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On our recent family trip to New York City, I used some of my Wyndham Rewards points to cover a two night stay for my parents at the Wingate by Wyndham Manhattan Midtown Hotel. I have found that using points to bring along grandparents is a fantastic use of points. Not only do they get to join in the fun of the trip, but you can usually negotiate a trade for some babysitting time while you are on vacation. I call it a win-win. In this case they chose to stay at the Wingate since it was (at the time) a great deal at just 16,000 Wyndham Reward points per night, it looked pretty nice, and it was in a perfect location for many of our midtown touristy plans.
Despite my best intentions, I did not have time to personally visit the hotel while we were there, but my parents were happy to answer a few questions about their stay and share some photos as well. Just to provide some context, my parents are not demanding travelers by any stretch of the imagination. They want a place to be clean, safe, they enjoy free breakfast to save cash (even if it is a modest spread), and anything else is icing on the cake. In other words, they are less spoiled than I am.
Tell me a little about the hotel and why you stayed there.
We recently stayed at the Wingate by Wyndham Manhattan Midtown Hotel during our trip to New York City in early December 2012. The hotel was very easy to find (even for those not overly familiar with NYC) and was conveniently located to most of the sites and sights we wanted to explore. The hotel was only a couple of blocks from Penn Station, so travel into and out of the city from Newark via the AirTrain was quite easy, efficient and affordable (roughly $12 per person).
The hotel is 6-7 years old and is located on West 35th in the Garment District. It is less than a block to Macy’s at Herald Square. Macy’s was one of the centerpieces of our trip as our grand daughter was going to see Santa at Macy’s Santa Land, and we were also very excited to see their beautiful Christmas windows and seasonal decorations. Christmas time in New York proved to be quite magical.
Tell me a little bit about the hotel itself. Was it nice? Nasty? Pretty? Scary? Was Buddy the Elf there?
The Wingate by Wyndham is architecturally interesting as it visually looks like it was squeezed into a very narrow space between older buildings. It has a very small square footage footprint. I did not bring my survey equipment, but I honestly think the structure of this hotel occupies less than 3500 sq. ft of ground floor real estate. The hotel is about 18 stories tall, so if I had to personify it and name it I would call it a Kevin Durant of the NBA’s Oklahoma Thunder. Tall and thin. Coincidentally, Madison Square Garden is nearby and you could catch an NBA game while in town.
The front lobby is open and airy as it is essentially a two-story atrium. Because of the compactness of the hotel, the front door, the front desk and the two hotel elevators are all very close together, so there are no long or difficult expanses to walk or handle luggage. The lobby is modern with a large flat screen TV on the wall. The front desk personnel were very pleasant and helpful during our stay and the check in and out process was quick and smooth. There is a quasi-balcony on the second floor that overlooks the entrance. It seemed to be a very quiet and rarely utilized area that also had a TV and seating options.
Our room was on one of the top floors on the back side of the hotel. Our view was limited to the brown brick walls of adjacent buildings. I think this was the case with most of the rooms. We spend very few non-sleeping hours in hotels when we travel, so the view is generally inconsequential. There are only 5 or 6 rooms per floor so noise and crowds were also non-factors.
We were quite pleased as we entered our room as it was just as the website photos had indicated. It was modern, clean and fresh. The room was of a comfortable size and came with a microwave and refrigerator. It is my understanding that the standard room size at this hotel is about 20% larger than that found in many similar properties in New York City. The bathroom was bright, clean and in good repair. Free WiFi and internet connections are available in the room without any elite status required. The flat screen TV had plenty of channel options, but the picture quality was only satisfactory. They also gave us a welcome amenity of snacks and bottled water.
The hotel offers a free breakfast that included the standard pastries, fruits, juices and cereal that you would expect to find. There were also waffle makers available plus bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs and biscuits. Some of the menu items varied slightly from day to day. The hotel personnel involved in the breakfast seemed very interested with and concerned about your enjoyment and satisfaction. The breakfast room is on the first floor near the elevators.
The hotel also has a fitness center and a business hub available for the use of its guests. The fitness center seemed to provide the essential machines and equipment one would want or expect.
The hotel worked out perfectly for us. Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Broadway, and subway stations were all within walking distance. If you needed a cab to the locations mentioned, the fare was between 6 and 10 dollars. All cabs are credit card friendly. There are also many nice and affordable delis, restaurants and fast food options nearby. We were very pleased with The Wingate by Wyndham and would not hesitate to stay there again (of course he wrote this before finding out about the very recent dramatic increase in the number of points required!). We felt comfortable, safe and welcome.
I’m so glad that my parents had a good stay at this hotel, and we also greatly appreciated the night we got out in New York City while Grandma and Grandpa Points babysat her in our room.
I am very sad that this particular redemption is nowhere near as good as it was when my parents took advantage of it as it does seem to be a solid hotel option in midtown Manhattan. If you happen to have a bucket of Wyndham Reward points and want to use them at this hotel, then it is now going cost you a whopping
45,000 points per night 35,000 points per night (the amount was re-adjusted just two days ago). Congrats to those who were able to lock in a reservation here before the recent increase that happened without any grace period or advance notice.