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Hotel Reviews

The Avalon

16 East 32nd Street, New York
tel: 1-888-HI AVALON

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.