Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Hotel

This post is not only for all of you following along on our New York adventure, but for those who will find this later by searching google. Welcome fellow googlers and I hope this review is helpful. (You see I looked a lots of reviews and blogs when planning our trip so I figure I should return the favor.)

The first hotel that I made reservation for was The Pod Hotel. The hotel came as a recommendation from my niece Angie. She said it was a reasonably priced hotel that was in a great location. She and her husband had stayed there and even stayed in the bunk bed room with a shared bath to same some money. I am not opposed to saving money but for my anniversary, I splurged and reserved the room with a queen size bed and private bath (for $20 more per night). The good thing about having your anniversary in January, is that the prices get much cheaper after New Years.

A friend had also recommended searching http://www.travelzoo.com/ for bargains. There did not seem to be alot of bargains until the trip got closer. Next I made reservations at the Empire Hotel, across from Central Park. (I always asked for the cancellation policy before I made reservations.)

I could not just accept that so I kept checking travelzoo daily (you might call it an obsession). Next I saw an ad for the new Wyndham Gardens. The price was even less than what I had booked the other hotels, so I immediately became suspicious. The map showed that it looked like it was in a good place, but what did I know about locations in New York. Finally I called and made another reservation (not cancelling the others as to leave my options open).

The lady that took the reservation was quite possibly the nicest person I talked to between all the hotels. She said for the lowest rate, I could have a king size bed in a new allergen free room, plus $20 in food credit in the hotel. I made the reservation, still somewhat skeptical. I goggled and searched and read every review that I could find. Because it was such a new hotel there were not alot of reviews and they were a bit mixed. However most of the bad reviews were not because of location.

Finally I canceled all reservations and we ended up at the Wyndham Garden- Midtown Convention Center .

Short Review - It was really wonderful. The bed was very comfortable. The employees were so nice. I would stay there again in a heartbeat. My biggest fear is that as word of the new hotel spreads I will never be able to stay for the same rate again. ever.

Long review - We took the Supershuttle from Newark Airport and the hotel is on the other side of the Lincoln tunnel. We were the first passengers to be dropped off. The street in front of the hotel is narrow and there is parking on both sides. When our driver dropped us off, he basically stopped in the middle of the street. He turned to me, eyes serious, and said, do not open the door, wait for me. Okay then. Also as he took our bags out the doorman grabbed them quickly, I said oh I have them, and he said yeah but okay lets just get out of the street. Good Idea. In all it was an exciting entrance to New York City.

I had requested a room for early arrival and the room was waiting for us at noon. The front desk manager wished us a Happy Anniversary (I had told the reservation lady) and gave us vouchers for free drinks at the bar.

The room was not huge (by midwestern standards), but the king size bed was very comfortable. I even liked the pillows which very rarely happens in hotel rooms.

We used our free drink vouchers that evening where we met our very favorite bartender. She gave us lots of ideas where to eat for breakfast, lunch and after the show, because after the shows many restaurants are closed. (this was a bit disappointing to me, so much for the city that never sleeps) We traded stories of our adventures with her everyday.

The only real complaint I would make would be with the cleaning staff. You could tell that all the employees were new and some had the job training down better than others. On the good side, there was no job burnout and everyone (I mean everyone) was smiling and friendly. On the other side the room cleaning was very random.

Also the amenities in the room seemed to change as the time progressed. It was if they were still supplying the rooms as the hotel received inventory. There was an umbrella in the room that came in very handy. Then the second day we ended up with robes, slippers, and a bathroom scale. Another day we got a makeup mirror. It became part of our fun to discover what might show up in our room that day. The Chocolate fairy was also random. Some evenings we didn't get any chocolate, one day we got one piece (I ate it, sorry Mr. Geek) and the last day, two truffles.(This time I did let Mr. Geek eat one, although I considered hiding it.)

The worse was one day there was a knock on the door about 8:30, I said we were not yet gone, to come back. What the maid apparently heard was, Go away we don't want you to clean in here. We got no maid service that day.

I just checked travelzoo while I was typing this and the rate is $129 per night. Seriously go there. Tell the concierge AbFab sent you. (And go to the Knife and Fork, I beg you, and tell me everything that you ate, talk slowly.)


Mean Mom said...

You were certainly determined not to take any chances with the hotel! Glad you settled on the right one, in the end. Loved the bit about the random stuff turning up in your room. I'll certainly check out the hotel if I'm ever in New York. (OK, there's not a chance of that happening for a while, but never say never.)

Cheri and Jesse said...

Glad that the hotel added to your exciting trip! It truly sounds like you guys had a blast!!!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Very helpful to know!