Hotel Belleclaire entrance. Photo Credit: Hotel Belleclaire

Hotel Belleclaire entrance. Photo Credit: Hotel Belleclaire

Have you ever longed to live in a stylish New York city apartment, one tucked onto a picturesque side-street straight out off a movie set? You aren’t alone. Let’s be realistic though, is a move to Manhattan in the cards, or the budget? The Hotel Belleclaire offers the answers to your big city daydreams with luxury, service and space to move.DestinationReview

Located on New York City’s chic Upper West Side, the Hotel Belleclaire is a mix of neighborhood charm and a Gatsby-like time travel.

At first I thought perhaps the navigation system in the car was lost, it didn’t seem that there would be a hotel in the area it was directing us to. That is where the charm comes in. This property isn’t a Metropolis mega-hotel, though it’s history would suggest differently.

Commissioned by Albert Saxe and designed by Emery Roth in 1903, it was once known as a “skyscraper”.  Walking the mosaic marble tiled floors, under the dome of the atrium glass –  the original, restored after being found in the basement during the recent renovation – you can almost see the ghosts of past guests like Mark Twain and Babe Ruth.

Double beds in the adjoining room of the family suite at the Hotel Belleclaire New York. Photo Credit: Lara DiPaola

Double beds in the adjoining room of the family suite at the Hotel Belleclaire New York. Photo Credit: Lara DiPaola

What the hotel lacks in modern facade, it makes up for in the size of the rooms — which is what gives you that feel of having your very own apartment in Manhattan. Though the hallways and elevators are very small, it’s obvious that the rooms were once the lap of luxury. Zelda would have lounged like a cat in the noon-day sun streaming through the bay windows in our room. My husband, teenager, tween and I were able to spread out, tuck our gear away, and bring back the spoils of shopping in the neighborhood.

Beautiful Chaise Sofa Hotel Belleclaire New York. Photo Credit: Lara DiPaola

Beautiful Chaise Sofa Hotel Belleclaire New York. Photo Credit: Lara DiPaola

In the this neighborhood, all within walking distance of “your place”, you’ll find:

  • Citarella Gourmet Market. Grab some great food to take to the park, or back to your “apartment”. This is also a good place to shop for take-home treats that won’t break the bank if you’re hoping to bring back a taste of the city.
  • Dining and shopping on Amsterdam street (right around the corner)
  • The Beacon Theater (.2 miles)
  • Sugar and Plum, a fun sweets shop and restaurant. Good French Macaroons (.3 miles)
  • Central Park (about 1 miles, tip The Dakota where John Lennon lived is on one route between the hotel and the park)
  • Time Square (about 1.5 miles)

One of the advantages you’ll get from the fact that The Belleclaire is an affordable luxury hotel, and not a high-priced NYC apartment, is outstanding concierge service. Granted, my family and I were hosted for this stay, but I did hang out in the lobby and listen to other guests interact with the staff and I was impressed. Each question was not only answered, but additional suggestions and tips were offered.

Hotel Belleclaire. Photo Credit: Lara DiPaola

Hotel Belleclaire. Photo Credit: Lara DiPaola

Is this hotel family friendly? Honestly, when we walked in and I noticed the gorgeous, over-sized chaises sofa upholstered in white crushed velvet, I worried. My fears were groundless. From the warm welcoming smiles, to kid-sized robes, snacks and even inquiries that ensured that the complimentary room amenity was age appropriate, The Belleclaire really made the grade.