Arrival Experience: The Paul Hotel, An Ascend Collection Hotel, is located in a prime location within walking distance to Herald Square, Bryant Park, Korea Town, and Times Square. What appears to be a narrow residential tower is actually a contemporary boutique hotel that opened only weeks ago. It is designed with a cool and clever decor meant to be casual and comfortable. Its affordability also makes it a tremendous bargain for those that want to be near the Empire State Building. The compact lobby holds enough space for guests to check in with the friendly reception, but there is no need to linger as there is no sitting space. At inspection, the craft bar was still in the works, but soon it will provide a bit of seating space.
Dining: Free continental breakfast is served in the area behind reception, and a lobby bar and coffee shop were in the works at inspection. Breakfast can be delivered to guest rooms upon request. Within walking distance are hundreds of cafes, delis, and restaurants. In guest rooms, empty refrigerators allow guests to stock them with their favorite snacks and drinks or bring home leftovers. Another perk are the Keurig coffeemakers in guest rooms for easy-access caffeine.
Rooms: With only a handful of rooms on each floor, it has a quiet, almost residential, appeal. Rooms in the front of the hotel capitalize on the lack of competing high-rises next door permitting exceptional views of the Empire State Building. Large beds are topped with duvets and four thick pillows and face the long desk. Above the desk is the flat-screen cable TV, and the free wireless Internet signal throughout the building is speedy. Closets house safes and full-length mirrors. Space is well-maximized in the room with a sliding frosted glass door on the bathroom, bright red chair that can be tucked into the corner, and power outlets and USB ports on top of the night stands so there is no need to rearrange furniture. There is even a dictionary on the nightstand to encourage guests to take a moment to read or learn a few new words, which is a whimsical touch. Bathrooms have Pharmacopia verbena-scented toiletries, heat lamps, loads of towels, and large glass shower stalls. Whimsical touches are seen throughout from the clever artwork in the elevators to the travel magazine and dictionary placed in each room. Many types of rooms are available ranging from compact rooms with bunk beds to more spacious accommodations with private terraces.
Amenities: The Paul is part of Choice Hotels’ Ascend Collection brand, which includes unique, character-filled hotels that blend in with their neighborhood. The smartly priced rooms are refreshing for expensive New York, and both leisure and business travelers share the hotel during the week. Some rooms connect to another to create an apartment space that families will appreciate. More affordable than the Ace one block away, but just as contemporary, the Paul gives off a vibe of a casual and unpretentious that younger travelers will appreciate.