What do you look for in a hotel? Ask 10 people and you'll probably get 10 different answers. Some of them might be strikingly similar, while others will be off-the-cuff and completely unique. However, there are several basic criteria that make the list for most hotel goers, which I kept in mind during this Hotel Belleclaire review.
5 Criteria for a Comfortable Hotel Stay in the City
- Proximity to Restaurants and Public Transportation
We LOVED the Hotel Belleclaire
The charming Hotel Belleclaire met all my requirements, and was the perfect home base for setting out via foot and subway to explore the city I love so much. One of the things I love about visiting New York City is the diversity and differences between one area of the city and another. On this trip I stayed on the Upper West Side for a couple of days and then stayed down in Soho and Greenwich Village, and have to say-- they all have their own vibe. I love the residential feel of these communities.
Looking out the window of our suite in the Hotel Belleclaire, we had quite the view of Broadway. You'd think that traffic in NYC would be insane, but I didn't notice it being really bad at all on the Upper West Side. Of course, I did live for a time in Jersey, so my vision on traffic congestion might be just a little bit skewed. Might be.
I fell in love with the skylight in the Belleclaire's lobby. If I could have a skylight like that, I surely would. Of course, it would have to have with the same city building view. Did I mention that I just adore the urban jungle that is New York?
My baseball-loving husband had to be hating the fact that he decided not to accompany us on our trip into Manhattan. We landed in the Babe Ruth Suite of the Hotel Belleclaire that is quaintly adorned with baseball artifacts. He would have appreciated that aspect of our room so much more than my daughter and I did, but for us girls... well, our view of Broadway was enough to capture (and hold) our attention.
And the window seat? Well... if I had thought about it ahead of time, and if I had actually known the room had a window seat (2 actually!), I would have told my daughter that I had called ahead and specifically requested it. If you've ever been a dreamy 11 year old girl, you might understand what its like to sit on a cushioned seat such as this and gaze out a big picture window... or just lounge and read a book... or what its like to become a mid-30 something trying to balance being captivated by the beauty of the city streets and the laptop screen begging for attention. Yeah... the latter was me blogging while in the city.
So... I have to admit the first thing I noticed when I walked into our amazing suite at the Hotel Belleclaire were the floors. Why, you might ask? Because we're in the process of installing the EXACT same flooring in our house! It was so awesome, and I am being completely serious here, to see what our flooring is going to look like complete with gorgeous trim, in a finished room with ceiling moulding- which is another thing we'll be adding to our rooms as we finish installing the floor.
Isn't this deep mahogany timeless? Ah, and there you can see the second window seat in the bedroom. Love, love, love this room!
Number 1 on my list of what to look for in a hotel is location, and for good reason. The Hotel Belleclaire is within walking distance of recreation, culture, and fine dining. What more could a weary traveler ask for? First on our list of things to do when we got into the city: a relaxing picnic in Central Park.
Of all the times we've visited New York City, we have never had a picnic in the park. We're always on the go, and its hard to find fault in that because there is just so much to do in Manhattan. This time however, we decided to take advantage of our proximity to the park and do a little relaxing on our vacation.
We found a little store right around the corner from the Hotel Belleclaire, which had a fine selection of groceries, as well as some delicious bakery selections, and gourmet items. It made for a perfect sampler picnic in the park, not to mention a budget friendly meal.
So, we ate, we joked around, and we took silly photos. Day 1 of our annual Mom and Daughter trip to NYC was a raging success, and full of fun and laughter. Just the way it should be.It's a good thing I love to take photographs, because my daughter sure loves to pose. We used to comment on how many expressions she had, and that hasn't changed much over the years. She has just gotten goofier. And, although I'm a little bias, turned into quite a beautiful young lady... most importantly on the inside.
We brought one of the quilts my mom (also a blogger) made and gifted to us, solely for the purpose of our picnic in the park. I knew it would be just the perfect size for the two of us.
We had such a wonderful time relaxing in Central Park. And being just a few blocks away from the hotel made it so easy to stroll over and then leisurely walk back to the hotel while checking out some of the storefronts on Amsterdam Avenue. We even stopped by the Museum of Natural History for a bit to check out a few exhibits.
With a subway station just a couple blocks to the north of the Hotel Belleclaire, public transportation is right at your fingertips no matter where you look. And if you're new to the city and can't figure out how to hail a taxi, just ask that eleven year old girl who looks like she belongs in New York. I swear... I don't know how she did it, but there I was talking about hailing a cab, walking over to the street to see about getting one, and my daughter already had one waiting. Yep, one hand in the air for a split second. I wish I had that skill.
After a day wandering around, our suite at the Hotel Belleclaire was SO relaxing to come home to. Now that is something to be proud of, because after all... a vacation is SUPPOSED to be relaxing, right? That is something that I all-too-often forget.