Sunday, July 20, 2008

A New York City Hotel Surprise: Comfort Inn

This past week, my wife and I took an overnight trip to New York City, in part to see Ricky Gervais stand up. (The show was quite funny, for those who are wondering.)

Going to NYC doesn't thrill me enough to go regularly, but it's fun to zip up there for a quick vacation getaway every once and a while. One reason I don't like going there regularly is because of the notoriously insane prices for everything. And hotels are one of the big culprits, especially if you crash at a nice place in a central location in Manhattan.

But this past trip I was pleasantly surprised with the Comfort Inn that we stayed at on 46th Street between 6th & 7th streets. The location was great, situated within walking distance to Central Park and down to Madison Square Garden, and the other key spots in between. The price was the cheapest I could find out of any other hotel when doing a search on my preferred vacation planning source, I was a little squeamish about what the place would be like when we got there since it was the lowest price and because Comfort Inn is not exactly synonomous with the Ritz-Carlton, but I'll be honest and say that the Comfort Inn genuinely came thru for us.

Here's what I liked:

-The room was perfect for what we needed. You're not going to get a huge room in NYC without paying out the nose for it, but in this room we could move around and there was ample furniture and storage space. In addition, everything was new, including the bathroom which was also roomy and recently remodeled. The flat screen TV was a nice touch too.

-The staff was friendly. Sometimes you go to a hotel, particularly in NYC, and the bellhops or other staff members are just hanging all over you for tips. I understand that's their job and that's how they make money, but it can be overbearing and annoying. Other times they can be crabby. Here, they helped you when you needed it, let you carry on if you didn't, and generally smiled the whole time either way.

-The continental breakfast was pretty good. It featured your basic spread of cereal, toast, bagels, donuts, fruit, juices, and hot beverages, but everything was well stocked, fresh, and tasty. The only downside here was the the breakfast room was tight and a surge of people came in while I was there making it a bit uncomfortable.

The only major downsides are that the workout room is literally only a couple of machines, our room had a dismal view of a brick wall behind the building, the hallways and elevator are narrow, and the ice/vending machines are on the ground floor rather than on each floor. Ultimately, however, none of these negatives had any real dampening effect on our stay.

That's my review of this noteworthy NYC hotel. Business travelers and families going on vacation alike should check it out when heading to the Big Apple. And I'd be happy to hear your reviews if you stay there...

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