Novotel New York Times Square
226 West 52nd Street, New York, United States star
Doubles from: $169 to $359
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
Perched in the middle of Midtown Manhattan, the three-star Novotel New York Times Square, is the only US branch of the French Novotel chain. Some context for those unfamiliar with the world of French hotel chains: Within the universe of the massive Accor hotel group, Novotel is classed as an upscale, though not a luxury, hotel type.
The Novotel New York Times Square fits just that bill. It’s your usual business-class hotel, offering convenience, friendly service and comfortable accommodations. Then there are the views (oh, the views).
Pros: Convenient location. Fabulous views. Spacious, clean rooms. State-of-the-art fitness center.
Cons: Expensive Wi-Fi. Outdated room décor.
The Novotel Times Square’s 480 rooms trim and tidy. Some are a touch worse for the wear, but a major renovation starting in early 2013 promises to leave them sleek and stylish. Until then, the grayish neutral color scheme is pleasing, the duvets are appropriately plump and the ample size (by New York standards) is appreciated.
Rooms at the Novotel tick all the business-class boxes, both positive and negative. On the positive side, guests have all the amenities they need to conduct their business (and personal) lives: air conditioning, soundproof windows, satellite television, a safe (big enough for a laptop), phone, minibar and ergonomic work area. On the negative side, there are those crazy business-class hotel types of charges, like the $9.99 per day charge for Wi-Fi.
Regardless, most rooms offer undeniably awesome views, and those overlooking Times Square provide a stellar vantage point from which to watch the ball drop (book well in advance and note that a six-night stay is required around New Year’s Eve).
Probably the greatest need for renovation is on display in some of the bathrooms, which have old-school peach accent tiles. Still, all bathrooms are clean and relatively spacious (by New York standards), and we really liked their hardwood floors. Each bathroom offers a hair dryer and toiletries, and most have bathtubs (ask ahead).
A few unique traits help distinguish the Novotel from other properties in its class and price range. The vast lobby feels rather like a stylish airport terminal—bright and bustling, with a curved bar, plenty of seating and floor-to-ceiling windows. The restaurant, Cafe Nicole, offers stellar views of Times Square, as does the pleasant outdoor terrace, which has its own bar set up in warmer months.
Everyone on staff appears to speak French. In fact, the hotel feels as if it were transported in prefab form, directly from France. The result is a little Francophone outpost amid Midtown’s skyscrapers. Among our Editor’s Picks in New York, few hotels feel quite so unto themselves.
Finally, we rarely (or never?) gush over a hotel fitness center, but the Novotel offers an airy, two room beauty with hardwood floors, plenty of equipment, complimentary water and fruit and, yes, more views.
Computer stations in the lobby and business center offer free Internet and printing. A breakfast buffet is available for an additional (and exorbitant) $21.95. Note that the hotel starts on the seventh floor of a large building (when you enter at street level there are two elevators that go directly to the lobby).
The Novotel offers guests a unique opportunity to experience Times Square’s glory without having to stay in the center of the chaos. Situated in the heart of the Theater District, it’s just north of the Time’s Square’s epicenter and within high-kicking distance of the Broadway theaters and concert venues (such as Roseland). Comedian and television host David Letterman tapes shows on select afternoons at the Ed Sullivan Theatre, just north of the hotel.
Also within easy walking distance of the Novotel Times Square are a variety of major New York attractions, including Central Park, Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Art and the shops on Fifth Avenue.
Local eating along 9th Avenue is a short walk from the overpriced fare in Times Square, and there are also a few nearby touristy places worth mentioning. The famed Gallagher’s Steakhouse, a 1927 speakeasy, is right next to the hotel (you can peek into its dry aging room, where all steaks stay for 21 days, as you pass). Over on Seventh Avenue between 53rd and 55th Streets, Carnegie Deli and Stage Deli serve up giant (and pricey—share, share, share!) sandwiches to hungry hordes, while a few blocks farther, on West 55th near Eighth Avenue, the Original SoupMan (of Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” fame) offers takeout.
Subways: Three subway stations are within a close radius of the Novotel. You can catch the C/E trains on Eighth Avenue at 50th Street, while the 1 train stops at Broadway and 50th Street. It’s also a short walk to the 7th-Avenue (at 53rd Street) station, where the B/D and E trains stop.
JFK: Take the Air Train to Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue Station and transfer to a Manhattan-bound E subway train to the 7th-Avenue station, which is a two-block walk from the Novotel.
LaGuardia: To reach the Novotel from LaGuardia, take an airport bus service to Penn Station and then catch an Uptown C or E train from 34th Street-Penn Station to 50th Street.
Newark: Take the Air Train to the NJ Transit station, and then any NJ Transit train into New York Penn Station. Transfer to an uptown C or E subway train at 34th Street-Penn Station and take it two stops to 50th Street.
Read more about transportation into New York.
Reviewed by: Suzanne Russo, EuroCheapo Staff Writer
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor and is recommended based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
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- Breakfast Extra Charge
- Concierge/Booking Services
- Currency Exchange
- Fitness Center
- Internet Station
- Laundry Service
- Luggage Storage
- Non-Smoking Hotel
- Non-Smoking Rooms
- Room Service
- Vending Machines
- Wake-Up Service
- Wi-Fi Connection
- Air conditioning
- Alarm Clock
- Bathroom: Private
- Bathtubs Available
- Cable TV
- Hair Dryer
- Soundproofed Windows
- Voice Mail
226 West 52nd Street
Times Square-Theater District, New York, United States
About the Novotel New York Times Square neighborhood
Midtown West is packed with tourists sights... and tourist-class hotels. Working west from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue, the Theater District is home not only to all the Broadway babies, but to Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and the Museum of Modern Art. Not to mention Times Square—an entity within itself. Although most New Yorkers steer clear of this congested (and now pedestrianized) area, the neon lights, larger-than-life billboards, and wise-talking street vendors keep the visitors coming. And coming. And coming.