Find yourself in the Big Apple, hungry for a bite, and even the greediest, most scrutinizing soul will likely be satisfied. Such is the choice, the size, the ambition and generosity of the place, that it’s impossible not to get sated. This, of course, is keenly felt in the hospitality department, with food of all flavours from all corners on all corners, and hotels, motels and hostels catering to every whim and want. What can we say about the 48LEX, then? Well, this. It stands out, high above the pack. In fact it may just be our favourite hotel in New York. And that’s not with the hyperbolic voice so beloved of the city. We’re not exaggerating.
Standing proudly where 48th Street and Lexington Avenue meet, often colloquially abbreviated as “Lex”, the hotel is in the thick of the thickest of things; a mere matter of moments away from Grand Central Station in the beating heart of the East Side.
Indeed, despite its sprawling, intimidating size, Manhattan is an easy city to get around on foot. Walking the streets of the island is one of the most enjoyable things to do. And if you do happen to get lost, the hotel’s name makes remembering where you’re staying simple.
Needless to say you can get anywhere easily from 48Lex. From Broadway, Times Square, and the Empire State Building, it’s the perfect base to explore everything Manhattan has to offer.
ATMOSPHERE & STYLE
Sleek and stylish, this upscale boutique hotel exudes class on arrival, with light streaming in to the lobby. Perhaps a little functional, corporate feeling even, but you’re not here to sleep in the lobby.
As such you’re quickly whisked away to the second floor, to Lexicon Lounge, to complete the check in process. This is the heart and hub of the hotel, where it feels like things could go down. Comfy couches, modern art hanging on the walls, the lot. You can imagine striking deals or making connections in this Lounge; a theatre for dreams to be realised, American or otherwise.
So many New York hotels leave you asking: where are the windows? We’ve stayed in a fair few in our short time on earth that feel more like a closet cupboard than a hotel. Well, in the words of the big dude upstairs, let there be light. And amazing views of Manhattan. Although we’re not sure the latter made the Big Book’s final edit.
The floor to ceiling windows that overlook Lexington Avenue let natural light flow into the room, and in turn lets your gaze turn outwards; an absolute highlight. When you’re in New York you want to feel like you’re in New York, like you’re living the high life; big and bold. You can lie in bed at night and watch the twinkling lights of the city. And that’s a deal breaker.
The sense of the room being your own private apartment (with of course all the benefits of a hotel) is another huge plus point. With a kitchenette and fully stocked bar, you can play the host with a sense of sophistication and privacy. The full-size bottle of wine welcome was, erm, most welcome; if you’ve ever tried to buy a bottle of wine late at night, you’ll know its nearly impossible. State liquor laws limit the sale of wine and spirits to liquor stores – they cannot sell alcohol from midnight to 9 a.m. daily, except on Sundays when sales are only allowed from noon until 9 pm. However bars can serve until 4am. Too complicated to get your head around? Try figuring it out after drinking that bottle.
To continue the sense of being spoiled, the bathroom toiletries are Beekman 1802. Perhaps not all that exclusive, as they seem to supply all the luxurious New York hotels, but still excellent.
SERVICE & FACILITIES
From early morning pastries to evening cocktails, ‘The Lexicon Lounge’ is the life and soul of the place, and plays host to all the refreshing and imbibing you’ll likely do here. A nightly wine and cheese reception is held, and after the complimentary wine hour – once you’ve had you’re fill – it turns into a guest-only cocktail bar; no riff-raff (other than yourself) allowed. There’s also a 24 hour fitness centre available, free of charge, to guests; perfect for those have overindulged on the aforementioned cheese and wine. Everyone, then.
FOOD & DRINK
Breakfast is a standard continenal(ish) affair. Pastries and coffees are served in the Lexicon Lounge every morning, but you’d be crazy to confine yourself to any hotel for a meal when there’s so much quality grub on your doorstep. Instead, eat lightly or skip entirely and head for one of the many Manhattan eateries famous for their monster breakfasts. We particularly love Pershing Square Cafe, just a short walk away; stacks of all-American pancakes, all you can drink coffee; what more could you want? Except a long lay down afterwards, of course. Back to the hotel, we go.
Additionally, The Lexington Brass Bar & Grill, on the ground floor, is open late, and ideal for those who have the late night munchies that inevitably follow a night out on the town.
48LEX sits in possibly the best location a visitor to the world’s most famous city is likely to find. But that’s not all. The hotel’s suave vibe and room’s floor to ceiling windows serve to let you know you’ve truly arrived, that you’re in New York, and ready to take it on and all in. And that’s the best feeling you could ask for.