One thing you can say about Manhattan…there’s no shortage of places to stay. But if you’re looking for a little luxury, a little pampering and a lot of added benefits, then the Benjamin could be just the place for you.
1. Location, Location, Location – Located at 50th St. andLexington Ave., the hotel is a perfectly situated midtown hotel, away from throngs of tourists and offering proximity to a great many NY must-sees. That’s not to say they’re right next door. But NY is a great walking city (and really, walking is the best way to feel a part of it), so within minutes you can be at Rockefeller Centre, Times Square, Central Park, Tiffany’s, and Grand Central. In 20 minutes I’d even walked toColumbus Circle on the other side ofManhattan. If weather doesn’t permit – or you’re in a hurry – the 6 and E subway lines are within a couple of blocks. In no time at all you can visit Museum Mile and high end shops to the north or explore any number of trendy neighbourhoods to the south.
2. Roomy Suites – In a city renowned for tiny rooms, the suites here are spacious and homey. As you step inside, you’ll find yourself in a cozy, but generously-sized living room. At one end, a small, but efficient kitchenette is at your disposal. And just beyond that is a spacious bedroom – with plenty of room to walk around without bumping into furniture, luggage – or your roommate. The closet is well stocked with hangers. And although the bathroom is small, it’s bright and clean with a nice hot shower. A little extra counter space would be useful, but it’s more than workable.
3. Sleep Program – In the City That Never Sleeps, this hotel prides itself on ensuring a sound sleep for those who choose to call it a night. To that end, the very comfortable bed is outfitted with several pillows for you to try. (Like Goldilocks, the third was a charm for me). But if none of them suit your needs, you can ring for a sleep concierge to help you navigate their 12-pillow Sleep Menu till you find the right one. From down or water-filled to jelly rolls and hypo-allergenic, they’ve got something for everyone. To further up the odds of success, ask for a room away from the street. What you give up in views, is more than compensated for with a blessedly quiet sleep in a very noisy city.
4. Iron Chef Restaurant – In a city of big name restaurants and celebrity chefs, it’s no surprise to have one at your doorstep. The National Restaurant attached to The Benjamin is helmed by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Executive Chef Paul Corsentino. Their culinary creativity and skills make for great room service as well! There are plenty of interesting menu choices, but their take on chicken noodle soup (with Soba noodles, ginger and scallions) was my favourite. It was not only delicious – it squashed a cold that seriously threatened to knock me down for the count.
5. Friendly Service – Big cities get a bad rap for being cold an unfriendly. But upon arrival at The Benjamin, I was made to feel like I was returning home from a long journey – literally. One of the staff actually said “It’s nice to see you again.” While he mistook me for someone else (it was my first time staying at the hotel), there was genuine warmth and kindness in the sentiment. From the doormen to check-in and guest services staff, every person I came in contact with was helpful and smiling. And though it might seem a small thing, smiles go a long way in making guests feel welcome, comfortable and well cared for.