The ‘AC’ Is for ‘Adequate Comfort’: A Review of the AC Hotel New York Times Square

Jul 6, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

To The Point

The AC Hotel in Times Square is the Marriott’s attempt to woo millennials with a minimalist aesthetic. Pros: open spaces, good use of light, modern decor and helpful staff. Cons: overpriced, not a good deal for elite members and not memorable in any way.

As an SPG — and now Marriott — loyalist, I have noticed a slew of AC Hotels pop up around the United States. The hotels have caught my eye primarily because of their aesthetic, which seems much more modern than the Courtyard or Four Points brands (the “AC” stands for the Spanish hotelier who founded the brand in 1998, Antonio Catalán).

On a recent trip to New York City, I needed a hotel for one night, and with the 290-room AC Hotel Times Square having recently opened in April 2018, I decided it was worth a stay. The hotel is near the corner of 40th Street and Eighth Ave, about a block away from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. It’s possibly the busiest area in Manhattan.

Booking

Since this was a last-minute trip during the week, cash rates for hotels in the city were astronomical. The cheapest rate I could find at the hotel was around $360 plus taxes and fees. I decided to transfer some of my Starpoints over to Marriott to book my room, which amounted to 40,000 Marriott Reward Points (the hotel is a category 8 property), the equivalent of 13,333 Starpoints. While it wasn’t the sexiest of redemptions, I was happy to be getting almost 3 cents of value per SPG point.

Check-in

The night before arriving at the hotel, I sent a message through the Marriott app requesting early check-in at 9:00am. I got a response about 15 minutes later saying that they couldn’t confirm it, though they expected it to be OK based on the current inventory. I arrived at the hotel groggy around 8:00am after a red-eye flight from the West Coast, and they were able to honor the early check-in request.

The hotel doesn’t offer free breakfast for Platinum guests, though I was given a $10 food-and-beverage credit, along with a welcome gift of 400 Marriott Reward Points. The check-in agent was welcoming and even offered to make reservations around town if I needed any help.

The lobby is airy and filled with light. There’s plenty of seating, and to one side is the entrance to Boqueria, the on-site Spanish restaurant.

Room

I was assigned a room on the 10th floor with two double beds.

The first thing I noticed was the wood-laminate floors, which appeared to be slightly dusty. I think I may have been the first guest to stay in that particular room.

Across from the two beds was the large TV and a light-wood workspace. The room immediately reminded me of a more minimalist version of an Aloft hotel, which makes sense considering they target a similar demographic.

The window didn’t provide a stunning view, but it allowed tons of natural light. Fortunately, there were also blackout blinds.

A sliding door separated the bathroom from the rest of the room.

The highlight of the bathroom was definitely the shower, which had both a handheld and a rainfall shower head, great pressure and it warmed up quickly. Standard soap, shower gel and conditioner were provided, and the front desk was happy to send up a dental kit at no additional cost.

Across the bathroom was an open closet with a few hangers, a safe, coffee maker and fridge with a few bottles of complimentary water.

Amenities

The gym was in the basement of the building. It was well-equipped, though it seemed like it could get crowded during popular hours.

Right outside the gym was a small business center, which consisted of a few computers and a printer.

In the lobby was an overpriced sundries store, where I used my $10 credit.

There was also a Nespresso machine selling self-serve coffee. At $5 a pop for a cappuccino, it was pretty bad value, even for NYC.

Overall Impression

It’s interesting to see Marriott grow its portfolio of hotels targeting a millennial audience. I enjoyed the open spaces, natural light and European-inspired minimalist decor of the hotel. All of the employees were welcoming and eager to help during all of my interactions.

The main drawback of the property is for elite members, whose status doesn’t go as far as it would at a full-service hotel where breakfast would be included. In addition, the crazy coffee prices in the lobby were jarring. Overall, there was nothing that particularly memorable about the property. It was a perfectly adequate place to rest my head for a night, and decent value on points, but I definitely wouldn’t choose to pay a cash rate of over $300.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.