10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Not so great for business travel
"I just stayed at this hotel for a short (3-night) business trip, arriving on the Thursday evening and departing on the Sunday morning. I had high expectations and came away with very mixed feelings but with an overall decision to cancel two future stays at the hotel that I had booked for September and October. I stay in hotels 90+ nights a year for business, and 30+ nights a year for leisure, and have "Royal Ambassador" status (not to be confused with the regular "Ambassador" status) with InterContinental which means that I'm one of their top customers and should (theoretically, at least) get VIP treatment at any of their properties. I'm not a picky or excessively demanding customer, but I do have very particular likes and dislikes balanced by a sense of empathy and fairness towards staff. I'll start off with the positive things. The hotel itself is fantastic - brand new, thoughtfully designed and refreshing. The first thing that stood out when I walked in the main revolving door was the beautiful fragrance in the air and the enclosed, illuminated courtyard garden behind the check in desk (it looked very nice in the evening when I checked in.) The location is great for business or travel: within walking distance of many mid-town corporate offices, right next to the subway and close (but not too close thankfully) to Times Square. The lady who checked me in was *genuinely* nice and friendly (a rarity in the NY hospitality business) and throughout my stay I found the same attitude amongst the majority of the staff. I used room service a couple of times and the food was absolutely fantastic - fresh, high quality ingredients, very well prepared, "just out of the pan" hot on arrival and exceptionally good value. In fact, I'd probably rate it as the best room service food I've ever had in NY. So, onto the negative things. When I checked in, I was informed that my room had been upgraded (as a Royal Ambassador, this is guaranteed) and given that my existing booking was for the best available suite, I expected something special. I was rather surprised when I arrived in the room and found that it was in fact the exact category of room that I had booked. I was after flying in from London though, so opted to just relax, get some work done and then have an early night before meetings the next day. I spoke to Christina, who was very helpful and apologetic, and she said that they would sort things out the next day as she had the system showing that the room I was in should have been a duplex. It was barely a suite (I did inform them that they should really be marketing these as "junior suites" in the interests of fairness.) I then unpacked and discovered that the hanging space was quite minimal for a suite. I had some work to do so set up my laptop, portable printer and a travel router on the desk, but was rather surprised to discover that there were no power outlets! There were only two behind the desk, and both were used (and fairly difficult to get to, i.e. I had to crawl under the desk and unplug the lamp to plug my laptop in.) The only solution they could provide was sending the maintenance officer up with a 20' long bright yellow 3-way extension cable. Sure, problem solved, but is this not a *major* oversight, especially in a suite? I had also had documents couriered to me by FedEx (from two different companies, one in Boston and one in Miami) to arrive before 3pm that day, so that I would be able to add information from these documents to a presentation I was giving that morning. I called the front desk and they couldn't find them. To cut a long story short, they hunted high and low, but no sign of them. I didn't had tracking info, and it was too late to get hold of it, but I called FedEx the next morning before my meetings. They said that their driver had attempted delivery of both packages, but "nobody was available to sign for it". This left me rather screwed for my meeting, to put it lightly. I regularly have documents couriered to hotels so that they're waiting for me at check-in, and I've never been let down like this before. I don't understand how a high class hotel with 24hr security cannot have anybody available to sign for a package? FedEx delivered later that day without a problem, but I received the documents after my meeting (my client was thankfully quite forgiving.) Later that day, when Christina had started her shift that day, I spoke to her about our conversation about the room that we had the previous evening. She said that guest relations would call me back immediately. I waited half an hour patiently, then called back. She apologised and said that she would get them to call me straight away. I waited another half an hour and still no call. I called back again, and said to Christina that I just needed to no whether I'd be moving to a new room, so I can get my cases repacked for the move. Finally, Nina from guest relations called me and said that they had upgraded me, and sent the bellman to help me move. I moved up 7 floors to the 29th floor, and opened the door to the new suite and was horrified to discovered that it was the EXACT same room that I had just moved from, albeit 7 levels higher. I asked the bellman to get Nina on his radio, and she then called me in the room. She informed me that this was considered an upgrade - moving from the 22nd to the 29th floor yet retaining the exact same class of room. At this point I could not contain myself and spent a good 20 minutes politely expressing my issues. I was particularly annoyed that they had let me go through the process of re-packing my cases, only to be moved to an identical room - what an utter waste of my time. I was informed that no other upgrade was available, but she would adjust my rate (which she did, very generously too) to compensate for the hassles. As a business traveler I would never stay here again - I can't afford to have a mistake like that happen again and potentially have my business affected as a result. The lack of power points is a major issue. If you're used to staying in suites, you'll be disappointed here. The bathrooms are very nice but on the small side for a suite - there's no way two people could get ready at the same time. Hanging space is somewhat limited, so if you're not a light traveler then you will have problems - I struggled with hanging space as a solo traveler on a 3 night trip. I would therefore not stay here again as a leisure traveler either. Nina was unable to guarantee me upgrades for my future bookings (as I mentioned, as a RA I am entitled to a *guaranteed* upgrade) so I have canceled them and will stay elsewhere. I'm disappointed that I've had to give such a negative review, as I had such high hopes, but this experience unfortunately means that I can neither return to nor recommended the hotel the other travelers like myself."
