NYC - Benjamin or Le Parker Meridien?

Old Jan 15th, 2007, 11:23 AM
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NYC - Benjamin or Le Parker Meridien?

My husband, daughter of 14, and I will be in NYC for four nights the last week in May. This is our second trip to NYC, and we stayed at LPM the first trip. The suites are comparable in price, and I really liked LPM, but I'm tempted by having a balcony at the Benjamin. How do the hotels compare otherwise? We liked using the subway to get around, and LPM has a stop a half block away.

Reading TA, I think LPM has problems with their heat/ac, but it shouldn't be an issue in May. I also read in a TA review that the Benjamin has poor water pressure.

Thanks.
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Old Jan 15th, 2007, 09:07 PM
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I've stayed at the LPM, but not the Benjamin. However, I would give the Benjamin the edge simply because it's an Affinia hotel. I've stayed at the Affinia 50 (same block as the Benjamin), and their service is 5-star - unequivocally the best I've ever received in a hotel, period.

The location is excellent: only 1 - 2 blocks from the 6 train on Lexington, so subway travel is very easy. It's also very close to Madison, Park and 5th Ave. shopping - all accessible by foot. It's the same nabe as the Waldorf and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Lots of restaurants nearby. There's even a terrific deli & grocery on 3rd Ave (Azure).

I also preferred the room size and decor at the Affinia 50 (huge, clean, well-lighted) to that of LPM (small dark room; inadequate closet and bath space). I assume the rooms at the Benjamin are even better, as it's Affinia's luxury property.

The only advantage to LPM, IMO, are its proximity to Central Park and Times Square - both within walking distance. Oh - and a Starbucks next door! Have they fixed the elevators yet? When we were there, only one worked properly. The hotel was at capacity, and the wait could be upwards of 15 minutes - very vexing!

It's a subjective decision - I just think the Benjamin would overall be a better value for the $.

Good luck!
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 05:35 AM
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The Benjamin is a very traditional looking hotel. It's major plus is the suites. But if you're getting a suite at LPM anyway and you liked LPM before, I'd say between these 2, stick with LPM. For most folks, the plus for the Benjamin would be extra space and kitchen.

Are you sure you'd get a balcony at the Benjamin? Is that better than having the pool (and probably a view) at LPM?
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:30 AM
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The suite at LPM is a junior suite (500 sq. ft.), with what is called a city view. Last time, our city view was a street and the building across from it. I actually enjoyed watching the busy street and a gym that was straight across from our window, but it was no Central Park view. That is the same type of suite we would again stay in. Another plus for LPM is the restaurants.

The Benjamin has a 550 sq. ft. suite definitely with a balcony. I read that the bathrooms are small, but bigger in the suites. I like a lot of counter space with three of us.

The LPM bath doesn't have a tub which I don't care about, but otherwise I thought it was a nice size with lots of counter space.

LPM doesn't have a coffee maker, but there is a kiosk in the lobby that sells coffee and snacks. The kichenette is also a plus for the Benjamin. Mainly, I really would like a balcony. I think my daughter would like the balcony as much as the pool, but I'll have to ask her.

Brookside, we went in October 2006, and we had a great visit. The elevators were all in working order, our suite wasn't dark, nor did we have to wait in lines, not even at Norma's. Perhaps we were lucky. TA certainly shows a mix of experiences and opinions.

The locations are about equal. The prices are close.

Of course, it's nice to try something new.

Thanks for the input.
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Old Jan 20th, 2007, 10:19 PM
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The Benjamin it is. I made my reservations today. I booked a non-refundable reservation directly with the hotel and ended up saving close to $150 per day. I'm so... excited! I also bought our tickets to Wicked. Now for the planning. So far, I'm planning to go to the NYC Library, Grand Central Terminal, The Guggenheim, The Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Tenement Museum, the Whitney and/or Frick, and some walking tours. I'll be back with my second trip to NYC itinerary for some help. (I can't believe I did this, as I have never repeated a trip destination, although I always think I will. So much to see! I love NY!)

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Old Jan 20th, 2007, 10:30 PM
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Plus I went to "The Painted Veil." All in a day's work.

It was a lovely movie, and I shed a few tears.
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Old Jan 21st, 2007, 04:56 AM
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Hope the trip's great. I think you should start a new thread for help on itinerary. Have fun planning.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:26 AM
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Thanks mclaurie.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 04:41 PM
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We just stayed in a 1 BR suite at the Benjamin on the 23rd floor and loved it. Though it's true the bathroom is small, the water pressure was excellent and all the appointments were very nice. It was great to have the sliver of a kitchen. There was also a desk with a huge FAX that was a waste, but the couch and chair were very comfortable in the LR, there were 2 flatscreen TVs, and the bed and bedding--there is a pillow menu--were fabulous. Service was friendly, but not always perfect (room service had to make a second trip with some breakfast items).

Proximity to subway--was it the 4? anyhow, the main line, according to my daughter--excellent, and really, walking distance to most places in May--we were cabbing it due to the cold.

Have a great time! The New York Luncheonette is great for breakfast, a few doors down. We found the Tenement Museum to be a real trip highlight when we went a few trips ago.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 09:32 PM
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Thanks for the scoop on the Benjamin including the breakfast luncheonette recommendation. I'm glad there are two t.v.s for downtime since our daughter will be with us. The kitchenette is another bonus.

Did you dine at the restaurant? Often, out of exhaustion, we dine at the hotel or very close by.

I'm also excited about having a balcony. I think it will be fun to people-watch if we are lucky enough to get a room facing the street.

Thanks again. It's always nice to hear from someone who was just there. If you write a trip report, I'll be watching for it.
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