Story by Will A. Davis
Those of us of a “certain age” may remember with fondness and nostalgia the now classic 1942 movie “Casablanca” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, along with many other legendary stars gathering at the notorious Rick’s Cafe in a story filled with intrigue and romance.
The Casablanca Hotel in New York City captures the magic of the movie not just with its setting and ambiance but also with its outstanding award-winning service and hospitality all within strolling distance of the “Great White Way” also know as Broadway and the incredible Theater District and Times Square. The Casablanca is one of the members of the world-renowned Library Hotel Collection. We’ve stayed at the Elysee , another Library property and in both cases did not want to leave! After the crowds and noise of NYC overwhelm run back to recharge in the nest like experience of a Library Hotel especially the Casablanca.
The hotel is located at 147 West 43-d Street in the world-famous Times Square area in the heart of Mid-town Manhattan. Entering the lobby of the 48 room luxury boutique style hotel one is immediately drawn to the Mediterranean influence of woodwork, pierced metal and window fabric treatments. It is a small peaceful lobby and one immediately gets the sensation of going back in time to a less hectic and more quiet environment even though you are in the heart of New York, the city that never sleeps! ! The welcoming staff from doorman to housekeeping is just that: really friendly , knowledgeable and prepared to make your stay a memorable one. Advice on how, when and where to get to places is really helpful, saves time and reduces stress especially for a first time New York City visitor. Many sites and theaters are within walking distance.
The guest rooms at the hotel are intimate and well-appointed with not only cable television but access to
the hotel’s complimentary DVD Library to be enjoyed in your room if you desire. The rooms and public areas are immaculately clean and maintained including noise reducing windows. All the amenities including an extra blanket, slippers, bathrobes, bottled water and fine toiletries. If you need extra help in the shower they will install the super suction grab bars.
Rick’s Cafe may be near by and it is! Right on the second floor of the hotel.
Two beautifully paneled rooms richly appointed with art and books and a warming fireplace make up the cafe area. There is even a classic upright piano! Here you can enjoy a free continental breakfast buffet with a large selection of cereals, fresh fruits, pastries , muffins and juices as well as freshly brewed coffee or espresso and cappuccino.
The cafe is open twenty-four hours a day and offers coffee, espresso, lattes and bakery treats as well as other fresh fruit whenever you get the urge for a light snack or want that cozy living room environment. Just march up (or down) or use the original floor- tiled elevators to access Rick’s Cafe. Free Wifi is available in the cafe as well as throughout the hotel.
Happy Hour – s
But it’s not just about the complimentary breakfast at Rick’s Cafe. The cafe host’s for your pleasure a three-hour wine and cheese “hour” from 5PM until 8PM every night . A colorful and flavorful assortment of cheeses, fruits, crackers, marinated olives, platters of veggies and dip. Of course white and red wines as well as coffee and tea can be enjoyed, especially on Friday evenings when a musician comes in and entertains on the piano which again evokes the relaxed and calming location.
Stop in and enjoy before going to the theater or some other event or perhaps just investigating and exploring the always alive area. Visiting a friend in the city? Have them stop in and enjoy wine and cheese hour with you at no extra charge! Wow that is hospitality!
Speaking of hospitality you can also pick up passes to the New York Sports Club to maintain you workout schedule. There are many locations throughout the city. Other amenities at the Casablanca include free bottles of water, turn down service( with chocolates!) and even assistance with getting a “perfect sleep”!
All that you have read and heard about Broadway and the surrounding theater district is true. From theater to restaurants to just sightseeing and feeling the exhilaration and excitement of being in New York, especially the world-class performances in many theater genres for both long running plays such as Lion King, Aladdin and hits like Kinky Boots and Hamilton as well as so many others old and new.
One will find it hard to find a hotel in New York which offers such a variety of complimentary offerings than the Casablanca does unless it’s another in the Library family!
A Special Place
This hotel is one of the more special places that we have enjoyed for just a few of the reasons mentioned It is truly an affordable escape for a few days into a little bit of make believe. And who knows you may hear someone say “Play it again Sam”.
The hotel is accessible with two period decorated elevators that again add charm. All of what New York City has to offer is at your doorstep. Just step outside or just step inside to enjoy the unmatched hospitality and charm of the Casablanca a Library hotel experience.