Everyone always asks me where to stay in New York. It’s actually not an easy question to answer. There are just so many hotels in the city — from a $30 per night bare-light bulb hostel in Chelsea, the Chelsea Hostel on 20th between 7th and 8th to the luxurious Mandarin Oriental gazing serenely upon Central Park at 54 stories above Columbus Circle — and every imaginable (and possibly unimaginable category) in between.
But there is only one that fits literally into this week’s theme. The Grace by Room Mate New York, located at 125 W. 45th St, between 6th and 7th, is an unusual and interesting option. Part of the European-based Room-Mate Hotels Group, the Grace is one of its two forays into the American market, the other being in Miami — possibly no surprise since New York and Miami are perhaps the most European of American cities.
The Grace is centrally located in the heart of Times Square, perfect for gay and lesbian visitors who want to take in a few shows but also be conveniently located near gay nightlife, such as Hell’s Kitchen a few blocks away or Chelsea and the Village a short subway or cab ride away.
A few unusual features separate this hotel from so many other properties dotting the area. Its unique lobby boasts an indoor pool, sauna, and steam room. The lobby pool boasts a swim-up bar — not something you see very often in hotels outside of warm-weather resorts. It has hosted numerous gay parties, including a bear and cub party this past winter. Other noteworthy assets of the Grace include complimentary Continental breakfast and free WiFi. The best prices are available via the Web.