Last Updated on January 25, 2012 by Jess
Welcome to our Hotel Tip of The Week series. Being on the road every day of the year means we stay in countless hotels, and at over 500 days as nomads, we have stayed some of the best (and worst) accommodation the world has to offer. We cover everything from budget to luxury accommodation, and believe that any hotel worth recommending must be comfortable and clean, offer good value for money and treat people as guests, not clients. We have personally stayed in every hotel we recommend to you here on Globetrottergirls.com.
The late afternoon summer sunlight layers over the beige couches in the lobby and a warm glow fills the room – a tremendous feat considering the hotel is surrounded on all sides by the mountains of steel that make Manhattan. Diligently re-filling glass after glass of champagne, our server weaves around the grand piano as we nibble on a selection of cheeses, fruits and pastries, enjoying the three hour daily wine & cheese reception which happens nightly here at Hotel Giraffe. Light music plays in the background as most families and couples laugh and relax after a day of sightseeing, or shopping, or both. Dani and I are, of course, on our laptops working, and appreciate the nice touch of wine and cheese to help us with our motivation.
Wi-fi is available throughout the hotel, so we could easily work from our room, but we enjoy the vibe down here. Unlike most luxury hotels, Hotel Giraffe (indeed all four boutique hotels in the HKHotels collection) offers the three-hour evening reception and a full continental breakfast (bagels, cheese, yoghurt, jam, honey, cereal, oatmeal, teas, coffees) in an open space where guests also mingle without any sort of forced awkwardness at all.
Our room is on the 10th floor, where the long marble desk and comfortable chair certainly serve as a good work station. However, we find it hard to get work done with the 40-inch flat screen TV on a swivel tray pointed at the queen-size dream of a bed. We spend the few hours we do have using the room as a cinema, not for work.
Upon entering the room, attention is instantly drawn to the sweeping red drapes covering the 10-foot floor to ceiling windows, which have French glass doors that open grandly out onto a fair-sized Juliet balcony overlooking Park Avenue. It’s just enough to stand out and take in the sounds and smells midnight or morning in Manhattan, but high enough up to remain an anonymous observer of New York life.
Close the doors, and nothing is heard of the noise below. Back in the room, black and white photographs decorate the platinum wall coverings so that a bit a glamor is felt no matter where we look.
Relaxing outdoor space in Manhattan is hard to come by, which is why we appreciated the peaceful Rooftop Garden upstairs on the top level. Look out for the giant giraffe, perhaps the hotel’s namesake, up here in this airy space perfect for enjoying a drink or a coffee. We didn’t get the chance to sample the Bread & Tulips Italian restaurant upstairs, however, but the food that we saw looked delicious.
Stand Out Feature: Room size
With only seven rooms on each floor, Hotel Giraffe was designed to maximize room space for guests. We immediately felt how spacious the room was compared to other NYC hotels and appreciated it not only inside but the extension of the space out onto the balcony.
Even the bathroom, which is across from the main door, is spacious and adequate, with plenty of towels and soaps, a hair dryer and plenty of little extras to make sure we had everything we needed.
Room for Improvement: Public spaces
On the flip side, the public spaces at Hotel Giraffe are very limited. For example, printing is only possible from a communal laptop placed casually on one of the lobby tables, and there is often a wait to use it. Additionally, while we adore the lavish evening reception and breakfast, it felt a bit odd to have it right down in the lobby, grand or not. This is our personal opinion though, and other guests might not feel the same way about it.
Overall, however, the Hotel Giraffe offers guests just the right mix of glamor and practicality for a very comfortable, relaxed stay in a super location in Lower Manhattan.
Location: 365 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
Price: Starting at $239 per night.
LGBT Friendly: yes
Digital Nomad Friendly: Yes
Amenities: Free wi-fi, complimentary hors d’oeuvre in the afternoon, breakfast included, free gym passes.
Like this hotel? Book it here.
Although we received complimentary accommodation, the opinions expressed here are strictly our own.