- Travel date: 2nd August 2010
Friendliest hotel staff in the world, best location in Manhattan, favourite hotel experience ever.
"My husband and I stayed here recently and had a blast. Each and every staff member is friendly, helpful and charming. Nothing is too much trouble. We had problems with our television and so they came, took it away and gave us a brand new one! Room is spacious, the bed is amazingly comfortable (we wanted to take it home with us!) shower is a rainfall style one in a lovely roomy glass shower area. Towels are big and fluffy. Had breakfast only once but it was great. Hotel is so close to Hells Kitchen, you are literally 5 minutes from hundreds of restaurants/diners etc for all budgets and tastes. Subway right next door connects you to rest of Manhattan. Walking from the hotel leads you to all the major sites of NY. So, you cannot beat the location, the room, or the staff. A hotel that is worth every cent- now that really is something!"
- Travel date: 1st August 2010
Hit the Ground Running
"Upon booking this hotel I learned that it had recently opened and became skeptical about my upcoming trip. Even though I had mixed feelings about my decision I decided to give it a try. I am glad I did! This new hotel met all of my needs throughout the entire stay: * Reception - Raul at the Front Desk was very courteous and thorough during the check in. * Bell staff - I arrived early so I had to ckeck my bags while the room was being cleaned and the bell staff stored my lugagge and gave me a creat recomendation for a quick bite (Amy's Bread) * Bar - Lady bartender from Ohio was very corteous with me and other patrons sitting in the bar area * Housekeeping - Room was deeply cleaned and turndown service was always sharp. * Gym - The latest gym equipment on the market on a great setting. Ample facilities. The General Manager of this hotel must be very proud to have a great staff working for him. It seems like they hired new employees based on positive attitude rather than hiring old union mentality employees. Kudos to the entire staff."
- Travel date: 30th July 2010
"Exceeds expectations- clean, contemporary, great rooms, very comfortable but the service- stirling! Every staff person we encountered was exemplarary - Charles, one of the bellman, even remembered our name and offered a handshake and a pleasant day when we saw him in the mornings. The concierge was helpful in setting up reservations and shopping plans (to maximise our time as we had a lot of places to cover) for us. We only ate there for breakfast , and that was great! A waiter was so kind to my son and created a breakfast cocktail named for him. I forget his name(similar to Ambrose) sorry! Everyone we encountered was the perfect blend of professional and friendly. Check in and out was smooth and pleasant, charlotte-a pleasure to meet. The location is perfect, the children approved and the shake shack (great burgers) on the corner. The only place we will stay when in New York!"
- Travel date: 27th July 2010
"A hotel full of smiles and greetings. One really feels welcome at IC Times Square. Still only 200 of the 600 rooms are in function but it seems like staff has really been preparing themself for the opening 2 weeks ago. The hotel is spotless, beautifully decorated - smells good :-) Rooms - just what one needs : a large comfortable king size bed and a large 42 inch television and fast internet and coffeemachine and a shower to spend hours in. Definitively my best NY hotel experience!"
