To Hell’s Kitchen and Back: Strong Impressions from Ink 48

Ink 48 Lounge Copyright Shelagh DonnellyWe arrived in New York last Thursday evening, for a first visit to the Kimpton brand’s Ink 48 property. This Midtown Manhattan hotel is housed in a former printing press building just a couple of blocks from the Hudson River. In the Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood, which prohibits highrises, we enjoyed some impressive views of the Manhattan skyline.

Ink 48’s lobby is also impressive, with ample opportunities for socialising as well as some quiet little nooks and crannies.

While this was only my second stay in a Kimpton hotel, it delivered the warm welcome and richly coloured lobby furnishings I’ve already come to expect. The service was also warm and welcoming.

Guests can pop down to the lobby each morning for complimentary coffee or tea, and fruit-infused water. There’s also a hosted wine hour at 5:00 each day. As you’ll see here, guests have access to loaner bikes. Four-legged guests are also welcome here.

Love the Neighbourhood

Hell's Kitchen Brownstones 9939 Copyright Shelagh DonnellyWhen travelling to other cities, it’s all to easy to find yourself based in a generic and tourist-driven neighbourhood.

Here in Hell’s Kitchen, although visitors and travellers are clearly welcomed, we felt we were afforded a glimpse into the New York lifestyle. Need beverages or a morning bagel? We made more than a couple of visits to 5 Brothers Gourmet Market, just a block away from Ink 48.

5 Brothers Gourmet Market Hell's Kitchen Copyright Shelagh DonnellyOur first morning in New York, we strolled up the block and nabbed bagels. Where to enjoy them?

Directly across the street, in Hell’s Kitchen Park – where you have a curved row of benches that draws parents watching their little ones at play, as well as other visitors of all ages and stages in life. In addition to the basketball court and playground equipment, there’s a nice water feature for cooling off in the heat of the day. All this play is contained by fencing and a solid gate, with little ones under parents’ watchful eyes.

Neighbourhood Restaurants

So many options! Apart from the deli, we tried Ethiopian, Italian and Mexican food. I particularly recommend Anejo (wonderful guacamole, salads and more), directly across the street from Hell’s Kitchen Park, and Patzeria Family and Friends. Anejo oozes charm. The service was good, and the food was delicious.

If you go to Patzeria, the decor is simple; the focus is on very good food and stellar service. Our thanks to Walter and kudos to owner Lee on the delicious food (delicious prawns and scallops, as you’ll see below), clean facilities and great staff. Patzeria is less than a 10-minute walk from Ink 48. You’d be wise to either make a reservation (by phone or online), or be prepared to wait in line. We stumbled across this restaurant, located at 311 West 48th Street, by chance. At first deterred by the lineup, we listened to the advice of a pair of departing diners who encouraged us to stay. They raved about the food, and we’re glad we listened.

Incidentally, Patzeria is in the heart of the theatre district; it seems popular with both pre- and post-theatre audiences, as well as cast and crew members. On our second visit, we enjoyed beer at a happy hour price of $3 each, and wonderful thin crust pizza … and were surprised, but delighted, to be offered a pair of tickets to The Crucible by another pair of diners.

Homes and Gardens

These photos speak for themselves. I caught all of them within a five minute radius of our hotel; the park is Clinton Community Garden, another fenced and gated (yet accessible) property.

Our  Room

We had a spacious, and very open, King studio with Manhattan views, including Times Square.

Ink 48 King Studio Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

City images flank the headboard, and there are some impressive prints showcasing the city and its history throughout the hotel.
Ink 48 Headboard Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

City Views

We enjoyed great weather for most of our first day, but both times I popped up to the Press Lounge, it was to damp skies … which made for an interesting shot, below, of a traffic jam through raindrops.

Traffic through Raindrops on 48th NYC 0761 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

 

Ready Access to Business Districts

I attended a Friday morning meeting at the West 57th offices of KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.), just a couple of blocks away from Central Park. Why cab it? i enjoyed a brisk, but lovely early morning walk through the local neighbourhoods and past landmarks such as Radio City Hall to reach the workshop. Ink 48 makes for a great home base for exploring Manhattan, whether you’re here for business or leisure.

 Radio City Music Hall Copyright Shelagh Donnelly
Manhattan Skyline and Hudson River Views

Shelagh at The Press Lounge, Ink 48, ManhattanHere’s yours truly at Ink 48’s Press Lounge, atop the hotel. If you have a look at the traffic jam to the west of the hotel, below, you’ll see why we were happy to hoof it through Manhattan for about five hours on our first full day in the city.

It’s the Hell’s Kitchen building height restrictions that give Ink 48 these spectacular views from its rooftop Press Lounge.  I took all five photos below from the Press Lounge, where you literally have views in every direction, including over the Hudson River. I can understand why there are lineups to access this popular spot.

 

High Line

From the hotel, we walked up 10th to 34th and took a walk along the High Line. I’ll write more about that later but, in the interim, here’s a peek at this great – and relatively recent – walkway above and through various neighbourhoods.

Times Square

We could see Times Square from our 14th floor room, and made our way down there following dinner at Anejo on night one. If you go, be prepared to be descended upon by characters of all shapes and sizes, many of them costumed (and some barely costumed)!

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