In the jungle, the giraffe stands out, towering above all others. It is imbued with grace, elegance and beauty. Likewise, in the hospitality world of New York City, the Hotel Giraffe stands out, towering above the mundane with its style, elegance and sophistication. It also provides a level of value in the competitive NYC hotel jungle, providing a host of free amenities and features.
Upon entering, we immediately felt the comforting essence of the stylishly contemporary lobby. We noticed quite a few guests sitting around; two playing chess, one on the hotel’s complimentary laptop; and several others simply relaxing in the pleasant atmosphere. It’s that kind of place.
In the middle of the lobby there is a grand piano, which is played by the hotel’s resident pianist, during the complimentary wine and cheese reception that the Hotel Giraffe hosts Monday through Saturday from 5 to 8 pm. The hotel staff generously pours glasses of wine as well as flutes of Prosecco, northern Italy’s much improved “champagne.” An assortment of artisan cheeses, briny olives, imported crackers and fresh vegetables and fruit is part of the reception. This is a great early bird treat if you are heading off for the theatre and dinner afterwards.
We arrived on a Sunday, the only day that the hotel’s Happy Hour is dark. To our delight, we found a complimentary bottle of wine and a beautiful basket of fruit when we got to our room.
The one-bedroom suite had a separate living room and French doors that opened to a balcony overlooking Park Avenue. We could see all the way up to midtown on a beautiful Manhattan evening.
The room décor is burgundy and off white with dark wood accents, high doors and designer wallpaper. There was a desk and ample storage with a large flat-screen TV. The bed and linens were supremely comfortable. There is free high speed Internet and wi-fi. To say Hotel Giraffe offers all the comforts of home is an understatement. You feel like you’re home.
The lobby comes fully alive every morning for their complimentary European-style breakfast, served from 7:00 to 10:30 AM. Those of us who don’t get up early LOVE the fact that their extended hours include us! There are a variety of fresh breads, bagels and pastries, with assorted jams and jellies, cream cheese, peanut butter and the latest taste craze, Nutella. Our favorite is the fresh fruit bowl, brimming with a huge assortment of melons and berries. Glass pitchers filled with different fresh squeezed juices line the counter, and guests have their choice of coffee, espresso, cappuccino and a variety of teas. There are also boxed cereals, yogurt, and hard boiled eggs. Servers are available to toast your bread or refresh your coffee.
There are even more amenities for night owls or noshers! Twenty-four hours a day, the hotel provides snacks and beverages. You get free daily newspapers, complimentary bottled water in your room and you can work out at the New York Sports Club for free. Another nice thing: check-out time is 1PM. Wow, it’s so nice to find a place that doesn’t make you rush, rush, rush – even in a city where everyone is rushing.
New York is a city like no other. Step outside your hotel door and there are unlimited places to go, things to enjoy, and spots to eat. We dined nearby at the Black Duck, which was open on Sunday night and screened old James Bond movies!
Walking back to our hotel, we discovered “Curry Hill,” a section of Lexington Avenue with three solid blocks of Indian restaurants. The area was overflowing with folks either eating or waiting to eat. At one particular eatery with a humongous long line, we asked why, when there were so many restaurant choices, they were waiting here. A young lady answered simply, “They have the best food – absolutely.” It turns out this was “the” Indian in-spot, where Indians-in-the-know all go! We knew we’d have to come back another night to indulge our taste buds here.
Returning to the Hotel Giraffe, we took the elevator up to the Rooftop Garden. It was a beautiful summer night, and we sat enraptured by the setting of the ivy covered pergola, waterfall and the stunning bronze giraffe sculpture, obviously meant to celebrate its home in the Hotel Giraffe.
If you are looking for a peaceful, stylish, and comfortable haven in New York, that also offers great value, this is the spot. Away from the madding crowd, but close enough to walk almost anywhere, you’ll be overly happy here. The Hotel Giraffe is completely enjoyable and truly feels like your home away from home.
365 Park Avenue South @ 26th Street
New York, NY 10016
NOTE: The Hotel Giraffe is part of the HK Hotels group that owns and operates 4 midtown hotels in the same value-generating and customer-appreciating mode. We are reviewing 3 of their 4 hotels in our fall 2010 visit to NYC. Each distinctively themed venue offers essentially the same HK Signature Style of Hospitality and Value in a different, but always excellent style. It is rare to find the clarity of purpose that the HK Hotels imbues in its properties and staff. For more information go to www.hkhotels.com.