Tucked behind the Midtown madness on 3rd Avenue, the FIFTY is for those seeking style and space without paying for luxury. The FIFTY is designed as city life living with well-appointed spaces for sleeping, working, dining and lounging, all wrapped in an apartment building-esque ambiance. Recently renovated (though already a bit weathered), the FIFTY feels like renting an actual apartment, but with the round-the-clock friendly staff of a hotel.
There are quite large rooms at the FIFTY and there are quite small rooms here. But, the prices reflect the range quite fairly, and with an already accessible price point, might as well take the leap up in room tiers. Outfitted with new proprietary“Affinia” mattresses and a comfortable division between sleep and work spaces, these rooms touch upon the “home away from home” concept. Each room has unique accents and decor touches, as well as real art, but mostly the room hues towards beige, red and navy with mass-market furniture.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Suites are appointed with kitchenettes that include cooktops and fridges.
Recently upgraded to the now-standard “contemporary hotel” bathroom look, these spaces are actually quite small compared to the rooms. It’s most apparently in the bathroom where the hotel keeps down its costs: toiletries affixed to the shower, no robes, no slippers, thinner towels.
The lobby could easily be mistaken for a 3rd Avenue apartment building, with its marble floors and capped doormen. The waiting room and library are a play off ‘60s modern. The next to the reception is a 24-hour pantry for snacks and essentials. A grand marble staircase leads to the second floor’s Club Room and fitness center.
Small (and a bit smelly), this standard-sized New York gym has the essentials for a morning cardio boost.
Though no restaurant is in the hotel, there is in-room dining that offers American and hotel classics, from caesar salad to club sandwiches. Grocery delivery service FreshDirect is available through the concierge.
Conveniently located at the north-end of Grand Central Station, where the 4/5/6 and 7 trains all dock, the Roger Smith is also very close to the 51st Street E and F stations.
The area has quite a few outposts of current New York classics, from flashy but classy Dos Caminos (1-min walk), subway-tiled American brasserie The Smith (5-min walk) and faux-rustic, sceney Crave Fishbar (4-min walk), but while you may not be able to escape bankers-dining-their lawyers, The Sea Fire Grill (5-min walk) offers some of the finest dining in the area (though the neon light scheme may offend some).
Is it cheating to suggest going to the Roger Smith (2-minutes) or W New York (3-minutes) for a drink?
WHY WE LIKE IT
The FIFTY has lots of potential—the room size, the price point, the warm service. Don’t expect to be bowled over by the interior design or in-room amenities however. The FIFTY is great for the style-conscious traveler who keeps an eye on expenses.