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Algonquin: Details, experience, location share your stories

Algonquin: Details, experience, location share your stories

Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:19 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 39
Algonquin: Details, experience, location share your stories

First time to NYC and we plan on staying at the Algonquin in Midtown/time squares. If you've been there, tell me what you thought of the location, the hotel, the staff, etc. Anything special we should know? We plan on staying there, because of location to shopping, theater. Thanks Fodorites!
floridawannabe is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
It is one of about 200 hotels in Manhattan that are equally convenient in location for theatre and shopping, so that isn't much of a reason to stay there.
It is a sort of a "picturesque" or "quaint" old hotel with quite a history including the tales of the "Round Table" days. We stayed there once about 15 years ago, but hopefully the rooms have been redone since they were threadbare then. Be aware that like most old New York hotels the rooms are TINY, and the baths are even smaller. I still love sitting in the lobby for a drink. Last year when we did that, most of the staff looked like they were still the ones from the 1930's -- they were that old.
Patrick is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The Algonquin has changed hands two or more times in recent years, yet the same, extraordinary, staff seems to have stayed, throughout the hotel.

We've always stayed in standard rooms, which are compact, but not cramped. All have been beautifully (and freshly) decorated and very comfortable. I prefer the rooms with bathtubs versus shower only. (Shower only is just fine if you don't need to shave your legs.) I also prefer rooms on the street side (quiet) to the courtyard, as little sunlight gets into the rooms from the courtyard (due to the buildings all about blocking same). One day we kept going back to sleep because we thought the sun hadn't risen yet and didn't get up until nearly 11, thinking is surely was 6AM by then.

I love the history of the hotel (which is described in detail in the "notebook" of hotel services in the room). I also love the New Yorker cartoons wallpaper all about the halls.

Most especially, I appreciate the intimacy and friendliness of the entire hote. They remember you from one time to the next!

Service throughout the hotel is exemplary. On a Sunday, we arrived in the Round Table Room about a minute before breakfast was about to end, yet we were seated and not rushed (even though they needed to set up for a holiday buffet). Incredibly, they continued to seat people in search of breakfast (even those not staying in the hotel). And, breakfast was incredible.

When returning to the hotel after a long day/night, the bartenders in the Blue Bar will fix you a tray to take upstairs. Coffee, soda, whatever, silver bowl of wonderful mixed nuts, no charge (except for beverages with alcohol). They will offer to have someone deliver it.

They always fill our travel mugs with coffee on the way out. No charge.

One evening, we had reservations in the Oak Room for the late show. We returned to the hotel about 1/2 ahead of the early show and went to see the Maitre d'. I explained that we were bushed and would probably sleep through the late show if we sat down. He told us he had a cancellation and we could have those seats. I further advised that we had a late lunch and just were not hungry for dinner. He waived the dinner requirement. (We have had dinner there - outstanding food and service for not outrageous prices.)

The "lobby lounge" is a very pleasant to rest and/or relax. There's a wonderful light menu (not the usual unhealthy offerings). At each table is an old fashioned bell to ring for service.

The hotel is located on a quiet street of mostly hotels, steps from Times Square on one side and Fifth Avenue on the other, but seems a world away.

Our visits have been fewer since I discovered Hotwire and Priceline, but when I feel like paying the extra for the exceptional "experience", I book the Algonquin.

We love the Blue Bar.

This is one of those hotels where, if you're tired or the weather is awful or you just don't have any plans, you can hibernate in the hotel and have a very, very nice time. Room service is swift, reasonably priced, with very good food.

All in all, I cannot think of any other hotel on the planet where we've ever enjoyed such a perfect-in-every-way stay, each and every time - not even close.

djkbooks is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,883
We absolutely love the place. The rooms are small, but cozy rather than cramped. The place has a fascinating history, well-documented in the Thurber cartoons on many of the walls. I'm delighted to hear that the staff has stayed through the many changes; since my daughter moved to NY we haven't had to think about hotels, but I remember the staff as being exceptionally helpful and pleasant. I'd stay there again any time.
Meesthare is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 863
I was at the Sofitel last week for one night
($220.) and loved it; I did notice the Algonguin, how much would a queen bedroom be for 2 people there ?
mitchdesj is offline  
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