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Manhattan: The Michelangelo Hotel

152 West 51st Street , Phone: (212) 765-0505 or (800) 237-0990

Reviewed by: Annie M from NY, review #873

When: February 2005

Living in Queens, we don't need to stay in a Manhattan hotel to "do the town" but, once in a while, we treat ourselves to a weekend in "the big city."

Living in Queens, New York, we don't need to stay in a Manhattan hotel to "do the town" but, once in a while, my husband and I treat ourselves to a weekend in "the big city."

We spent Friday and Saturday, February 25th and 26th, 2005 at the Michelangelo Hotel on Seventh Avenue and 51st Street. I've heard about it being a lovely "Italian" style hotel and thought that the price would be out of our league but I was surprised with a special weekend rate of $195. It was an offer we couldn't refuse, topped only by the fact that, upon check-in, we were upgraded to a Junior Suite. The rates quoted on the site are substantially higher. Whether or not you'll get a discount or an upgrade depends on availability.

The hotel is beautiful. Our nicely decorated room was spacious and had a separate sitting area that consisted of a loveseat, chair, cocktail table and corner table with lamp. The marble bathroom was also quite large by NYC hotel standards with a big tub and marble vanity (with a small TV perched on it).

The New York Times (daily and Sunday) is left at your door each morning. They have a complimentary shoeshine service where, if you leave your shoes at your door by 1 am, they are returned, cleaned and shined, by 7 am the following day. They also have something they call the "Damigella" service: if you've left home without your toiletries, they'll provide you (free of charge) with a basket loaded with shaving cream, disposable razor, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants, and more....

Included is a very light continental breakfast - just muffins, pastries, coffee, espresso, cappucino, tea, a basket of apples. A glass of juice would have cost $6. (I decided to do without)!

Each day, in the lobby, they have several copies of Corriere della Sera and Gazzetto Sport. The hotel is popular with European travelers, especially Italians. I love practicing my Italian and, at breakfast one morning, had a friendly conversation with two gentlemen from Bari who were in town for four days for a furniture show.

Check in time is 3 pm. The 1 pm checkout time is a nice touch (many other hotels have an 11 am or 12 noon checkout).

Discounted parking is available at the Central Parking garage next door at $25 for a 24-hour period. The front desk must stamp your ticket in order to get the discount.

Service is unfailingly friendly, gracious and efficient. There is a turndown service after 6 pm when the bed is prepared, towels and toiletries are replaced and delicious semisweet chocolate squares are left on the nightstand, along with a card showing the next day's weather forecast.

The Michelangelo is conveniently located on Seventh Avenue and West 51st Street, within walking distance are Central Park, the theatre district, Carnegie Hall and one of our favorite restaurants, Trattoria Dell 'Arte.

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

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