Affordable Travel Guide to The Algonquin Hotel

A Classic New York Landmark with a Literary Past

The Algonquin Hotel

The Algonquin Hotel in Midtown New York

Situated at 59 West 44th Street in the heart of New York City is the gracious Algonquin Hotel, a place that held (and still does) a dramatic role in the arts, thanks in part to its strategic location across the street from Broadway’s famed Hippodrome (demolished in 1939). It was here, in June of 1919, when a group of literary icons of American literature and journalism first met at the “Round Table”. Known as the “Vicious Circle”, they were influential writers, many of whom helped found the venerable New Yorker magazine.

It remains, together with the Hotel Chelsea, one of the most prestigious literary hotels in New York, and aspiring writers will find both inspiration and possible contacts there; deals are settled every day in the elegant lobby and lounges at “The Gonk”. Not to be confused with the Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, Canada, this is a city-oriented accommodation of understated elegance and dignity. dorothy-parker A young Dorothy Parker late 1910's or early 1920's

Renowned architect Goldwin Starrett designed the stately 12-story building with its limestone and contrasting red brickwork façade, flagged with understated green canopies; it opened in late 1920 and at the hands of its savvy manager, Frank Case, quickly become a hotspot for producers, writers, actors, directors, editors and musicians. Having celebrated its 110th birthday recently, The Gonk symbolizes an era gone by, resplendent with memories of Dorothy Parker; rumors have it that her ghost saunters down the halls, martini in hand, spewing clever witticisms.

The Gonk unquestionably boasts one of the most affordable hotel rates in mid-town New York, with some of the 156 standard king and queen rooms going as low as $200, mid-week, off-season, and that may even include complimentary cocktails and breakfast. If you need more space or want to up the luxury quotient, try one of the 25 well-appointed suites. While the rooms are fairly small, typical of the era when this hotel was built, the quality of service and amenities more than compensates for room size.

The biggest draw to the Algonquin Hotel is its location. Pretty much equidistant between Times Square, Grand Central Station, Broadway and Fifth Avenue, it’s ideal for walkers and travelers who love being in the middle of it all. Now owned by the Marriott group of hotels, and recently renovated top to bottom, it offers loyalty rewards and other perquisites. But little can match the depth of its history; just ask Dorothy if you bump into her.

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