My husband and I stayed at the Carvi Hotel for four nights in early June 2011. We hadn’t been to NYC for 20 years and had no idea where to stay. As usual in this type of circumstance I turned to Trip Advisor. After much research we chose the Carvi due to the great reviews, good location, and reasonable rates (by NYC standards).
When the cab dropped us off on East 55th Street, it took us a minute to find the hotel, as the front is very nondescript with the only sign being inconspicuous and on the awning overhead. At eye-level, the entranceway itself is totally blank with no signage and no décor of any kind (see photos). But the small lobby inside is nice, and all the people we met at the front desk were very friendly and helpful throughout our stay.
We stayed on the fourth floor in a room facing the street. As others have noted, there are only 6 rooms per floor, and it appears that two of the rooms on each floor don’t have any windows, as they are interior rooms. I would not have been happy had we been given one of those rooms; I believe they are, however, lower in price. Our room had two big windows facing the street, not really a great view, however, as all we really could see well was the office building across the street.
The room itself was very clean and modern, and while not large, was roomy enough for us. It was well planned and had plenty of space for all of our clothes and other items. Especially nice was having the use of the mini-fridge, which we emptied of hotel items and filled with our own groceries (from nearby ‘Klein’s’, a great grocery store about a 10-minute walk away).
The bed was very comfortable, the sheets clean, and the shower was very powerful (although small in space). Everything in the room was super clean and fresh. There is a hair dryer, full-length mirror, safe, and free (fast) wifi in the room. But because it is a very small hotel, the hotel itself does not have many extras. For example, there is no restaurant or bar, and no fitness center. However, our main objective was to find a clean, modern hotel in a nice area with decent rates, and good, friendly service, and that’s what we found at the Carvi.
The neighborhood around the hotel is nice. We always felt safe there, even walking back to the hotel very late at night. And there are many convenient shops within a small area including a Starbucks, a 24-hour drug store, and many small restaurants and cafes. We especially liked the Pig ‘n’ Whistle Pub around the corner on 3rd Avenue (they have an excellent house-made veggie burger).
Our only suggestions would be the following. There was only one chair in the room. This meant that one of us had to sit on the bed to eat our breakfast. Although the room was small, there was enough space near the windows for a small table and another small chair. Also, it would have been nice if there were a few pictures on the walls. The TV reception was not great as the picture pixated quite a bit at times. Also, there was no way to have only one of the two bedside lights on – it was both lights on at once or nothing, which meant that I couldn’t read on my side of the bed (while my husband slept) without the light being on at his side of the bed.
The other strange thing was the temperature control. Under the thermostat was an unfriendly sign saying that we were not to change the temperature, that if we wanted to change the temperature in the room we were to first call the front desk. We ended up changing it anyway, as we got cold during the night and the air conditioning was blowing right across the bed. Also, the a/c makes noise when it comes on and off during the night, and light sleepers might be bothered by this.
Overall we found the hotel to be very quiet. However, on our last night (the only night we needed to get to sleep early) it appeared that the other rooms on our floor had been taken over by one family, who proceeded to leave their doors open and treat the whole floor as their own suite. They were quite noisy and we were about to call the front desk when they finally closed their doors sometime after 11:00pm.
One thing we feel we should point out is the following. We noticed that there is a door outside the hotel entrance (i.e. essentially on the sidewalk) that leads directly up a flight of stairs with access into the hallways where the rooms are. This means that if that door is left ajar, anyone can access the hallways of the hotel without ever entering the lobby. The door is designed to lock after someone exits the hotel from this staircase, but it only does so if the person is careful to slam the door and make sure it is locked. On a few occasions we returned to the hotel to find this door ajar and unlocked.
That being said, our complaints are minor and we do really like this hotel. We recommend it and plan to return again, as overall we had a very enjoyable experience at the Carvi.
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- Also Known As:
- Ipanema Chalet