For the past several years I’ve been participating in the SPG Amex Stars program, which has taken me to some pretty awesome places. I love the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, and it’s one of the cards I’ve had in my wallet for the longest amount of time. It was one of the very first cards I applied for when I was 18, and I’ve had it ever since.
One of the annual events I attend for being part of the program is the US Open SPG Amex Cardmember event (which I’ll talk more about in the next installment). As part of that, the Starwood American Express covered the cost of my two night stay at the Westin New York Times Square. Now, I wasn’t asked to review the hotel or anything, though I’ve been staying at this hotel every year for the past several years, and wanted to report back on it, since I haven’t reviewed the hotel since 2012.
Let me start by saying that Times Square isn’t my first choice for where to stay in New York City. I grew up in New York, so I think any person who has visited the city can agree it’s not the ideal place to be (perhaps aside from a first time tourist who is fascinated by it). The good news is that the Westin is over a block from the center of Times Square, so you’re not totally subjected to the madness. Still, the hotel wouldn’t be my first choice in the city, given the number of awesome Starwood options there are.
With that out of the way…
The Westin Times Square has undergone some serious renovations over the past few years, and I’m really impressed. My mom and I stayed in a grand deluxe room for two nights, which was my first time in this room type.
While these rooms are in the same building as the rest of the rooms, they’re in a separate area, overlooking an atrium. I actually didn’t realize this area with an atrium existed until this stay.
The atrium covers just a half dozen (or so) floors, so there are maybe a bit over a hundred of these rooms.
The rooms were gorgeously appointed — they felt fresh and modern, and I loved the tones in the room.
Upon entering there was a closet to the right and the bathroom to the left.
The room featured two Westin Heavenly Beds, which are among the most comfortable beds out there.
It’s especially nice to find a room with two queen beds, which is somewhat rare (typically rooms with two beds are either twins or doubles, in my experience).
Across from the beds was a desk with a comfortable chair, as well as a flat screen TV and some storage.
Then past that was a comfortable chair with an ottoman, which had a lamp behind it.
The window had a nice padded bench by it.
The view from the room wasn’t especially inspiring, though at least it was fairly quiet (I prefer that to facing the noise of Times Square).
The room had complimentary Starbucks coffee and bottled water.
The bathroom was a very good size, with a sink, toilet, and shower/tub combo.
I appreciated that the shower had the brand standard rainforest shower head, as well as a handheld shower head.
I’m not sure if the toiletries just weren’t the brand standard, or if Westin recently changed the packaging on their toiletries — I suspect the latter. Regardless, I found the quality of them to be pretty good.
There’s one other thing that makes this hotel great for Platinum members. Platinum members can choose either 500 Starpoints or complimentary continental breakfast as their welcome amenity. Many times in the US the continental breakfast simply consists of coffee and some pastries, but in the case of this hotel you get the entire breakfast buffet complimentary.
It’s a solid breakfast buffet, so I’d say this is among the best SPG Platinum breakfast amenities in the whole city.
Starwood has dozens of hotels in New York City, so there are a lot of properties to choose from. In general the Westin Times Square wouldn’t be my go to hotel, simply because of its location. That being said, I stay here once a year, and I’m happy to see it’s improving. The redesigned grand deluxe rooms at this hotel are gorgeous, and this hotel has the best Platinum breakfast benefit of any SPG property I’ve been to in New York City.
Stay tuned, because in the next post I’ll cover my experience at the SPG Amex cardmember event.
Do you have a favorite SPG property in New York City?
Anyone know what the gym is like?
I find nothing special about the room at all. Weird review.
It does look like a cheap motel from the pictures.
So when the Marriott takes over are they going to stop changing the sheets as they do in the Residence Inn nearby?
Looks pretty standard Westin fare to me... Not sure what makes it so "gorgeously appointed".
I've only been to NYC twice, but stayed here both times and enjoyed it. For me, the location was perfect for my tourist-related activities - close to Times Square, a few blocks from Broadway, and a block from a major subway station. I could see how those in town on business could find the location annoying.
These pictures confirm my usual choice to stay at the Intercontinental a few blocks away when I need a room in that location at that price point. Considerably nicer.
For Starwood in that area, I've stayed at the Chatwal several times, which is nicer than either but double the price; and the W, which is terrible unless you're in a suite (the suites are pretty nice though).
You know, nobody is forced to read this blog......
I don't think I have ever seen twin beds in a room in the US.
Yes, Westin just recently re-branded and changed the packaging on their toiletries. I had the exact same ones at my recent stay at the Westin in Sacramento, CA.
If that is the 'grand deluxe room', what in the world would an average room look like? That looks pretty much like a 2 Queen Hampton Inn.
Uh, Gorgeously appointed? Sure, the rooms look fine but I'm not sure that a paint color makes a room gorgeous.
Completely agree. I stayed there on my first business trip out of college many years ago and most recently in Jan 2014. The renovations are definitely solid (from what I was told at check-in, I was on a recently-renovated floor) and noticeable. If it weren't for the location, it would be very high on my list for SPG hotels in NYC given what the rates can be across the system.
I'm not normally negative but sorry...this review seems fluffed up due to the fact that it was a free stay! Hotel is marginal at best and the rooms are nothing special. I also find that the room in this part of the building seem very dark due to the windows. I'm surprised you didn't review the lounge in the atrium area as that place is a zoo.