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Manhattan: Hotel Roger Smith

501 Lexington Avenue

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Reviewed by: Colleen from CA, review #2802

When: December 2009

I was pleased that this hotel turned out to be so comfortable. The central location was a bonus!

My room, photo by Colleen!

In searching for a Midtown Manhattan hotel under $200, I came across the Roger Smith Hotel on booking.com. It had consistently good reviews, so I booked it for a mid-December stay. It was only for one night, but I'll definitely return!

The desk staff was friendly and got me checked into my room quickly. The lobby has marble floors and gorgeous wood paneling, and provided plenty of tourist brochures. The clientele I saw were a mix of American tourists, business people, and international travelers.

The entrance to Lily's bar/restaurant was across from the elevators. It had a nice look and good vibe; I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to check it out. The elevators had an old brass MAIL chute on them. One day I'd like to see a letter shooting through. :)

The hotel hallway walls were lined with original art, with vintage pictures in the room. The hotel is clearly old, and could probably use a little refreshing (the carpets), but everything was clean and there were no musty smells.

My room had a comfortable double bed with fluffy duvet and feather pillows. I slept very well! The furniture was classic mahogany, and included a desk and chair in front of the window, a long low dresser, TV and coffee maker. I couldn't figure out how to turn the heat down, so slept with the window cracked open. The street noise didn't bother me a bit.

The location was wonderful! It's a couple of blocks from Grand Central Terminal (we went to a Holiday Faire inside), and the very appealing Grand Central Market food hall next door. Bryant Park - with its beautiful Christmas tree and ice skating rink - was a few blocks beyond that. Plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops in the area. Friends and I had a delicious Italian dinner at the nearby Caffe Linda on East 49th Street.

The room rate was $169, which came to $197 with taxes. The Roger Smith is a comfortable hotel in a great location. I'll be back!

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

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