It's been a tough year for my family, so we decided to experience a NYC Christmas for the first time... I actually have reservations at both the JW and the East Side. We were looking for a good, central location that is elegant and upscale. Also, the lounge is very important for us (GOLD members)! Both seem elegantly appointed on the outside/lobby (pictures), but in reality are there differences? Rooms? Lounge? Which would be a "better" choice, (especially because I am not using points and there is a price difference)? I heard that the JW is due for remodeling, so I was a bit worried... If anyone has insights I would REALLY appreciate it! We'll be there from Dec. 22-29.
Thank you ALL!!
Hello Susana and welcome to Insiders as I do not recall having seen you here before.
Regarding the East Side, we stayed there in December 2014 and loved it. It's away from what will be a very very busy and bustling Times Square area, yet close enough for a nice 10-15 minute walk if you want to experience it or are taking in a show. There are a number of excellent restaurants within a couple of block of the hotel where you can mingle with the local New York folk (we find locals always extremely friendly and helpful) and find some very good food.
The East Side has the M Club on the ground floor and we enjoyed a quick bite of breakfast before heading out to a NYC Deli or restaurant for a late morning nibble or lunch. If I recall the M Club has 24 access for soda and water, possibly even some snacks.
We had a huge room on a high floor with nice furnishings, large bathroom and mini fridge for keeping leftovers from spots we ate cold as well as some wine!! Here are a couple of pictures I took of the room.
Cannot speak to the JW as I've not stayed there, but I believe you'll find the East Side a nice place. There are also some other threads in blue to the right of this page that might be able to provide you more help in making your decision.
Please let us know what you pick and have a wonderful time in a special place for the holidays.
I have stayed at the East Side too and I did enjoy the location. The rooms are pretty big for NY so I think more family friendly.
Here is a small M-Club review.
Jsucool76 I think has stayed at the JW. Maybe he can give some pointers to it.
To me the JW is all about its location. The hotel is really kind of meh. Rooms are old and quite dated. The lounge is almost unusable for breakfast when the hotel is crowded, and judging by the dates you're going I'd guess it will be pretty crowded. We were waiting upwards of 15 minutes just to get into the lounge at breakfast time on a random weekend in October, and then when we finally got a table, we would have to wait for more of something to be brought out because some item would be empty there.
The only thing I can say I truly loved about the Essex house is that the room was always cleaned early, walking out onto central park, it's proximity to the Columbus circle station , and the fact that it is smack dab right between marea and sarabeths .
I have pictures of the room somewhere from my trip 2 years ago (didn't bother taking any this go around as nothing had changed). Ill post em if I can find em.
I always stayed on points at the Essex house. I don't think I could drop the amount they charge and be happy with what they offer.
JW is the best choice Its location is perfect.is near Central Park and ideally located in the heart of it all, with Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Columbus Circle, the Theater District and 5th Avenue all within reach. Your will enjoy breathtaking views of Central Park and Manhattan. Christmas is all arround there. It is a bit dated but it has an excellent staff and service.. The one located at the East is an old property too but its CL is better in anyway, also a bit far from the noise. NYC is the best place to enjoy the season so enjoy!!!!
I loved staying at the Essex house. Although the room interior was a bit dated I had a big suite with a gorgeous view of the park. It's location can't be beat and the staff was amazing! The line to check in was almost to the door and the concierge let me check in at his desk. One thing I will caution about the lounge is in the morning can get a bit.....rowdy. During my weekend stay all the previous night partiers (myself included) stumbled in there in the morning and it was like another mini party. Maybe it was just a one off occasion but if it wasn't then I probably wouldn't bring my family in there.
I stayed at the Lexington last Christmas (very art deco, nice upgraded two bathroom suite, but probably wouldn't stay again), the East Side (right across the street from the Lexington) in February and Renaissance 57 last week. Of the three, I enjoyed the East property the most. Nice room, decent lounge and good location. Just a few blocks from the train and about a 5-10 minute walk to Grand Central. Good restaurant choices within two-three blocks. Try the Pig n Whistle on 3rd, good food. Also, treat yourself to Serendipity and their frozen hot chocolate. It's worth the wait.
Thank you! East Side will be open for both the 24th and 25th, Essex House will close the 25th. I still haven't made the decision, but seem to be leaning more towards the East Side now because it seems that the hotel was remodeled more recently than the Essex House... Can anyone confirm that? Thank you all for your responses!
Great question, fern! The rooms at the East Side Marriott were updated in 2007 with the common areas updated in 2011. The Essex House guest rooms were updated in 2006 and the property is slated for a spring renovation. Hope this helps! Feel free to let me know of any additional questions.
Marriott Eastside, for sure. Call ahead and talk to someone about the type of room you would like. I had a room, with points, and for a small uncharge they gave me a room with 2 queen beds and a pull out couch, and a fridge. It was a huge corner room, so much space--never before in NYC. It is close to MoMA, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Union Station, and tons of restaurants. Easy walking distance to those things, and a short walk to subway/bus stops. Last trip in to the city, we parked in the city of Montclair, NJ at the Bay Street parking lot next to the train station www.montclairnjusa.org for $7 dollars a 24 hour day, and took the train (attached to station) into Penn Station NYC. Train tickets are 7.75 for adults and 3.55 for seniors, and children. Children enjoy the train, and you can save $40 a night on parking.
We went in to the city just after Christmas and had three rooms at the Courtyard Midtown East, at 866 3rd Avenue. Good location and the rooms were some of the biggest I have had in NYC. Plenty of good spots nearby for dinner or breakfast and a short walk to 5th Ave, Central Park, etc.