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The TPG team recently met in New York for strategy meetings and checked into a variety of hotels across the city. TPG International Correspondent Lori Zaino stayed at W New York Times Square. Here’s her review of the property. Stay tuned for more New York City hotel reviews from the rest of the team.
Having once lived in New York, Times Square isn’t exactly my favorite place, largely because you can count on encountering hordes of tourists at all hours. I personally prefer being downtown, but the W New York Times Square location is a good option if you want to be smack dab in the heart of the city’s hustle and bustle, as well as connected to a variety of subway lines that will take you anywhere in the city you want to go.
First Impressions & Check-in
I can’t deny that the property – as with most Ws – is dark and sexy. A ceiling “waterfall” greets you as you approach the elevators that take you to the seventh floor for check-in, where the Living Room bar and W Shop are also located.
My front desk attendant was extremely helpful, bright and cheerful at check-in. Thanks to Platinum benefits, I was upgraded from a Wonderful room to a Fantastic suite on the 27th floor.
I arrived around 10 p.m. on a Wednesday evening and the Living Room bar was packed with an attractive crowd. I was informed that Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights there’d be a DJ. On Thursday, I got back around 2:00 a.m. and the DJ was on fire. I was worried I’d be able to hear the blaring music from my room, but luckily that wasn’t the case. I didn’t join in on any of the fun at the bar, but if that’s your scene, it looked like a good time.
The W hotel shop also has really cute stuff. I seriously contemplated buying a purse there. It’s worth popping in and checking out.
My immediate impression was that the suite was quite large, especially for a New York hotel room where even nice ones tend to be tiny. It was well-decorated, trendy and minimalistic–also typical of the W brand. When you walk in, there’s a closet with a safe to the left and a small half bathroom with a toilet and sink to the right.
The suite includes both a living room area and bedroom separated by a door. The living room portion of the suite is furnished with a lush, crushed velvet, golden L-shaped couch, a flat screen TV with entertainment center, a small bar and desk and chair looking out on a large window with views of Times Square.
Once you enter the bedroom, there’s a cool lounge chair (also in gold, but with a more slick upholster) with a small table near another large window with city views. The king-sized bed was comfortable with two bedside tables. There’s another flat screen TV, a few lamps and a small closet.
The en suite bathroom has a sink, toilet and double shower, but no bathtub. All the expected Bliss amenities are provided, as well as a hairdryer.
For my personal needs as a solo traveler, I probably didn’t need all of that space, but I’m certainly not complaining. One evening, I had a couple of friends stop by and it was nice to have the living area and the second bathroom. If you’re traveling with friends or family, the sofa and extra living space is a great plus.
Food, Drink & Amenities
Blue Fin on the first floor offers breakfast, as well as sushi for lunch and dinner, plus live jazz in the evenings. For my Platinum benefit, I chose the continental breakfast.
It includes your choice of a muffin basket (where they give you three giant muffins), cereal or yogurt with juice and coffee. Next time, I’d probably trade the breakfast for the bonus Starpoints option. However, the waiters were very nice and offered to wrap up the two and a half muffins I didn’t eat.
One day, I was hungrier, so I opted to order an egg and bacon sandwich and espresso, which ended up costing a pricy $24.50. It was just average. Considering the price and the quality of food, I’d have been better off going to Starbucks.
The hotel offers a fitness center, which I didn’t use, but popped into to get a quick peek. It was a typical hotel gym with some machines, weights and, of course, the free apples that the W fitnesss centers are known for.
- Plenty of lamps in the suite (usually Ws are dark, so this was a great feature).
- Great views of Times Square from both the living area and bedroom.
- Desk was next to the window, making for a bright and energizing workspace.
- Times Square is noisy: road construction, sirens and horns honking 24/7 are easily heard from the 27th floor suite
- Although there are two bathrooms, there’s no bathtub. I would’ve happily given up the second bathroom for a nice big soaking tub.
- Lack of coffee/tea-making facilities in room.
- The closet door and the bathroom door cannot both be opened at the same time because they’re sliding doors next to each other.
- The safe is about 100-years-old. It didn’t match the sassy, new branding of the W. I couldn’t figure out how to work it and it made scary noises.
- Having to take two different elevators to arrive to the ground exit floor was annoying and time consuming.
- Wakeup call issues. I asked for an 8 a.m wakeup call, and got one at 5 a.m. Not. Cool. Set your own alarm.
Booking, Pricing and Overall Impression
I booked the room at the cost of $399 per night, which is actually pretty standard for New York. Typically, a Wonderful room hovers between $350-$400 per night or 20,000 Starpoints. Fantastic suites start at $519 per night, so my Platinum upgrade saved me quite a bit of money.
I would stay here again, and definitely recommend it to business travelers and sightseers–especially couples or groups of friends. Just be ready for the intensity that is Times Square when you walk out of the hotel.
TPG Tip: Book with your Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express to maximize earning Starpoints, which you can also transfer to a variety of airlines.
If you’re a W Hotel fan, check out other TPG reviews:
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