Like an embarrassing Time Out-wielding tourist I asked the doorman of the Metro how much I should tip him for hailing me a cab. “You just need to smile”, he replied. Really cheesy I know but this encounter probably summed up my experience at this underrated West 35th Street hotel.
Thanks to its Midtown Manhattan location, Metro guests can walk to Times Square, Macy’s, Central Park, MOMA, St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York Public Library, enjoy Sunday strolls along Fifth Avenue, swoon at the view from Top of the Rock, the list goes on. Basically this boutique property is an ideal base for exploring the city’s most-loved sights, especially for NYC virgins.
While this is not the slickest or most fashionable hotel in the city, it doesn’t claim to be, nor is it a soulless chain hotel either. Even though the rooms are modern and sophisticated and kitted out in warm reds and crisp whites, there’s a touch of old world charm about this hotel. Hello black & white Greta Garbo portraits in the lobby. Best of all, the speedy wifi is free throughout the hotel and you can help yourself to free coffee for a caffeine pick-me-up any time of day.
One of the best things about this boutique hotel is its location, more importantly, its position in the shadow of the Empire State Building. Like the plethora of rooftop bars across Manhattan, the Metro takes full advantage of its to-die-for view of one of the city’s most iconic sights and the rooftop terrace offers a magical view of the gleaming art deco landmark.
The only downside is breakfast which is bagels, muffins etc but you’re in the heart of NYC, you can get a different breakfast every day of the week. (Try Le Pain Quotidien on East 53rd Street for its quinoa porridge. Delish.) Mind you, Metro Grill is a great spot for lunch or all-day snacking.
Finally, Hotel Metro gets bonus points for its super friendly and helpful staff. My heating system blew twice (I swear I did not break it) and I was moved into a different room (and upgraded!) twice with zero hassle. I’m a big believer that hotel staff make your experience and my stay at the Metro proved this point.
So, if you’re visiting New York and you’re armed with a hefty sightseeing checklist, this hotel is the perfect base to start pounding NYC’s pavements. It’s not just for tourists though, business folk will enjoy being close to Penn Station, Grand Central and Bryant Park. Plus, I can’t imagine a better place than the Metro’s rooftop terrace for a business meeting. If you can focus on anything other than the view that is.