This review came a little overdue since I forgot to make it back then, I don’t know why!!
Last night, I was watching some NY hotel reviews in Youtube; we saw a lot of affordable hotels that are available now in Manhattan or at least, the hotels within close range but not necessarily within a walking distance — available now meaning right at this time — during the pandemic season with unbelievable pandemic rates. Hotels that used to be around 500 USD per night would go at about 100 USD or less. Imagine that! And of course, I got reminded to make a review of the hotel that we stayed in twice in New York during the “old normal.”
Keep in mind that we wanted a good hotel at an affordable rate that’s why we went out of the city. At that time, the rates for good city hotels start at around 300 USD and above for 3 people. The hotels with similar 100 USD rates are the hostel types, scary hotels with Room 1408 vibe inside not to mention those hotels with ugly linens displayed online like they were discouraging you to book.
We have decided on booking Hotel Nirvana via Booking.com. It is located in 12-02 37th Ave, Long Island City although if you’re there, you’d realize that you’re basically in Queens as it’s quite near the Queens Bridge and to say that it’s in Long Island is somehow a little misleading, I wonder what happened there, zoning issues perhaps? We’ve got Nas’ mural to prove that it’s in Queens.
This mural is just few minutes away from the hotel. I did not walk around the neighborhood but whenever I am on my Uber, we’d pass by the mural and voila! That is definitely Nas on it. The Uber ride from Hotel Nirvana to the city (we always get dropped on the 3rd) would cost us around 30-35 USD. If you’re not traveling with a child, you can brave the short walk to the Metro — 21 St. – Queensbridge Station is 9 minutes by foot and 36 Av. Station is 12 minutes. It is also important to note that it’s 40 minutes away from JFK costing you around 120-130 USD via Uber.
So how much did the stay cost per night? We paid around 130 USD total per night. It was supposed to be 100 USD only but there were taxes right after, so it has gone 30 USD more expensive but we expected that given that it’s normal and we do read fine prints all the time.
What I like about them is that they were not strict to declare about the 3rd person. They’d reflect that the room is for 2-3 people but at the final booking (printout), they’d indicate that it’s only for 2 people. I had to iterate that there’s a giant kid with us to be sure so I messaged Booking.com and according to them, the hotel said that it’s fine as long as we will make do of the facilities provided for 2 people. Given that I am really anxious about these stuff, I called the hotel directly and was provided the same answer.
This is the post from where we hail a cab or wait for our car. Since the hotel is smoke / vape free, this is also the place where smokers go. Brook and I had to wait inside all the time because my husband vapes.
This is the hotel entrance during the day and the below was taken during the night.
Check-in starts at 2:30 pm & check out at 11:00 am (although they weren’t super strict). On our first trip to NY, we checked in at around 12 noon (we’re early) and we were allowed to do so. But on our next trip to NY, we arrived at the hotel at around 1:00 am so we had to book an extra night. YES, we stayed TWICE at the Nirvana Hotel. Makes you think that we must really like the hotel, right? I love that there’s a cozy lobby with 2 computer units available and a cash machine. These things come in handy at times.
The reception desk was manned by 2 people during the day. The day shift staff were fine and helpful despite the busy flow of work. During the day, people constantly check in and out based on my observation. The guy who was on the reception desk when we checked in during the night was not so friendly. He made us feel like we were disturbing him because we’re checking in. He was on duty at the reception alone, perhaps because there weren’t a lot of guests coming and going during the night??? Anyhow, that was a minor issue.
- Hallet’s Cove – 17 min walk
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center – 5 min drive
- United Nations Headquarters – 6 min drive
- 5th Avenue – 14 min drive
- Central Park – 18 min drive
- Dutch Kills Central – 12 min walk
- Beer Garden at Sudio Square – 18 min walk
- John Brown – 2 min driver
- Manetta’s Ristorante – 2 min drive
- Dominie’s Hoek – 3 min drive
The bed is quite small for the three of us. It’s not like the beds in Los Angeles. BUT, since it’s clean, the linens were super white and were obviously fresh, we find the size of bed a non-issue. The toilet is small and our portable bidet did not initially work on the faucet so we had to improvise. We always travel with portable bidets and these designer fixture don’t make it easy for us. The fact that the toilet was well-stocked with towels, the surface was clean and their toiletries of choice were organic and hypoallergenic make the toilet super likable (still considering the rates). The room comes with free WiFi access and a good TV with great channels and since we always travel with FireStick at hand, we do not have problems on what to watch unless the TV is from ancient times. We loved the room. The size of the room is acceptable for such a cheap rate. We loved how frequently they clean it too.
The hotel serves free breakfast from 6 am to 11 am (if I am not mistaken). But based on my experience, guests must go and avail breakfast the earlier, the better otherwise, you’d only get the leftovers, I don’t think they restock come 10 am. I have different experiences on different days. To sum it up, breakfast is well-stocked from the earliest in the morning, with different types of cereals, pancakes, bagels, different types of bread, scrambled egg, coffee, tea, juices, and yogurt. I believe there’s almond milk available (I could be wrong).
This is the neighborhood situation. It looks pretty at night; it’s not so bad during the day either. Although I won’t recommend walking around the neighborhood late at night.
Other stuff to note: The room also comes with an alarm clock, standard phone. blow dryer, safety deposit box, iron/ironing board, stationery, coffeemaker with coffee/tea packets, refrigerator. There’s no laundry service (but there’s a laundromat nearby). There’s no in-house cafe or restaurant but they have partnered with two restaurants with 24-hr delivery, unfortunately, I forgot the process of ordering but the info is readily available at the reception. PLUS, the place is covered by GrubHub. – These are non-issues for us.
The photos are from the hotel site.