It’s not often that I’m completely surprised by a hotel. Checking into the Four Seasons? Yes, please take my bags and I’d love a cold towel to freshen up after my flight. Checking into a Hampton Inn? Haul your bags and hope the TV remote isn’t nailed to the nightstand. But then sometimes a hotel completely surprises you. The Hotel Belleclaire on the upper west side of Manhattan is my new go to, and the best part? It’s affordable. I know, right?
Built at at the turn of the century, the Belleclaire was once considered a high rise. It still sits at the corner of 77th and Broadway. Unlike mid town hotels where you are surrounded by skyscrapers and retail shops, when you stay at the Belleclaire you have the rare experience of sleeping in an iconic New York neighborhood. Across the street is Serafina where you’ll find young couples enjoying brunch on the sidewalk accompanied by their street smart bulldogs, Central Park is just a short stroll away, as is the American Museum of Natural History. Leave the map and camera at home, don’t wear sneakers, and you can feel less like a tourist and more like a New York native.
The Belleclaire is much like that stylish older lady you meet at Bergdorf’s, perfectly poised yet hip enough to wear Stan Smith’s and have an opinion about Beyonce’s “Lemonade”. The lobby has a pleasant buzz of activity, a charming coffee and pastry counter with a fabulous mix of bistro tables, antique sofas and contemporary lime green velvet chairs. You won’t get St. Regis fall all over yourself service, but you will get anything you need or ask for.
There is valet on 77th street. The entrance is very understated, don’t blink or you’ll miss it. From Grand Central, take the 1 uptown to the 79th street station. We valeted the car, the service was quick and easy.
The rooms are charming and unique, unlike cookie cutter big box hotels, these rooms were all designed when architecture mattered, there are window seats and little fireplaces with views down Broadway. The Belleclaire played host to may famous guests over the years, including Mark Twain and Babe Ruth. We are huge Yankees fans and were thrilled to stay in the Babe Ruth suite (see Keaton’s personal tour in video below). The room is an actual suite in that the bedroom closes off from a living space, it’s filled with Babe Ruth memorabilia and comes with a cute baseball themed amenity at check in.
Where to Eat:
The hotel doesn’t have room service or a restaurant, you won’t care. Eat like the New Yorkers do, order in. The entire city is literally your room service, the front desk will give you some menus, but just go on Seamless and go crazy. Serafina is across the street and one of my favorite casual restaurants in the city. You can even order take out from there and enjoy in your bed, yes, it’s a theme, I love eating in my hotel bed. No judging.
This little hotel packs a decent sized punch. Much like New York, the property has everything you need, it’s just tucked away. There is a fitness center, not huge, but enough to get a decent work out in. There is a game room and business center combo, while I was printing contracts Keaton played video games. In the lobby you can grab a left bank worthy pastry at Mille-Feuille. But perhaps my favorite amenity is a 10% discount card at Bloomingdales. Pro-tip, many NY hotels offer them, you just need to know to ask the concierge.
This is the best part of Hotel Belleclaire in my opinion, they are crazy affordable. Standard rooms can be found on discount sites for under $200 per night and suites range from $250-$495 per night depending on the season, that includes the Babe Ruth Suite we stayed in AND a two bedroom suite. I repeat, a TWO BEDROOM SUITE in New York for under $500. Even if it wasn’t affordable, I would still love this little hotel, the fact that I can save money on my room and spend it on shoes sort of makes me want to marry it.
They are often running packages, check the Hotel Belleclaire website for the latest prices. Find a better price on a discount site? Call the hotel, I have never met a hotel that wouldn’t match price.
We were guests of the Belleclaire for review purposes.