Hotel Review: Radisson Martinique, New York – Club Level

Oct 20, 2014

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For our recent strategy meeting in New York, the TPG team checked into a variety of hotels around the city. Lifestyle Editor Shayne Benowitz stayed at the Radisson Martinique on Broadway. Here’s her review. Stay tuned for more New York City hotel reviews.

My cab turned onto the bustling, slightly chaotic corner of Broadway and 32nd St., just west of Macy’s Herald Square and smack dab in the heart of Koreatown. A bellman promptly opened the door, welcomed me to the Radisson Martinique on Broadway and fetched my bags. This greeting was much appreciated as my cabby was trying to hustle me for an exorbitant tip after deftly averting rush hour traffic from LaGuardia by taking the local route through Queens.

The Radisson Martinique on Broadway's facade, covered in scaffolding at the moment
The Radisson Martinique on Broadway’s facade, covered in scaffolding at the moment

The bellman escorted me through the spacious lobby to the front desk. With elaborate tile floors and wood-paneled walls, it exudes old world charm. Built at the turn of the century, it’s registered as a Historic Hotel of America, and the PGA (Professional Golfers Association of America) actually signed its founding charter there in 1916.

Check-in & Hospitality

The hotel's spacious lobby with ornate tile details
The hotel’s spacious lobby with ornate tile details

Check-in went quickly and smoothly, and I learned that I’d been upgraded from my Classic Guestroom with two double beds to a Martinique Club Level Room with two queen beds on the 17th floor penthouse as a Club Carlson perk. Why my reservation was made for two beds even though I was traveling alone, I don’t recall—perhaps that’s what was available. When I asked at check-in if there were any king rooms, I was told no, but was reassured that I’d like the upgraded room and that I’d have not one, but two nice beds. Of course, I’d prefer a king, but this was no big deal.

Club Carlson members are entitled to free high-speed WiFi (normally this costs $12.95 per 24-hours, per device and a free lower speed option is available to all guests). I didn’t use the WiFi much during my stay. However, the time that I tried to login, even the upgraded WiFi was working rather slowly.

Complimentary buffet breakfast vouchers at Martinique Café were also included in the price of my room. And I was sent upstairs with a welcome gift of a small box of chocolates.

The Room

My Club Level room with not one, but two beds
My Club Level room with not one, but two beds

My room, located just off the penthouse’s Club Level lounge, was perfectly serviceable for a business traveler’s needs. There was nothing particularly luxurious or stylish about it, but it was plenty comfortable as a place to rest your head after a busy day in Manhattan.

A small desk separates the two queen-sized beds, serving also as nightstand. There’s a telephone, a lamp and an iHome dock compatible with the iPhone 4. (I think it’s funny that the iPhone 4 iHome dock still comes standard at even the nicest hotels, even though this technology has long since been rendered useless as most people have upgraded to the iPhone 5 or 6 by now.)

Does anyone you know still have an iPhone 4?
Does anyone you know still have an iPhone 4?

Set off to the corner is a Keurig coffee machine and a small seating area with two red upholstered chairs. The room is decorated with black and white photography of New York City landmarks, like Washington Square Park and the Flatiron Building, perhaps compensating for the fact that the room has absolutely no view. A lone window looks out to an interior courtyard of grey walls, and if you look up, you’ll get a small glimpse of blue sky.

I was happy to brew myself a cup of coffee every morning from the Keurig
I was happy to brew myself a cup of coffee every morning from the Keurig
A room without a view
A room without a view
But if you look up you can see the sky
But if you look up you can see the sky

There’s no minibar, although free water bottles were replenished daily atop the safe in the closet, a nice amenity that I definitely took advantage of.

While there was no robe or slippers to speak of (my absolute favorite hotel room feature), the closet had plenty of space and enough hangers for my needs, as well as an iron and ironing board. A flat screen TV sat atop a tall chest of drawers in front of one of the beds.

The bathroom had plenty of counter space and, although the marble-tiled shower was yellowing in some places, it served its purpose perfectly fine with Radisson-branded bath products that were nicer than expected.

The bathroom was spacious
The bathroom had ample counter space
Notice the yellowing tile around the base of the shower
Notice the yellowing tile around the base of the shower

As it turns out, though, the two queen beds were a little hard and not the most comfortable.

Even though each bed had four pillows of varying firmness, the beds still weren't very comfortable
Even though each bed had four pillows of varying firmness, the beds still weren’t very comfortable

Amenities & Dining

The Club lounge offers a quiet seating area with bowls of apples, peppermints and a push-button coffee machine to whip up anything from drip coffee to a cappuccino. This served as my morning breakfast on my way out the door to meetings.

The 17th floor penthouse Club lounge
The 17th floor penthouse Club lounge

I’m not one for a hotel breakfast buffet, but the spread at Café Martinique looked nice. While I never actually dined there or at Petit Poulet, both their lunch and dinner menus looked tasty for travelers who are too beat to venture outside of the hotel for a meal.

The hotel has a small gym in the basement with three treadmills, an ab machine and a few free weights.

Not much to write home about re the gym
Not much to write home about re the gym

Overall Impression

As far as comfortable, centrally located business hotels go, Radisson Martinique fits the bill just fine. While there are no real bells and whistles to the hotel, there were also no real disasters. Owing to its historic pedigree, there are a few interesting decorative features (the aforementioned tile floors, gilt banisters, brocade wallpaper) and a breathtaking spiral marble staircase for vertiginous vantages. Overall, though, the design motif felt more stale and crusty than an interesting historic gem.

That's 17 floors of marble spiral stairs
That’s 17 floors of marble spiral stairs

The central location with a 34th St. Herald Sq. subway station mere steps from the front door was convenient for getting around the city and I enjoyed getting a taste of Koreatown, which I never would have discovered otherwise. For shoppers, the proximity to Macy’s is another bonus of the location. However, this particular corner of the city is a mad house, perpetually swamped with passersby.

Booking & Pricing

My average nightly room rate for late September was $378 and paying with your Club Carlson Premier Visa will maximize your points earnings. While the perks of the loyalty program are nice, for that price (or just a little more) I’d prefer to find a more stylish hotel in a sexier part of town. But that’s just me.

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Where do you prefer to stay in New York City? Have you been to this Radisson?

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