I actually want to give this hotel more stars because I like so many things about it, but there are a few big drawbacks. Let's dispense with those first:
For some reason, our room's temperature could not be adjusted. It was "64," but felt more like a sauna. Fortunately, the window opened, enabling us to deal with it. However, on the second morning here, seemingly every heavy truck, helipcopter and noisy pedestrian rolled by, waking us up at about 6 a.m. So we shut the window (which is a rather great noise barrier -- a plus! -- only to have trouble sleeping because of the heat. Bottom line, I wish we had complained about the temp on the first day. Perhaps it was just our room.
Honestly, not great. I guess it depends upon what you want to do and your concept of "close." It's a good 15-20-minute walk to any subway stop -- not ideal when you have luggage. There's an hourly shuttle bus from the hotel into Manhattan, which is great if that's what you want to do. But if so, why are you staying in Queens? We wanted to explore LIC and Astoria, and those were both a distance from the hotel. Most of LIC's interesting nightlife and restuarants were again about a 15-20-minute walk. Not horrible, but not exactly right outside your door. Astoria is about a $10 cab ride away (cabs are not plentiful, BTW). I think over the next few years, more and more things will open closer to the hotel. It may one day be a great location. Just not yet.
Now to All the Good Stuff
AMAZING views. Particularly from the roof. Why stay in Manhattan when you can gaze at it from afar? Hotel has a bar up there, which wasn't open yet. I'd love to come back and check it out some time. They also could consider heat lamps and keeping the bar open more of the year. Would be well worth it. Room sizes are more than fine, even large for NYC. Decor is hip/modern/sleek. Heated floors (did not use, obviously), cute beds (although we couldn't figure out how to pull up the covers, which appeared to be glued to the edges of the bedframe), nice-sized shower, etc. The room has a great feel. Free coffee and pastries. Everyone was super friendly. The price was fine. It's not so cheap that we wouldn't have stayed in Manahttan if that's where we wanted to be. We wanted a Queens weekend, and if that's what you're doing, Z hotel is a solid choice.