Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hotel Review: Room Mate Grace

During my stay in New York over this weekend, I stayed at Room Mate Grace (125 West 45th Street) for two nights. The room charge (including tax) for what they call a "Petite" bedroom was 593.60 dollars for two nights, which is a bargain by New York standards. And luckily, my actual bedroom is "deluxe for 3 people" (one queen bed and one single bed as a bunk bed unit). The hotel is formerly known as Hotel QT, by the way.

The Good:
Good design. With orange as the theme color, the lobby, the breakfast space, and bedrooms are all nicely designed, making customers forget the fact that this hotel's physical structure could be a bit claustrophobic (that's why the room rate is a bargain).

Breakfast is included in the room charge, and served until 1 pm (an important consideration given that this hotel is located in New York, a city with loads of fun after dark!).

An iPod dock in bedrooms. A DVD player with a plasma screen is also available.

Free wireless broadband connection. Why do all the major hotel chains (Hilton, Mariott, etc.) still charge a hefty fee for Wi-Fi, by the way?

An empty small fridge. I think it's better to have an empty one than the one fully stuffed with drinks you may not like. You can buy drinks at the kiosk-like front desk (see below) in the lobby (they charge 4 dollars for a 500ml bottle of mineral water, though) or at a nearby deli store (see below).

Convenient location. Within a couple of minute walk from Times Square. Within a five minute walk from a 42nd Street/Times Square metro station exit where you can buy a Metrocard (which is not the case for many other metro station exits in Manhattan). Within a five minute walk from Bryant Park in front of which a coach from Newark airport stops (on 42nd Street).

A 15 second walk to the left from the hotel entrance takes you to a deli store (Cranberry Gourmet Deli at 115 West 45th Street) where you can save your money for dinner if necessary. And food is rather good.

The shower space is separated from the toilet space by the wall. Coming from Japan, I always find the bathroom in the West unpleasant. Why should I be forced to look at the toilet before and after taking shower? This hotel knows better.

The Bad:
Only continental breakfast is available.

The hotel front desk looks like a kiosk selling magazines and fresh drinks, which is a bit confusing for first timers.

Bed rooms on the 3rd floor may not be quiet during the night as a pool bar on the 2nd floor pumps out music until late.

The Ugly:
The lobby smells like "love hotel" bedrooms in Tokyo (the smell of some sort of antiseptic, I guess).

If you want to minimize your expenditure for accommodation in New York, this hotel should be one of the best bets.

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