So often top hotels do not fulfill their potential. A fabulous property in a perfect location is not necessarily a good hotel. Poor service obviously can spoil any stay but so can something like excessive extra charges – these extras can span anything from morning papers to wifi (surely the days of internet charges should have long gone?).
Another common fault is simply omitting to supply the useful and straightforward little extras that could so easily be included: things like a bedside bottle of water or shower caps. The Hotel Giraffe avoids these pitfalls – not only providing excellent service and great attention to detail from its handy central mid/downtown location – but goes further than most with an impressive array of inclusive extras.
Much, much, much further. You can start the day with a very good complimentary continental buffet breakfast. All day (and night!) you can help yourself to espresso, tea, fruit and cookies in the lobby. From 5 to 8pm the Prosecco and wine are uncorked, with cheese, biscuits and nibbles – naturally again at no charge – and there is a live piano accompaniment on weekdays.
Wifi is, naturally, also free, as are newspapers, turndown service, bottled water and valet parking (the parking fee is payable). Feeling active? Free passes to New York Sports Club are available. Throw in plenty of enthusiastic and cheerful service, and you have a winning combination.
The bedrooms are a very good size compared to the typically ‘compact’ New York standard and are understated in creams and browns, livened up with added flashes of red from curtains and throws. Bathrooms are simple but pleasant enough in granite, terracotta and beige with wood trims. All the expected amenities are on hand along with lots of very good quality, soft towels.
Beds and bedding are excellent and, despite being right on Park Avenue, our room was surprisingly quiet.
If you can manage dinner after the afternoon wine and cheese, Hotel Giraffe guests receive a generous 20% off in the excellent Bread & Tulips restaurant downstairs. This is a cosy neighborhood spot with low lighting, dark woods and industrial finishes that serves rustic Italian cooking.
The menu features favourites such as grilled octopus, handmade pastas and pizzas, cooked in their imported Italian brick pizza oven. Alongside these are more carefully crafted dishes like wild salmon with spinach, gigantic beans with a delicious lemon and olive oil sauce which all take advantage of local and seasonal ingredients.
A great rooftop terrace is also open, weather permitting, for impressive New York skyline views.
The Giraffe is most definitely a hotel that has fulfilled all of its potential. It could be an average New York establishment but has turned itself in to something a little bit special. As part of The Library Hotel Collection, too – an expanding mini chain with three sister hotels in NY city and others in Europe – it is part of a group have that we should hear a lot more about.
Images by CELLOPHANELAND* and The Hotel Giraffe.