THE BACKGROUND: The 30-storey Sofitel New York is located in the heart of Manhattan Island, the most visited of New York's five boroughs. Sofitel is the luxury brand of the French Accor Hotels Group, so Gallic style and elegance, plus excellent customer service, are standard features.
WHERE IS IT? At the very core of the Big Apple the Sofitel New York's excellent location in midtown Manhattan is a major selling point. The legendary shops of Fifth Avenue are at one end of the street, while frenetic Times Square and the theatres of Broadway are just a couple of blocks to the west. The Rockefeller Centre, Bryant Park and Grand Central Station are all a short walk away, as are three Subway stations with access to various lines.
THE ROOM: Considering the hotel's prime location, the Luxury Kingsize room on the 21st floor was surprisingly spacious and had great views across 45th street to the Rockefeller Centre. There was a desk and chair, large flatscreen TV, armchair, huge mirrored wardrobe and an amazingly comfortable bed. Abstract paintings and photos of Paris adorned the walls, and an impressive marble bathroom had a separate bath and shower.
THE RESTAURANT: The hotel's classy Art Deco restaurant and bar, Gaby, is on the ground floor at the rear of the hotel and has an additional entrance from 45th street. Cocktails and French cuisine are served until 01.00; a limited room service menu is offered round the clock.
THE FACILITIES: There was a well-equipped fitness centre on the lower level, though joggers also have the option of Central Park, ten blocks to the north of the hotel. There was a safe and an iron and ironing board in the room but a paid-for laundry service is also available, as are wifi internet access and valet parking.
HIGHLIGHT: The relaxed ambience of the hotel's ground floor, just a few steps from the pulsing heart of this vibrant city.
RECOMMEND TO: Couples with only a few days in the city who want to be in the thick of the action but also enjoy the comfort and luxury of this tranquil refuge.
THE COST: Rates start from around £194 per night.
THE DETAILS: Sofitel New York, 45 West 44th Street, 10036 New York, United States. Tel: (+1)212/ 354-8844; Fax: (+1)212/354-2480
French style permeates the hotel, from being greeted with a 'bonjour' to the outstanding cuisine and the images of Paris around the property – all adding to the luxurious atmosphere. Its superb location is the icing on the cake.
Journalist, Selling Long Haul