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April 6, 2011
Bayside, New York
April 29, 2002
On specific request of the Royalton, we were asked not to show photos.
The Royalton sits on West 44th Street in a totally recessed fashion, sandwiched between two buildings. Its façade bears no number, and its name is etched into the stone which frames the entrance, so that if you’re not looking up, you’ll never know where you are. I recognized the hotel by its two massive doors with miniscule portholes, so as if to give the visitor a preview of the extreme privacy within. I remembered having been here 5 or 6 years ago to meet customers for "drinks" during one of our industry’s trade shows.
When the main doors were out of the way, the long and narrow vista immediately became familiar: the white cloth covered chair with exaggerated backs, the dim lighting, the patina of the woodwork on the right which appeared to be a solid wall, only to be broken to reveal a registration area and the elevators. At the very far end of the long corridor was the dining room with a podium to the left and the bar to its right.
The Royalton is apparently a great meeting place for the after-five yuppie crowd, and the beautiful people that might grace the pages of a magazine like "W". It is the ultimate urban oasis, the "in" place to cozy up after dark.
To get the flavor of the ambiance, take a look here as there isn’t much of a website. The flashing photos reveal cutting edge design at all the Schrager locations.
Pauline checked us in and gave us a room on the 15th floor, which is only one away from the Penthouse. The elevator can barely fit three people, and I challenge anyone to read the numbers of the floors on the right hand side panel. Corridors are tunnels of dark blue. Room 1508 is immediately to the right as you exit the elevator; hey, we had real keys! As we entered, the pure white of the bed, love seat, larger than life pillows created instant calm; an ocean liner comes to mind; rather than flank night tables at bedside, there are two portholes cut from the polished wood which frames the bed. Inside either you will find telephone, notepad, a digital clock so tiny that it practically disappears on the glass shelf. The lighting in the room is generally hazy and is supplemented by a single tapered candle on a wall sconce. We loved that idea so much that we used the bathroom candle as well. There is a small desk where everything on it is for sale. We amused ourselves looking at the various articles in a Filipino straw basket which included a disposable camera. A well stocked snack bar, and a small refrigerator filled to the brim will handle all of your urges at a price: Lifesavers anyone?? Only $3.50.
From journal I'll Take Manhattan
by Truly Malin
New York, New York
February 6, 2002
Designer Philippe Starck''s exquisite sense of style showed through in the tiniest details – the curve of a chair back, the cut of a desk clerk''s somber jacket. Mood lighting was carried to an absurd extreme as we fumbled to find the correct button in the dark, tiny elevator. The midnight blue-painted hallway was as quiet as the lobby was loud, a long curving arc disrupted by doors in the same dark, rich stained wood. Each door was numbered with a round glass marker recalling a porthole. We felt like the furtive couple in "Titanic", creeping stealthily down the hallway of a luxury liner in near-darkness. Our door was at the end of the hall, so dimly lit that putting key to lock almost required kneeling.
Inside was all silver, white, and more dark, brooding wood. Infinitely simple, yet expertly realized. Like any Manhattan hideaway, the room was small, but it mattered not as our gaze fell squarely on the large, irresistible bed. Piles of oversized square pillows, edged with a lovely hemstitch pattern, filled the corners of the bed and built-in lounge. A single candle in a silver sconce waited by the bedside to be lit.
The bathroom was a stage set for temptation. Every surface was covered with either a rough slate tile shaded a mossy green, or strategically placed mirrors. Standing at the sink, I was able to see myself at angles I had never seen before. Orchids in a silver vase graced one corner of the triangular sink area, and a candle the other. Wonderful-smelling products with intriguing names like "Body Conditioner" rested on silver trays amidst bowls of dried lavender. The shower, sized for two, was separated from the rest of the room by glass doors, and hosted a variety of knobs and dials, controlling both a shower head with obscenely lavish water pressure, and a mysterious-looking wand-like instrument whose purpose you are free to guess at.
And so it was here that we began our torrid affair – with IgoUgo''s Travel Club. How could we resist, when this night of hedonism cost us only $25? The bill we got the next morning for $345 was a shock. It was a mistake, of course, quickly corrected by IgoUgo, but one that showed us just exactly how much we were saving.
From journal An Affair to Remember
E Lansing, Michigan
September 14, 2002
Lobby was very cool with white, modern lounge type furniture, blue carpeting, and techno music playing in the background. This is a place to drink excellent martini's (though expensive at about $10), hang out with friends, and people watch before a late night on the town. This and the tiny bar alongside it were highly recommended by a Zagat's survey. Staff was very helpful in helping with the luggage and check in was very easy. Elevators were small, dark, and hip, but very fast.
