Updated: May 21, 2015
New York Hotels - Michelangelo Hotel New York CityNew York may be the greatest city in the whole world. It certainly sets the bar for the rest of the United States - whether we like it or not, it seems like every movie, every TV show, every fashion event, every musical event, every financial event, is centered around New York City. It is estimated that more than 40 million people visited New York in 2007 (both foreign and domestic), making it one of the top tourist sites in the world (they spent more than $25B in the local economy!). As wonderful as New York is, it can also be very overwhelming for first time visitors. News and films from the 1970s painted New York as a dangerous concrete jungle, while the reality is that today, the city is very safe, very visitor-friendly, and very expensive. But if you are planning a New York vacation, your first item of business, apart from plane tickets, is usually finding a place to stay. New York hotels range from the super elegant to the broken-down barebones, so you want to find a place in a good location at a decent price. Unfortunately, a decent price at a decent place in NYC means $200-$300 at a minimum, and often up to $500 -- unless you are staying in a youth hostel in a shared room, this city just isn't a cheap place to visit. We've visited New York more than 20 times as tourists, so we'd like to share some of our favorite hotels in New York with you. This guide will cover the Michelangelo Hotel in New York City, a great place to stay.
Michelangelo Hotel New YorkMost people visiting New York focus on the area around the Times Square theater district and Midtown Manhattan when it comes to lodging, the area south of Central Park down to 42nd St. The Michelangelo hotel is smack-dab right in the middle of this tourist-popular area, at the corner of 51st and 7th. Times Square with all its neon craziness really gets started just below 50th down to 42nd, so at 51st, you are right in the middle of things. Rockefeller Center is just a few blocks to the east and Central Park is just 8 blocks north, so the location is ideal. As a native West-Coaster, I've been visiting New York for more than 20 years. I lived in New Jersey for a year and Boston for 5 years, but whenever I go to New York it is as a "tourist", whether that is a good or bad thing. When we visit New York now, our goal is to find a hotel that is centrally located, decently priced, and in a safe area -- we want to be able to roam around and night and come back at any hour without having to worry about the location. To be sure, you can find a number of hotels within 3-4 blocks of the Michelangelo, and you will likely meet those goals, but we can't cover all of them, just our favorites where we actually stay while in the city. We first stayed at the Michelangelo Hotel in 2000. We had often bounced between the Essex House and Sheraton New York Towers, but we tried the Michelangelo and found it to be a great alternate location. Their official website is MichelangeloHotel.com. The hotel offers 179 rooms (475sf on average) and suites -- if you've visited other New York hotel rooms that feel like closets, you'll appreciate the extra space. While the rooms here are not cheap, they also are not way out of whack when it comes to New York lodging. Expect to pay $350-$700 per night (suites can be over $1000). What you get for the money is a perfect location and large, nicely appointed rooms. Each one has a large soaking tub, mini-bar, hair dryers, Bose stereos, and bathrobes.
Our most recent visit was in October of 2008, and we were surprised to find that upon our red-eye arrival at 6:45 AM, our room was ready for us, and we were able to take a nap and get cleaned up before beginning our day in NYC. This was the first time in the last 5 years we've had that kind of service (which means they had an empty room) -- our last few visits at the Sheraton have involved dumping our bags at the front desk and facing the world. Their front desk staff was friendly and accomodating, even that early in the morning. The room was impeccable. We were on the quiet "alley-side", meaning the view out your window is a brick wall. True, they don't offer any stunning Central Park vistas, but let's face it, if you are spending a bunch of time in your room staring out the window while in NYC, you are wasting your time -- you should be out there on the streets all day and night enjoying the city that never sleeps. They offer a very simple, free continental breakfact, but it is pretty Spartan -- some croissants and coffee or tea, and that is it (you even have to ask for jam to put on your croissant). The good news is that you can get a hearty bagel in NY for a few buck, or a sit down omelet and breakfast for $8, so if you are the big breakfast type, plan on eating somewhere besides the hotel. As a final note, if you are looking for a budget New York hotel, this is not it. If you are willing to pay a slightly above average rate at a terrific smaller hotel, the Michelangelo might be just for you. We love it, we stay there, we recommend it to friends and family that plan vacations to New York. If you are driving into New York, the Michelangelo offers valet parking for $40 per night; self-parking is $27 per night and a parking lot is located along 51st St (it is one way, going east to west) about 200 yards before you get to 7th Ave. where the hotel is located. To the left is a map of the general location around the Michelangelo Hotel so you can see where things are located.