Arrival/Check-In: I drove into New York City from Boston, arriving at the hotel via the West Side Highway, my favorite approach for its scenic course along the Hudson River. I knew the hotel, located at 11th Avenue and W. 48th Street, was within walking distance of Times Square, so I was surprised when I turned onto 11th Avenue and found a comparatively barren space on a street lined with car dealerships. Pushing aside my initial misgivings, I pulled up and left my car with the valet. The décor of the small, open-plan lobby was predominantly dark brown and red — cozy on a winter day, but in mid-June a bit dark. My spirits lifted immediately when the front desk clerk told me about the rooftop bar, Press. I had plans to meet a friend for a glass of wine that evening, and the sunset over the Hudson beckoned. I was checked in and on my way within minutes of arrival.
Guest Quarters: I was assigned the Hudson Suite, a spaciously comfortable room overlooking the river and the berth of the USS Intrepid at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The sitting area, sort of ’60s chic, featured a small desk; a couch and coffee table; a large, flat-screen television; and a guest chair. Etro, an Italian brand of toiletries I didn’t recognize but found quite nice, was displayed in the bath. I was also pleased to see Kimpton’s “Forgot it? We got it!” list of amenities provided complimentary or for a nominal fee. Side tables flanked the king-sized bed, and a mini-chaise and ottoman tucked in a corner proved the perfect spot to work on my laptop while enjoying the view or catching a show via a second flat-screen television.
Services/Amenities: Within minutes of entering my room, I realized I left my cellphone in my car. I called the front desk, sure the car had already been whisked to a parking garage, and was relieved to learn it was still out front. A member of the hotel staff was at my door, phone in hand, at a moment’s notice. I called my friend and made arrangements to meet in the rooftop bar but was disappointed a few hours later when I learned it was closed for a private event. We could have adjourned to the lobby bar, but it was such a beautiful evening we opted to find an alfresco alternative. I still want to check out the view from Press! I would have loved to check out InkSpa, but my schedule was tight. Perhaps next time.
The Experience: Despite my initial misgivings about the location, I truly enjoyed my stay at Ink48. The hotel occupies a former printing house which leads to some unique qualities, including a pleasant lack of “cookie-cutter” guestrooms. The staff was friendly and helpful. While I didn’t manage to work in time to mingle with other guests during the hotel’s daily cocktail hour, a Kimpton tradition, I definitely felt at home. Another plus? Hailing a cab outside the hotel was an absolute breeze!
653 11th Ave. at 48th Street
New York, NY 10036
tel 212 757 0088
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