My love of Library Hotel Collection properties is pretty well known: after falling hard for the Library Hotel, I’ve also enjoyed stays at Hotel Giraffe & one of their newest properties, Aria Hotel in Budapest. But what about their original NYC hotel, a property consistently ranked number one or two in New York City on TripAdvisor (no small feat in a city with nearly 300 hotels), but is located in my least favorite part of the city? I was long overdue for a stay at Casablanca Hotel to find out what had guests raving about the property. I found myself in Manhattan for a long weekend of work & fun & decided to try out this popular hotel.
My Deluxe Room with a Queen Bed was palatial by NYC standards. It included a little sitting area with a table & chairs & even a walk-in closet (something I don’t even have at home!). The bathroom was also a decent size, with good shower pressure & hot water. Admittedly, the decor wasn’t really to my taste, especially in the bathroom (which I felt was a bit dated), but my Dad, who was visiting NYC the same weekend, didn’t mind it. A friend told me her parents actually designed their bathroom after the ones in the hotel. The Casablanca theme was a bit much for me – after all, we were in NYC, not Morocco – but I can see how other travelers enjoy it. Both these things truly show: to each his own!
In addition to their great staff, the primary reason to stay at any Library Hotel Collection property is their great amenities. Rick’s Cafe, the 2nd floor lounge, offered a large continental breakfast each morning (complete with my favorite espresso machine!) & an ample spread during the wine & cheese reception each evening, complete with live piano music. After returning to the hotel late one night, I stopped by the lounge for a hot tea & a cookie & found several other travelers reading, relaxing & unwinding from a day of touring. I wish more hotels had comfortable communal space, as it’s one of my favorite things about staying at LHC hotels.
Steps from Times Square
The location is fantastic/terrible: if this is your first time in NYC, the location can’t be beat, as it is literally 20 steps from Times Square & 40 steps from a subway station (I counted). Everything that Times Square & the Theater District has to offer is right at the hotel’s doorstep.
But if you’re like me, & try to avoid Times Square at all costs, it might not work well for you. When I left the theater on 46th Street & Broadway Friday night, I actually walked all the way down to 6th Avenue & around the block to 43rd Street just to avoid Times Square – that’s how much I dislike it. The hotel gets major props though, because despite its location, my room in the back of the hotel was pin drop quiet – it was possibly the most peaceful sleep I’ve ever had in a Manhattan hotel room.
Know if you go…
– if you’re a light sleeper, make sure to request a room in the back of the hotel. You won’t get much of a view, but you will get a decent night sleep.
– other fantastic amenities include complimentary wifi & a long list of items available from the front desk, including an in-room coffee maker & a white noise machine.
– the hotel restaurant, Tony’s, is a Theater District institution – it has been there forever – & is a great place to grab dinner pre- or post-theater (just be sure to make a reservation)
Note: The Casablanca Hotel provided me a discounted rate during my stay.
All opinions, including my love of their espresso maker, are my own.