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Nov 1, 2012
2012 / November 2012

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


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


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