"There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.”
Thus the words of Simone de Beauvoir, French philosopher and Big Apple insomniac.
And if New York is a place of bright lights and perpetual movement, a place where eyes daren’t even blink, the throbbing engine of this restless city can only be Times Square. You don’t gain the nickname ‘The Centre of the Universe’ without having a fair bit going on.
Times Square has plenty going on. An estimated 333,000 people pass through it every day – the number would be even higher if they didn’t all stop to take a selfie in the middle. (On New Year’s Eve that number rises to one million.)
A forest of billboards and screens, it’s like a six year old’s conception of a city, fully realised and brought to fabulous, frantic life. The place Piccadilly Circus aspires to be.
And where better to experience Times Square than the Time Hotel? Crucially, this boutique hotel isn’t on the square itself – you literally wouldn’t ever sleep – but down the relatively peaceful backwater of West 49th Street, opposite the Ambassador Theatre. Keep a lookout for the entrance: it’s very easy to miss. Even on your third visit.
Take a tour of the Time
A tiny elevator takes you to the reception on the first floor. Here you can check in, drop off your bags and grab a drink in the LeGrande Lounge.
Delightful touches abound, no more so than the complimentary cheese and wine served in the lounge between 5pm-6.30pm Monday through Saturday.
Other dining options include the Serafina Italian restaurant and the ground floor’s Goldfinch coffee shop – good for both a delicious espresso and a means for locating the hotel.
Rooms come in numerous specifications, so you shouldn’t struggle to find the perfect match. The standard rooms are plenty sizeable at 180sq ft, stylishly laid out, and equipped with all the requisite amenities. Alternatives range from superior queen to deluxe suite.
If you’re feeling flush, the triplex penthouse is spread over three floors, with 500sq ft of private patio space. When you’re staying at the centre of the universe – give or take a few metres – you may as well do so in style.
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224 W 49th Street, 10019; thetimehotels.com