The Royal Park Hotel
258 West 97th Street
I have to start off by clarifying that the Royal Park is a discount hotel/hostel. It’s made to be cheap, so don’t expect much. We were searching for hotels that met our very small budget, and this was perfect. Their winter value special, which ends the last week in March, helped knock off an additional 15%, which basically covered the tax. Here are our thoughts:
KELSEY: It was perfect for our budget and it seemed like a good place for students. A lot of other teens/young adults were there, as well as some international travelers. There was Wi-Fi but it was only accessible in the lobby, so there were always people sitting up front. The two guys at front desk were friendly and recognized us day to day, which comforted me. Security-wise, we all wished our room door was more secure. There was a handle lock only, no deadbolt or chain.
Since we got there before check-in they held our bags free of charge and then $2 per bag (all day) on the last day. There was no hairdryer in the room, but they gladly gave me one when I asked. I was actually not expecting any cleaning service, so I was surprised to walk in on the second day to find our beds made!
The room size was surprisingly big! I thought it would probably be the size of a closet based on all the other hotels we looked at that were double the price. At the same time, the bathroom was surprisingly small (didn’t know it was possible to make one that small). Everything was clean but clearly washed the cheapest way possible. The towels were rough and whatever they washed the sheets with made my eyes pink the first morning. Next time I’ll lay shirt over my pillow.
We didn’t spend much time in the room, but in the evenings we’d watch the TV, which had decent amount of channels. The street had little traffic, so street noise on 4th floor was minimal. Room-to-room the walls were thin, so I could hear our neighbor’s shower, but it was not so thin that we heard their conversations. A nice bonus was the second sink outside the bathroom so we could still wash up and brush our teeth if someone was in the shower. There was only one small mirror in the bathroom but there was a large wall mirror in hall where I did my makeup everyday. The shower had great water pressure and good control over temperature.
SOSIE: I seriously thought it was going to be bad but all in all it was okay. It wasn’t really a big deal because we weren’t in the hotel that much at all. It was nice that we had room service. Also the guy at the front desk was really nice and it sweet how he remembered us when we got back on the first day.
LAUREN: It is not exactly a place I would like to stay at if I had another choice at a comparable price, but it was acceptable. I liked the door style elevator and the fact that it was close to a major subway station. The hotel overall was slightly sketchy and our door could easily have been kicked in, but there were nice people at front desk.