Choosing a hotel in New York wasn't very difficult once me and my better half booked our ticket. Back in 2011 I had a great experience with the Howard Johnson Long Island City hotel in the Queensbridge area. The only visible change when making the booking was the change of chain. Judging by price and recent reviews, not much had changed. So the booking was made. Unfortunately, my previous Tripadvisor review is not available anymore, probably due to the chain change. So here we go, my most recent experience...only a week old :)
- Located in the Queensbridge area of Long Island City, Queens.
- It takes only 2 minutes by foot to reach 21 st/Queensbridge subway station. If you arrive in NYC by plane at JFK, it takes about 30 minutes to reach the hotel from Jamaica subway station. The F-train is your personal guide into NYC if you're staying at the Sleep Inn! Downtown Manhattan can be reached in about 10 minutes, 24/7!
- Helpful and friendly staff
- Clean and well maintained rooms. Our great kingsize bed gave us all the rest and comfort we needed after our long and exhausting days in NYC.
- Free wi-fi!
There is one major con about the Sleep Inn: Breakfast is usually included in your rate. And although the buffet is basic but OK, the breakfast area is (still) too small for the number of people that stay here. On our first morning, we were pretty much forced to have breakfast in our room since there was no space to enjoy our breakfast, even after waiting for about 20 minutes for some free seats.
Some people were not very happy with the surroundings of the hotel. I can imagine the feeling when you arrive in the Queensbridge area for the first time. But don't let the surroundings scare you off. Today's New York is NOT the New York of the 70s and 80s. Long Island City has come a long way. And although the Queensbridge area does not look really inviting, it is in no way dangerous! The streets are busy at all times, police can be found at any corner and the locals really don't mind you and are helpful if you are in need.
As expensive as the great city of New York is, there are a lot of hidden gems located throughout the city. The Sleep Inn Long Island City (formerly Howard Johnson) still offers the best value for your money if you need a hotel only 10 minutes away from downtown Manhattan. It's clean, friendly and much cheaper than most middle class hotels in Manhattan! Still highly recommended, and still my number one choice in my number one city!