The first night we stayed in a small (expected in Manhattan) but very swank room with minimalistic modern decor. Bed was firm and low to the ground, but very comfortable with a down comforter and 300 count sheets. There was a sitting area against the wall which was a nice touch. There also is a CD player and a VCR in the room (go to Hell's Kitchen for good sales on "instructional videos" for you and your partner:)). The best part about the room was the bathroom. Large standing glass shower with the best water pressure I have ever had! Candles and daily fresh flowers were a nice touch.
The next night we moved to the room that I reserved through Orbitz. This room had a 5 foot circular tub which was incredible! Very romantic and a perfect tub for 2. The bathroom of this room seemed larger than the first, but the room seemed smaller. There was less (not enough) storage area and only one window with a view of a brick wall. This made it difficult to get up in the morning because no light entered the room. The first room had 3 large windows with more light (view of some office buildings)--but we sacrificed this to have that bathtub. Both rooms were quiet.
Though this is a relatively large hotel, it felt much smaller and intimate, which was very nice.
Cleaning staff was very good but could be annoying at times, since we tended to stay out late and wake up late (not always intended). Restaurant is supposed to be good, but for money reasons we tended to eat at the deli (very good) and diner (not so good), both conveniently located right across the street.
As a bonus we did get to see a few stars from the MTV Video music awards drinking in the lounge. Check out was very busy since a whole group of people were checking in (one of them being the band Slayer-who were very nice by the way), but we still had help getting a taxi to the airport.
Overall, an excellent experience for 9 nights, especially if you like a good location, romance, a cool ambiance, and staying up.
From journal 9 Nights in New York City
June 27, 2002
The lobby bar is full of interesting people and has lots of tables in secluded areas so you feel like you have privacy but also are still in a place with lots of energy.
The rooms have an elegant modern design but are very comfortable and relaxing. Everything was spotless and the bathrooms are large. The bed was extremely comfy. A great hotel room to relax in which is a treat in New York City.
The staff was nice and extremely helpful. I had a really early flight the next morning and they helped research different ways for me to get to the airport on the computer. Including printing copies of information for me to take. They also double checked my early wake up call the next morning to make sure I was on my way. Fantastic Service!
Overall a great hotel!!
From journal Trendy New York City Hotel
November 10, 2001
We had a "suite", which consisted of a large room with a working fireplace and a huge bathroom with a large circular tub/shower. The room decor is elegant, featuring grey slate and stark white upholstery and linens. The candles and fresh orchids in the bathroom were a nice touch.
The in-house restaurant is called "The 44". We had breakfast there one morning, and although the menu seemed quite pricey ($12 for poached eggs on spinach and toast, $4 for a cup of coffee) the food was well prepared and the service professional. The 44 has an unusual dinner strategy -- every month they bring in a different chef from a three star restaurant in Paris to create a "prix fixe" menu.
The Royalton lobby bar is clearly a nightime hot spot. Like the rooms, it has stark white upholstered furniture and brushed stainless steel accent tables. Colorful accents and whimsical accessories (like fishbowls with live fish) keep the decor from being cold and intimidating. Drinks and an appealing and imaginative appetizer menu are available. We would have tried it had it not been so crowded.
The Royalton is conveniently located just off of Fifth Avenue and a couple of blocks from Times Square. The staff is energetic, friendly, and accommodating. We would love to go back.
From journal Manhattan: High Style on Low Bucks
August 20, 2002
The hotel allowed an early check in.
From the moment we walked into the hotel an ethereal calm drifted into us. It felt like we were in an undersea world, subdued lighting, blues, whites, stark satisfying decor all around.
The staff is friendly and accommodating.
The room had a view, not of another building 10 feet away, but it was a clear view of a city block.
Walking through the winding corridor brought to mind an ocean liner with portholes on room doors. The ship theme continued in the room with porthole cut outs next to each bed holding a telephone and bedside light.
The bathroom was tiled from floor to ceiling in rough mossy squares. Soft yet striking designer features from light fixtures to the sink and bath products were welcoming after a sweltering city day.
Though you are in the most fabulous city in the world....you could easily stay in the room and order room service, or treat yourself to an incredibly stocked mini bar.
Soft down comforters to cuddle and comfort as you settle into the quiet of a beautifully designed space....all yours for the night.
From journal 24 Hours in NY
August 28, 2000
From journal New York Hotels
April 18, 2010
January 1, 2010