40,000 Marriott Points for 200 Square Feet at the Algonquin

If you love impeccably restored landmark hotels, you’ll adore New York’s Algonquin. Over the last century it’s been frequented by a long list of famous writers, actors and public figures. Mayo Angelou, Gertrude Stein and Douglas Fairbanks were frequent visitors and Faulkner wrote his Nobel Prize acceptance speech here. Dorothy Parker, meanwhile, once held her reign in the dining room at the Vicious Circle of the Round Table.

Decades later, the rooms are still well appointed and the lobby and bar are so classically beautiful that we feel richer and more intelligent just by walking in.

If you’re in New York for pleasure the location can’t be beat. The Algonquin is situated within steps of Time Square and is an easy walk to Central Park.

The hotel underwent a multi-million dollar renovation earlier this year that left all the character intact (rich wood staircases and gorgeous moldings) while adding all the modern amenities that we expect from a AAA 4-diamond hotel (sleek bathrooms and soft lighting).

Despite its impeccable pedigree and top-notch service, if you’re the kind of traveler who appreciates value more than style and history, you might find $500 a night (or 40,000 reward points) a lot to pay for a room that’s about 200 square feet (that’s 1/3 the size of many standard Las Vegas suites).  However, even if you don’t book a room, the bar is a great place to grab a drink before or after a Broadway show.

A standard 200 square foot room.

If the Algonquin sounds like your kind of place, there are three ways to book:

1. Make an old-fashioned reservation.

2. Use Marriott Points (the hotel is owned by HEI Hotels & Resorts, which has aligned it with Marriott).

3. Book using Hotel Tonight.

Since the Algonquin runs between $350 and $700 a night, we suggest using points or Hotel Tonight. If you use points, you’ll need a lot of them since the Algonquin is a Category 8 hotel – that’s right, Category 8, we didn’t even know Marriott even had a category 8!

We booked the Algonquin using the Hotel Tonight app. The Algonquin doesn’t show up every night, but when it does it’s often for 50% off the regular price. We booked for $175 (versus $455 on Expedia for the same night).

Natalie Ascencios’ painting of the Vicious Circle hangs in the Round Table dining room.

A Note on Sizing Up Hotels:  We believe that you can tell a lot about how luxurious a hotel is by how much they charge for a house martini. If a hotel charges more than $15 for a standard martini, you can be sure it’s a spiffy place. If they charge more than $20, you’re in one of the city’s most prestigious establishments. If you measure a hotel’s classiness by the price of a martini at the bar, the Algonquin is the classiest hotel we’ve ever visited. A standard gin martini runs a staggering $22.

  • Address: 59 West 44th Street, New York City, NY 10036
  • Rooms: 174
  • On site: One restaurant, one bar, fitness center
  • Reservations: 212 840-6800
  • Price: $$$$

Check out Seth and Whitney Robertson’s travel adventures at TangoInTahiti.com.

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