16 East 32nd Street, New York
23 - 26 July 2000
After a sleepless night at the Holiday Inn Martinique, I was ready to
check out early. Here was Little Korea, near Penn Station, full of wonderful
Korean and Japanese restaurants. There must be a nicer place to stay my
remaining days in New York.
Hotel Avalon is quite inconspicuous in its black and gold aura. Twelve
stories high, it reminded me of the Millenium Hilton in its monolith appearance
- relative to this neighbourhood, at least. Two good-looking clerks at
the front desk greeted me politely. The blonde from Iceland showed me
the hotel's executive suite, queen deluxe, and standard room. Since it
was only one dollar more than the Holiday Inn, my decision was a no brainer.
The decor was marble and classic. The clerk informed me that the hotel
was only two years old, having been completely renovated from old offices.
They thus have high speed internet connection. A few of the rooms even
had flat screen computers. The interior reminded me of the private Wall
Street Inn where I had stayed one night. I had concluded then a positive
correlation of class of hotel with quality of linen. Egyptian cotton =
private and elegant.
What clinched the deal for me was the free access to a nearby health
club. I had enquired a few days before - a single visit was $25. Most
hotels in Manhattan are not equipped with swimming pools. Access to a
pool, sauna, and steam room is rare indeed.
While the Holiday Inn had upgraded me to an Executive Room which included
a complimentary American breakfast, The Avalon offered a complimentary
continental breakfast far superior in atmosphere and quality than the
noisy touristy Holiday Inn diner.
The only drawbacks were, I suppose - after three tranquil nights, that
the 100 or so rooms may fill up quickly. Without any affiliation with
airmiles or other perk collections (such as Marriott Rewards, Hilton Honors,
etc.), some people may prefer to stay elsewhere. I, for one, would return
again, even if a toll-free call cost a minimum of one dollar.