I feel a bit ashamed. Somehow, my daughter managed to get to the age of 5 without going to the greatest city in the country. So, what better opportunity than the 40th party of a close friend and his surprise marriage proposal to his girlfriend for a quick trip to NYC?
There’s a longer post here about what our family did, but I thought I’d share some thoughts on the Westin Times Square. I’m both Starwood Platinum and Hyatt Diamond. I’ve been directing more of my stays to Hyatt recently because they offer a more consistent delivery of benefits and services. This most recent stay was another good example.
The summary is a somewhat reasonable property for the points, but there are definitely better values in the NYC from SPG. The lounge is a positive that most Westins don’t have. We had a very enjoyable breakfast there our first day in town. Downsides are very thin doors and walls, and sliding glass bathroom doors that don’t lock, which I’m never really wild about. Read more below for way too many details.
I reserved two rooms through my Plat concierge for this past weekend. I asked for the rooms to be adjoining, and for a crib to be placed in one of the rooms. Both of these items were confirmed.
I called the property the day before to confirm connecting rooms and crib. With a 10-month old baby, these were both pretty important points for us. So much so, that I passed on a property I usually enjoy staying at in NYC, Le Parker Meridien, because they couldn’t guarantee connected rooms. At any rate, the property again confirmed my requests during the call.
We had a late afternoon flight that, due to some delays, developed into an evening flight with a long wait for a cab. Our son was asleep in my wife’s arms, and we were trying to get checked in and up to the room without waking him. Upon check-in, I asked again about connecting rooms and a crib. Both were confirmed by the agent at check-in. He said they had me pre-blocked and the crib was set. We arrived in the room to find….no crib.
I called Service Express. Westin properties don’t have an “operator”. They call it Service Express. The person who answered the call told me that “a crib request really wasn’t official until I asked the front desk, because they ignore the reservation notes.” She then asked me if I requested a crib at the front desk when I checked in. I told her I did, and was assured that it was already in the room.
Roughly 20 minutes later the crib showed up. By that time, our son was wide awake. It took another hour to get our son back to sleep. But, don’t worry. The alarm in the room was set by the previous occupant, and housekeeping hadn’t disabled it. So, it went off at 5am, waking him again.
The phones in the room are cordless, and both died for a day or so during our stay, despite never leaving the cradle. We never could get one of them to work. I got one of them to work briefly, but then gave up and just went down to the front desk to deal with some odds and ends.
As I said earlier in the post, this is an adequate property with rooms in decent shape and a good lounge benefit for guests. The noise and service issues detracted from our stay and will have me at Le Parker Meridien or St. Regis next time I’m in town. I do also enjoy the Andaz properties in Manhattan, but they’re not as conducive to a family stay.