thinking of our first trip to NYC. Would like everyones opinions on the Marriott Marquis and the Renaissance Times Square. Worth the price? Worth paying extra for a view? Really that nice? Convenient to get around to the attractions? What times of the year are rates the cheapest(relatively speaking)? Rooms too noisy being near Times Square? Thanks in advance for any advice
Yes and Yes, on the places are worth it! No, to the noise, you will not have a problem.
You will get a lot of opinions and I personally enjoy the CY Times Square when on a budget. You actually may be surprised at how reasonable you can dine in NYC, if you pick your spots carefully. Likewise, I really would suggest going thru some of the many Insiders reports on NYC.
The Summer months can get hot and crowded, my favorite time is October. One of the first things I would do is take the boat tour around Manhattan. It was so educational and interesting as well as scenic.
You will have a great time. Lastly, do stay "Where the action is". Commuting is not fun, and you will be glad to have a place close by to relax when you want to .
Agree with Jerry that the summer can be very hot. Also there never seems to be an off-season as far as rates go, so be prepared for sticker shock. I am not that sure a view room makes a difference--I have had both at the Marquis and while it's a photo op when you first get there after that...
One tip from our first visit many years ago: we bought the NYT guide to NYC and read it cover to cover. Other guide books are out there but this one seemed to be written for us novices. It might be a library book as well.
Good luck and p.s., our favorite month is May
Thanks for the replies. Yes, I am aware the prices aren't cheap. I've checked out a few Marriotts and dates. Wow-way more pricey than Chicago. But when the time comes my wife and I figure to just go for it and have fun at whatever cost. Have to look into the guides- don't wanna be wasting time
My wife and I always stay at the Algonquin Hotel [which Marriott has now acquired as one of its Autograph Collection Hotels] at 59 West 44th Street [just off Times Square]. I also agree with Jerry that with a little exploration and help from the hotel there are many nice places to eat that will not break the bank. In addition to taking the boat tour Sally and I always ride the double decker buses around the city each time we are there. Have fun!!....Bill
I'm late to this post but agree with what's been said here. Not sure which CY Jerry is referring to but I stayed last summer at the CY located on 5th Avenue @ 40th Street and it was surprisingly nice and comfortable.
I have also stayed at the Renaissance Times Square and Marquis. I found the Marquis to be way too big and cumbersome, although the rooms are nice. The elevators are a pain and depending on where the room is, a long walk. Noise was not a problem at all. The Lounge was pretty good.
The Renaissance is really hip but the rooms are tiny. But if given the choice between the two, I'd pick the Renaissance.
I just booked a few days at the East Side Marriott for next month. I thought I'd stay in another part of town, albeit, not that far from Times Square.
Having grown up in Brooklyn and spent a lot of time in "The City", I know for a fact that one can eat very reasonably in Manhattan if you just do your homework.
I have stayed at almost every Marriott in midtown NYC. The Courtyard- Times Square South is an older building, but a great location & great service- same at the Residence Inn around the corner. We have also stayed on the East Side at the Marriott East Side and the midtown East Courtyard. As a treat, I just stayed with my son at the Marriott Marquis - not worth it !!
The service was the rudest ever in 20+ years of Marriott travel (particularly Melanie at the front desk (elite reception). I did complain and call the general manager who said "sorry"- and that was the end of that. No concierge level on weekends, no turndown service, lots of noise, but a great location (I will admit).
So next time I am going to try the Renaissance- if you choose one please write how it was . I'd skip the Marquis unless you have little kids who might enjoy the elevators.
I have stayed in both the Ren and the Marquis, in fact, just returned from the Marquis on Sunday...5 night stay. I have also stayed in the Marriott EastSide and the Financial District.
You will get many opinions on which is the "best" Marriott in NYC..and I think the right answer depends on what kind of experience you want to have while you are in the city.
With regards to Concierge Lounges: none are open on the weekend. the Marquis is open all day, and overlooks Broadway. the Ren does not have a lounge per se, they rope off an area in the AM for breakfast, and it was not open in the evening. (as of about 8 months ago, have not been back since) the EastSide has a spectacular outdoor garden area in addition to the lounge itself. I was in the Financial district on the weekend, it was not open, so am not certain.
