In this second installment of our two part New York City Staycation, SuitcaseReady visits Hotel Giraffe, currently #5 on Tripadvisor
Hotel Giraffe offers all the comforts of home…. a very luxurious home. Where the Library is clubby, the Giraffe is sleek. It also seems a lot bigger, although it only has 73 rooms to the Library Hotel’s 60. As members of the same group, both hotels include similar amenities: high speed wifi, large selection of breakfast items, wine & cheese reception. Hotel Giraffe also offers free passes to the nearby NY Sports Club.
The property also boasts the same wonderful service exhibited repeatedly at the Library. A welcoming, informative front desk staff; food & beverage personnel who anticipate the guest’s every need at breakfast and offer just what you’re considering before you even identify it. And, whoever decided to put me in room 806, a massive corner suite.
It wasn’t until Juan, the weekend manager, showed me a selection of rooms that I understood part of the basis for the hotel’s popularity and high ratings. The rooms are enormous! At least to this New Yorker used to staying in closet-sized rooms in cities with similar real estate prices. All the rooms have spacious bathrooms with huge granite counters, storage shelves and powerful magnifying make-up mirrors. Ample desk space for business travelers, bloggers with electronic gear, or for makeup application. Great lighting and enough space for a chair and table. Lighted closets, easy to use safes and alarm clocks, well stocked mini bar, 2 free bottles of water.
And, although I doubt guests spend much time in their rooms, they feature the same Time Warner Cable HD system many Americans have at home. No DVR, but I had the ability to rewind, FF and pause live TV one seldom has in a hotel room. The station selection was substantial, including several HBOs. All rooms have large, flat screen Sony TVs. My suite had a 40″ Sony in the living room and a smaller Samsung in one of the cabinets in the bedroom.
Well decorated with huge suede headboards and gorgeous wallpaper, the print in the carpet is evocative without being a blatant giraffe-print. Many rooms have Juliet balconies with a great view on Park Avenue South, or 26th Street. For smokers, this saves a trip to the rooftop terrace or the street below.
The location is quiet, but a short walk to several subway lines. There is no subway running under Park Avenue South, and the street is relatively quiet. Although I entered my room at the same time as the couple next door, I couldn’t hear a peep through the wall. However, I wouldn’t call the HVAC system silent.
The hotel is a short walk to several noted NYC restaurant areas. NoMad with the restaurant of the same name, Vin Sur Vingt, or the Breslin; the Flatiron neighborhood’s Eately, or Num Pang. Madison Square Park’s Shake Shack or Eleven Madison Park . A Voce, Blue Smoke, many excellent Indian restaurants including some vegetarian, and a short walk to even more options in Chelsea.
In addition to the friendly greeting I received from Jose the doorman, and everyone else at the hotel, this special gift was awaiting me when I arrived back in my room after lunch. Chocolates from Le Belge, a place I’m not familiar with, but will certainly seek out for their excellent salted butter caramel filled hearts. Juan told me most first time guests, returning guests and guests in town for special events typically get welcome gifts.
The wine reception and breakfast offered a similar selection to that of the Library. Where the Library has danishes, the Giraffe has scones and muffins at breakfast. The croissants were excellent; crispy like the best places in Paris, not oily and fluffy. I wrote down the vendor’s name but possibly got it wrong.
Several women assist guests with toasting bagels and bread and pouring coffee. One of the women recognized me from the Library and asked questions that indicated she was sincerely interested in what I thought of the hotel (without knowing I was a writer there to review the property). She had been there for 13 years and wanted to know what I thought could be improved. Normally quick with suggestions, I couldn’t pinpoint a thing.
After spending two nights at two different hotels owned by The Library Hotel Collection, it is no mystery to me why they are consistently rated in the Top Ten on Tripadvisor.
For travelers used to having to comparison shop on multiple sites for hotel discounts, The Giraffe offers a refreshing “Best Rate Guarantee” on their site.
My stay at Hotel Giraffe courtesy of the Library Hotel Collection’s Writers in Residence program.
This article was originally posted on March 17, 2014.