Q: What is it? A: Between Flatiron and Murray Hill there’s brick building with a bunch of nice rooms and even nicer staff to be found for those who are searching.
Picture snapped at one of the nicest spots at the Roger: The reception. Benjamin and the others manning front desk are both efficient and have the ability to make you feel right at home. Exceptionally nice people.
The bed area in my room wasn’t a bedroom. The bed can be retracted into the wall if you are throwing events or parties here – which many guests do, as the terrace offers quite a bit of space (see below).
It will be tough to write a review about this hotel.
Had it been a bad hotel, this would have been much easier. The tough part starts when your overall impression of a place is… (drumroll, please!) nice. Yes, nice is the word. Nice. Nice as in lacking hipness. Nice as in charming, helpful staff. Nice as in being almost clinically free from anything conceptual. Above all, it’s nice, interpreted as welcomed-and-treated-like-a-guest-nice. The nice kind of nice. Benjamin in the reception kicks it off very nicely with being friendly and witty and efficient at the same time. Vibes are outstanding. Within minutes I’m standing in a quite large room with an even larger outdoor terrace. Note to self: Next time bring 30 or so friends to party with me on said terrace (probably a kick-ass thing to do in the summer).
No gimmicks? But sure there must be something special with it?
Perhaps I’m just blinded by details. I think that the special thing with the Roger is that the overall delivery is so solid. Location is pretty OK if you have reasons to stay in Midtown. This is about 10 blocks south of Grand Central Station, which means a pretty nondescript area of the city. In all honesty, the interior of the hotel is non-memorable as well. That is not meant as an insult to New York-based designer Annette Jaffe. I’d rather say it’s a great compliment, as functionality has prevailed over funky stuff.
I’m visiting on marathon-weekend.
It’s a very busy weekend with a lot of neon-colored trainers in the lobby. Most of the 194 rooms are booked. On check-out we have to queue up, but the staff are tackling rush-hour with nothing but smiles. Not even the Russian couple who have a very hard time to decide how many of their 11 bags they want to store, have the power to upset Manuel. I note that the breakfast is better than most, although not special. I note that those manning the breakfast area are cheerful and service-minded. I note that I’m happy with my stay at the Roger. It’s very, very New York in that being-busy-but-still-allowing-myself-another-martini way.
Roger New York
131 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
For my next visit: Bartender-icon Johnny Swet is the guy behind the drink menu. That is promising. The house drink, the Roger, combines champagne, chocolate bitters and strawberry purée. Probably not my style, but (like all drinks) served from noon to midnight.