Fine in FiDi: A Review of Gild Hall in New York City, Now Part of Hyatt
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Last October, Hyatt announced it would be acquiring Two Roads Hospitality, the company that owned lifestyle hotel brands Thompson, Alila, Destination and Joie de Vivre. The takeover has gone smoothly so far. Joie de Vivre’s hotels and nine Thompson properties have joined the World of Hyatt program, so travelers can now earn and redeem points at them.
One of the newly added hotels is Gild Hall in New York City. At 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night, the hotel falls within the program’s Category 4 tier, meaning I could redeem my Hyatt credit card’s annual free-night certificate for a stay there.
Here’s how my experience rated.
I spent a weekend in New York toward the middle of May. Room rates across the city were not exorbitant, but they weren’t cheap, either, ranging from around $300 and up for midrange hotels and $700 and up for luxury properties. Although I have a stockpile of Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors points, I decided to see if I could use World of Hyatt points instead. That’s when I came across Gild Hall, a Thompson property that recently joined the World of Hyatt program.
Rates at Gild Hall typically start at $180 to $330 per night. However, the hotel is now a Hyatt Category 4 property, where award nights are available for 15,000 points, or 7,500 points plus 50% of the standard room rate. If you have the World of Hyatt Credit Card, that also means you can redeem its annual free-night certificate for an evening there, since the certificates are valid for stays at Category 1 through Category 4 properties.
World of Hyatt is also offering 2,000 bonus points for your first stay at each of Two Roads Hospitality’s brands plus a free night when you try all four. Stays become eligible for these bonuses from the time each brand joins World of Hyatt through Dec. 31, 2019. Even though I redeemed a certificate for my stay, I still earned the bonus.
If you are paying cash, you can maximize your earning by using the World of Hyatt Credit Card, which accrues 4x points per dollar on Hyatt purchases. You could instead earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points paying with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, or 3x Citi ThankYou Rewards points by using the Citi Prestige or Citi Premier® Card.
Gild Hall is downtown. Way downtown, in Manhattan’s Financial District. It’s on the corner of Gold and Platt street and a quick walk to several entrances of Fulton Street Station, giving you access to the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J and Z trains, which makes it convenient to get pretty much anywhere in the city.
If your goal in New York is to see a lot of museums and shows, you may want to stay further uptown, but there's plenty to see and do near the Financial District, like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, the World Trade Center and the Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus building and more. Plus, plenty of new restaurants have opened in the area in recent years, including The Fulton, a brand-new seafood-focused restaurant from Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Although check-in time was 3pm, I arrived at 1pm instead. The lobby was not busy at that time, so I was helped by the receptionist immediately. He pulled up my reservation details and apologized that my room was not ready yet but offered me a cup of coffee in the bar. I said I would just sit in the lobby and work as long as I could access Wi-Fi, and he gave me the code.
In the meantime, he thanked me for my Hyatt loyalty -- as a World of Hyatt credit card holder, I have automatic Discoverist status. He said he was able to upgrade me from the standard king superior room I’d booked to the slightly larger king deluxe room, which normally costs $40 more per night.
He gave me a code to use the premium internet in my room and said I could enjoy the bottles of water in the minibar for free. I signed the paperwork then snapped a few photos of the lobby.
Before my stay, I had read that the look was meant to be inspired by Aspen, Colorado, which seemed odd for a city hotel but still chic. The furniture had a clubby aesthetic to it, with leather sofas and side tables made from tree trunks.
There was a chandelier made of antlers overhead.
The lobby opened up directly into the bar and café of the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Felice Ristorante, and was a nice place to hang out.
I didn’t have long to wait, though. I had barely sat down to start typing when the receptionist called me back over and said my room was ready, then sent me up to the 12th floor.
Like the lobby, the hallway had a retro ski-resort vibe to it, thanks to the bright red walls with white trim and vintage photos.
My room was down at the end of the hall and shared an entryway with the one next door to it.
Gild Hall has just 130 rooms, including six suites, and mine was in the second-lowest category, a king deluxe. Overall, I thought the look was sophisticated and understated, but because the window was not very large, the palette felt slightly gloomy.
