Small but clean A review of Astor on the Park
Just returned from a 4-night stay and had a pretty good experience. Our priority was cleanliness, and the Astor did well on this front -- the renovation seems mostly complete, and our room was newly painted, bath was very clean, nice towels, sheets, and comforter (however, the paint was of the didn't-bother-to-remove-the-light-switch-covers variety, so it lacks aesthetic appeal). The room was very, very small and did mean living out of suitcases on the floor (of which there was little). We mostly wanted a clean place to sleep while we explored the city, thus we were statisfied. (And, for what it's worth, we found the staff helpful, and friendly -- though we didn't have much need of them, so not many interactions to go on). They did get us a non-smoking room.
We found the room quiet and we liked the neighborhood. It is 3 small blocks from a subway stop (from which we found it easy to get all over town -- few transfers), and less than a block from a bus stop that runs directly downtown and at all hours (we only took cabs 2x and that was simply for speed -- could have taken the bus or subway). Being uptown was nice for us, as we liked being able to join the hustle & bustle of midtown and then retreating to a quieter part of town to sleep. Its also nice to be right across the street from Central Park and to have quick access to the Met, the Natural History Museum, the Frick and even the Cloisters.
Had I been there on business or wanted to spend more time in the hotel, I would have been less happy. There was no desk (or room for a desk). Indeed there was no room for a chair. We did have wireless internet, but no cable tv. I don't think they have a consierge service. No gym or anything like that.
We wanted safe, clean, and well-located and we were very happy on those fronts. Haven't been to NYC in a while, so can't compare room size to others in the city, but everyone says they are small all over. We got a non-smoking room, a queen sized bed, and nice area. We spent $275/night which is, of course, expensive, but can't comment on how it compares with other hotels of the same ilk -- from what we could tell, it seemed to us that it was on par.