An ex-New Yorker who now lives abroad, I was bringing family members to the States for their first American experience. For the New York leg of our trip, a friend recommended the Hotel Marmara, but I was a little skeptical at first. On the Upper East Side, it seemed too far from the things I wanted to show them and do in NY. On the other hand, public transportation was an easy walk from the hotel door, and the hotel is in a REAL NY NEIGHBORHOOD, so I decided to give it a try, especially when I calculated that we (4 adults) could stay in a very spacious suite for less than the cost of two ordinary rooms in any respectable, but modest midtown hotel. What a find! The hotel far exceeded my friend's enthusiastic recommendation. The staff was smiling and welcoming. They were helpful in every way -- you need directions? Done. You need more coffee in your room? You got it. Want a restaurant recommendation or a pot to cook your own pasta in. You got it. With a smile thrown in.The suite was spacious, airy and bright, and the view (from the 17th floor) a treat at every hour of the day, dusk, night and sunrise. The suite -- with its two bedrooms, large LR, 2 baths, full kitchen and dining room, washer and dryer -- was bigger than the apartment I've lived in for the past 40 years! And after long, tiring days of touring the city, coming back to it really felt like coming home. Sure, there were some scratches on the furniture, and the elevator kept us waiting sometimes -- but none of this has any importance whatsoever when measured against the very cordial atmosphere and the comforts of a real home away from home.