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To round out my three night stay in New York City in early June, I spent my final night at the Hyatt 48 Lex. I spent the first two nights of my trip at the Crowne Plaza Times Square and the Grand Hyatt New York, so feel free to check out those reviews if you are interested in those hotels. I was very much looking forward to my night at Hyatt 48 Lex for many reasons. The first was that it is a newer hotel and that is often fun, second it is a tremendous deal on points (more on that in a minute), and finally I was able to secure an award night in a room with a fairly large terrace. What a treat in New York City!
Hyatt 48 Lex is named after its location at 48th and Lexington in Manhattan. It is a pretty lively location, and was perfect for me while in New York. It is located right across the street from a Radisson, and there are many other hotels, stores, restaurants, and office buildings in the vicinity. I actually walked to this hotel with my luggage from The Grand Hyatt, and it was about a 10 minute walk – not bad at all. The hotel was well marked with a sign on the awning, so it was easy to know when I had arrived. I will say that the Radisson across the street was better staffed outside. This didn’t matter to me, but if you wanted help getting a cab or something similar, be aware that there aren’t always Hyatt personnel staffed outside (though I imagine the ones in the lobby would help you).
I wasn’t ever able to get a good shot of the lobby as there were always people standing about, and there was no real way to get a picture without looking like a complete stalker. The lobby was pretty small and was decorated with a very minimalistic style. There was a simple desk where the check-in agents were ready to help. There was also some pretty decent lemonade in the lobby that was very good after my walk from The Grand Hyatt. Check-in took a little longer than normal, but that is mostly because there was a new employee who was in training. Both the new employee and the one assisting her were very nice. Just like at the Grand Hyatt, I did have to inquire about Diamond benefits when they weren’t brought up. For whatever reason, neither hotel was able to see my status on their computers.
Once I pointed out the Diamond status, they were quick to explain that while there are some complimentary snacks in the lounge on the second floor that are available to everyone, those with Diamond status are entitled to $25 per person per night at the adjacent restaurant, Lexington Brass. So, you do have a friend who is staying with you on your trip, right? This credit could be used for breakfast, but it could also be used for drinks, dinner, or whatever else you liked.
The Room (and Terrace!):
Like most rooms in NYC, the Terrace Studio was not very large, but the entry-way was spacious enough that it perhaps feels more spacious than it really is. It was plenty of space for just me, but it would have been a little tight for my family of three. The mini-bar was actually pretty decent, but I didn’t partake in any of the selections on this trip.
The bathroom was a big improvement over the Grand Hyatt bathroom – mostly because i didn’t hit my head on the ledge over the sink this time.
The highlight of this room is undoubtedly the terrace. Not all of the Hyatt 48 Lex rooms have a terrace, but I was able to book the Terrace Studio on points. It was the same number of points as a regular room, so it was quite a nice treat. I loved sitting out on the terrace and having breakfast, it really was awesome. My parents have the same room reserved for later this year.
On the morning before i flew home, I ordered room service breakfast and ate it on the terrace while I watched people go to work, run errands, and just stroll down the street. We all know room service isn’t cheap, but I got so much enjoyment out of eating outside that morning, that I more than got my money’s worth. New York City is fantastic for people watching and this terrace gives you your own private balcony to enjoy the show.
Restaurant and Other Amenities:
Before dinner, Deals We Like and I checked out Lexington Lounge on the second floor of the hotel. The had complimentary cheese and crackers that evening. We each ordered a soda, and those were very much not complimentary. They were served in fancy bottles though. They advertize free pastries and coffee in the morning, but just like at the Grand Hyatt the day before, I didn’t make it down there in time for to check out breakfast for myself. While the complimentary selections are limited, it is still a very nice touch, and the lounge was quite comfortable for, well, lounging.
The onsite restaurant, Lexington Brass, was extremely lively when myself and Deals We Like visited during happy hour on a Thursday evening. $25 per person doesn’t go very far in this Manhattan restaurant, but I did appreciate the flexibility to use it on whatever I wanted. Deals and myself ordered a drink and got many small plates to share. Sadly, I was sick on this trip and by this point on the third night, I had to leave as soon as the food was delivered as I literally couldn’t sit upright anymore. She said that she knew I was really feeling ill when I didn’t even touch my mojito! Sorry Deals for abandoning you at dinner (no, I did not abandon her with the whole check!).
Best Points Value in NYC:
As you can probably tell by this point in the review, I very much enjoyed this hotel. The hotel is great, but what makes me love this hotel is the tremendous value that can be had by redeeming Hyatt Gold Passport points and/or Chase Ultimate Reward points. The hotel is (at least for the moment) just a Category 4 hotel. Hyatt hotels go up to Category 6, so this hotel is an outright steal as a 4. Category 4 hotels are just 15,000 points per night (and this hotel is often going for $400 – $500 per night). If you signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and got the 40,000 Ultimate Reward points sign-up balance after spending $3000 in three months, you would almost have enough for three free nights at this hotel if you transferred your Ultimate Reward points to Hyatt. That is well over $1000 in value for one credit card sign-up. The Ink Bold with Ultimate Rewards has a 50,000 point sign-up bonus (though you do have to spend $10,000 on the card in three months to get the second half of the sign-up bonus). With the 60,000 points you would have from that sign-up bonus and the points you would earn from the regular spending on the card to meet the spending requirement for the bonus, you could stay at Hyatt 48 Lex for at least four nights. It is not unrealistic to say that you would get $2,000 in value from that one credit card one sign-up if you redeem for nights at this hotel.
Another great way to score a free night at this hotel is to use your annual free night certificate that comes with having the Hyatt Credit Card. With that card you get two free nights at any Hyatt as a sign-up bonus (which you could use here, but I would probably use at a Category 6 Hyatt), but the annual free night has to be used at a Category 1-4 Hyatt, and this has to be one of the best Category 4 Hyatts that are out there.
This hotel gets many things right, and I had a fantastic time there (despite feeling so crummy). Admittedly this hotel is better geared for trips for single folks or couples than children, but that wouldn’t prevent me from bringing my travel-rific toddler since many NYC hotels aren’t exactly centered around families. Just be aware that the shower and sleeping arrangements are geared more for “big folks” than “little folks”. At 15,000 points per night, it really is a no-brainer to try out sometime when you are in New York City. I’m almost certain this hotel won’t be a Category 4 hotel forever, so don’t miss out on a chance to stay here while the points price is still so low. However, don’t just take my word for it. You can find more reviews from Pizza in Motion, View From the Wing, and Miles From Blighty (though his most recent experience was not his favorite) – this hotel is popular with the blogging crew due to the tremendous redemption value!
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