The Casablanca Hotel is an oasis in the middle of New York City, located right in the heart of Times Square and the Theatre District. Its name conjures up exotic images of Morocco, romance, world travelers and black and white films.
When I was welcomed inside of the hotel and upon emerging into the lobby it was as if I had crossed over the threshold of New York City and stepped into a small slice of Morocco. It was easy to see myself as world weary traveler entering an intimate hotel in Africa. The archways, ornamental moldings, ceiling fans and tapestries all danced around me setting off my imagination. I arrived at the hotel from the airport, with no sleep for over 30 hours, just in time for the evening wine and cheese reception. I quickly deposited my luggage into my room and rushed to Ricks Cafe for the reception. I hungrily filled my plate with cheese, olives and crudités. Greedily grasped the glass of cool sparkling Prosecco offered to me and sank into one of the comfy chairs, by the fireplace. As I nibbled on my plate of goodies and began to relax, I noticed the chatter of fellow hotel guests going on around me. Most notable, no one was speaking English; my imagination took center and bleary eyed I was whisked away to being a continental traveler in Africa at the turn of the century. Surrounded by fellow sojourners from Russia, Germany, and Sweden, (ok there was a group from England but they had dialects and in my fantasy that counted as a foreign language). I sank further into my chair, my Prosecco and imagination.
The Casablanca Hotel is a family-owned European-style boutique hotel opened in 1997. It has 48 newly renovated rooms and suites. It is a member of the HK Hotels with three other sister hotels in New York City, The Library Hotel, Hotel Giraffe, and Hotel Elysee each one theme decorated. The Casablanca Hotel has won numerous honors for guest satisfaction from Citysearch and Tripadvisor.com. For several years now HK Hotels has had at least one, sometimes all four of their properties at once, listed among the top ten New York hotels on Tripadvsior.com with the Casablanca Hotel in an almost consistent #1 rating. The ratings on Trip Advisor are always in flux, so to occupy the number one slot as consistently as they have is quite an accomplishment. It is also something the company takes great pride in and they work to keep their rating high, by daily reading the customer reviews and taking proactive actions when guests make recommendations. As I was writing this review I checked and the Casablanca Hotel was indeed rated as the #1 hotel out of 422 hotels in New York City and it was also ranked as the #14th business in New York City. Out of 1,285 customer reviews on the website it had a 95% satisfaction rating. A majority of their traffic is from foreigners who found them online, which explains my experience at Ricks Cafe. I went to Tripadviser.com and perused the reviews and they read like a world atlas. After going through five pages of reviews I found only two who weren’t satisfied with their stay at the hotel. As an example to show the reach of the hotel and the satisfaction of the hotel guests, I’ve included some highlights from the reviews.
“What a Great Find” Ennetbaden, Switzerland
“Lovely, homely hotel in a perfect location.” Leven, United Kingdom
“Soft luxurious linen, wonderful staff, excellent location, sound sleep and bed bug free” Sydney, Australia
“Casablanca Calm” Dublin, Ireland
“Best Hotel I've stayed in, in New York” Cardiff
“Everything it says on the tin......and a lot more. Excellent” Dubai, United Arab Emirates
“Best kept secret in New York” Vancouver, Canada
“discerning global traveler would definitely return to Casablanca and highly recommend.” Gurgaon, India
“Fantastic hotel right in the middle of everything” Rillieux-la-Pape, France
The Casablanca Hotel prides themselves on their attention to the needs of their guests and the smallest details of running a hotel. HK Hotel group offers many amenities besides charming themed hotels and well appointed clean, comfortable rooms. Each of their New York hotels offer a continental breakfast, 24 hour cookies, coffee and tea in their lounges, an evening wine and cheese reception, selections of local and national newspapers, high speed wireless internet access, a business room with a computer/internet and printer, day passes to the NY Sports Club, and a DVD library of films “starring New York”.
Some of my most favorable impressions during my visit to the Casablanca Hotel were: The high level of customer service. Everyone on staff at the hotel was friendly, courteous and went out of their way to be helpful. They take great care and concern that their guests experiences are as positive as they can make them. I also loved the wine and cheese reception. It was the perfect interlude to that time just before dinner, where you’re hungry but don’t really know the city your in, i.e. where you can go to grab a quick light bite. This took care of the need to refresh yourself and at the same time it gave you a chance to mingle with other guests and exchange tips on what to see in the city. Then of course on the theme of food, the continental breakfast and 24 hour coffee, and tea, these held the same appeal as the evening reception for me. It was a chance to meet and mingle with fellow travelers and to grab a small bite before starting or going on with your day. An example of their attention to detail is the choice of complimentary toiletries. They smelled of blood oranges a perfect nod to the entire Moroccan theme of the hotel. The Casablanca’s location has to be mentioned as it is so convenient to all of New York City. Smack dab in the lap of Times Square; one of the reviews said it well when he said to be precise it was 57 paces from the hotel to Times Square. You’re two blocks from Fifth Avenue shopping, adjacent to the fashion district, Jacob Jarvit’s Convention Center and Wall Street. It is also the closest hotel to the famous New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.
During this visit to New York I had the opportunity to stay the Casablanca Hotel’s sister property the Hotel Elysee (link). I can’t speak highly enough of my experiences at both of these HK Hotels. This company truly cares about their guests and their comfort; they definitely know the business of hospitality and execute it perfectly. With so many choices of hotels in a city such as New York they make it a priority to stay on top and offer many different styles of accommodations and price points, ensuring there is one that will fit in with every budget and need of today’s traveler.
The Casablanca Hotel is a gem in the heart of New York City. A fine place to rest and rejuvenate before your treks into the wilds of the city.
The Casablanca Hotel
147 West 43rd Street
New York, NY. 10036