Would stay again at the Belleclaire
The Hotel Belleclaire is a quirky and, admittedly, aging place with elevators that can't hold more than four at a time (fewer, if you're carrying luggage). Our group of six stayed in the family suite (three beds sleeping two each) for far, far less than we could have stayed anywhere else. The soft, fluffy beds were extremely comfortable and the room was clean and bright. The bathroom was a little dingy and could have used some attention from a heavy-duty grout cleaner, but overall, this stylish and comfortable room was a very pleasant surprise.
One of this hotel's major advantages is its very excellent location in a lovely, but lively neighborhood close to public transportation, Zabar's, and right next door to Big Nick's, where you'll have one of your best and cheapest meals in town (if you can ever decide on something in the many-paged menu, which includes a mashed potato pizza). The hotel staff is also extremely friendly and attentive.
The Belleclaire is no Waldrof (and I've stayed there, too), but it doesn't pretend to be. If you are looking for an affordable place to stay in NYC that is also clean, interesting, and in a great location, this is it. I swear. This is it. A hotel's best endorsement is for a patron to say they would stay there again. And we will.
A Most Excellent Hotel Experience
A most excellent hotel experience! The staff was exceptional -- very friendly and extremely helpful to the out-of-town visitor. The hotel itself was a marvellous place to come "home" to at the end of the day -- warm and welcoming. And the rooms! Blond wood and scandi-deco design, quality linens and down comforters, and the most comfortable bed I have ever had in a lodging place. Plus -- everything, including the shared bathroom, was kept obsessively clean and tidy by wonderful housekeepers. Though the room was smaller, it still had all the ammenities of luxury -- TV, refrigerator, clock radio alarm, and real hangers in the closet! Nighttimes were very quiet and restful, something appreciated after a day travelling 'round the city. I would especially like to thank Susan at the front desk for her happy manner whenever we came in -- she is a joy and represents well the warm spirit of the Belleclaire. If you want to really enjoy your stay in New York City but still have some coin left to enjoy the sights, I recommend that you stay at the Hotel Belleclaire!
Quirky, imperfect but appealing
I stayed 4 weeknights at the BelleClaire after finding in on the 'net. Frankly, we chose it mostly for the price, but were pleasantly surprised. The rooms are not huge--hey, it's New York City, people!--but being a refurbished turn-of-the-century apartment building, it has great high ceilings and our private bathroom was plenty spacious, with a powerful shower offering limitless hot water. I liked the white cotton linens, though I found the bed a little soft, and with earplugs in, I didn't hear a thing all night.
What the BelleClaire lacks in in-house amenities it makes up for in location--instead of room service, you can get restaurant delivery in under 10 minutes! so what's not to like?? Only a couple of blocks to walk to the subway, which runs all night, and a brisk stroll across the Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I found the desk staff friendly and helpful, and we were met by a doorman at the curb who eagerly helped with luggage and gave comprehensive directions to the garage, but have to agree about the "concierge"--he's quite the entrepreneur. That said, there's plenty of material provided to help you make your own arrangements, and cabs non-stop up and down Broadway.
I'd happily stay again.
I'll be back!
After much research on the internet I chose the Belleclaire for my first visit to NYC and was VERY pleased with my choice.
Friendly+helpful staff, great location, comfy beds, great price.
I find some of the complaints here a little odd - so the lift was small and not the fastest ever..but really - it's not a big deal is it! Other complaints I disagree with - our shower was great, and there were no food smells in the corridor on my visit.
All in all - great value for money anda real find. And the beds are incredibly comfy after a hard days pounding the streets!
Cool 2 week vacation
The Belleclaire isn't the Hilton. So if you're expecting liveried doormen, obsequious deskstaff and penthouse apartments, as some reviewers seemed to expect, forget it (and thank god for that). The BC is a mid price hotel perfectly positioned on the upper west side surrounded by great restaurants, delis, etc. (esp if you're veggie/vegan). The staff are friendly and the rooms are clean with basic amenities (phone, tv, fridge, closet) and the fantastic shower must be powered by its own nuclear reactor. I can't say much more than that I had a perfect vacation, period.
The Big Apple
"First 3 days in New York"
Welcome to our New York experience, it was good to see all the sights.
Day1. Evening of arrival, bit of sightseeing.
We stayed in the Waldorf Astoria for the first part of our trip, although it was lovely inside and a great place to stay to see the sights, we had to stand our ground to get the type of room we booked, we had an awful view from the room but it was quiet which was a plus, all in all the hotel was not worth what we paid. Full of plastic fantastics, although Brad and Angellina were there while we were!
We were so tired we went for a quick walk down to the Rockafeller Centre trying to get our bearings, starving hungry and looking for something quick to eat we ended up in the worst KFC ever falling asleep over our meals, nearly.
Day 2. Sightseeing and the Big Match.
The views from the empire state building were fantastic but you need to get there before 9am to avoid the queues we walked from the Waldorf around to where the Chrysler building is (still the lovliest building in NY) and had breakfast (always more than you can eat) at a great diner and then straight up the Empire State Building.
