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TPG Managing Editor ended up extending his New York City trip, so after his three-night stay at the W Downtown, he needed a room for another two nights. That’s when we turned to Hotel Tonight and he booked a room at the Smyth Tribeca. Here’s his review.
While I was in New York, the weather people were predicting a huge snowstorm of 11 inches would hit the city the night before I was scheduled to return to LA, so I changed my return ticket on American Airlines for free and started to look around for a hotel for the two last nights of my stay. No great deals were coming up, so TPG and I decided to take our chances and use Hotel Tonight to book me somewhere the morning I had been scheduled to leave.
If you’re not familiar, Hotel Tonight is a hotel booking app for iPhone and Android, that can find deeply discounted room rates for day-of stays – though the stays you book can be however long you want. It recently started opening up bookings at 9:00am, and I had had good luck using it in New York before to find a last-minute room at the Standard High Line in New York in September. The app currently partners with hotels all over the US in major cities like New York and LA, but also other destinations such as Napa, Lake Tahoe, Charleston, and dozens of others. It also works with properties in the major Canadian cities, as well as destinations in Mexico including Cabo and Cancun plus a couple dozen cities in Europe.
If you haven’t used Hotel Tonight yet, you can sign up and enter TPG’s personal promo code, BKELLY99, to get a $25 instant credit off a stay. My own promo code is EROSEN7. If you know of any other stackable promo codes, please feel free to share in the comments. To enter them, Load up the app and hit the bottom right icon for your profile, then click “Redeem Promo Code,” and enter it there.
Hotel Tonight pulls in availability from a lot of chain hotels like W and Hilton, so if you book through it, you forgo earning points/elite credit, so you might want to consider using it for non-points properties. However, you can still earn plenty of bonus points by paying with a credit card that earns a bonus on travel like the Sapphire Preferred‘s 2.14X points per $1, or using the Barclaycard Arrival so that not only do you earn 2X miles per $1 (on every purchase), but you can redeem your miles towards a statement credit on the travel category purchase at the best rate of 1 cent per mile and get a 10% miles refund since it’s a travel purchase.
The morning I was due to check out of the W, TPG fired up the app and found a great deal at the Smyth Tribeca, which is a trendy little Thompson Hotel, for $199 a night – a really good deal considering the hotel’s website was offering rooms for about $279.
I checked out of the W at about 2pm and walked about 10 minutes north to the Smyth. The lobby is a cute little area with a bar and small sitting room, and the reception desk is in a little alcove all the way to the right of the entrance. It was sort of fun and funky with backlit shelves decorated with vintage toys.
The desk agent had all my information and simply took my credit card to charge incidentals and handed over my room key. I was on the 7th floor, right around the corner from the elevator down a small side corridor. It was noisy because there was some ventilation system installation, but inside the room I couldn’t hear much, so I decided it wasn’t worth asking to change.
I was booked in a Queen Superior room. The Smyth’s site says it is about 325 square feet, and that felt about right. There was a small dark entry foyer, then the main room itself was decent-sized. The bed occupied most of it and was dressed in white Sferra linens with a purple pinstripe, and had a light wooden headboard.
The carpeting was sort of a charcoal gray, and along one wall were windows framed by blackout curtains. My view was less than spectacular, but for a last-minute booking, I figured it was all I was going to get.
On the wall opposite the bed was a small work desk, a flatscreen HDTV and DVD player.
There was also a small, dark wooden armoire, which didn’t have room for my carry on suitcase but contained the minibar.
WiFi cost $15 a day, which I thought was a bit pricy. The bathroom was small but nice, with a single sink and REN products close to the door.
Then behind a small partitioning wall was the toilet and a semi-enclosed shower (honestly, hotels, can we just put closing doors on showers? No one needs to be able to step directly out of the shower, and the floor always just ends up all wet). I loved that it was all marble tiling – it made it feel clean and contemporary. There was just one showerhead mounted on the wall – no overhead rainshower (I’m spoiled at this point!).
All in all, the room was a bit dark for my taste thanks to the dark wall paint, but nice and contemporary in style, and very comfortable. My two quibbles were with the lack of a shower door and charging $15 for WiFi, but my stay was really comfortable and quiet, and I thought the in-room amenities were nice.
I also had the chance to grab a quick dinner in the Restaurant at the Smyth off the lobby. It serves meals all day, though I skipped breakfast and just walked a block north to the nearest Starbucks for coffee each morning. In the evening, it’s got a bit of a bar scene up front with large booths and a communal table, and then the back part of the dining room around the corner has more booths and bistro-style tables for a more formal dining setting, though still laidback.
For dinner, I started with goat cheese fritters drizzled with lavender honey, and for my main, I chose the chicken breast and leg confit with heirloom beans, piperade and Swiss chard, which was juicy, tender and delicious. Also delicious? The signature cocktail I tried called the Ol’ Smokey made with Old Overholt rye, demerara sugar, Laphroaig 10 year scotch, and old-fashioned bitters – it went down smooth on a cold night.
Other than that, I thought the hotel’s location was super convenient since the Chambers Street 1 line Subway station is right on that block, and there were plenty of restaurants and stores nearby. If you are mostly operating Midtown or on the Upper East or West Sides, you might want to stay somewhere farther uptown, but for the discounted rate we got and quality of the room, as well as the friendly staff and service, I’d definitely recommend the Smyth if you want to stay downtown. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.