We have a favorite dog-friendly NYC hotel, the Hotel Wales on the Upper East Side, and we have dear friends, too, who would welcome Chloe and us to their apartment, but if we stuck with those options, where would this blog be? Taking one for the team, we experimented with a new hotel in the Flatiron District, called The MAve Hotel (and yes, the odd capitalization is deliberate — the hotel is on Madison Avenue).
It’s at 27th and Madison, in fact — a thin column on the northwest corner of the intersection. It’s sleekly modern, appealing, and conveniently located. The front desk staff was friendly and helpful — kind to Chloe, and responsive to our requests. The rooms are tiny — someone sitting at the desk has to move if another someone wants to enter or exit the bathroom — but they’re clean and attractive, and the wifi is free.
Drawbacks? It was a little wearing to jigsaw-puzzle our way around the room, and it was strangely unpleasant that the hotel does not have any kind of communal gathering space, other than a bit of glorified hall on the first floor where morning coffee and pastries are served (ice water was available during the day while we were there). “Strangely,” I say, because I don’t think of myself as a lobby denizen — but I must be, because I missed having one.
That was more than offset by the positives that I’ve already mentioned, along with additional perks like the complimentary cranberry juice and pretzels that welcomed us, and the free morning paper, and — most important of all — the reasonable room rate ($195/night for our “Madison Queen” room, though the searches I just did indicate that the rates vary by date). The pet fee is substantial: $150 per stay.
We’d return to the MAve happily in the future, partly because we were content in the hotel, and partly because we liked the location. The hotel is a block north of Madison Square Park, home not only of a Shake Shack, a pretty workable (and delicious) dog-friendly eating option, but also of a good-sized (remember that this is Manhattan, folks, when you see it) off-leash dog park called Jemmy’s Run.
Chloe never made it into Jemmy’s Run — it’s prime squirrel season in the park, and even if we had been able to coax her away from the fences that surround the park’s grassy bits, she would simply have parked herself at the dog run’s fence.
One more thought about Madison Square Park: Each spring (and apparently also in the fall), the park hosts/sponsors a month-long daily food cart event called Madison Square Eats — we caught the last day of it, and wished we’d wised up two days earlier. Food carts, ho hum, you may be thinking — but these were food carts of the gods. If you’ll be in NYC with your dog in May or October, be sure to include several food cart lunches in your plans.
A handful of additional notes from our visit: Just around the corner from the hotel, you’ll find darned good coffee (and this is a Seattle woman speaking) at Birch Coffee — not, alas, dog-friendly, nor is the jazzy Gershwin Hotel above it; and only a few blocks away, you’ll find a very competent brunch at Barking Dog, which does welcome dogs to its patio (the Affinia Dumont Hotel, next door, is also dog-friendly, and very appealing, but significantly more expensive than the MAve). Just across 5th Ave. from Jemmy’s Run is Eataly, a paradise of all things related to Italian food — it’s not dog-friendly, but you can nip in and get the fixings for a dream of a picnic.