by Lissa Poirot
Less than 100 yards from Broadway and the heart of Time Square is this hotel, which makes guests feel as though they’ve entered a portal and wound up in Morocco. Casablanca Hotel is more than a name. It’s the scent of incense in the hallways. It’s the wooden shutters, furniture and ceiling fans. It’s the mosaic tiles and statues of tigers guarding common areas. It’s the tiny staircase where you’ll pass other families from around the world who have descended upon New York for the same sightseeing as your family.
Yes, Casablanca Hotel is family friendly. There is a nightly wine and cheese reception beginning at 5 p.m., and the clerk is quick to point out that children are welcome and there will be popcorn, cookies and fruits for the kids.
The hotel features standard rooms and suites, as well as complimentary breakfast each morning, but you just can’t beat its Times Square location, directly across the street from a couple of the many area theaters and surrounded by restaurants. However, just those few yards down a side street off Broadway also lends itself to a quiet night for sleeping, once the kids are tuckered out and ready to finally close their eyes.
Our Editor Loves
- Times Square location
- Complimentary breakfast and snacks
- Boutique hotel with Moroccan style
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
An intimate hotel, Casablanca only features 48 rooms and suites. The smallest rooms are only suitable for one to two people with a full-sized bed, so steer clear of these when traveling with the kids. There are rooms with queen or king bed, which also remain a tad small. Rollaway beds are not available, but cribs are. Families would do best to select a premium room with two double beds or a mini suite with one king or two double beds with sleeper sofa. Although the mini suites was smaller than a traditional suite in hotel rooms, the sitting room was plenty comfortable with a loveseat, chair and desk area. The bedroom's two double beds were comfortable for the kids (although a bit tight). The bathroom's rain shower was a surprising treat.
All rooms feature DVD players with a complimentary limited selection of DVDs available at the front desk. Rooms also feature free Wi-Fi. Mini fridges are provided, but call down to the front desk to order drinks typically stocked in a mini bar (for the same crazy prices).
A TKTS booth is located at 46th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue, outside the Marriott Marquis Hotel for discounted day-of tickets. Directly across the street from the hotel are a couple of theaters, and many others are just blocks away. If you're visiting the city to take in its shows, this is the place for you.
Children's Museum of Manhattan
212 West 83rd Street, New York, 212-721-1234
A straight shot north of the hotel and Times Square, just beyond Central Park, is a children's museum in a quiet neighborhood, to give the kids a chance to get out their energy without the hustle and bustle of Times Square. There is an entire floor dedicated to children ages 4 and younger, as well as a Dora and Diego exhibit for preschoolers. In warmer months, City Splash gets kids wet out of doors. Surprisingly, prices are low compared to children's museums we've visited across the country. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays.
Complimentary breakfast is provided daily in Rick's Case. Cereals, yogurt, breads, pastries, bagels and beverages are on hand. Beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 10:30 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends. Between 5 and 8 p.m., complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres are served. Coffee, tea, cookies and fruit are available throughout the day. The second floor room is outfitted with comfy couches and tables, as well as a computer and Internet (Internet is available in all rooms) in a space meant to resemble a Moroccan cafe.
Tony's Di Napoli
Located next door to the hotel, room service is provided by Tony's Di Napoli. Family-style meals serve up to three people with appetizers, salads, pasta, meats and fish and other Italian specialties.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The hotel provides complimentary bottled water in the rooms. Wi-Fi is free and can be found throughout the hotel. Although there is not a fitness center on the premises, the hotel provides complimentary passes to a nearby sports club.
The Art of Smart Timing
Summertime and around the Christmas season are busy times in New York City.
If driving in, parking is available right next door and the hotel will validate your parking pass for discounted rate. To get to New York by plane, LaGuardia and JFK International airports welcome flights from all over the country, as well as around the world. Taxis will be less expensive from LaGuardia. Newark, N.J., is about 30 minutes away by car and tunnel.
As typical in New York, walking, taxis and subways are the way to get around.
For Mom and Dad
The adults will love the prime location of this hotel.