New York For The Weary Traveler

Apr. 28 2010, Published 11:47 a.m. ET

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Let’s face it, sometimes even the most road-hardened traveler needs help keeping up with the pace of the Big Apple.

Whether on a business trip or on a revelry-crusade for Broadway shows and big city nightlife, finding a tiny slice of solace can be a challenge. This is where The Benjamin Hotel (book your next stay here!) comes in.

Located in midtown, the classy establishment exudes a charm and peace reminiscent of the nearby Waldorf-Astoria (but at less than $300 a night for a standard room). The muted tones, clean lines and classic décor sparkle thanks to the attentive staff whose upbeat attitude adds a warmth to the Benjamin experience. By the elevators, there is a plaque in honor of the hotel chain’s owner, a testament to his mission statement. We bet that he would be very pleased to see his legacy done with such hospitable justice.

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Soon after checking in, a must-do for any guest at the hotel is a visit with the “Sleep Concierge.” The hotel employs a unique sleep system that tailors your bed in such a way that you should sleep just as well as you do at home- if not better. From the seemingly endless array of pillow choices, to the bedtime menu of sleep-inducing snacks (our favorite was the peanut butter and jelly on banana bread. What a taste buds breakthrough!), the sleep concierge guides your through your options, making suggestions based on your normal sleep position, health concerns, and overall sleep goal.

Need a nap? They can also provide a grown-up version of the childhood perk. Besides a complimentary turn-down, they also spray a delightful lavender scent on your pillows and can draw you a lavender-infused bath as well. The radio can also be pre-programmed to a soothing selection from nature noises to classical.

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Speaking of the bath, the bathroom is a quaint and charming addition to the room. Decked out in white tile, it had a slightly European charm and was refreshingly bright and airy in the mornings.

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There were a couple of quirks to the room we stayed in however: one downside was the odd balcony outside of the windows. While fresh air is always a terrific bonus, it is a bit shocking to open the blinds a see a stranger (a guest from the neighboring room) sipping coffee and reading the paper right in front of you. Welcome to New York!

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Another oddity, which seems to be a running thread based on some overheard comments from other guests, was the oddly loud purring of the air conditioning. While it thankfully wasn’t a jarring rattle, it was a noticeable, powerful humming which seems to be at odds with the hotel’s commitment to guest sanctuary.

Despite these two drawbacks, the stay at The Benjamin was an overwhelmingly delightful experience that helped ease any stresses and strains, providing a luxurious home away from home.



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