Travel

By Kimberly McDonald

I’m no P Diddy aficionado; in fact, I’d do well to keep up with which name he’s using at any given time. But I’m going to admit that my experience at the Benjamin Hotel was so fab, that I couldn’t help but borrow my title from Puffy’s poesy about the luxe life. Staying at the Benjamin is definitely all about feeling like a mogul.

This boutique hotel, painstakingly restored to its original 1927 jazz-era posture, offers patrons an experience you’d think was reserved for socialites, rock stars, or royalty. From the marble-clad lobby to the well appointed rooms that offer high speed internet access, copy/printer/fax machines with dedicated numbers and large executive desks (that are quite useful whether you’re a business traveler or just need space to lay out your shopping list and agenda).

Perhaps, one of the most luxurious features at the Benjamin is their “sleep concierge.” With a pillow menu that promises a good night’s sleep for any guest, you can select from a standard down, Swedish Memory (foam designed and used by NASA reacts with your body temperature), buckwheat, and other pillow varieties. It also doesn’t hurt that the Benjamin uses only Frette linens on their custom designed mattresses. I had to pry myself out of bed in the morning because it was truly one of the most comfortable and restful night’s sleep I had had in quite some time. The upside…the hotel retails their pillows, bedding, robes, etc., so that you can recreate that same fabulous feeling of luxury and restfulness in your own home.

Traveling with your pet? No worries here. The Benjamin is a Pet-friendly establishment that offers food and water bowls, gourmet pet treats and services such as dog walking/sitting, grooming or even a pet psychic.

Concerned about the environment? The Benjamin is. It’s one of only four Five-Globe ECOTEL certified properties in the world. This means that they put into practice their philosophies of environmental responsibility.


Have I mentioned the staff yet? It isn’t uncommon when staying in luxury hotels that you encounter a snooty staff who seems to feel that only rock stars, moguls, and royalty should be treated well. Not here. With all of its other fantastic points and amenities, the real jewel in the Benjamin’s crown is its staff. Everyone seemed genuinely dedicated to seeing that I was comfortable, had everything I needed, and that should I so much as break a nail…help was but a phone call away.

Keep in mind that this hotel is located in midtown Manhattan, not the outback, so there is some city noise. If you’re a very light sleeper, you may want to ask for a room that is not on the Lexington Avenue side.

There is really nothing left to tell you about this hotel other than you have to experience it for yourself. So when you’re in New York remember “it’s all about the Benjamin.” And when you check in, you’ll see that for the hotel staff, it’s all about You.

The Benjamin Hotel
125 East 50th Street
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-715-2500
Fax: 212-715-2525

Originally published March 2005
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