Updated: December 2017

Affinia Shelburne NYC Review:

Finding the right New York City hotel in terms of location, price, and amenities is never easy. I usually start with a price range - what room rate can I afford per night. Then I go with a location that makes sense. On a recent trip with my wife, we stayed at the Affinia Shelburne (used to be called the Shelburne Murray Hill). Murray Hill is a great Manhattan neighborhood and the Grand Central terminal is just a few blocks north of the hotel. We arrived into Newark International Airport and took the NJ Transit train to Penn Station Manhattan and then took a few subway rides over to Grand Central and walked a few blocks to the hotel. The Affinia Shelburne has over 300 rooms and suites available - the rooms have kitchenettes or minibars and flat screen televisions. The square footage of the rooms is definitely a bit bigger than the average NYC hotel room which are barely larger than a closet. My wife visits New York more often than I do and she had taken our daughter last year and stayed at the Affinia Dumont on East 34th Street. She likes the larger rooms and overall amenities (see below).

When I go to a city like New York I like to be able to walk around at night and feel safe. The Affinia is located in a good part of town and one night after we got out of a show over on W. 50 Street we walked all the way back home - through Times Square, Bryant Park, and across Park Avenue. The weather was great and it was beautiful to see the Empire State Building all lit up. The official website for the hotel is at http://www.affinia.com/New-York-City-Hotel.aspx?name=Shelburne-Murray-Hill. Room rates vary widely based on day of the week, but we paid an average of $285/night (Friday night was $325, Saturday was the same, and Sunday was only $220). I know everyone is looking for a bargain in Manhattan, but finding a hotel room that is decent size is what I like. I have stayed at the Sheraton a few times and the Marriott, but their rooms are tiny and make me feel claustrophobic. The staff at the Affinia hotels are always very helpful and accommodating. We switched rooms on our 2nd and 3rd nights to get a better view - they moved all our stuff which made it easy on us. They were running a promotional offer on Facebook and I was able to get a nice bottle of wine for FREE one night. The front lobby was large and had a sitting area with couches and chairs. There were a few computers available to print out boarding passes as well. Taxi service just off of Lexington was decent - we waited maybe a minute to get a cab. Overall I liked the hotel - it's away from the major nightlife attractions so it's quiet at night, but just a short subway ride away from all the action. In the mornings we would walk a few blocks and get coffee and croissants at the local coffee shop.

Affinia Murray Hill New York Location and Amenities:

As we mentioned above the hotel is in the Murray Hill neighborhood. Just off of Lexington and 37th at 303 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016. Grand Central has train or subways that pretty much go in any direction you want. We also hopped on the green line just down at 33 Street. Bryant Park was close by as well as the Empire State Building. If you get up on the rooftop bar you get a pretty good view. The New York Public Library is at 5th Avenue and E. 41st Street. Back to the hotel rooms - my only complaint were the bathrooms. Both of them (we stayed in 2 different rooms) were really small - barely enough room to open the door. Certainly not enough room for 2 people to get in front of the mirror. They do offer large mirrors in the actual bedroom, so you can blowdry hair or shave if you need to and leave the bathroom for others. The showers could use some updating. The room was good size, the mini bar/refrigerator was good for storing drinks. The flat screen TV was nice, although we never really watch TV since this is New York and all the entertainment is outside. Check-in was smooth and hassle free. Ask for the best room possible when checking in as they sometimes will upgrade you when things are available.

Rare Restaurant and Rooftop Bar:

Just opposite of the lobby is the restaurant called Rare Bar & Grill. We went down for a drink one night and the crowd was definitely bizarre. The place is notorious for it's excellent burger - that we never tried. On the rooftop they offer another bar with drinks and a good sized seating area. The problem for us was that the rooftop bar was closed when we were there. All 3 nights there was no rain or wind or anything yet still they didn't have it open after 9PM. A little disappointing considering that was one of the main reasons we chose this place. You can still access the rooftop level when the bar is closed, but you would think with a few patio heaters, the bar would be fun.