Here is a quick breakdown of my opinion of rooms/locations, etc.
Ren: rooms are quite small. restaurant overlooks TSq with a great view. hotel has a boutique feel. views from the rooms are East/West, so do not overlook TSq. great location for the theatres. no noise problems.
EastSide: has a "historic" feel. most rooms are small, and traffic noise was a problem here. elevators were small too, and there could be a wait. it is a pretty hotel, though; and if you like to walk, it is within walking distance of Rock Center. a mid-town location that is less busy than TSq. shopping and some great restaurants are in this area.
Financial Center: you can get some great views of the Statue of Liberty. Area is VERY quiet at night, and does not have the selection of restaurants, etc of the midtown properties. the commute uptown can be a hassle, especially if you do not ride the subway. taxi's can get pricey! but if you want a quieter location, this is a great choice. it is also generally much less expensive.
Marquis: this is my favorite hotel. I never tire of the view, and the location is great for the theaters. the elevators were not an issue this past week, so perhaps that has been corrected. the rooms are huge by NYC standards, which is nice. I have read of service complaints, but that has never happened to me. Prior to last week I had not been there in a year, and was remembered by name at the front desk. (just like anything else - one person can have a great experience, another not so much) (2) Starbucks in hotel. no noise problems.
I prefer the Marquis, but can certainly understand why others do not. Think about what kind of experience you want....and choose accordingly. I have found the staff at all properties to be excellent, as has been housekeeping. I agree with everyone else - there really isn't an inexpensive time...I choose based on weather and temps!
With regards to the boat tour...if you are primarily interested in seeing the Statue of Liberty, take the Staten Island Ferry. View is equal to the boat tour, and you get a pretty decent view of the city, too - just not all around the city. The cost difference is huge...
If you want to go to the theatre, check out broadwaybox.com or playbill.com for discount tickets. TKTS is slightly cheaper - but you have to wait in line.
There are a million great restaurants that are not too expensive...a recommendation would be S'Mac. Off the beaten path, but we never miss it.
Have a great time!
I personally like the Marriott Downtown. It is usually much less expensive than the mid-town hotels and it is in a nice section of the city with Ground Zero, Battery Park, the Staten Island Ferry, Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge and the South Street Seaport nearby. There are excellent guided walks in the area offered by Big Onion.
As far as going to plays, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center etc., all can be easily reached by subway in 30 minutes or less.
There are good restaurants in the Financial District and outstanding ones in Tribeca, which is only one or two subway stops away.
I will be the only one, I guess, but I kinda hate Times Square..:). It's always crowded..and by crowded,I mean almost impossible to get around and I find people to be more rude there. Dining in Times Square is not the best,either. Overpriced for we tourists..chains..yuck
As long as you stay near a subway line, you can be anywhere in the City in minutes.
I am looking forward to staying at The Courtyar
d Soho,on Varick ,for our next visit. It's near Greenwich Village ,my favorite neighborhood.
I hope you explore beyond Times Square. NYC has many "centers".
I have stayed at the Marquis with the family on vacation and it is smack in the middle of everything touristy, near subways and Times Square is just a heck of an experience to the senses.
While on business I have also stayed at the Fairfield Inn (34th street) and it was one of the nicest Fairfield Inns I have been to with pretty good sized rooms for NYC.
I will add my favorite all around NYC hotel, the Courtyard Upper East Side on 92nd Street. The rates are much better, they have a very reasonable mini-minbar in the room, cans of soda and beer at a couple bucks each and the rooms are a decent size. the area is quiet but the views are nothing to write home about.
The area is more residential so there are some great, small restaurants around there. Pinnochios around the corner on 2nd Ave is one of my favorites. The subway to head Midtown or Lower is a couple blocks away.
In addition, rather than cabs, I found a car service that is slightly higher than a cab but much nicer. It is Dial 7. 212-777-7777.