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Manhattan: Marriot Courtyard New York Manhattan/SoHo

181 Varick Street, Phone: (212) 414-8585

Reviewed by: Kim from NJ (moderator), review #3116

When: September & December 2011

We loved the location, the room was incredibly small but using points (i.e., it was free), I'd stay again. Not sure I'd pay for it, though.

The hotel is located on Varick street, a few blocks north of the entrance to the Holland Tunnel and about two blocks south of the West Village. Technically it's in Soho as it's below Houston street but it provides great access to the Village.

Plus, if you're driving in from NJ, like us, it's easy off/easy on through the Holland Tunnel. That said, the immediate block or so radius around the hotel I think my daughter might describe as "sketchy" (i.e., not necessarily bad but not necessarily good, either). As we were spending most of our time in and around the village, we loved the location. It was also easy access to get uptown (the one time we went that way) as the 1 train stopped on the corner. If you intend to spend most of your time in the city in midtown and north, I'm not sure this is the best location for you.

Our room though was tiny (no closet, just a wardrobe, desk and bed) with no view to speak of. We had an extremely comfortable king-size bed and the bathroom was actually larger than I expected based upon the bedroom size - with a huge walk-in shower (no tub). This is definitely an old building converted to a hotel, with those old room sizes.

Internet: both WiFi and hard-wire were included for free.

The front desk staff was extremely friendly and accommodating. We were able to check-in to our room by 11:30am on a Saturday and had a late checkout the next day (1:30pm). Of course, you can't expect this, it all depends upon capacity but they were quick to oblige when we asked.

Here's the thing, though, we used our Marriot points to pay for this room (i.e., it was free) so for that we were happy. I've seen rates for this property in the $349 - $459 range - I wouldn't pay that price for this hotel. There are other hotels in the city that I think you can do better at for the price.

Update: We stayed here again during the holidays and everything I said above still stands. Though this week, I saw last minute rates in the $200 range, for that price (though we again used points for our second stay), I may consider it. Less than five minutes to the west village, right on the western edge of Soho, maybe ten minutes to Little Italy and fifteen minute walk to Chinatown - if you want to explore lower Manhattan, definitely a good base.

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

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