We spend a lot of time in New York City and my wife is really good at finding nice hotels at a price that won't bust the budget. Our last trip to the city put us in a nice hotel at a decent rate and it even came with history, and a few surprises in the bathroom, of all places.

It's holiday time in NYC so the streets and hotels are packed and it's nearly impossible to get a good rate. The Kitano Hotel was the one place she found that was decent and clean, and below $500. Our rate for one overnight was $452 included fees and taxes. The non-holiday rate for a standard room at Kitano is about $300.

Bronze sculpture of the "Lucky Dog" in the lobby of the Kitano Hotel in NYC. The paint on the tongue is worn from guests rubbing it for good luck. The 1993 sculpture was created by well known artist, Fernando Botero in 1993. (Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
Bronze sculpture of the "Lucky Dog" in the lobby of the Kitano Hotel in NYC. The paint on the tongue is worn from guests rubbing it for good luck. The 1993 sculpture was created by well known artist, Fernando Botero in 1993. (Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
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The Kitano hotel is the only Japanese owned and operated hotel in Manhattan. It first opened in 1973 and was formerly the Murray Hill Hotel, owned by the Rockefeller family. The hotel was purchased and overhauled by the Kitano family, combining "Western design with Eastern hospitality," according to Oyster.com. The hotel features one Japanese Tatami suite. According to Wikipedia, A washitsu (和室), meaning "Japanese-style room(s)", and frequently called a "tatami room" in English, is a Japanese room with traditional tatami flooring. Washitsu also usually have sliding doors (fusuma), rather than hinged doors between rooms. There is one Tatami suite in the hotel.

The hotel is also home to two restaurants, including a traditional Japanese restaurant (both are currently being remodeled for a sweeping rebranding of the hotel coming in Spring 2023). There's also a beautiful rooftop bar with seating indoors and out, offering an amazing view of New York's Murray Hill District. The hotel has a view of the Empire State Building, and is just a few blocks from Grand Central Station.

The rooms are a bit outdated but with decor and amenities that were high end luxury in the 70s and 80s; but, the hotel is pristine and clean, and the service is exceptional.

(Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
The bidet toilet heated seat is quite a surprise at the Kitano Hotel. (Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
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This brings me to the bathroom. The Kitano Hotel bathroom comes with a Washlette S300 toilet. It's amazing. This toilet is is an electronic luxury bidet toilet seat that cleanses you with warm water to provide an exceptionally clean feeling. It also comes with a heated seat. The Washlette S300 heated toilet seat and bidet is featured in every room in the hotel and comes with a wireless controller attached to the wall. I have to be honest, the toilet seat gets pretty warm! I won't say this toilet was the highlight of our trip, but I can tell you it's the one talking point that has dominated our conversations after we came home.

The wireless display/controller for the bidet toilet heated seat at the Kitano Hotel. (Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
The wireless display/controller for the bidet toilet heated seat at the Kitano Hotel. (Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
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One more thing, the bathroom features hotel monogramed towels and a heated towel rack. Yes...a treated towel rack. This bathroom is definitely worth the price of admission.

Monogrammed towel and towel warmer at the Kitano Hotel in NYC. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
Monogrammed towel and towel warmer at the Kitano Hotel in NYC. (Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
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Towel warmer at the Kitano Hotel in NYC. (Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
Towel warmer at the Kitano Hotel in NYC. (Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
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If you're looking for a nice hotel that's clean and affordable, the Kitano Hotel is for you. If you're looking to purchase this heated bidet and toilet seat for your home, you can buy it here for about $500.

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