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Manhattan: The Belvedere Hotel

353 W. 48th St., Phone: (212) 245-7000

Reviewed by: casole from MA, review #1337

When: January 2006

A good value for the money in midtown west.

Just back yesterday from a pleasant two night stay at the Belvedere.

I had originally booked this hotel and the Michelangelo and decided fairly close to last minute to spend more money shopping and eating and museum going than sleeping! So for $353.00 including taxes for 2 nights, it was well worth the $. You can get 24 hours of wireless access for $9.95 if you bring your laptop; helpful to look up hours, directions, etc. Make sure to ask for AAA discount. This was for a king room.

Also, unless you really like a big buffet breakfast, I wouldn't do a package that includes it. I had originally booked the special NY1 package that included breakfast, but then realized it came to $14/per person per day, so I changed it. There is a little diner around the corner where you can get a good breakfast for under $5.00.

The porters were quick to get our bags when we pulled in, my husband parked the car around the block ($27/day discounted parking with hotel validation. You can valet for $39, but it is literally around the corner). Check-in was quick and efficient, no waiting, and polite staff. Quick elevators.

The room was on the 17th floor. I had asked for a high room, this is the top flooor. Thank goodness no fires this week! Very clean and comfortable. Smallish bathroom, not much counter space in there. The bathtub was also small (and I am five feet tall!). Also no bathroom fan.

There was a dorm sized fridge (convenient for our cold water that we like to have at night) a microwave and coffee maker with instant coffee, and some cabinet space. There was also a sink in the small kitchen area; helpful for two people getting ready for bed or in the AM. There was good counter space in this area.

Even though our room was right across from the elevator, our bed was far enough away from it (there was a long corridor past the bathroom and kitchen area), that we never heard anyone getting on or off, or any talking in the hallways or other room. There is an in-room safe, iron and ironing board (full size), powerful hair dryer.

An occasional siren could be heard at night, but it didn't wake me while I was sleeping or keep me from falling asleep.

Our only real complaint was that the room was so hot, and the air very dry. There was no individual heat control, but we turned the AC on low and this took care of it.

The Belvedere is close to several subway stops, walking distance to Broadway, 5th Avenue shopping, Rockefeller Center, etc. I would stay here again without hesitation, although I am dying to explore other neighborhoods, so we'll see!

It was overall a very good value. Not luxury but a good value. One small detail, personal to me of course, that I noticed. When I called to cancel the Michelangelo a very nice man with an Italian accent (I'm imagining he was quite good looking, too!) said, "I'm sorry you won't be spending your 40th birthday with us". At the Belvedere I had put the same comment in my notes online - "special occasion/40th birthday," and the woman, while polite overall, didn't say a word about it when I checked in. This is a big difference in attention to detail. I was impressed that the Michelangelo staff still made me feel "special" even though I was cancelling!

On TripAdvisor.com the Belvedere has a two star rating, but I would say it is closer to three. It doesn't have a bar; I know some people like to have a night cap or a drink in the bar before heading out. Other facilities/amenities we didn't use: gym, concierge desk, breakfast cafe, Brazilian restaurant. There is an ATM in the business center.

In summary, a very pleasant, attractive, clean, and affordable place to stay in the city.

Reviewed by: Mezzaluna from WI, review #323

When: June 2003

This comfortable, moderately-priced hotel is well-situated to the theater district and is convenient to bus and subway lines.

This three-star, 400 room hotel was recommended to us by a cousin who has stayed there several times. Its location on W. 48th St, between 8th and 9th Avenues puts the Belvedere in a great location relative to theaters, Restaurant Row and many attractions. The hotel was refurbished in 2001. Nearby subway lines off 8th Avenue, Seventh Avenue and Broadway can take you anywhere. A crosstown bus is just two blocks away on 50th St.

We booked for a seven-night stay. We reserved early and paid $155 for weekends and $150 for weekdays (no breakfast included). They do have specials at various times, so it's worth checking the website. Our room had a king-sized bed and a kitchenette with a microwave and refrigerator. A large supermarket nearby had paper goods, take out food, and other items we needed. There is also a large chain drug store down the block. (We also found out from a minor medical emergency that St. Clare's Hospital is just a few blocks away.)

The room was small but was well-maintained and kept clean by an efficient staff. The air conditioner was up to the challenge of the heat wave we encountered. There is a laundry room in the basement of the hotel with 5 large washers and dryers. Wash was $2.00 per load; dry was $.50 for 15 minutes.

The breakfast buffet had three options: Continental (I don't recall the price), Modified European (continental breakfast plus cold meats, boiled eggs, etc.- $15) or Full American (bacon, scrambled eggs, etc. plus the other two buffet offerings-$17). We opted for convenience and ate in the hotel, but if breakfast is not a big deal, there are other places to eat in the neighborhood. Or, pop around the corner on 9th Avenue and buy some goodies at Amy's Bakery.

Attached to the hotel, but with its entrance on 49th St., is Churrascaria Plataforma, a Brazilian restaurant which features all-you-can-eat roasted meats and fish.

The hotel staff were helpful and pleasant. We enjoyed our stay there very much and would be happy to return.

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

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