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The Westin New York at Times Square, NY, 2007 onward [Master Thread]

The Westin New York at Times Square, NY, 2007 onward [Master Thread]

Old Jan 8, 07, 6:21 pm
  #1  
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Arrow The Westin New York at Times Square, NY, 2007 onward [Master Thread]

I stayed at the Westin Times Square for 6 nights (x 2 rooms) over New Year's eve: I had been in the hotel in 2003 and I remembered it as pleasant enough to repeat stay.

Unfortunatelly, this time it was very disappointing.

I have no status with SPG as of today, other than Corporate Preferred that seems to be similar to Gold, but anyway, I was not expecting much.

Check-in went smooth and I got two corner rooms in the high floors, which is exactly what I booked (btw, at a rate of $510 each): one in floor 44, the other in floor 33. The rooms were as I remembered from the first time, a corridor leading into the room, spacious enough and OK views.

After dropping all our bags we hit the town and it was not until I returned after dinner that I noticed some details: upon opening the minibar, something wrapped in aluminium paper (a sandwich?) was lying on top of the soda cans, I didn't touch it.
Another detail: by the bed, some pop corn and a couple of M&Ms on the floor. In the bathroom, the paint on the walls was peeling off in several places and the glass door had a brown mark top down, not good for a hotel that was built not long ago.

I could hear the neighbour's TV through the wall.

I thought about calling up Service Express to complain but I was very very tired and after checking that the bed was completely clean, I decided to postpone it for the day after.

In the morning, I raised the cleanliness issues with someone on the front desk: she listened, apologized and told me she'd solve it. The popcorn and M&Ms were gone in the evening but the wrapped thing in the minibar was still there. The day after, I left a written note to the cleaning lady asking her to remove the thing and after that, I gave up: I didn't touch the minibar and I checked everyday, just to make sure the package remained there until I checked out.

I have to say the room in floor 44 was clean at all times, had better views and complimentary water which I didn't get in my room at floor 33, but still, I find it quite a shame that they couldn't get some basics things right.

To top up things, during my stay I asked twice the concierge for a reservation in restaurants: first time the answer was 'you need to book 2 months in advance', second time the day after (different concierge, different restaurant), 'you need to book 3 weeks in advance but you can always try to walk in'. So, basically, zero service and zero effort, it might be true it was difficult to book, but not even trying is not the right attitude: I booked myself the first restaurant through opentable and I walked in the second restaurant and got a table as well.

On top of that, the corridors were dirty (pizzas staying there for more than 6 hours), it was very noisy (even in a high floor I found it noisy from the street) but specially I could hear all my neighbours through the thin walls and the 'lobby' was often packed, I would say with non-guests. I didn't have access to the lounge.

I was quite disappointed over all the experience: the one nice thing is that Jay granted me a late check-out request for the day we were leaving but too late to change my opinion. What a difference with the Westin Palace in Madrid, where I spent the previous weekend in a cheap rate, got upgraded to the SPG floor and everything was working and nice.

So, maybe it was because of the holiday period, maybe they were fully booked, I don't know, but next time I'll choose another property.

Last edited by josep; Jan 8, 07 at 6:26 pm
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Old Jan 8, 07, 7:56 pm
  #2  
 
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I think that you're going to be disappointed with most NYC hotels if you expect an upgrade as a Corporate Preferred Guest.

The cleanliness issue sounds like it was resolved, except for the sandwich. If you didn't want to touch it and throw it away, you should have kept calling until someone came and took it away...
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Old Jan 8, 07, 8:02 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by josep View Post
I have no status with SPG as of today, other than Corporate Preferred that seems to be similar to Gold, but anyway, I was not expecting much.
Your status does not expire until end Feb 2007, even if you did not requalify in 2006.
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Old Jan 8, 07, 10:22 pm
  #4  
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It really is absurd to expect the WS Times Square to compare with the Westin Palace Madrid. They are simply not of the same category. Actually very few NYC hotels would compare to the Westin Madrid. Amongst Starwood the only comparable class hotel would be the St. Regis, and based on my one stay in the Westin Madrid I would say it is superior to the St. Regis. Lots of hotels in europe are better than the best NYC hotel, fwiw, and starwood in europe tends to be a notch better than in the US.

That said, the Westin TS is pretty good at what it is. The rates used to be half what you paid, but market forces have taken the room rates way up -- with no change in quality. You are strictly paying for real estate, and supply and demand. Making for very poor value, but if you have to stay in manhattan ....
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Old Feb 6, 07, 10:44 am
  #5  
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Westin TS mini report Feb 07

I had stayed at this property a few times and I was never impressed. The hotel itself was fine but the staff required some attitude asjustment.

