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The first night I was in New York City, I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. As I mentioned in a previous post, I selected this hotel in part due to its central location, and in part because it was a fantastic points redemption. When I made my reservation, the Crowne Plaza Times Square was just 25,000 Priority Club points per night. The hotel has since gone up to 35,000 points per night, but it is still a good redemption value given how insanely expensive hotels in New York City can be, and how easily Priority Club points can be obtained. First, I will review the hotel, then I will review your options for obtaining Priority Club points.
This hotel is truly located in the heart of Times Square. If that is where you want to be, then this hotel has prime real estate. It puts you in walking distance to the various Broadway shows, Letterman, and more. You are also walking distance to a couple different subway stations. Of course, this part of town is going to be very crowded and lively at almost all hours of the day and night, so take that into consideration as well.
Check-in and the lobby:
Check-in was easy and efficient. I only have Gold status with Priority Club, but they certainly didn’t care to mention that, or give me any extra little treat or bottle of water when checking in as a “thank you for my loyalty”. In the past I have received gift bags or other little things when checking into Priority Club hotels, but not this time. The lobby was pretty large and had a small bar and a number of chairs to lounge in. It was actually a rather inviting space, but I didn’t have the time to really check it out for myself on this trip.
The room was not large, but it was a fine size by New York standards. There were plenty of elevators and they seemed to move at a pretty good pace, which is important in a hotel as large as this one. I did not like that the room had no bottled water – not even for purchase. I also did not like having to pay about $14 per night for internet. I’ll admit I have gotten spoiled by having status at other hotels that gives me free internet access, but even elite status with Priority Club doesn’t necessarily free you from internet charges. Perhaps more annoying than that was that there was zero cell reception for me in this hotel. As an AT&T user, that was an issue for me in many parts of Manhattan. It was so bad in this hotel that my husband had to actually call the hotel to talk to me – that has never happened in all of my journeys. So, just keep that in mind if you use AT&T and are relying on your cell phone.
I was on a pretty high floor, so the street noise wasn’t too bad. I could hear when someone would honk or when an emergency vehicle had their sirens on, but that is going to be true anywhere you stay in the city. The pillows were a bit flimsy for my tastes, but that is just personal preference. Otherwise, I didn’t have any issues with the bed.
I have to give this bathroom credit for having a tub as it was the only hotel of the three I stayed in that had a bathtub in my room. I don’t typically take baths on vacation, but as a parent traveler, I am always paying attention to which hotels have bathtubs. Showers and young children just don’t mix nearly as well as a bathtub.
Having given credit for having the bathtub, I must also point out that it wasn’t exactly in the best shape. Some of the tub itself was bubbling up, there was rust on the drain, the drain barely drained at all, and the shower curtain was ripped.
Scoring a Deal at This Hotel:
As I mentioned, this hotel goes for 35K Priority Club points per night. This is also the same as 25,000 Priority Club points + $70 via their cash and points option. There are lots of ways to get Priority Club points including: transferring from Ultimate Rewards, transferring from Membership Rewards (until 6/30/12), having the Chase Priority Club card (which can give you up to 80,000 points upon first use), or the best deal of all is purchasing them via an unofficial method for .7 cents a piece. For more on that, google “buying Priority Club points for .6 cents each. I even bought some Priority Club points via the Daily Getaway deals this year. When you have stays at Priority Club hotels, it is usually pretty easy to register for many promotions and earn lots of points at once. Check out Priority Club Insider for more on that. So, since Priority Club points are pretty easy to come by, I would highly recommend considering using those points to stay at this hotel instead of paying the going rate (unless you happen across a very inexpensive rate).
Overall, I found the hotel to be pretty decent upon first glance. It is located in a prime tourist spot, it has an inviting lobby, the rooms are decorated okay, there is a bathtub, I got a great points deal, etc. However, it is one of those places that the closer you look at things, the more they aren’t as nice as they seemed at first. The bathroom was a good example of that phenomenon. I would consider staying there again if I absolutely couldn’t find a better, more affordable option, but I am by no means hoping for a return visit. It wasn’t that bad, it just also wasn’t that great.