A kiss may just be a kiss and a sigh may just be a sigh, but the Casablanca Hotel is definitely not just any hotel. I hopped on the redeye flight to JFK for what has become a semiannual pilgrimage for me since leaving Gotham last year, returning to the Bryant Park Tents for New York Fashion Week. Ideally situated in midtown, a mere two blocks from the tony fashion venue and a stone’s throw from the theatre district, the Casablanca Hotel brings a little piece of Morocco across the Atlantic. And if the convenient location isn’t enough; the professional, attentive, and accommodating staff will certainly make the weariest of travelers feel at home.
Just off Times Square, the Casablanca is an intimate European-style, family-owned boutique hotel, which features a magnificent Moroccan décor. All 48 newly-renovated luxury rooms and suites are designed for comfort with meticulous attention to detail. Archways, ceiling fans, ornamental moldings, unique tapestries, paintings, and murals are some of the authentic and unique elements that grace this fine establishment. Beautiful tiles, mosaic octagon reliefs, french doors, and a winding staircase all add architectural character and dimension to the charming bed and breakfast.
Upon reaching the unassuming entryway, I was immediately welcomed by a courteous doorman. As the bellhop tended to my luggage, I freshened up from my transcontinental journey before visiting the second-floor lounge, a.k.a. Rick’s Café. Veering off the side of a handsome banister, the hotel’s private clubroom boasts an inviting fireplace, serving a complimentary European-style breakfast buffet each morning; assorted teas, international coffees, cookies, and fresh fruit throughout the day; as well as a nightly wine and cheese reception. The lounge’s amenities include 24-hour computer stations with printers, a large screen television, and a private terrace for the romantic stargazer hoping to soak up a little bit of moonlight in the city that never sleeps.
More than round-the-clock access to Rick’s Café, the Casablanca Hotel offers a selection of local and national newspapers; high-speed wireless Internet throughout the hotel; complimentary passes to NY Sports Club; and a DVD library of films starring New York City itself: Manhattan, Wall Street, Serendipidity, 42nd Street, Gangs of New York, Annie Hall, Barefoot in the Park, West Side Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and so many more classics old and new spanning a myriad of genres. It’s no wonder the quaint tavern has won numerous honors for customer service.
According to the corporate website, HK Hotels have a unique approach to the business of hospitality; each of their European-style properties has its own personality and charm. One of four in the HK Hotels collection, the Casablanca Hotel prides itself on the execution of a unique concept in a key location with unparalleled hospitality. Additional boutique hotels include: the Library Hotel, known for its elegance and sophistication, which appeals to the traveler with a passion for culture and individual expression; the Hotel Elysee, with its timeless style of classic “Old New York” offers romantic ambiance with an environment that is luxurious yet intimate; and the Hotel Giraffe, near Gramercy Park is inspired by public spaces with award-winning guestrooms and 1920’s retro glamour.
The Casablanca Hotel truly is an amalgamation of all the best in the specialized hospitality industry with what I appreciate and look for the most in a boutique hotel—a central location with the ease and comfort of a welcoming bed and breakfast. This is certainly no easy feat in a metropolitan mecca. New York is like no place else in the world; where you can run through the neon intersection of 43rd and Broadway with the heightened energy of the city coursing through your veins. After a long day of shopping, sightseeing, business meetings, or in my case, runway presentations—you can unwind on a sofa, curl up in front of the fire, and lose yourself in an American classic from the hotel’s private library. Like its inspirational namesake (and Academy Award ®-winning film), the Casablanca, provides a safe haven for travelers from near and fear. In fact, on the eve of my departure, I met an Australian family, a student from Japan, and a small group of Italian businessmen. With whispers of Bogart and Bergman in the corridors, the Casablanca Hotel truly is an oasis in the heart of Times Square.
For additional information, please visit http://www.casablancahotel.com/
A special note of thanks to Adele Gutman for accommodating us and providing images.