The Library Hotel is the only lodging in the world we know of, where you can choose your floor and your room, based on your favorite reading category! If you love Fashion Design – you can stay in room 700.006; Fairy Tales - 800.005; Dinosaurs -500.005 (the kids will want THAT one!), or Medicine, Law, or maybe Erotic Literature! (Book THAT room early, it fills up fast!)
How does this work, you wonder? The room floors and numbers are based on the Dewey Decimal System, the universal method of organizing subject categories. The hotel “catalog” holds 6,000 volumes in its ”stacks” and when you get to your room, you’ll find volumes on your chosen subject, which you can browse through and enjoy, along with all the other wonderful amenities in this hotel.
The location of the hotel is on Library Way (41st Street), 2 blocks from the main branch of the New York Public Library. You’ll know it by the huge stone lions keeping guard out front.
This HK Hotels property was the perfect place for us, since Marilyn’s mother was a librarian. In fact, when we arrived, Marilyn offered some of her special “reference material” to the staff at the “circulation” desk. She told them, “When I was growing up, my mother was a librarian. My whole house was arranged according to the Dewey Decimal System. She’d introduce me to her friends as her daughter, Anderson, Marilyn – see Teenager, Hormones, Raging. But I knew that she loved me; every two weeks, she’d renew me!” They giggled and we headed up to our room.
They must’ve thought we were deeply devout because they gave us a room on the Religions floor (12th), number 1200.006, named Ancient Religion (mythology), covering the subject of the beginnings of religion. Was there a message for us in this room selection? We don’t know, but we were on our best behavior the whole time!
Our corner room was bright and airy, with a step out balcony with views up and down Madison Ave, and across 41st to the Library (Unfortunately, the NYC Library’s exterior is covered now while it is undergoing renovation). Our room with lush king-sized bed, soft, soft linens, down pillows and comforter was spacious and included a full size desk and large flat screen TV. The beautiful contemporary décor assures you that you are in a top luxury hotel.
In addition to the uniquely accessorized rooms, the Library Hotel features a complimentary breakfast each morning and wine and cheese reception every afternoon in the Reading Room on the second floor.
The continental breakfast buffet is lavish, with an inviting fresh fruit bowl, brimming over with melons and berries; homemade granola, artisan bakery products, yogurt, oat meal, fresh juices, and brewed coffee products and tea. As a hotel guest, you can visit the Reading Room any time of day for cappuccino, cafe au lait, espresso, cookies, and whole fruits.
Every afternoon from 5 to 8 pm , the hotel offers a wine and cheese “Happy Hour” in the Reading Room. Their reception is the perfect opportunity to relax from a day of sightseeing or snack before heading out to a Broadway show. They serve Italian Prosecco and other fine wines, imported and domestic cheeses, and hors d'oeuvres each evening. It’s a real treat and it’s free, too.
There is a rooftop terrace and bar area on the 14th floor. During the day, you can take your breakfast up there or kick back at any time of the day in the
Writer's Den. In the evening, the 14th floor become the
Bookmarks Lounge, a full bar serving such signature cocktails as the
Great Gatsby and the
Capote. It is open to the public from 4pm to12 am, Monday through Saturday and can also be booked for private affairs.
Other amenities include free wifi, 24 hour business center, complimentary passes to NY Sports Club, and a DVD library of the American Film Institute’s top 100 films of the 20th Century.
HK Hotels business model includes a generous compliment of amenities that guests obviously love. We did, and so do the members of
TripAdvisor.com, having selected the
Library Hotel as winner of
Best Luxury Hotel United States in its 2009 Travelers Choice awards. All four of their hotels are on the
TripAdvisor.com Top 20 list. Quite a coup for a small boutique hotel chain.
For dining, the hotel has recently opened the
Madison & Vine Restaurant on the first floor, serving lunch and dinner. We were running so much we didn’t get to eat here, but if the constant flow of patrons at all hours of the day and night is any indication of quality, we will be back.
Literary lovers can walk out the front door of the hotel for a tour unlike anywhere else in Manhattan. Strolling on Library Way, you have to keep your eyes peeled to the ground. No, it’s not just to avoid dog poop. Instead, you will find beautiful brass plaques with interesting and edifying passages from different authors and their books. Follow these straight to the Main Library and afterwards, sit and rest at Bryant Park.
The only predicament you might have at the
Library Hotel is when your “due date” comes around, you won’t want to “check out!” With the lovely décor, comfy beds, complimentary amenities and oodles of your favorite reading material, you could hole up there for weeks. We’re sure that after one visit to the
Library Hotel, you’ll want to “renew” for the next time.
299 Madison Avenue @ 41st (Library Way )
New York, NY 10017
NOTE: The Library Hotel 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 people. For more information go to www.hkhotels.com.