Sofitel snuck itself into Club Row. The hotel’s 30 story tower doesn’t actually preside over 44th street, but rather 45th, even though it’s modernly elegant entrance is nestled between the Yacht Club and the Iroquois. And good measure it did. The sophisticated French hotel chain adds a certain je-ne-sais-quois to the otherwise very Gotham stretch of Midtown. With pleasing decor that’s neither too formal nor contemporary, but a comfortable mix of pan-modern designs, this Sofitel is rather subtle especially in comparison to its immediate neighbors.
That sneaky tower is actually an undulating curve of glass with smooth bay windows across all floors, lending to a picturesque panorama of Midtown, Manhattan and beyond. With quite a few room categories, including 52 suites, these rooms offer a simple, refined, comfortable aesthetic that blends into the New York skyline just as the rooms admire it. These are elegant quarters, well-maintained and proper hotel-feeling rooms.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Rooms above floors 22 are guaranteed skyviews, which in truth, are magnificent.
Hermes Eau d’Orange Vert. That’s just the beginning. Fast filling tubs, rain showers, domed ceilings, sliding doors. This marble bathroom is simple but a stunner.
The lobby is a sequence of grand salons, one with a Malachite-mantled fireplace, another with cozy club chairs—all that eventually lead to the reception and as well as the access points to the bar, restaurant and meeting spaces upstairs.
Think French is the motif around here: small, in the basement, with few machines—and lots of lanky Europeans barely breaking a sweat.
Gaby is the on-site Annees Folles-inspired all day dining establishment, named for the famed 1920s Parisian model, that offers filet, fois et fromage at reasonable prices for the area. The Art Deco den also is the scene of the cafe au lait and croissant crowd. Fair warning: service can be very French—trying and slow. Gaby also oversees in-room 24-hour dining.
Classic cocktails and cheap wines are on supply at Gaby as well. In comparison to where else is on the street, Gaby isn’t a main draw.
The hotel is easily accessible by all Subway lines at Times Square, and a short walk to Grand Central Station.
The area serves mostly office workers during the day, but nevertheless landmark eateries exist in the Great White Way, including the more casual Daniel Boulud admirer, there is Bistro Moderne (1-minute walk) that offers the French chef’s master palette in a stylish but not stuffy setting. The recently opened and much-buzzed about Sen Sakana (30 seconds-walk) is the city’s $7 million outpost of Nikkei cuisine—that’s Japanese-Peruvian to you. It’s quite a dining experience, and not just for the ceviche, but the modernist Zen interior, too.
44th Street was the site of the famous Algonquin Round Table literary cabal, and a few years back, the still-in-operation hotel reanimated its Blue Bar (2-minute walk) to its former glory complete with old-timey bartenders and newspaper-reading patrons. Certainly however their $22 martinis are not for all, and shots and wings are more the order, the hilariously themed bar, Point Break (vaya con dios, man) that’s only a few steps away as well.
WHY WE LIKE IT
These crisp Art Deco rooms with soaring views offer a respite in the hustle and bustle of Times Square, and a rather civilized antidote to its boisterous neighbors.