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“Good price. No frills, not even shampoo.”
Review of Life Hotel

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Life Hotel
Ranked #317 of 469 Hotels in New York City
Reviewed 11 September 2009

The lobby is scary - I felt like I had stepped into a hotel in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The hotel staff sits frighteningly behind glass, like at a cheap motel. The front desk staff was efficient, if a bit cold. They did answer any questions I had, but definitely, they work under the "no frills" policy also.
The elevator is slow, though it works fine.
I was on the fifth floor. Hallways are maybe 4' wide, but didn't mind - that's part of the NY charm. The room, which the woman at the front desk described as an "upgrade" was as bare bones as bare bones come. I have no idea what other reviewers are talking about when they describe wonderful rooms or granite countertops. The main room had 2 full size beds - which were great - VERY comfortable. Otherwise, basic old green carpet, and an old laminate shelf ran along the other wall holding the TV. No alarm clock, no waste bin, no desk, no closet door, no mirror. Bathroom was basic - one sink. Generally clean except for a few odd hairs. Tub/shower was happily very clean. No shampoo, no conditioner, so make sure to bring your own.
Since I only slept there and was out and about most of the time, it was just fine for me, but if you're looking for any luxury at all, or trying to impress somebody (family, honeymoon, romance), I would not recommend here. If you're young, on a budget, spending minimal time at hte hotel, then it's just fine.
$2 lockers in the lobby let you store your bags on the day you check out if you're not immediately running to the airport. I used them on my last day - very convenient, though I'm accumosted to hotels holding your bags for free. Oh well. Maybe they can use my $2 and buy some shampoo and lessons in customer service for the staff.
Oh, and no doorman or concierge, so have fun wandering out to 5th Ave to flag down your own taxi.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled solo
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2  Thank TennisTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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739 - 745 of 1,725 reviews

Reviewed 11 September 2009

I stayed at this hotel in July with a couple of friends based on a recommendation that I received. From what my friend told me, I expected great service, free coffee and a nice room: my expectations were met. Definitely will be staying here again.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank hotelnomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2009

in the heart of Manhattan (area Koreatown) in a walking distance and close to everything.
It's good budget choice, but the service at the reception was terrible; staff was rude, unsmiling, not helpful and seemed to give off the impression that they were only there for the paycheck.
I worked for years in the tourism and i cannot even imagine behaviouring that way!
the room was small, but clean and functional, though it was a non renovated room; comfortable mattress, flat screen TV. it's very very noisy from the street, 24 hrs a day, even in the night )

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank jack2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2009

Booked a New Queen room two months prior to stay. Arrived late evening and were sent to an old musty room with a bathroom in what can only be described as a cupboard at the side which stank. Went straight back down to reception but were told that it was the only room available and they would see what they could do in the morning.

The following morning I went back down to reception. I was given the key to the only refurbished room available. A tiny room on the ground floor, at the back of the hotel with the view of a wall and a workers cradle. Reception told us that the room given to us on our first night was an "up grade" and that they DO NOT GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL GET THE ROOM YOU HAVE BOOKED.

The choice therefore was a large smelly room with a tiny smelly bathroom, or a tiny clean refurbished room where we were unable to have the shutters (both outside and inside) open as there were workmen right outside the window. We chose the latter.

That said, the room was clean, the bed was comfortable. The bathroom was small but clean and bright; however, showers were a nightmare as the water temperature was totally random. There was no other way to wash your hair, so you had to grin and bear it.

The location was good very near to restaurants and subway station.

Previous reviewers thankfully found a different hotel to the one we experienced; however, it would seem to us that it is pot luck whether you get a nice room or not.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SconieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2009

The hotel is very nice and clean, and it is a very good option for budget travelers. This is very good, considering the reviews for other hotels in NYC, where people found rats, cockroaches, etc.
You can have breakfast at the hotel, because there is free coffee, hot chocolate, tea, etc. at the lobby in the morning and in the afternoon.
The location is good, with subway one block away, and also very close to times square.
There are plenty of places to eat for reasonable prices.
The rooms are very good, big and clean. The bathroom was OK, but the only problem is that the shower did not work properly. It was impossible to mix the hot and cold water. We solved this by taking baths, which is relaxing, but takes longer time.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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Thank xephias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2009

It was an great experience, excellent locations, staff is nice, I would stay again for sure

Andreia-
Rio Claro-Brazil

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled solo
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Thank AndreiaAp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2009

Perfect Located in the centre of Manhattan, near to subway stations and at a safe area. The rooms were very clean, the bathroom too, newly decorated, but with a little bit rude personel.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank Diona A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Life Hotel

Address: 19 West 31st Street, Off Fifth Ave, New York City, NY 10001-4402
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#200 Luxury Hotel in New York City
#231 Romantic Hotel in New York City
#234 Family Hotel in New York City
Price Range: £141 - £346 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Life Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 98
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Life Hotel, centrally located in midtown in the NoMad neighborhood between the Emipre State building and world-famous Flatiron building,. From nearby Pennsylvania Station, we’re minutes away by train from the United Nations, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, museums and shopping. In the original building that once housed LIFE magazine, the 98-key hotel has been restored to its former glory with the additions of an intimate namesake restaurant Life Restaurant, lobby bar and basement speakeasy. Inside the newly renovated guest rooms, ranging from “Classic Queen” to “Premium King” and multi-room “Suites,", features include; Pillow top Beautyrest® Simmons mattress voted “best hotel beds 2016”, offering amenities and services like all-natural, socially conscious LATHER bath products, access to a 24/7 fitness facility outfitted with Peloton stationary bikes, and a pet-friendly policy, a stay at Life Hotel is easy. Need a restaurant recommendation or reservation? Forgot your toothbrush? Craving a bacon-egg-and cheese after a night out? Life Hotel’s awesome, friendly staff is only a text message or call away. Come for the night, stay for Life. Life Restaurant, by veteran restauranteur Stephen Hanson and seasoned NYC chef Michael Vignola offers a vegetable-centric, seasonally-driven menu of sustainable and wild-caught seafood dishes and pastas, much of which will be prepared in a wood-burning oven. Chef Vignola focuses on locally-sourced ingredients from the New York area as well as from the hotel’s own rooftop Chef’s Garden where the menu will include playful riffs on classic dishes paired with a beverage program offering handcrafted cocktails, and an extensive, thoughtful “wines by the glass” program. The basement bar will offer classic cocktails harkening back to the days LIFE magazine staffers used this space as their own speakeasy. The space can also be utilized as private dining or meeting space for up to 60 people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Herald Square
Herald Square Hotel New York

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