“"Boutique" - Not Luxury, Not Upscale, Not Terribly Romantic - A Worn Hotel With Good Service and Some Perks”
I recently stayed at the Casablanca and, after reading the reviews on TripAdvisor, I was honestly disappointed in the condition of the hotel. As the prices seem to have risen with demand (driven, I assume, in part by having the top spot on TripAdvisor), the cost seems disproportionate with what you get.
First, the positives.
The location was very good for going to the theaters. Not far from the TKTS booth. Easy to pick up some tickets, head back for a nap or rest or wine & cheese, or all of the above.
Everyone was nice, though you expect that from any good hotel.
The breakfast was nice also, though not terribly fancy (fruit, bagels were a bit dry, cereal, coffee) and the evening wine and cheese was good, though again not terribly fancy (the wine is of the $12 a bottle variety).
Now the negatives:
The carpets were well worn; the floor under the carpet in our room was uneven; and only a sliver of natural light came into our room. Elevator was old and slow. The furniture and decor was worn, dated and not terribly special.
The location, while a benefit to theater goers, is also a negative, putting you right outside of the most crowded, most touristy and most superficial part of the city. You are paying a premium for location and, honestly, there are, in my opinion, more interesting, vibrant and calmer places to be in NYC. I only mention this mainly because previous reviewers have put the Casablanca's location as the be-all, end-all, and, if you are new to NYC or haven't explored it much, you might not think to consider some very good hotels elsewhere in charming areas of the city where locals actually go. I don't hold this against the hotel, as I knew the location when I made the reservation, I just point this out since most of the other reviews don't mention the downside of the Times Square hotels in general.
I would probably give it 3 and a half stars if it were possible as it is above average, everyone was nice, and it is a good location for going to the theater. That said, over $400 a night (with taxes) for a small room with minimal natural light in a worn hotel, left me disappointed. NYC is expensive, but there are deals to be had in nice areas, with modern facilities, for a similar price. I wanted to stay in the #1 rated hotel (per TripAdvisor) in NYC and so I chose the Casablanca. Unfortunately, I wish I'd looked elsewhere.
This is not a luxury hotel. The rooms are not charming and they get minimal natural light. If you...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 16, 2013
Dear John F,
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Thank you for your recent visit. I am saddened that it was not the luxurious experience you were hoping for. Indeed, our little hotel was never meant to be posh nor is it trying to be anything but a cozy and friendly little respite just off Times Square. We are simply offering a well maintained comfortable atmosphere that many of our fans appreciate as an oasis of tranquility. We wish we could be the perfect hotel for every traveler but like all boutique hotels, instead of offering the typical cookie cutter experience for universal appeal, we offer a unique style that is wonderful for many but, we understand that every traveler has his own preferences. It is true that Times Square is not for everyone and clearly our décor was too rustic for your taste. We inspected your rooms carefully and found them to be in excellent condition. It is easy to see from the hundreds of photos here on TripAdvisor that we are not at all contemporary or opulent, so I am sorry if you misinterpreted the multitude of positive reviews as a sign of how fancy the hotel is. I think you will find this to be true in all destinations on TripAdvisor; the top 10 hotels range from 2 stars to 5 stars, but they all offer a great experience for guests. For prospective travelers coming to New York or any city, we encourage you to please look at the hotel’s website thoroughly before booking as well as take special care to review the photo gallery provided here on TripAdvisor. At least for our hotel we have taken great pains to provide an authentic expression of exactly what we offer.
If you or any TripAdvisor member has any questions or if I may be of service in any way, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.