To my surprise, I actually had a pretty good stay with the hotel. Agents and housekeeping staff were extremely friendly....to me, not to everyone else. To make the long story short, I had some issues with the hotel before I arrived. It took several emails and phone calls to sort things out. That ticked me off so I wasn't really looking forward to my stay.

When I checked in, I was told that they had reserved a junior suite for me on the 44th (out of 45) floor. Alright, nice gesture, I thought, but having been in the jr suite previously, I knew it wasn't really all that special. The agent gave me my keys with the club floor benefits and sent me to my room without offering my platinum amenity. I had to ask for it and request a late check out until 4pm. The agent said he already took care of it yea, sure, you took care of my platinum amenity without asking which one I wanted .

Anyway, as I was getting my keys, there was another customer checking in at the elite counter. I heard him asking for a late check out until 4 and here's what the agent told him "yea, about that, I wish I could give you a late check out right now but we are pretty booked and I can't give that to you, but call tomorrow and see" He just looked at her, and looked at me (since he heard that my agent "took care of" my 4PM check out request while he got denied). I and left.

The suite itself was showing its age. The furniture looked worn, the walls had scratches, and the new flat planel LCD TV didn't make the room any better. I did like the Bose wave stereo system though (nice Westin suites always have them) so I enjoyed dancing to a few songs (although I'm sure my neighbors hated me )

To my surprise, this particular jr suite actually had 4 windows along the entire wall while the other jr suites I'd stayed previously only had 2. The view was fantastic.

Another thing I liked about the suite was that the bathroom was double the size of a regular room.

I ordered room service and the quality of meal was very good, although I was somewhat disappointed at the menu as there weren't that many choices. The food arrived quickly.

I had to call service express a couple times and they were very helpful.

I took some pictures:
View 1
View 2
View 3
Four windows/view from bed
Room service 1
Room service 2
I know, I know, we ordered room service while we could have had amazing food in NYC, but it was SO freaking cold that night (-4 with windchill) that we headed straight back to the hotel after our show instead of our dinner reservation.
Living area 1
Living area 2
Bed/desk

The stay was good overall, but their staff could really use some serious training
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Old Feb 8, 07, 7:50 pm
  #6  
 
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Initial Thoughts

I checked in to the Westin Times Square a few hours ago. I'm only SPG gold, but got upgraded up a category which I didn't expect.

First impressions have been very good. A really good and positive check-in experience. The person checking us in was helpful, friendly and knowledgable. We then got to our room (only a Deluxe) and were pleasantly surprised. Good size room on a high floor, nicely decorated and all in very good decorative order.

The gentleman dropping our bags off came pretty swiftly and was very helpful and asked if we needed any additional amenities, extra towels etc. He also answered a few touristy questions which was appreciated. Definitely a genuine warmth from the staff we have encountered so far.

Hopefully the rest of our stay and then our 2nd stay next week will go equally well, but so far so good ^
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Old Jun 5, 07, 4:43 pm
  #7  
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I just completed another stay here at the property.

W Times Square is now officially on the top 5 list of my favorite hotel of all times.

They were amazing. Every staff I encountered was extremely friendly and helpful. The moment I walked into the lobby, I was greeted with warm smiles.

I was upgraded to the amazing Fantastic Suite which had a 42" plasma tv and a $1500 Bang & Olufsen stereo system equipped with Sirius.

The manager sent a bottle of bubbly ^

A more detailed report can be found here:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showp...49&postcount=4

Well done SPG! ^
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Old Jun 5, 07, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by ihdihd View Post
Being that I live nearby and work just south of TS (40th/Broadway) I've never had a chance to stay at the W-TS. In fact I usually cannot wait to leave the area ASAP after work. Some tips that could make your life a lot more pleasant on a TS hotel stay (chain independant, I suppose):

Relax
Bryant park - free wireless internet access and a really nice park atmosphere in the middle of the day. During the summer its the one thing that keeps us sane in the tourist madness. If you need a spot to sit go towards the library and the Bryant Park grill. Around 6 the BP grill is a nice place for a drink on the terrace overlooking the park.

With a snack
About half way down 42nd street between 6th and 5th there's one of the best desserts you'll have, the crumbs bakery with giant delicious cupcakes.

Good TS food without TS hassle
If you're in a hurry and want some really excellent food there's a little known place called the Croton Reservoir. Its on 40th St between Broadway and 6th. has a nice bar in the basement and a classy restaurant on the ground floor. The restaurant serves all kinds of food, but my favorites are their ahi apps.

