I recently took a trip to New York City that started off all wrong. I rented an apartment through Airbnb that was meant to be a cozy, but cheaper alternative to a mainstream hotel. Unfortunately, sometimes what you pay for is exactly what you get. For $150 I got a dirty bathroom, seven flights of stairs, and an apartment filled with odorous gas. I like deals, but that is not my idea of a vacation. So with no other option than to find a new dwelling (at 10 pm on a Friday in December- a huge tourist month for NYC), I hopped on Hotwire and prayed that I wasn’t embarking on another deal disaster (you never know the name of the place you’re booking, only the star rating and general location). What I ended up with was a delightful, sophisticated boutique hotel that was hardly $50 more than my erroneous Airbnb rental.
Enter Hotel Roger Williams, located at Madison and 31st in the pleasant Murray Hill area of Midtown Manhattan. Don’t let the goofy, country-crooner name fool you (I was skeptical at first too); this is a thoroughly pleasant place to stay that is a notch above the rest. And when I travel that is exactly what I’m looking for, something different than your standard hotel, something with flavor and attitude that enhances my adventure. Hotel Roger Williams is just that.
First, the location is central. Often in NYC you can find a great hotel at a great price, only to realize you are so far away from everything you want to see and visit that you spend a fortune in cab fare and virtually counteract your bargain accommodations. Not with Hotel Roger Williams! You’re only a short cab ride from Gramercy, Greenwich Village and Chelsea.
Second, the customer service was top notch. The doorman was practically my best friend by the end of the trip. He assisted me with my luggage, hailed my cabs, held doors, complimented, greeted, offered an umbrella on a rainy day… I mean this guy was good. And in suit, front desk staff was friendly, instructional, helpful and understanding.
Third, the ambiance was refreshing. Instead of the dreary, small gloomy room with a bathroom that need inspection and a comforter than you immediately had to throw on the ground for fear of personal contamination, the beds were made with soft Egyptian cotton sheets. The Duvet was fresh and clean. The soft lamp lighting was complimented by warm, bold artwork. Contemporary with an Asian twist defines the room and hotel style. The bathrooms were well appointed, complete with an array of every Aveda bath and body product ever needed and a cozy robe to boot. I felt pampered…and isn’t that exactly how you should feel on your vacation?!
A major pet peeve is feeling cold or too hot in a hotel room. We’ve all had the experience of waking up in the middle of the night feeling choked by heat and parched as if you’ve been sleeping in a desert. Not a problem at the RW. I’ve never had a better night sleep!
As for the rest of the hotel, it’s modern with light wood floors and atrium ceilings. The front lobby is decorated in bold jewel tones and soft candlelight. And perhaps because it was right before Christmas, the front door was covered in soft, glowing white lights set against green pine. If their intention was to charm me, have me raving to my friends about their beautifully presented front entrance, it worked.
Other stand out perks included free wifi (and y’all know how I love my internet!), no matter where you were in the hotel. They gave you the password when you checked in and thus the convenience of doing your work, checking the news, emailing friends, all from the comfort of your perfectly cozy down bed. They also offered a breakfast pantry and free daily newspaper. The second floor played home to a quaint wine bar/lounge, perfect for a refreshment right before a night on the town. They also offer a complimentary overnight shoe shine. So business men of the world, prepare to look snazzy! Lastly, floor access was protected via elevator. And the elevator only moved when you swiped your room card. A nice safety feature, especially for women traveling alone.
Overall the Roger Williams is a fantastic hotel for the savvy traveler looking for that special experience at a reasonable cost, or the business person who likes to have all the accommodations of a larger hotel, but the charm of a one-of-a-kind.