In-room Reviews: The Sofitel New York City

Hotels & Resorts, In-Room Reviews, New York City, North America, Staying There, United States — By on April 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Sofitel Hotel NYCEarlier this week, we reported on the TripAdvisor 2009 Traveler’s Choice awards, and were psyched to see that four out of the 10 winning “Best Luxury Hotels” are located in our home city of NYC. We decided to test out one of their glam New York winners for a night, just to see if we (the oh-so-discriminating backpacking trio!) agreed with their selections.

Softiel New York City
45 West 44th Street, NY
(212) 354-8844

First off, let us start by saying there are few experiences that can rival taking a vacation in your hometown, especially if your hometown is New York. Needless to say, we arrived at the hotel after a 15-minute cab ride rested, relaxed and jet lag-free. The Sofitel, while located a stone’s throw from Times Square and Grand Central, is tucked away on a block that’s surprisingly quiet, considering the proximity to both tourist and commuter destinations. It’s also adjacent to The Harvard Club off 6th Avenue, and you know those guys aren’t putting up with any random street noise.

Check in
Rather than stationing the arrival desk just beyond the front doors, the hotel’s designers tucked it around the side of the main lobby, making it slightly more difficult to find (but considerably more private). The hotel insists that at least four staffers man the check-in area during rush hours, so there were no lines, no waiting when we arrived. The staff was cordial, but not excessively deferential (something that we find annoying about certain high-end properties) or condescending (an issue at wannabe trendy, scenester spots).

Sofitel NYC Hotel It’s not immediately apparent what makes this particular Sofitel one of the best luxury values in America until you actually get upstairs and settle into the space (which was over 400 feet for our “king” room). The joy is truly in the details.

First off-and perhaps most important-the bed was definitely one of the plushest, most comfortable linen clouds that we’ve ever had the good fortune to tuck ourselves into. There’s comfortable…and there’s narcoleptic comfortable. We dare you to get under the covers and not instantly rocket off to dreamland. Making it even easier to get your 8 hours: soundproof windows, one of those tiny little extras that you don’t even think about until you stay at another hotel where sirens, car horns and jackhammering wake you up at all hours of the night.
We also appreciated that the room came with an iHome alarm clock, which serves as a sound dock for your Ipod. They’re one of the easiest hotel alarm clocks to operate, which is a relief: For some reason, I always feel weird requesting a wake up call when I finally hit the sack at 2:30am. Is the operator judging me for staying up past my bedtime? It’s totally random, I know….

If you’re Holly Corbett-or really, any female who enjoys doing their hair and makeup in warm, flattering lighting rather than florescent, flickering bulb hell-then you’ll go bananas for the one at this hotel. Some lighting designer did a tremendous job ensuring that anyone inside the loo has creamy, Natalie Portman perfect skin no matter what their degree of nakedness. That’s a good thing, because there are a lot of mirrors here. Another plus: While the shower and sunken tub are separate, the bathtub has a spray nozzle so you don’t have to switch from one to the other to rinse the shampoo out of your hair. We learned that very soon, the hotel will be switching its amenities to Hermes, a really fun touch that we wish we could have taken advantage of!

Staying connected
While we wish that the in-room WiFi were free, we’ll concede that the $10 per day price tag isn’t too bad (especially considering other high-end brands charge upwards of $25). If you forgot your laptop (or just want to save a little green) you can use one of three computers in the lobby which have free internet and printing capabilities.

The gym
Located on the sub-level of the hotel, the gym was actually pretty large, especially for a NYC hotel, and had brand-new, state of the art fitness equipment. Amanda loved that there was a TV built into every cardio machine, and that each set of headphones came individual wrapped for our protection. Holly loved that pieces of fruit (red and green apples) were free!

Final thoughts

Considering the reasonable price tag (currently just under $200 per night for a classic queen room, $234 for a superior king-that’s about 30 percent off their regular prices), we’d definitely check in for a weekend, or recommend that the parentals stay here when coming to town. For guests looking to throw a little shindig, ask about the three suites with balconies-they can fit several guests, thanks to the soundproof windows, no one will complain about the noise.
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  • mrstamararice says:

    I love your site. What a great thing to do, to take off and see the world. I am always telling my 20-something friends they need to go-go-go.

    And this hotel looks fantastic!

    I just started blogging for and so I’ve been reading tons of travel blogs lately. I have to say, yours is one of the most fun.

  • NYC Gal says:

    Nice to find a quality hotel without the condescending attitude and exorbitant price tag. I like the amenities and the sound proof features as well.

  • Rhea Dennie says:

    It’s the exact reason why Harry Potter had to suffer through years of Defense Against the Dark Arts classes at Hogwarts, so that he could aptly respond when he came across a Deatheater.