Fodor's Expert Review The Roger

131 Madison Ave., at 31st St., New York, New York 10016, USA See on Map

Julie Baumgardner

On a quiet corner of lower Madison Avenue, the Roger brings understated sexiness to an otherwise sophisticated boutique hotel that would feel at home both uptown and downtown. Style certainly reigns here, even if space is a precious commodity. But with sumptuous public spaces and a complimentary wine hour, the hotel serves its guests as a comfortable yet chic home-away from home.


Rooms at the Roger offer a mise-en-scene. Dark blues and greys are a color palette that conjure the glamour of New York nights but also boardroom days. The rooms aren’t the most spacious for the style and price point of the hotel, and what passes for a terrace on the upper levels feels more like a concrete fire-escape than a balcony. However, the rooms are economized to stretch the space that is available. While the digitally printed photographs as wallpaper are a bit outre, the rest of the rooms linens, fabrics and surface are rather rich.


Compact and economized for space, the bathroom is a bit of squeeze for the shower-and-groom routine. The bathtub is standard New York size, aka a knee skimmer, but the water pressure is mighty fine. High-quality amenities from C.O. Bigelow bath products to well-lit makeup mirror are nice and necessary touches.


The Roger’s lobby serves as its social space, where the happy hour happens and also many a business meeting. Anna Busta designed the interiors that are plush with velvet couches, wood-and-iron staircase and streamlined orb lighting fixtures that lend to the hotel’s flair. There’s also a small bar, the Parlour Lounge, for patrons or locals alike, but the crowds never come (in part as the hotel is mostly patronized by guests).


There’s a small but equipped 24-hour fitness center with the essentials needed for a morning sweat.


The Parlour Bistro serves as both the site of the sweeping New York breakfast Pantry, complete with H&H Bagels and Ceci Cela pastries, and American brasserie fare served for lunch and dinner (and in-room dining). The Pantry-cum-bistro is on the mezzanine and kitted out with cyan leather banquettes and club chairs, and farm-top tables.


The Parlour Lounge serves a menu of classic cocktails and bar snacks (well, mostly just guacamole) at an relaxed pace for mostly hotel guests coming back from work or a day of exploring.


Getting Around

Closest subway is the 6 train at 33rd Street. But The Roger is within Herald Square transport vicinity with N/Q/R/W and B/D/F/M lines.


The Penn Station area is a bit of a culinary wasteland, but luckily Koreatown on 32nd Street is a savior in a sea of bad diner food. Kang Ho Dong (5 min walk) and Jongro (5 min walk) are the top winners around here for authentic festive fare, but if you’re well versed in Gochujang and Bulgogi want more of a dining experience, try Atoboy (7 min walk), refined Korean small-plates in an industrially chic setting.


Though the secret’s very out, 230 Fifth (10-minute walk), the name and location, is quite an expansive rooftop bar. If you’re looking something cultural, kitsch and cheap, the bar at the Museum of Sex (3-minute walk) has drinks at ‘70s prices under the original disco ball from Studio 54. For a more casual situation, try the Churchill Tavern (4-minute walk), a nostalgic homage to the classic British pub that’s quite charming.


The Roger has personality. Think your sophisticated New York cousin who has season tickets to the ballet but also still knows the door person of the hardest spots in the city. With a high premium on services and amenities, the Roger compensates for the space constraints the building might have, with instead offering its take on a sophisticated New York universe.


192 rooms, 2 suites
Breakfast Yes
Lunch Yes
Dinner Yes
Bar Yes
Cafe No
Room Service Yes


Phones: 212-448–7000;877-847–4444

What’s Nearby

People also liked

The New York EDITION

$$$$ | 5 Madison Ave at 24th Street New York, NY 10010

Tasteful and visually engaging, the Edition is as unique as its name s... Read More


$$$ | 215 Chrystie St, at Stanton St. New York, NY 10002

PUBLIC is the definitive hipster-luxe establishment of the Lower East... Read More

The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel

$$ | 123 Nassau St.

A building steeped in history becomes an elegant, luxurious jewel in d... Read More

Four Seasons New York Downtown

$$$ | 27 Barclay Street

The downtown sibling of the midtown luxury staple, this new Four Seaso... Read More

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

$$$ | 60 Furman Street

This highly anticipated Brooklyn newcomer opened its doors on the bank... Read More

Hyatt Centric Times Square


This 54-story hotel on the edge of Times Square is the flagship of the... Read More