I stayed at the Beacon for 4 days in 2005 and really enjoyed my stay there.
So much, that I am staying there again in June this year.
The Hotel is not flashy, ie. the reception area is quite plain and not very big, but the people were great and very helpful, and the rooms are a decent size and very clean. I understand the elevators have been recently upgraded and there is work going on to the outside of the building but this should be completed by June 2007. The hotel is in a great spot on Broadway at W75th street. A short walk to the subway at Verdi Square. Central Park and Riverside Park are also near. The small kitchen in the hotel room, means you can make some meals and save some money. Shopping for food is great. Across the street at Fairway, or walk 6 blocks north to Zabars and H & H Bagels. I would recommend the this area of Manhattan. If you want the bustle of midtown it is just a short subway ride away. I am really looking forward to my second visit. Sitting in the sun in Verdi Square with Hot Dogs and a Smoothy from Grays Papaya, just watching the world go by. Can't wait.