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The Algonquin HotelNovember 21, 2008 By: Mackenzie Allison
The Neighborhood: I took the 7 train to The Algonquin, which is located at 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Ave. I am going to totally digress for a moment, so try and stick with me. I wouldn't exactly call myself a nature girl, but one of my favorite places in New York City is Bryant Park. I got a chance to walk by the area, which is being set up with shops for the holiday season, while on my way to the hotel. Ok, I kind of lied— there is a point to my story: If you have clients who love to sit in parks or people watch, a short walk from the Algonquin to Bryant Park is the place for them.
First Impressions: When I entered the hotel, I was a little taken aback by the lighting. The entire floor is awash in dim lighting. If you wear glasses, this might be the time to pull them out of your pocket or purse. Fast-paced jazz was playing in the background and I felt as if I had stepped from modern, chaotic NYC into the world of Dorthy Parker and old-time New York. It seems that this is the place to go for anonymity. Although my presence was somewhat acknowledged, it seems as though people are encouraged to chat with their friends without interruption. The reception desk is only a small part of the main room. Once you enter the lobby, there is a lounge to the left where people are sitting in comfortable chairs and speaking with friends. New Yorkers mainly keep to themselves, but if you go to The Algonquin in jeans or sweats, I am almost positive that people will stare.
I wasn't trying to be clever with the Dorothy Parker reference earlier, the property is actually one of her old haunts. Parker, along with other notable writers, formed the famous Algonquin Roundtable here.
I can't forget Matilda— no, not that children's book character. Matilda is a cat— in fact, the resident cat at The Algonqin. If you are allergic to cats, I'm sorry.
A Room With a View?: Not so much. I did get to take a look at one of the rooms and it faced construction going on next door. The room itself, however was a decent size and suitable for a couple traveling together.
Is It Worth It?: Pitch this hotel to clients who are not looking for the modern take on New York. As earlier mentioned, jazz blasted from the lobby— most contemporary hotels have down tempo or "chill" music playing in the background. I was in the lobby for quite a while and figured the selection would vary, it didn't. Also, if your clients are fans of cabaret, this is the place to go. I was lucky enough to see Andrea Marcovicci perform while I was at the hotel. However, I will leave our resident cabaret fan Jena Tesse Fox to describe her performance. Check out Jena's next blog for more.