Stepping back into the 1920’s era of rich wood paneling where The Round Table met to discuss news of the day was a treat as we checked into The Algonquin hotel in NYC and were promptly greeted by the legendary house cat, Matilda. Fat and sassy, the current Matilda is one of many felines who have graced the lobby starting with the original anointed “Hamlet” (boy cats are named Hamlet and girl cats are Matilda) by legendary thespian John Barrymore back in the day. They even have a “chief cat officer” on staff to assist Matilda with her busy schedule and social media accounts. Yes, this lucky cat has a Facebook page: Matilda-The Algonquin Cat.
Aside from Matilda, this hotel reeks of history and luxury. Enjoying Day 1 of our NYC/Ireland vacation, we couldn’t wait to check in and hit the streets to see our favorite Manhattan haunts. While the rooms are small, they make up for it with top of the line furnishings from the backlit photographic headboard to the marble bathroom, this hotel experience is worth it. Grab a complimentary espresso and sit in the lobby where classic tunes play and snuggle into the leather chairs for a quiet reading experience that is a very worthwhile use of time.
Stepping outside on 44th Street right into the middle of the hectic Manhattan experience, it’s an easy walk to all the landmark attractions like Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Times Square and even, for those of you like me who have to get 10,000 steps a day, it’s a nice long walk to Central Park. We hit over 20,000 steps yesterday as we took it all in and walked through lush Central Park in the throes of an Indian Summer day with blue skies and temps in the 70’s.
After a long day of walking, we were still tired from the redeye flight from Hell where we fidgeted and twitched for 5 long hours but certainly didn’t sleep. The front desk of the Algonquin couldn’t have been nicer, checking us in early at 9 a.m. when we finally arrived after a long, traffic-congested Uber ride from JFK. Of course, Thom became best buddies with our driver, talking New York sports the whole way while I napped. So fun meeting and talking to new people. Our Uber guy in Seattle to the airport was from Vietnam and was so excited we had visited his country so we chatted all things Hanoi and Saigon. Enjoying the journey!