New York City: Where To Stay Once You Step Off the Dartmouth Coach
Of course the Upper Valley is idyllic but now and then you need or desire to hop on the Dartmouth Coach to New York City. In the past months, my husband and I, together or alone, have had to journey to the Big Apple several times for everything from medical visits to an annual reunion with high school friends. Where to stay? You can VRBO or AirBnB or check into a big, expensive hotel. We like small hotels, and we’ve found three. Here are our criteria:
—within short walking distance of Grand Central Station (approximate location of the Dartmouth Coach stop at East 42nd St.)
—reasonable price (often depends on the season, admittedly)
—comfortable rooms, friendly service
Fitzpatrick Grand Central, 141 E. 44th Street (corner of 44th and Lexington, photo, top)
I am writing this post from Room 612. This Fitzpatrick (there is a sister hotel, the Fitzpatrick Manhattan, several blocks further north) is a 2-minute walk, at most, from the Dartmouth Coach stop on East 42nd Street. It is Irish-owned and serves Guinness in The Wheeltapper, its on-site lounge and restaurant. Breakfasts are good with offerings like Irish Benedict. Recently refurbished, rooms are small but not cramped, with larger suites available. Extremely comfortable beds. It is busy at check-in time and rooms that front the street are a little noisy, or as I like to think of it, filled with New York City ambiance. Free WiFi in the lobby but you’ll pay for it in your room.
Fitzpatrick Grand Central, not Room 612 but similar
The Lexington, 48th and Lexington
Jazz-themed, pretty lobby that is spacious for a small hotel. 6 blocks from the Coach. Free bottled water in the lobby refrigerator. The hotel used to be attached to a diner-like place for breakfast that reminded me of Lou’s in Hanover, but the diner closed and at last look, the space was still for rent. That leaves, as my husband recently discovered, no place in the hotel for breakfast except for Starbucks. ( If you are a super-platinum sort of Marriot member, you can partake of a free breakfast buffet, but . . . ) There is a brasserie, Lexington Brass, right across the street for a drink or light meal.
Room with an urban view at the Lexington
Roger Smith Hotel
Also on Lexington Avenue, this boutique hotel is one of the few in the city that has been family-owned and run for decades. 5 blocks from the bus stop. It has an artsy exterior (photo immediately below) and art throughout the hotel public spaces and in the rooms. My husband stayed here, partly because he was charmed by the look of the place. He described the rooms as a tiny bit worn but large and comfortable with all of the amenities. He’d definitely go back.
I have no ownership or other interest in any of these properties. Just thought I would pass on the information as one potentially weary Upper Valley traveler to another looking for a decent deal. The fact that they are all on Lexington Avenue is a somewhat inexplicable fluke.
As long as you’re there . . . The Museum of the City of New York. This is definitely NOT in the neighborhood but along “Museum Mile” at 5th Avenue and 103rd Street. Full of great exhibitions about the history of New York City. I recommend the suffrage exhibition that includes an iconic pantsuit. And two films, one on city history and another short video on NYC public art. And the formidable Amy’s Bread Cafe on the 2nd floor.