New York hotels are outrageously expensive for what you are getting. Thankfully, I had some (make that a lot) IHG points lying around. Holiday Inn Express Times Square is pretty narrow and tall. It has 36 levels, with 6 rooms on each level. Generally, it is a very efficient operation, but don’t be expecting too much for all the benjamins that you have to shell out to stay here.
I actually got in at 8 am, and left my bag at the luggage storage. The official check-in time is 4 pm, but after some enquiries, the kind receptionist told me that I probably could check back at 1 pm for availability (which I did). I was also offered a complimentary breakfast when I dropped my bags. Check in was pretty quick – after getting my last name, they just asked me for a credit card as security, and we were good to go. It took all of 2 mins.
My Platinum status was acknowledged, and I was told that I would be given 500 points (??) as a benefit, and was also offered a late check-out to 2 pm (regular check-out is 11 am).
It is small, and packed two double beds. The bathroom is just adequate, and has a tub. This hotel looks oldish, so the furniture is oldish as well. But they did pack quite a lot of stuff – coffee maker, iron, safe, luggage bench.
I did really like the bed – it was super comfortable, and the linens were really soft. The four pillows are divided into two types – firm and soft, as indicated by the pillow covers.
The bathroom did the job. They stock it with Bath and Body Works products, and I did like the citrus flavors of their shower products. The hot water shower was slightly weird – it tended to get hotter and hotter as I showered. But it was manageable.
Despite being given a room on the 34th floor, there are no views. Well, there is a great view of the building across the street.
Holiday Inn Express offers complimentary breakfast. My best description of it is deconstructed McDonald’s Big Breakfast and it tasted a lot like McDonald’s. They have pancake machines, bagels, fruits, cereals, pans of sausages, muffins, juices, and omelettes. But the breakfast area is very small, and tended to be crowded. Don’t plan on having a leisurely holiday breakfast here, but if you are just looking to grab some food, it does get the job done.
It is quite hard for me to judge. This was my first time staying at a NYC hotel. It is an efficient outfit, but if I were paying some 400 USD anywhere else in the world, I would have expected a lot more. I slept really well, the location is great, the staff are efficient, and the room did its job.