Dumont NYC -- An Affinia Hotel
Updated: Jul 10, 2016
id: sporty boutique hotel
cool detail: aeron desk chairs
By Terry Trucco
At a glance: This is a jock hotel in the best sense of the word. It has a terrific fitness center, two large lobby TV screens tuned to the day’s big game and easy proximity to Madison Square Garden (visiting NHL and NBA teams often stay here).
And it knows its priorities, prizing comfort over style. Consider the lobby's big brown ultra-suedish chairs and the towering rectangular headboards in the rooms. The look is clean, functional, unpretentious and not especially distinctive.
The Dumont resides in a brute 1980s brick high rise, tall and skinny, towering over busy East 34th Street. The lobby, lined in shiny black and white marble, features a compact sitting room. a large desk holding house computers and a well-stocked bookcase. Hanging orb lamps give off a scluptural quality in addition to light and brighten the wildly patterned rug.
A nice backdrop, in other words, if you want to hang out, pore over your phone or obsess over the latest Knicks, Nets or Rangers recruits with a friend.
Balancing out the compact lobby are the outsize guest rooms upstairs. Nearly all are large with full kitchens, sitting areas and desks making this a smart extended stay hotel. And those above the 20th floor enjoy spectacular views.
Rooms: Most are spacious and nearly all have full kitchens. The corner junior suite I saw on a high floor had two big windows with wow-I'm-in-New-York! views of the East River and Midtown buildings. Following a renovation completed in 2012, rooms feature creamy beige walls with red accents, fresh carpeting, big beds dressed in white sheeting and flatpanel TVs. As before, an Aeron chair pulls up to a large desk. The renovated kitchen I saw included a full-size fridge, sink, stove, microwave and fully stocked pantry. The compact bathroom, outfitted with a tub/shower combo and Aveda toiletries, had a Nineties appearance but was clean.
Cool detail: For jocks that want to roll out of bed and hit the treadmill, there’s a guest room with an adjoining gym.
Food and Drink: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and room service are offered at the Cinema Cafe, a cheery upscale diner and bar next to the hotel that’s ideal for families. Food is generic but perfectly fine -- and served in enormous portions. It's reasonably priced, and includes large and small plates and a house specialty Black Angus burger.
The hotel hosts a complimentary wine hour every evening that's open to any guest staying at an Affinia hotel.
Amenities: The second floor fitness center is spacious, well equipped, strategically mirrored and overseen by a full-time “fitness concierge,” who can book you a trainer. The Oasis Day Spa, a small New York chain, runs the compact but attractive full-service spa down the hall. Pets stay free of charge. WiFi ($13.95 a day). Grocery delivery from Fresh Direct is available for extended stay guests. For guests staying a month or longer, the hotel throws in a $100 Fresh Direct credit.
The Affinia web site lets you choose a pillow from the hotel pillow menu and order up in-room amenities prior to your stay, like sleep masks, contact lens solution, a yoga mat, even a putter. Also available is a free Experience Kit comprised of fitness amenities (yoga mat, weights, boot camp DVDs), a walking tour (guidebook, pedometer, Nano loaded with tours) or oenophile accessories (discount coupons for a local wine shop, picnic blanket, wine guide). Good-looking sky blue Republic bikes can be borrowed free of charge (reserve ahead of time with the hotel's e-concierge). WiF arrived with the renovation -- at last! -- but costs $14 a day.
Surroundings: Style-free but safe. The hotel is on the outskirts of Murray Hill, a quiet, mixed use neighborhood (part business, part residential) populated with brownstones and tall buildings, many from the Eighties. But it’s easy to escape (the subway is a short walk and the bus stop is across the street). And the hotel is nicely situated if you’re eager to see The Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, Macy’s and the Morgan Library. Slightly further afield are Times Square and the Theater District, Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Center and the Museum of Modern Art. And Downtown Manhattan is easy to reach by subway.
DaVinci Code alert: The red brick headquarters of Opus Dei is across the street.
Back story: This brick hotel tower was built during the boom time 1980s -- and looks it. The hotel was originally a link in the Manhattan East Suite Hotel chain, an agreeable collection of mid-price properties. In 2003, the Dumont, along with several other hotels in the group, became part of Affinia Hotels, a small, well-managed chain with a nimble website and increasingly stylish links in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, DC. In 2015 the hotel tweaked its name. So long, Affinia Dumont. Hello, Dumont NYC -- an Affinia Hotel.
Keep in mind: The elevator is often s-l-o-w, and front rooms can be noisy.
What We Saw: