My wife and I are going to be spending 4-5 nights in NYC. I was looking for input on where to stay. we are not sure if we are going to use points or cash. I'd love to be upgraded so we may do cash. We are trying to stay around popular areas like times square. Below are the things we are concerned about so any input/recommendations that comment on the below points would be greatly appreciated!
THanks for your help!
We stayed in NYC in late December at the Courtyard Manhattan Mid-Town East on 3rd and 53rd. First time there and I would definitely stay there again. Not much on amenities, but the rooms are probably the biggest of any hotel I have stayed at in NYC. The only room I recall that was larger was an upgraded corner room at the Marriott Marquis Times Square.
Regarding amenities - the cafe is not open at night, no wine or beer on property. Don't know if this was a temporary thing or permanent. We had several rooms, celebrating a birthday, so I had to go to a wine store and a drug store (for beer), so we could relax and have our happy hour prior to departing for dinner. The good news is there are numerous wonderful restaurants and bars nearby. (a block from PJ Clarks - a very old irish bar/restaurant). It is an easy walk to St. Patricks, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, etc.
I had requested a room with two queens and a sleeper - a few days in advance - for one of our rooms, so it was a little larger than the standard two bed room, but even that smaller room was very large by NYC standards. The person I spoke to said they would specifically hold one for me and sure enough, upon arrival at 11:00am on a Friday, the room was clean and ready.
I stay in NYC frequently, and have a few ideas for you:
First off, please keep in mind that NYC is a tight real estate market, has been since after the civil war, and hotels try to squeeze as many rooms into a physical building as possible, so rooms in NYC in all hotels are usually smaller and more expensive than anywhere else in the USA
1. Residence Inn - there is one in the Times Square area, rooms are big by NYC standards, breakfast is OK, and is open until 10 on weekdays and 11 on weekend. No concierge lounge, but the usual RI amenities in the evening seem to be available. The Times square one is on 39th and 6th, so it is close to TS, walkable to Rock Center, and given the excellent NYC transit system (got get a day trip card, great value for subway and bus, maps on MTA website and apps for phones as well)
2. Marriott and Renaissance in TS - great location, small rooms, have the concierge lounge, breakfast is also till 10 or so on weekdays and later on weekend, but CL closed Friday and Saturday night. CL is smallish so it often feels crowded. You get all of the sights and sounds of TS right out your window and that can be good or bad.
3. JW Marriott Essex House - great location right on Central Park South, rooms tend to be a bit more spacious, CL is best in NYC Marriott properties, close to Carnegie Hall, walkable to all major midtown destinations, all in, good property.
4. The Carleton - its near Madison Square (not MSG, thats at 34th and 7th) on 27th and Madison. Rooms can be a bit bigger, but there is no CL, so breakfast is in the restaurant (which is not owned by the hotel, but is inside it, like a concession), very basic continental and any add ons cost $$$$$$$$$. no free water, etc. Not close to midtown, but subway and buses can get you anywhere. Saving grace is there is a Dunkin Doughnuts 100 feet away and sarabeths restaurant is a block away, and the area is home many good and non touristy restaurants.
Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge - rooms are better sized since its in Brooklyn and not Manhattan (and yes, Brooklyn is in NYC!). Good CL, not as crowded, short subway ride to Wall street (10 mins), 30 mins to TS and/or Rock Center. Good value as well.
So all in just trying to give you a few views. All boils down to preference. I really would rank JW Marriott Essex house as my #1 and Brooklyn Marriott as my #2, but that is me.
good luck and let us know what you decide
We stayed at the Marriott Marquis located one block off Times Square. It is the perfect location if you like to be within walking distance to all the action in TS. Lots of restaurants & shops within steps. Subway or taxi can get you to many attractions. Concierge Lounge was busy but we went during Thanksgiving last year. Walked to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade two blocks away. Room size was quite adequate for New York standards. Clean & comfortable. Highly recommend.
Check out the new Residence Inn at Midtown/Central Park. It just opened in Dec. Supposedly the tallest hotel in the U.S. Breakfast is included. There is a large multipurpose lounge on the 4th floor. Everything was very comfortable and stylish. Rooms aren't huge, but bigger than most NYC properties. Have fun.