the Bryant Park Hotel had a lot to live up to. The website gives the impression of an incredibly cool boutique style ambiance and despite being one of the most highly rated hotels in New York, we were not too sure what to expect.
The building (according to the guide books) is a converted former radiator building and the black and gold exterior casts an imposing shadow over the beautiful tree lined French style square that accommodates an ice rink during the winter months.
We stayed for four nights in total in a room on the ninth floor at the rear of the hotel which was classified as a superior room. We did try to book a deluxe room / junior suite as the difference in price wasn't excessive from Expedia, but they didn't have any available. That said, the superior room was pretty much perfect for a short break in New York. It was spacious, comfortable and clean and had absolutely everything we needed. In fact there were even a few things that were actually surplus to requirements, but I'll leave that for you to discover from the sealed envelope in the mini bar(!)
We were concerned that the rooms would be a little stark and cold with a few of the reviews we had read throwing the word "Ikea" in the mix, but we found our room quite cosy enough although at night, it was a litte chilly. However, it was nothing that an additional blanket couldn't solve.
The staff at the hotel were very friendly and helpful. We had one small issue with the shower not being hot enough first thing in the morning. Nothing too serious but once we'd alerted the staff to the problem, they sent a maintenance person immediately to our room and got it sorted out within a matter of hours whilst we were out and about.
The famous cellar bar seemed to be pretty popular and in the early evening was mainly frequented by locals enjoying an after work drink. We did notice that the majority of patrons seemed to be male, which once you take in the surroundings (wrought iron gates screwed to the wall behind the bar, lots of candlelight and almost only female bar staff wearing basque style tops), it wasn't much of a surprise. Having said that, it wasn't intimidating as such if you take it as a bit of a giggle (which is what we hope was intended).
in terms of the location, you couldn't find a better location - particularly if it is your first time in New York.
Bryant Park itself is a small square that is an oasis of calm amid the hustle and bustle of the City. With a number of french style cafe wrought iron chairs and tables dotted around, anyone can settle themselves down with a coffee and a newspaper or laptop and while the hours away either people watching or even doing something slightly productive.
In the run up to Christmas and throughout January, there's an ice rink set up in the square which (again according to those trusty guidebooks) is the only place where you can go ice skating in New York for free. As you can imagine, it was quite busy but the atmosphere was superb and with classic jazz standards playing in the background, it's a very pleasant place to while away a few hours. We can also recommend the Bryant Grill bar/restaurant for a spot of lunch or dinner or even just a drink. Atmosphere is great and food is brilliant - particularly their quality crab cakes and very reasonably priced new zealand sauvignon blanc.
We can recommend a zillion things to do and see in New York while you're there but as this is a hotel review, I'll save that for another time...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Bryant Park Hotel, NYC's Fashion Address is nestled conveniently between 5th and 6th avenue across from the famous Bryant Park and a 5 minute walk to Times Square and 5th Ave shopping. We are now offering free in room wired and wireless internet. With casual elegance, pristine rooms and impeccable service. The Bryant Park Hotel staff anxiously awaits your arrival. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bryant Park New York City
- Bryant Park Hotel New York