When I visit Manhattan I always stay at the same West Side hotel. Not because it's particularly wonderful, or that I get a great rate or anything, but because it's geographically desirable — right across the street from my sister's apartment.
However, on a recent visit the hotel was completely booked, so I was forced to change my usual M.O. Thank heavens, or else I would never have discovered Affinia 50, right in the heart of Midtown-East.
From the moment we were greeted with a cheery "Welcome home" by the bell-hop, I knew this was not going to be a typical impersonal New York City hotel experience. Actually, I kind of had a glimmer of the special service they provide when I received an email, about a week before my stay, from my own personal concierge enquiring if I had special requests (since I'm allergic to feathers I did ask for hypoallergenic bedding, which was all ready when I arrived). And don't even get me started on how in love I am with their custom-designed Affinia bed. After the first dreamy night's sleep I realized why one side of the "please clean my room tag" has "I refuse to get out of this fabulous bed" on it.
I didn't realize beforehand that this was just one of many little perks that my go-to concierge could have provided. They offer tons of other thoughtful amenities (many complimentary, others for a small charge) to customize your stay, such as an Ibanez acoustic guitar, golf balls and putter, bathtub rubber duckie, six-choice Dream pillow menu, cupcakes, iGo® cell phone, laptop and Blackberry chargers, or a Walking Tour Kit-complete with guidebook, map and iPod loaded with the Affinia City Walking Tour. Or if you'd rather stretch out those flight kinks faster than you can say "Namaste," ask for Affinia's StayFit kit which includes a Yoga mat, stretching bands and blocks, and workout bands and weights to use with the exercise DVDs.
Our room, a Junior Suite, was HUGE — not a word often used to describe a NYC hotel room. Our spacious digs were nice and bright, with lots of windows, (we loved that we had a private outdoor terrace where we could sip a glass of wine while taking in the Manhattan skyline) a fully stocked kitchen with microwave oven, refrigerator, toaster, utensils and a coffee maker with complimentary coffee. There was also an oversized mirror right next to the door for a final check before heading out for a night on the town. Kudos for the double bed-mounted reading lights, which are perfect for late night readers.
Don't forget to visit the expansive second-floor Club Room, open to all guests, where you'll find the business center, complimentary coffee and tea available all day. Monday through Thursday stop in for some ‘Evening Cheer’ which includes free wine and refreshments. An extensive Continental Breakfast (complete with smoked salmon) is offered for a very reasonable $14.75.
Check out their website to review special package rates that are being offered not only at Affinia 50 but also at their sister hotels throughout NYC and other parts of the country. Affinia 50 is located at 155 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022. For more information, call (212) 751-5710 or visit Affinia.com.