I’m Not a Fan of New York Hotels

Most places in the world, if you’re paying $450 a night for a hotel, you expect something out of the ordinary. In New York you can expect a bed. That’s the first reality check for folks not used to staying in Manhattan. The Holiday Inn Midtown usually goes for upwards of $369 a night. If you want to stay under $300, check out the Ramada. If you want closer to $200, there’s the HoJo’s at Penn Station.

Even when you’re at a nicer property, rooms and bathrooms are uniquely small. Think 250 square feet. 350 square feet might be considered a junior suite.

And — I can say this as a former New Yorker — the hotels are staffed by New Yorkers….

When I’m up in New York I’m most likely to stay at the Grand Hyatt at Grand Central Station. It’s the best deal in the city when booked at the voucher rate ($165 including tax). But I find myself unhappy there. But it’s so much less than any other (non-Priceline) option….

Last week I checked into two rooms, both of which were upgraded to the Regency floor. Wanted king beds in both, so they moved the room that had two doubles down a few floors into a junior (“Lexington”) suite, still with club access.

The club itself was small, crowded, and loud. Odd for my usual travels, they charged for cocktails even during evening h’or dourves. At least it’s not the lounge at the Sheraton New York, there a coke will set you back $3.

Meanwhile, the concierge in the club was on the phone the whole time I was there, on each visit (different concierges, even). And not talking to a guest or a restaurant, either. Gossiping with friends. The only time they got off the phone was to make themselves a plate from the buffet. And to kick everyone out of the lounge at 9:50pm (evening service was supposed to last until 10pm, but the paltry offerings were cleared at 9:45pm).

The rooms themselves could use an update, though I recall the hotel going through substantial renovations just two and a half years ago. One room had a door with substantial dents in it. Both had dirty furniture. One had a dirty bathroom floor. And are the walls ever thin!

But I guess I got more than I deserve at the rate I paid.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Wow, nice price, but what is a voucher rate and how do you buy it?

    I searched the Priceline site and didn’t find anything like this.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *