Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Sofitel New York

1 Nov 2005 by business traveller


What's it like? Classically French, despite being in the heart of New York's buzzing midtown. The entrance leads into a lounge area that seems popular for early evening drinks, and the feel is sleek and five-star.

Reception is hidden round the corner, out of sight of the entrance. The French staff are ultra-courteous and check you in within moments of approaching the desk.

Where is it? On 44th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, near the Broadway theatre district. A few minutes' walk from Times Square and the nearest subway.

How many rooms? 398 including 52 suites.

Room facilities All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a safe, minibar, satellite TV and high-speed internet access. The bathrooms have good-quality toiletries, a well-lit mirror and an excellent shower. The bath, however, was tiny – even for a 5ft 2ins guest like me.

Restaurants and Bars The hotel has two eating options: Gaby's Bar and the Art Deco-style Gaby's Restaurant. You can grab a snack at the former, which stays open until 1am, or try French or Asian cuisine at the latter, which has a great terrace. Breakfast at Gaby's Restaurant is terrific, with a huge choice of dishes ranging from healthy-living inspired granolas to dirty great piles of pancakes – delicious. Expect to pay about $20 (£11) for breakfast and around $30 (£17) for a main course at dinner.

Business and Meeting Facilities Very little to speak of, except a computer in the lobby area that offers internet usage charged at $3.95 (£2.21) for the first 15 minutes, and 25 cents for each minute thereafter. The hotel has a business service that will copy and print documents.

Leisure facilities There is a small gym with the basics to keep you in trim while you are away, but, unsurprisingly in New York, where space is at a premium, there's no pool.

Price Fully flexible rate for a midweek November stay in a deluxe queen room was $694 (£389); best internet price with no cancellation was $547 (£307).

Verdict A perfect bolthole, tucked away just minutes from the action but nice and quiet after a hectic day.

Contact Sofitel New York, 45 West 44th Street, tel +1 212 354 8844,


Dinah Hatch

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