- Travel date: 26th July 2010
Great Hotel, Great Location and Amazing Service
"This is a brand new hotel that opened in July 2010 and is located a few blocks from Times Square. The hotel is beautiful, clean, and with a contemporary minimalist design. The rooms are huge by New York standards. It was furnished with a LCD TV, touch screen computer, and Keurig coffee maker (Yey!). The hotel provides tea, regular and decaff coffee K cups. My husband and I are coffee lovers, so having a Keurig coffee maker in a hotel room is a big plus! The bed has a very comfy mattress with pillows so soft that you would want to take it home. The room also has a nicely decorated bathroom with rain shower head, tiled bathroom wall, and big fluffy towels. The hotel staff are friendly, accommodating and will go out of their way to help you. I love this hotel and will totally recommend it to anyone visiting NYC."
- Travel date: 25th July 2010
Best place to stay in Times Square
"Six girlfriends stayed here a few days afer the grand opening. Great experience! For many of us it was the 1st time in NY let alone Times Square! The service was impeccable! From the doormen/velet,front desk, concierge, and servers @ breakfast,no one missed a beat. Their willingness to help came across effortlessly! The rooms were clean and spacious. The decor was modern and inviting. One mement that stood out was when Brandon (doorman/velet) hailed us two cabs before we could properly get the question out of our mouths. Usually there are cabs in front of the hotel but just when we needed one or two no one around. Brandon went out of his way,ran to the corner and had two cabs waiting for us while we were still trying to walk as quickly as we could in high heels. The location -2 blocks from Times Square - was excellent! Close enough to the action but far enough for peace & quiet. The subway terminal was right outside the front door (very clean too) and the Shake Shack on the corner has the best burgers and shakes! I would recommend this hotel to NYC visiting vetrens and experts!"
- Travel date: 24th July 2010
Great location, a good value for parties of 3 or more
"We spent weeks searching for an upscale hotel in New York that would accommodate our small family of three without breaking the bank. The problem we faced was that most hotels we found would not book a family of three in a standard room. They required an upgraded room or a suite for two adults and one child. Not so with Intercontinental! We were able to book a standard room that was large enough for the three of us. The hotel itself is in an excellent location. Exit the hotel entrance go east (right) for two blocks and you're in Times Square and the Theatre District. Go west (left) and you're in Hell's Kitchen - home of some great eclectic dining. Walk a few more blocks and you're at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Also within walking distance are the Gray Line bus tours, which are really the best way to see all this great city has to offer. The hotel rooms are spacious (by NY standards) and modern. I have no complaints about the amenities. I liked the fact that the rooms all have their own computer, so you don't have to bring your laptop. Internet service was $12.95/day on the room computer, $14.95/day if you used your own laptop. One thing we found slightly annoying was that housekeeping didn't clean our room until 4 PM on a couple of occasions. However, this is a new hotel, so they may still be working out some of the kinks. The front desk staff was very friendly and accommodated our every request. The valets were also very helpful - on one occasion even walking us to the corner to hail a cab while shielding us from the rain with his umbrella. We ordered room service a couple of times, no complaints with that either. Overall a solid hotel with a great future in NY if they keep up the good work."
- Travel date: 24th July 2010
Great Property....Great Location
"Stayed two night during the opening week. Beautiful property just off of Times Square near all the Broadway theaters. Very convenient to the E Subway (right out the front door). Our King Size Bed was very comfortable with soft crisp linens. Staff was extremely helpful and courteous. Their are Floor to Ceiling windows that lookout over the city skyline. The only two negatives were the room we stayed in was behind the elevator which made our room somewhat noisy and the flat screen TV was on a side wall which made it difficult to view from the bed. Overall its a great property that I plan on frequenting on future trips to NY City."
- Travel date: 23rd July 2010
Modern, comfortable and high tech
"A modern and comfortable hotel that is just a block from Time Square. High tech with large flat screen tv and touch screen computers in each room. Attentive and friendly staff. Too bad about pay wifi - a cheep move straight out of 1999."
- Travel date: 21st July 2010