From the ESB to Macy's and then to the bus station by Times Square.
We had tickets for a NY Giants vs NY Jets american football match, asked the porter the best way to get to the match he recommended a taxi, $50 each way!! Hence we walked to the bus station by Times Square and they had organized buses $7 return.....much better!
The match was brilliant, a great day out.Hmmmm...somebody thought that #33 had a nice Butt! And not even any cheerleaders for the boys.
Back to Times Square for a meal at the Hard Rock Cafe.
As you may now realize, we travel on our stomachs!
Times Square, so many lights and so many people, help! get me outta here!
We returned to the hotel via 5th Ave. and found the holy grail, an amazing popcorn shop, we bought a bag of the best toffee and pecan popcorn in the world.
Day 3. More Sightseeing.
Round to Grand Central Station, it was just like the movies, great! and check out the food hall, foods from all over the world, amazing.
From GCS to the Library, unfortunately this was shut when we were there but still impressive from the outside and a nice garden area to sit, eat lunch and feed the Sparrows.
Then back to Times Square (still too many people) and on to the Rockafeller Centre, Radio City and St Patricks Cathedral. There were people skating on the ice rink/puddle as it was 70 deg F. Nice views and worth a look, if you have been up the ESB there is no point in going to the top of the Rock.
St Patricks was pretty inside and we lit a candle for our Cocker Spaniel that we just lost, not sure if that is the thing to do but hey its to late now!
Back to the hotel with aching feet and legs and an early nite
Day 3. More Sightseeing.
Hopped on a tube down as far as Canal street and then walked down Broadway to 'Ground Zero' a very large hole in the ground.
We walked through Battery Park intending to get the ferry that stops at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty but the queue was about a mile long, we carried on walking as if to go up to South street sea port, Pier 17, and came across a ferry with a twenty foot queue that was doing a non stop ferry trip past all the views and gave a good commentary, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Statten Island Ferry and Terminal etc. I'm sure the photo opportunities were as good as if we had hopped off the other ferry.
We then walked up Wall St. and around the financial district for a while before returning by tube to Times Square (still too many people), we walked back to the hotel and went out to a restaurant just a short walk from the Waldorf for the most expensive steak on the planet!
"Day 4. Pick up the car........."
........And get the hell outta Dodge!!
"Return to New York"
For the last three days we stayed in the Hotel Belleclaire on 77th St. Whatever you do dont stay in rooms ending in the #10 or 11 as these are right by the elevator. The rooms were nice but nobody came back to make them up if you were staying for more than one night.
The last three days passed in a bit of a blur, we had walked and sight see'd ourselves out.
We slept late, had a nice wander around Central Park and visited the Natural History Museum.
Slept late again then went to Bloomingdales and FAO Schwartz, both a disappointment and did some more shopping.
We bought more of the holy grail and went to a movie.
On the recommendation of the concierge of the hotel we caught the tube down to the Brooklyn Bridge and walked the bridge. Then we walked all the way back to the hotel via China town and Little Italy, a distance of about 12 miles.
Travelling back at last, Manhatten its normal gridlock and a 5.1/2 hour delay at the airport.
Remind me never to fly Zoom airline again!!
What's the best way to get from Newark Airport to the Hotel Belleclaire on 250 W 77th Street? Any suggestions?
RE: Directions please
Try the Super Shuttle. I think it's about $17.00 one way and will take you to the hotel from the airport.
RE: RE: Directions please
If you do take Super Shuttle, expect a long trip with a driver who may or may not know how to get to your hotel! Whatever you do, do not use them going back to the airport. Too many horror stories, and I know firsthand of people who've missed their flights because of that terrible company.
If it's just one person, you can get a bus that goes to the Port Authority, which is 42nd St. & 8th Ave. From there, walk over one block, to 7th Ave., and take the #1 Uptown subway (make sure it's headed uptown). Get off at 79th St., you'll be two short blocks from your hotel. You can also take a local bus ($2 exact fare... no pennies, no paper money). The bus stop is diagonally across the street from the Port Authority. The M104 bus stops on the NE corner of 42nd St. before it turns and goes up 8th Ave., where it continues to Columbus Circle, then turns and goes up Broadway. It'll drop you across the street from your hotel.
If you're more than one person, it pays to take a car service. Go to the web sites to look for coupons for Tel Aviv (www.telavivlimo.com) or Carmel (www.carmellimo.com). You make an advance reservation and then call them once you've collected your baggage. They come pick you up in about five minutes. Easy and reliable.
By the way, there's also a rail link from Newark that takes you to Penn Station, where you can also get the uptown #1 train. I hear it's very easy, but I haven't tried it. I always take the bus.
RE: Directions please
Sorry, I meant to post the link for the Port Authority's web site. They operate the airports, and you'll find info on ground transport from their site:
www.panynj.gov (or is it www.panynj.com?) You'll find a link (I think on the top left of the home page) that takes you to EWR (Newark Airport).