As part of the “Tour D’Hyatts” the Sherpstress, Sherpita and myself stayed in three different Manhattan Hyatts over three different nights. We started with the Hyatt Place NYC and planned on working our way up the Hyatt chain through the Hyatt Herald Square and ultimately the Grand Hyatt New York. We had our own precepts about what we would find, but we were mostly wrong, and mostly satisfied to be wrong.
While the Hotel is on a side street it is in a really convenient spot. Because it’s not facing a major street like Broadway or Fifth Avenue, it is really easy to get in and out by car. We also had a large number of taxis solicit our business which surprised me as it was again, a little off the major roads. We started with this hotel because of it’s proximity to the Javits Center (a little over a mile and straight across) which would be home for the New York Times Travel Show, our excuse for going to the city for the weekend. Though we used cars the whole weekend or walked (more on this later), I met up with Mike from UPGRD at one of many subway exits and it was a five minute walk around the block. It was also pretty quick in from LGA, though from Newark I can imagine it would have been just a few minutes to the hotel. With Broadway a short walkable distance, and Times Square not far – just about any tourist or visitor to the Javits would love where the hotel is located. On a scale of 1-10, location is a solid 7, which punches way above the weight of the rest of the Hyatt Place brand which tend to be a little off the beaten path.
I love to name great staff members when they show they care about your stay and do something a little extra to make your stay worth while. Dana, the young man handling the front desk duties when we arrived was awesome. He had everything under control, including dealing with some other guests at the same time he checked us in. We needed a water for the Sherpita and he was happy to treat that as our welcome amenity for being Diamond members, though we also got the points. The funny thing is, he didn’t do hand stands or upgrade us to some sort of a rooftop terrace suite, he was just a genuine guy who made us feel like we were valued guests. But that goes a long way. When we decided we needed a little something more for our daughter, he recommended the place next door which had some fresh fruit, cheesecake and homemade lemonade. Though we won’t win any awards for our meal planning that evening, we did appreciate the honest and helpful suggestion. I also left my coat at breakfast on accident and by the time I made it back downstairs, they had it waiting for me behind the counter.
(Sherpita getting ready for her 44th flight)
In the morning, breakfast service was quintessential Hyatt Place. I have only been to two or three Hyatt Places in all of my stays, but it is very much both Hyatt and the sector of the market that a Holiday Inn Express finds themselves or maybe a Hampton. If you have ever been to a Holiday Inn Express breakfast, it is usually a hot item like scrambled eggs (from a bag) and maybe some dried pancakes. Needless to say, I will pass. I am a breakfast snob, and that’s okay, I am a coffee snob and I know that too. There is no reason to hide it or act like I am good with any old gas station coffee and breakfast sandwich. It just doesn’t cut it for me. Likewise, with the market that the Hyatt Place is serving, breakfast is open to all at no additional cost and has both hot and cold items in a buffet type of format. However, they do it in a very Hyatt way. There are lots of TVs with the morning news going, the plates are actual plates and not paper or styrofoam, the same with the cutlery, and the selection is a little bit more than you find at the comparative competition for the same money. The Sherpstress had an english muffin egg sandwich (sounds basic enough) but the melted cheese was smoked gouda. I had an open face breakfast sandwich but mine featured avocado, red pepper, and melted provolone. It wasn’t miles above and beyond what you find in the category, but it was distinctly better than Holiday Inn Express or Courtyard by Marriott for example – and if you are not a breakfast snob like me you may find that this was even excellent. Though there were many other cold selections and pancakes, I neither had the time nor inclination to write about them, it was fairly run of the mill from what I could see.
Design and Room
The hotel has a very narrow, very tall design. We were on the 25th floor and it felt like there were no more than 6-8 rooms on each floor. There were just two elevators, and this meant that in the morning with lots of overnight flights just arriving (and lots of guests) combined with a breakfast rush and those leaving, there was a notable wait for the lifts from the lobby up to our room. It was also different from every other Hyatt place I have been in (including one in the Pittsburgh downtown stadium district – North Shore). They have all had a suite type design with some separation between bed and the living and working space.
But this is New York. And as a good friend who works in the hotel business said to me, “New York doesn’t have to” in regards to just about every complaint I have had with any New York hotel. For example, the room was very small but Hyatt Place standards, but “New York doesn’t have to have spacious rooms. It’s New York, real estate is ridiculously expensive, most of the rooms in the city are fairly small, if you don’t like it, don’t come. That is really my only complaint with the hotel is that we were definitely tripping over things in the room.
Walking into the room, the bathroom is to the right, it is fairly spacious and includes a shower only, no tub and (five big points for this one) no shower over tub with disgusting shower curtain groping you. There is a closet to your left which holds the usual items (ironing board, etc.). Then as you enter the room, to your left is the furniture against the wall with a decent sized desk and a little sitting area which held some of our luggage. There is also a little table for a small meal or a game of cards if you like. Opposite the left wall is a night shelf (not a full night stand but does the trick) and a full king size bed. At the foot of the bed there is a cabinet that holds an empty fridge (five more bonus points for those who need to cool food and rarely buy from the mini bar) and a fair sized TV for the space.
The windows are amazing. From the moment you walk-in you are greeted with floor to ceiling windows and a beautiful view of New York. I understand that some views include the Empire State building and while our’s did not, it was the best view of the weekend by far. If I were staying in New York City for a conference again in the future, I would likely choose this hotel because of it’s windows. It is that impressive.
While I don’t think the point redemption prices for any New York hotels make sense when compared to where they can be better spent elsewhere (“New York doesn’t have to” have a good rate for point redemption, the hotels will just be full anyway). The cost of this hotel was somewhere around $120 out of pocket and before another $25 in taxes. For it’s location, free internet, free breakfast (if you are into that sort of thing) and for that view – the Hyatt Place New York is a great value. In our Tour D’Hyatts it actually beat the Grand Hyatt head to head this weekend. Give it a try.