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New York City

Review – Dumont Affinia NYC Hotel in Manhattan

Manhattan, my favorite city in the planet. And with that comes the number of times I book my and family’s stay in hotels in the city that never sleeps. And most of the times, my selection narrows down to areas that are walking distance to Times Square or at least near that area.

I have never booked our stay in Dumont Affinia NYC Hotel before. It was actually my husband who found the hotel in one of the famous travel sites. We booked the Junior Suite which is perfect for a small family. We were 3 so the whole room was really big for us.

What I like:

The hotel’s location is perfect. This is the first time we booked along 34th Street at Lexington (Kips Bay). It is walking distance to the Chrysler Building and a kilometer away from Times Square. It also near shops and major department stores.Other famous landmarks are within walking distance like the Grand Central Station, Madison Square Garden, Rockefeller, and many more.

Check in was fast and so is the checking out. It didn’t take us more than 5 minutes to complete the check in process.

Our room rate include $10 voucher per day per room which is consumable. We could pick up drinks and snacks in their small food kiosk near the concierge that will sum up to $10, any in excess is just billed to our room. How convenient when we get very hungry at night!

The room is huge! Like really huge! Of all the hotels I have been to, this is probably the 2nd or 3rd hotel my family and I have booked in that is really huge. It could pass for a small condominium unit. I kept telling my husband that I could actually live in that hotel and own that room, perhaps just put a partition to make it look like a 1-bedroom unit in a posh condominium.

It has a kitchen complete with gas range and oven, a toaster, a big refrigerator, a kitchen sink and full provisions of cutleries from pots, pans, forks and spoons, plates, saucers, cups, glasses, goblets, knives, bread knife, and even a sponge and dishwashing liquid detergent. I can see that this particular is perfect for business travelers who need to stay in the city for a long period of time as it has complete amenities of an acceptable residential unit.

The bed is huge with plenty of pillows to spare. I slept like a baby that I didn’t even want to go out anymore.

The room is bright with enough natural light seeping in the wide, glass windows.

There’s a big study area that can double as a dining counter as well if you have guests.

The price was right for this type of property. We paid approx. $240 without the daily city tax and another hotel facilities fee that we need to pay per day of stay. The latter 2 were not included in the rate.

The hot water was readily available. It quickly turned hot when you open the faucet in the hot mode.

There’s a pressing board so we managed to freshen up our clothes without having to go to the laundry.

Pets are allowed! Not that I have one at the moment but that is very well appreciated because I love pets and I appreciate properties that give importance to the other members of the family.

Free wifi and the connection was superb!

The sofa was big enough to accommodate another guest and double as another sleeping bed.

The staff are all friendly and helpful.

The  view from our room is ok. We can see a bit of Chrysler Building and the cityscape nearby.

There are plenty of groceries, delis, Duane Read pharmacy nearby.

 

What I don’t like:

The extra hotel facilities fees were $25 per day and I felt that was exorbitant. What facilities did we have to pay for exactly that wasn’t covered by the nightly hotel rate? I wonder.

The air condition unit was broken. It was in heater mode even if we were have set it for cool. I had to call for the technician. It was fixed the same day though. But our first night was a little uncomfortable because we didn’t know the a/c was not working properly until the next day.

 

Facilities:

  • iPod dock
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Non-smoking throughout
  • Wake-up service
  • Heating
  • Gift shop
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Ironing Facilities
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Iron
  • Room service
  • Business centre
  • Meeting/banquet facilities
  • Concierge service
  • Luggage storage
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Fitness centre
  • Kitchenette
  • Seating Area
  • Desk
  • Toiletries

 

Nearby attractions:

  • Empire State Building
  • Grand Central Station
  • United Nations Headquarters
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Times Square
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Penn Station
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Central Park
  • Union Square
  • Fifth Avenue
  • Macy’s

 

My recommendation:  5 out of 5

I feel this hotel is perfect for business travelers and families as they have big suites perfect for such guests. The location is perfect and I can’t complain about it. I only wish the price is not so hefty, not to mention the additional facility fees which I seriously don’t understand. However, those are minor hiccups in our entire stay because I liked the property so much. It’s not so new but it is clean, the bed is comfortable, the whole Junior Suite is huge and view from our room is okay too. I do recommend this hotel.

 

If you’re looking for hotels in Manhattan or in other parts of New York, you may find more hotels from:


Booking.com

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Cherry Blossoms In New York’s Central Park

I love New York and I already sound like a broken record saying that. Everybody who knows me too well know for a fact that I am quite fussy when it comes to traveling and I have my set criteria for me to like a certain place. And New York has that charm that draws me to it like moth to a fire.

We’ve been to New York a number of times already. Most of our travels are during autumn and spring and never on winter. Why not winter? It is because, you’ll never know when you’ll get stuck because of a blizzard. We have had the misfortune of getting stuck in New York during Hurricane Sandy and we wouldn’t re-live the fear by exposing ourselves to inclement weather system during winter. It can be brutal. So, we prefer the not-so-cold seasons of Spring and Autumn.

We spent few days last April 2012 in New York City. It was only 3 nights and 4 days but I made sure to check another bucket item in my bucket list – to see Cherry Blossoms regardless of country or city. And April was the perfect time to view the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom.

We went straight to Central Park because they have lovely Cherry Blossoms there. We had fun with the photo op under the Cherry Tree branches filled with lovely pink blooms. I feel bad though that our daughter couldn’t come because her passport was being renewed. So, I took these lovely snaps for her to view and enjoy virtually.

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This is my favorite photo, the jump shot! 🙂
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Seeing these pretty flowers in the flesh is a dream come true! Next goal is to see them in their country of origin – Japan!

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Review – Hotel St. James in 45th St. in Manhattan

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We spent the weekend in Manhattan last 7 to 10 February, 2014. I am very happy with the choice of hotel this time because it was smack in the center of Manhattan, near major attractions on foot and groceries and deli shops are everywhere.

Hotel St. James is a rustic hotel in the center of Manhattan and has been in operation since 1972. It is located at 109 W. 45th St. between Broadway and 6th Avenues. It is housed in a pre-war 12-storey building. It has 145 guest rooms and has gone through major renovations.

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What I like:

  • Location! I can sometimes overlook the price of the rooms per night as long as the location is well within the areas where we will usually frequent like Broadway, Times Square, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Rockefeller and many more. All of which are walking distance from this hotel. There is a nice delicatessen beside the hotel called Cranberry. Nice place to buy your food or dine without breaking the bank.
  • Free wi-fi on all floors and you can connect instantly without the need for password.
  • The price is very reasonable as I got a good deal from Hotels.com.

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  • The staff on duty allowed us to check-in even before 11 a.m. and check-in time is not until 3 p.m. That’s good customer service for you!
  • The customer service is commendable. The folks at the concierge are very accommodating of my queries and courteous too.
  • Our room was big for the three of us and it has 2 full double beds.
  • My daughter (15 yrs old at the time of check-in) is still considered a child so no extra fee collected and no need for extra bed.

What I don’t like:

  • The lifts are very slow considering the age of the hotel. We were given a room on the 11th floor and getting there take a while. The waiting time to get in a lift is slow.
  • I didn’t see any aircondition duct. I may be wrong but I looked everywhere in the room for an a/c duct. We’re glad it was winter when we booked our room and the temperature was -8 Celsius on most nights but what if it was summer?  I only saw a small radiator.
  • The carpet was not cleaned properly by the housekeeping. The small pieces of paper we left from the previous night were still on the carpet even if the housekeeper already cleaned the room. On the last day of our stay, the housekeeper even left the bundle of small blankets on the fireplace mantle below the tv. Who ever it was who cleaned the room didn’t bother taking them out of the room. The 2 long maroon pillows for each bed were found on the side of the dresser and they housekeeping left them there twice. I had to pull them from the side of the dresser next to the bed. I just don’t get it why they have to leave the pillows there. 

    • The bed was not properly done. It was just fixed but the blankets were not tucked tight like how other housekeepers do in the other hotels we have stayed at before. I find the housekeeping a bit lousy and yet, we left tips inside the envelope they left on the dresser each time we wanted the room cleaned.
    • The window blinds didn’t go all the way down. It was not the right size for the window.

    Room type: Standard double bedroom with two full beds

    Meal plan: No meal plan included  in the room rate

    Price: US$ 309.99 with taxes for 3 nights (I saved 49% on this booking via Hotels.com)

    Nearby attractions:
    Times Square
    Broadway
    The Rockefeller
    Grand Central Station
    St. Patrick’s Cathedral
    Central Park (less than a mile and you can take the subway. There is a nearby subway in this hotel.)

    Facilities:
    24-hour concierge
    Business center
    Library
    Left-luggage facility
    Accessible bathroom
    Tours/Theater tickets assistance
    Limo or town car service assistance
    Climate control / air conditioning (but I didn’t see this in our room)
    Premium TV channels
    Hair dryer
    Pressing board and iron
    Daily housekeeping

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    My recommendation and rating: (5 stars being the highest)
    I considered 2 important factors in my recommendations and rating for this hotel: location and value for money.

    I can overlook the issues with the housekeeping because I can always suggest from the management to improve that aspect but location and price per room per night are important factors I consider when booking a hotel. I do see myself booking in the same hotel when we visit New York in the near future.

    Yes. I recommend this hotel for families and business travelers. I’m giving it

     
    You can find more information about this property by visiting their website.

    Disclaimer:
    I was not compensated to do this review. My opinion is 100% mine and may vary from yours.

    To book this hotel or other hotels in NYC, check out great deals here: Booking.com

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