Arrival/Check-in: It was one of those steamy hot days in New York City when I arrived at Penn Station. Finding a taxi was a challenge, I was already running late for my dinner meeting, and it looked like it was about to pour. I was about 12th in the taxi line when a pedicab driver asked if anyone wanted a ride. I spoke up: “Can you make it to 54th Street?” No problem, and off we went, weaving in and out of traffic. How those guys get around the city in the heat is beyond me. Twenty blocks later, we pulled up to The London NYC hotel and I hopped out of the pedicab, much to the amusement of the people outside the hotel and the bellhop. He offered assistance with my luggage, which was not needed as I was traveling light. In the beautifully designed (but not too spacious) lobby, the reservation desk stands just in front. My keys were ready for me and I was up in the elevators in no time. (18/20)
Guest Quarters: My suite — modern and crisp — had a large open living room area, a separate bedroom with a king-size bed and, beyond that, another small hallway with closets, a dressing area and a lovely bathroom tiled in a retro style. There were flat-screen TVs in both the living room and the bedroom. The only thing it lacked was a coffeemaker. (13/15)
Services/Amenities: The London Bar, just off the lobby, offers a great place for a meeting and for breakfast in the morning. In fact, I was in the hotel about a week before I stayed there to meet with a colleague in the lobby, where we reviewed our notes over a cappuccino prior to a business meeting. The staff was welcoming and we never felt harried. High tea is also offered in the afternoons.
The London Bar attracts a 30-something crowd in the evenings. Gordon Ramsay at The London is the hotel’s signature restaurant, offering French cuisine and a large wine cellar. A real plus was the free wireless high-speed Internet access in the guestroom and in the public areas. (42/45)
The Experience: The London NYC is a great option in midtown, with a perfect location and friendly staff. Housed in the former Rihga Royal Hotel, it’s on its way to becoming a landmark in its own right. (18/20)
Total Score: (91/100)
THE LONDON NYC
115 West 54th St. New York, N.Y. 10019
tel 866 690 2029
After driving through the arts and entertainment district of Delray Beach, I was expecting the lively and vibrant energy to follow me to my doorstep at Crane’s Beach House that evening. I was pleasantly surprised when the spirited rumble of a night downtown halted right at the front gate. As I walked the pathway to the front office for check-in, I was welcomed by a quiet rustle of the greenery and flowers that guided my walk, strung with lights and colorful, tropical décor. At check-in I was provided with a complimentary parking pass; although I would only be there for one night, I much appreciated this unexpected perk. I received my room information, including a pass code that would open my door. Keyless entry was a nice touch.
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