According to the hotel’s site, the king bed was dressed in 400-thread-count linens, which gave it a crisp, clean look and provided a comfortable night’s sleep. The leather headboard was custom-designed for the hotel by Jim Walrod.
The nightstand closest to the window had a digital clock, while the other had a phone and the room-service menu.
There was also a nice luggage rack next to the bed.
The view out the window was not terribly inspiring, but at least it let some light into the room.
One thing I didn’t love was an old air-conditioning unit that rattled rather loudly and seemed to have only two settings: off and arctic. On the wall opposite the bed was a trim little desk in black wood with brass accents, above which was mounted the 55-inch LCD TV.
Pullout panels hid electric outlets and USB ports.
Back toward the front door, a placard held the closet and the minibar. The closet was narrow, with space for just a few hanging clothes.
The minibar had nice snacks, wine and even an intimacy kit and a box of adult toys, as well as a refrigerator filled with water, sodas, beer and small liquor bottles.
Although the bathroom was not large, it felt luxurious, thanks to the glass tiles and marble floors.
It had a single sink and two small glass shelves where you could put your toiletries.
There was a Harry’s Shave Kit you could use for $15.
The bathroom's shower-tub combo had a curved curtain, which was convenient (and more hygienic, in my opinion).
The bath products, meanwhile, were by D.S. & Durga, a perfume company based in Brooklyn. I really liked their scents -- they smelled fresh and clean without being overpowering.
The hotel offered free Wi-Fi with speeds of up to 2 MB on up to two devices, and a premium version for $19.95 per day with speeds of up to 5 MB for unlimited devices.
As I mentioned, I had been given a premium access code, and sure enough, the speeds were just under the 5 MB mark. Not worth paying nearly $20 a day for, but not terrible for free Wi-Fi.
Overall, my room was spacious, somewhat swanky and very comfortable. I did not love the air conditioner, and I could hear every time anyone along my hall opened or closed their door. But otherwise, it was a quiet place to spend a night.
Food and Beverage
The hotel’s only restaurant was a Tuscan eatery called Felice Ristorante that served Florentine-inspired cuisine. You can dine in all day or order room service from them.
I did not end up eating here, since my schedule was too busy, but I did peruse the menu. Breakfast included items like a continental selection for $16, a bagel with smoked salmon for $15 and omelets for $15.
The main menu had minestrone soup for $14, housemade veal meatballs for $13, chicken Milanese for $26 and fettuccine alla Bolognese for $23, among many other options. It basically looked like your standard New York Italian restaurant, and it was packed at lunchtime, though fairly empty in the evening.
There was a cute bar toward the front where you could get a coffee or glass of wine. Then up one level from there on a small mezzanine was a small wine lounge called La Soffitta.
The hotel had two Pure Cycles bikes standing at the ready near reception, which guests could borrow for free. It was raining during my visit, though, so I did not take one out.
The hotel’s gym was actually split into three small rooms on different floors, each of which had the same equipment. I used the one on the 18th floor because it seemed like it would be the quietest.
Each had a treadmill, an elliptical, some free weights and a stretching mat, plus towels and bottles of water.
While a little cardio was the only thing I needed, the lack of better facilities was definitely a shortcoming. If you want, you can apparently also use the nearby Crunch Fitness for $15 per visit by presenting your room key.
As for service, my interaction at check-in was representative of my entire experience at the hotel. Everyone I talked to was friendly and polite. Every time I passed reception, someone asked if I needed anything like directions or a map, and checkout the following morning was a breeze.
When I did check out, the agent at the time said that everything had been taken care of thanks to my certificate and that I was all set since I hadn’t purchased anything else. I did notice a few days later, though, that I’d been charged $23 from the minibar. I called Hyatt’s central reservations and asked what it was for, since I hadn’t taken anything. They did not tell me what had been charged, but they did erase the purchase after the customer-service rep called the hotel to confirm it was an error.
Gild Hall was the perfect place to spend one of my Hyatt anniversary free-night certificates. It saved me around $300 for an evening in New York City. The hotel felt trendy without being precious. The service was delightful, and the room and its amenities were nice. I’m eager to try Hyatt’s other newly joined hotels in the city, including several Joie de Vivre Hotels, but for this trip, Gild Hall was top of my list.