These are some quickie favorites that help me survive living day-in/day-out in the TS area.

great tips...thanks. Bryant Park is the best spot IMHO. we usually have breakfast there when we're in NY...and tend to plan around that. several good take-out spots nearby (Europacafe, I believe, either on 5th or Bdwy, for one, or places in Grand Central) and just a wonderful feel.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 10:25 pm
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I was in that EXACT SAME CORNER ROOM on 52 a few months ago. I'm not going to tell you specifics about the fun we had in there.

Yes, great view, but I bumped my back when I turned around while shaving in the dinky little itty bitty bathroom and I'm not that big a guy. I think you could literally have one hand on the door knob and one hand on the bathroom faucet at the same time.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 10:39 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by BlissWorld View Post
Knowing TS is a pain in the neck, I got off at 50th St @ 8th Ave on purpose after taking the E train from JFK (instead of 42nd St). The subway station was 4 short blocks away from the hotel.
well, four blocks south but don't forget about the one block over. and, the blocks east to west are about twice the length of the blocks north and south, rule of thumb.

i worked at morgan stanley for two years (across the street from the W) and used the same subway stop.
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Old Jul 11, 07, 11:09 am
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Just got back from a 4 night stay at the W Times Square and I was somewhat disappointed in the room. I want to start by saying that the W TS had always been one of my favorite SW hotels up until now and I had been more than satisfied with past stays. Sure it's loud and crazy but that's what TS and NYC is all about.

I am not sure which floor BlissWorld was on but I had a corner room on the 43rd floor. (4306) Room had definitely not been renovated in any way shape or form. It did have a flat screen tv but the rest of the furnishings seemed "used and abused" and the bathroom was in dire need of a redo. The stainless steel towel ladder and the sink base looked dirty and stained. In addition the wallpaper was peeling in several areas of the room. The fabric lounge chair which used to be part of the corner rooms had been removed (probably a good thing because I noticed they were getting pretty disgusting last time I stayed there). I can deal with these issues because I really like the hotel but overall it is in need of some renovation dollars. I question if the rooms in their current state are worth the prices they are charging and I definitely don't think they are worth 20-25k Starpoints for award stays.

A big word of caution....they also removed the coffee makers from the rooms!!! Evidently they did this after July 4. I first called whenever/whatever and was told that they were removed and they would be more than happy to send up room service with some coffee for me. No Thanks! When I left later that morning I stopped at the front desk and asked about why they had been removed and the agent seemed suprised. She asked a coworker and then said she could have one sent up to the room if I wanted. Naturally I accepted the offer. Only problem after that was getting them to refill the coffee and the cream and sugar. I assume the maids don't carry all of those things with them anymore since they removed the machines from all the rooms. One day I had no paper cups (mugs are also removed from the rooms) so I had to have my coffee out of a glass. When I called down every night for a wake-up call, there was a definite hard sell by the phone attendant for morning coffee. "Your wake-up call is set and would you like some room service coffee delivered to your room in the morning." I hope this move to removed the machines from the rooms is not permanent. With no Plat. amenities like lounges, etc. at W hotels I view the coffee machines in the room as a very important amenity I don't want to do without!!
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Old Jul 14, 07, 10:18 pm
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I stayed there last year! We had a room on the 33rd floor with a king size bed, and was put in a handicap room which was fine because it made the bathroom huge! I felt the room was clean and fresh, though I found it a little generic. I had recently seen a picture on tripadvisor with a different lamps and headboard that made the room look richer and what I feel you should get when you are paying 450 a night. Saying all that I am hoping to return again this fall. I have no desire to stay at the W hotels in the city after reading the reports of the room size, noisy air conditioning and bathroom size.
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Old Jul 14, 07, 10:46 pm
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Basically the same thought, nondescript rooms, bathrooom was small. Better than the Ws though.
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Old Jul 15, 07, 12:05 am
  #14  
 
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I've stayed there a bunch of times. Folks were always very friendly and knew how to handle frequent travelers very well. I always enjoyed my stays there and found them to be very responsive to anything/everything that had been needed. They do get pricey, depending on the season, but everything in that area runs high normally.

Michael
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Old Jul 15, 07, 12:09 am
  #15  
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Thanks Cheap Elite for being uber searcher per usual. MileageAddict, I am curious what you used for your search terms since as pointed out there are MANY threads on this property. Want to ensure that the technical group is made aware if something isn't working properly. Please PM us. Thanks.

ldsant
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