Book this, not that: New York City hotels edition
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New York has no shortage of hotels where you can use points. From business hotels like the AC New York Times Square to to ultra-luxurious hotels like The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, there’s something for every type of traveler. However, as with most things in life, the options are not always equal and some are better than others.
In today’s installment of “Book this, not that,” we’re going to look at some New York City awards you might want to book with points — and a few you should probably steer clear of. Of course, this isn’t to say that these are the only hotels worth booking in the city, but these are simply a few that we believe deserve some extra attention.
Book this: Park Hyatt New York
Although it only opened in 2014, the Park Hyatt New York has become not only one of the most iconic hotels in New York City, but in the entire World of Hyatt portfolio. It is centrally located along the aptly named “Billionaires’ Row” on 57th Street, across from Carnegie Hall, and one block south of Central Park. The amenities include a 25th-floor pool, a full-service spa, a high-end fitness center, artwork fit for a museum and a complimentary house car.
As you’d expect, stays here don’t come cheap (think upward of $1,000 per night). However, award stays are much more manageable, costing 30,000 World of Hyatt points per night, which are worth $510 based on TPG valuations. If you’re a Globalist elite member, you’ll get a complimentary full breakfast for up to two adults and two children, which can easily get you over $100 in value per day.
Skip that: Hyatt Centric 39th & 5th New York
About a mile south of the Park Hyatt is the new Hyatt Centric 39th & 5th. It has an ideal location near Bryant Park, right by the Andaz 5th Avenue. However, at 25,000 points per night, it probably won’t be the best use of your points.
The rooms are rather uninspiring and are noticeably smaller than at the nearby Andaz, which also costs 25,000 points per night. Paid nights here often go for around $200 per night so you’ll be getting less than 1 cent in value per point, whereas nights at the Andaz usually cost $500 or more per night.
Book this: St. Regis New York
If it’s classic luxury you’re after, look no further than The St. Regis New York.
The location can’t be beat, on 55th Street between Madison and Fifth avenues in Manhattan, near Central Park, Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center. The rooms are more spacious than your average New York City hotel and all guests are treated to St. Regis butler service.
Cash rates normally exceed $800 per night, making this a great opportunity to redeem your points. As a Category 8 Marriott Bonvoy property, award nights cost between 70,000 and 100,000 points per night, depending on your travel dates. If you have Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status or higher, you can also get great value from the complimentary breakfast, which can be enjoyed through room service.
Skip that: New York Marriott Marquis
On the other hand, if you’re looking to burn Marriott Bonvoy points on your next New York City trip, you might want to skip the New York Marriott Marquis. Although the rooms are spacious by New York standards and TPG’s Ben Smithson did ultimately enjoy his last stay there, there are better Marriott Bonvoy choices in the area at similar price points. The rooms are relatively uninspiring (though they were recently renovated) and the service is generally impersonal.
It was recently bumped to a Category 7 property in the Bonvoy program, meaning you need a whopping 50,000-70,000 points per night for award stays here. That’s the same rate as some higher-end properties in the area, such as the W New York – Times Square and the Times Square Edition.
Book this: Moxy NYC Downtown
There are four Moxy hotels in New York City now, but the Moxy NYC Downtown stands out from the rest.
The downtown Moxy location is a Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy property, whereas the rest are Category 6. This means that award nights cost 30,000 points for an off-peak night, 35,000 for a standard night and 40,000 for a peak night. The real sweet spot here is being able to redeem the up to 35,000-point anniversary free night certificate earned with cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card for standard and off-peak nights.
The hotel is located close to attractions like One World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the South Street Seaport and the Brooklyn Bridge. Amenities include an arcade-like lobby and an indoor basketball court. Unfortunately, Platinum Elite members don’t get free breakfast at Moxy hotels, though they can get a $10 daily food and beverage credit for themselves and a guest.
Skip that: Hotel Indigo Lower East Side
The last time a TPG staffer stayed at this hotel, they ended up checking out after just 15 minutes due to some major safety, cleaning and service issues. Not to mention, the rooms could be noisy since the property is in the middle of a bustling party area known for its bars. Strangely, hotel guests must spend a minimum of $150 per person on food and beverage if they want to use the hotel’s pool on weekends.
Award nights here typically range between 21,000 and 46,000 IHG Rewards points per night.
Book this: Conrad New York Midtown
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If it’s a spacious room you’re after, look no further than the Conrad New York Midtown. Every room is a 500-square-foot (or bigger) suite with separate living and sleeping areas, making this an especially great pick for families. Plus, the suites were recently renovated to have a fresh and modern look.
The hotel has a more central location than the Conrad New York Downtown, with attractions like Central Park, Broadway and Times Square a short walk away. Standard room rewards can be had from 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Alternatively, this can be a great opportunity to put a free weekend night certificate from a cobranded Hilton credit card to use.
A trip to the Big Apple doesn’t need to break the bank. New York City is home to dozens of hotels you can book with points, but your experiences can vary widely from one hotel to the next. Although some hotels might be priced similarly, the quality isn’t always equal, so a little research can go a long way.
Featured photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy.
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