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Manhattan: Hotel Giraffe

365 Park Avenue South

Reviewed by: Pauline Kenny from NM, review #1758

When: December 2006

Small good quality hotel, new building, good rooms, near Union Square (Park and 26th).

Hotel Giraffe, photo by Pauline Kenny

We spent six nights at Hotel Giraffe during Christmas week 2006. The hotel is a new ten storey building on Park Avenue at 26th Street, just nine blocks north of Union Square. It has 73 guest rooms. I like the Union Square location because you can easily get to the Village and Soho from here, or walk up to Midtown. The subway stops at 23rd Street (Lexington line) or you can walk down to Union Square for more choices. We took taxis or walked everywhere.

We were on the ninth floor. The building is small, so there are only about 6 rooms on each floor. I liked the small scale of the hotel - no long hallways.

We had the Deluxe Queen, which is their basic room. Our room was not huge (about 300 square feet), but was a good size and the high ceilings (10 feet) made it feel larger. One wall was all windows, floor to ceiling, with French doors that opened to a tiny balcony (that I was too nervous to stand on). I like to be able to open up a window for fresh air. The furniture and linens were very good quality. The room had a flat screen TV and DVD player. The closet was huge, so you could get your suitcases and clothes out of site. They provided two nice bathrobes (don't you hate it when they only provide one and then you have to call down for another).

Breakfast is served buffet-style in a nice part of the main lobby in the mornings (until 10am weekdays, 11am weekends). Bread, great bagels, croissants, fruit, juice, cerals, hard boiled eggs, coffee, tea, etc. For $5 extra per person, you can have it brought to your room (we did this most days - we called down and told them what we wanted and it arrived in a few minutes).

My only complaint is that we asked for a "fragrance-free" room (no air fresheners, no scents on sheets) and they sprayed air freshener in the room after cleaning about half the time. I had to remind them several times. Also, they do not give you a newspaper in the morning - I kind of like getting a newspaper each day.

They were having a Christmas week "sale". Our rooms was $263/night for half the time, $299/night for the rest. I booked through the website. I would happily stay here again. This area of New York City is very expensive for hotels, so this is a good rate for a great area.

See my PHOTOS of the hotel and our room.

Reviewed by: jgk from FL, review #1662

When: 2006

Great location for an out of the fray experience. Good service, spacious suite and very good breakfast.

The Giraffe is long on charm and truly is a boutique hotel. The room we had was a suite with a tiny balcony with a real blooming geranium plant on it. There was a comfortable (way better than average) fold out sofa in the living area and a lovely bedroom. A little mini-fridge/bar was in the hall across from the bathroom. Bathroom was big, including a magnifying mirror and hair dryer, robes and plenty of towels for all.

Breakfast included yogurts, baked goods, cereals and hard boiled eggs, as well as teas, coffee, cappuccino and espresso.

Service, in general was good not great.

We paid $525 for the Thurs. night and $425 for Fri. and Sat. nights.

Lots of great restaurants in the 5 block radius and many Indian stores one block to the east.

Reviewed by: Amy from MA (moderator) , review #71

When: December 2002

Lovely new hotel on edge of Chelsea/Gramercy Park area.

The Giraffe is a fairly new building at the corner of Park Ave and 26th street. This area has many new restaurants, and is a short walk over to Union Square, Chelsea, or up to midtown. The subway (No. 6 local) is 2 blocks away, and can quickly get you down to the Village, or up to the Upper East side.

The rooms are extremely comfortable, decorated in a contemporary yet warm manner. Dark walls, elegant fabrics, simple contemporary furnishings make the medium-size rooms cozy. And with those new windows, the nights are very quiet for a city hotel. Included in the price is a continental buffet breakfast (pastries, coffee, juices, cereal, fruit) and wine and cheese in the afternoons. The lobby lounge also has a computer with free internet access for guests. The staff is very helpful- even offering to go to the drugstore when we called asking about aspirin one morning.

The usual prices for the rooms are quite high- but we got a great deal using Expedia, and note that they run discounted weekend packages on the website.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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