Ink 48 – A New Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen

Ink 48 – A New Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen
The Kimpton chain of hotels has refurbished the former Vu Hotel at the corner of 11th and 48th, and conjured up the concept of “making your mark” in the city. So in its place, Hotel Ink 48 has appeared, and it has a bright future.

Currently in its “rough draft” phase (open, but not all facilities available), Ink 48 has lovely views of the Hudson, the Intrepid and the city. Certainly a very good alternative for exploring a neighborhood that has a high concentration of small international restaurants, and for the moment, the property is a great value.

Presently, the “rough draft” phase is certainly economical, with rates being currently advertised as 48% below what the rooms will be offered in the future. The gym is not finished, and the kitchen was not completely open yet. However, the Hudson River suite I booked for under $300 was over 500 sq. ft., and came with wrap around views of the Hudson River, including a view of the deck of the USS Intrepid with all its treasures of Air Force and Naval aviation.

As with any Kimpton Hotel (Monaco, Palomar, Rouge, George, etc.), there is a free wine reception each evening between 5-6 p.m. and Ink 48 has a lovely atmosphere (even in the rough draft phase) that is small and friendly in which to enjoy it. After the reception, you can find the heart of Hell’s Kitchen foodie heaven just a few blocks away.

So, a short walk to 9th Avenue expands your dinner options. The trek over on 47th will allow you to enjoy the beautiful brownstone apartments and the reality of a neighborhood that was not always considered so hip and popular. Not to say it is gritty, just classic and lived-in. Once on 9th Ave., take your pick of international tastes. Italian, Japanese, Thai, Ethiopian, Irish, and a great selection of diners to choose from.

There are some services not available during the rough draft phase, such as the business center, and there was no restaurant to serve any warm preparations, although cold plates were available. Yet, the staff was wonderful and made these temporary shortcomings manageable. The continental breakfast was complimentary, although very basic; coffee, juice, fruit, croissant and muffins.

The only criticism here is that, although the rooms were very nice, and the views were spectacular, it seems the property might have a hard time justifying doubling the rates when the it’s under full sail. Demand will certainly set the rates, so we’ll have to see what the future holds for this property. It is worth checking out and comparing to other hotels in the future, especially if you prefer the neighborhood feeling.

A couple of cautionary notes. The hotel sits amongst a few car dealerships. Eleventh Avenue is known for its gas stations, car washes, and automotive presence. Again, a short 2 block walk to 9th Avenue solves this problem. Also, if you intend to drive, use the public parking down the street rather than valet with the attendant at the hotel. The price is over $30 per day to park. Otherwise, subway stations are within walking distance and cabs are ample.

Travel safely.


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