Review: Crowne Plaza Times Square

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The first night I was in New York City, I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. As I mentioned in a previous post, I selected this hotel in part due to its central location, and in part because it was a fantastic points redemption. When I made my reservation, the Crowne Plaza Times Square was just 25,000 Priority Club points per night. The hotel has since gone up to 35,000 points per night, but it is still a good redemption value given how insanely expensive hotels in New York City can be, and how easily Priority Club points can be obtained. First, I will review the hotel, then I will review your options for obtaining Priority Club points.

Location:

This hotel is truly located in the heart of Times Square.  If that is where you want to be, then this hotel has prime real estate.  It puts you in walking distance to the various Broadway shows, Letterman, and more.  You are also walking distance to a couple different subway stations.  Of course, this part of town is going to be very crowded and lively at almost all hours of the day and night, so take that into consideration as well.

 

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Check-in and the lobby:

Check-in was easy and efficient.  I only have Gold status with Priority Club, but they certainly didn’t care to mention that, or give me any extra little treat or bottle of water when checking in as a “thank you for my loyalty”.  In the past I have received gift bags or other little things when checking into Priority Club hotels, but not this time.  The lobby was pretty large and had a small bar and a number of chairs to lounge in.  It was actually a rather inviting space, but I didn’t have the time to really check it out for myself on this trip.

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The Bedroom:

The room was not large, but it was a fine size by New York standards.  There were plenty of elevators and they seemed to move at a pretty good pace, which is important in a hotel as large as this one.  I did not like that the room had no bottled water – not even for purchase.  I also did not like having to pay about $14 per night for internet.  I’ll admit I have gotten spoiled by having status at other hotels that gives me free internet access, but even elite status with Priority Club doesn’t necessarily free you from internet charges.  Perhaps more annoying than that was that there was zero cell reception for me in this hotel.  As an AT&T user, that was an issue for me in many parts of Manhattan.  It was so bad in this hotel that my husband had to actually call the hotel to talk to me – that has never happened in all of my journeys.  So, just keep that in mind if you use AT&T and are relying on your cell phone.

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I was on a pretty high floor, so the street noise wasn’t too bad.  I could hear when someone would honk or when an emergency vehicle had their sirens on, but that is going to be true anywhere you stay in the city.  The pillows were a bit flimsy for my tastes, but that is just personal preference.  Otherwise, I didn’t have any issues with the bed.

The Bathroom:

I have to give this bathroom credit for having a tub as it was the only hotel of the three I stayed in that had a bathtub in my room.  I don’t typically take baths on vacation, but as a parent traveler, I am always paying attention to which hotels have bathtubs.  Showers and young children just don’t mix nearly as well as a bathtub.

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Having given credit for having the bathtub, I must also point out that it wasn’t exactly in the best shape.  Some of the tub itself was bubbling up, there was rust on the drain, the drain barely drained at all, and the shower curtain was ripped.

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Scoring a Deal at This Hotel:

As I mentioned, this hotel goes for 35K Priority Club points per night.  This is also the same as 25,000 Priority Club points + $70 via their cash and points option.  There are lots of ways to get Priority Club points including: transferring from Ultimate Rewards, transferring from Membership Rewards (until 6/30/12), having the Chase Priority Club card (which can give you up to 80,000 points upon first use), or the best deal of all is purchasing them via an unofficial method for .7 cents a piece.  For more on that, google “buying Priority Club points for .6 cents each.  I even bought some Priority Club points via the Daily Getaway deals this year.  When you have stays at Priority Club hotels, it is usually pretty easy to register for many promotions and earn lots of points at once.  Check out Priority Club Insider for more on that.  So, since Priority Club points are pretty easy to come by, I would highly recommend considering using those points to stay at this hotel instead of paying the going rate (unless you happen across a very inexpensive rate).

Overall Impression:

Overall, I found the hotel to be pretty decent upon first glance.  It is located in a prime tourist spot, it has an inviting lobby, the rooms are decorated okay, there is a bathtub, I got a great points deal, etc.  However, it is one of those places that the closer you look at things, the more they aren’t as nice as they seemed at first.  The bathroom was a good example of that phenomenon.  I would consider staying there again if I absolutely couldn’t find a better, more affordable option, but I am by no means hoping for a return visit.  It wasn’t that bad, it just also wasn’t that great.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for your review. This hotel is also one of those rare ones in NYC with a pool (indoor), part of an independent health club on-site. I believe that use of the pool/club is free for Priority Club members but that there is a nominal fee for non-members.

  2. Too bad you only have Gold status. I would of been curious if Platinum would of gotten you anything since I hear they do offer a thing or two with that status.

  3. cell reception isn’t only dictated by the tower reception. The type of phone you use matters. I lived in NYC over 30 years. I had AT&T many many years, I have no problem anywhere in NYC including this hotel. What type of phone do you have?

  4. I have been trying to plan a trip to NYC, specifically wanting to stay in Times Square this time. I have more airline miles and ultimate reward points but not many points saved in any particular hotel program. I noticed that all the hotels in Times Square are expensive. Last time I went, I stayed a few blocks away from Times Square. Thanks for the review. Would love to find a deal in Times Square for a trip in the coming months, maybe the fall.

  5. -The recent devaluations do stink!
    -I updated the post a little regarding internet…what I meant to say was that with Priority Club elite status doesn’t guarantee free internet or breakfast. Individual hotels may offer those benefits. I don’t know what this hotel does for Plats for sure. I just know Gold status didn’t do squat.
    -I have an iPhone 4S. Everyone I was with who had AT&T had real problems and the folks who lived in NYC all said that AT&T isn’t very good there. That said, I did have AT&T when I lived there 7 years ago and it was fine then, but that was long before I had a smart phone and relied on it more.

  6. That shower and curtain are unacceptable. You shouldn’t have to pay money to stay in a 19th-century tenement.

  7. I stayed at this location in late May, in fact it looks like you got the same room. 😉

    I’m a Plat, but I also got zero recognition. In fact, it seems the clerk went out of her way NOT to mention my status, although she tersely said “Oh, I see you’re staying on _points_..” (And not REAL money, lol). She basically railroaded me through check-in so that I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

    No goodie bag, no breakfasts, no internet or room upgrade. Total status fail.

    I agree 100% with your room assessment.. looks nice at first glance, but look closer.. ew. I bet if you’d looked against the wall just at the bedpost, you would have seen little 1″ piles of roach poison (boric acid?) like I did.

    In the end I got tired of standing near the window to get a cell signal, so I’d go to the little bakery just up the block or one of the many Starbucks around to catch up on email.

    There are cheaper options just off Broadway that are as nice or nicer, I’ll stay at one of those next time.

  8. Thanks for the review Mommy Points! Stayed at the CP Times Square on NYE 2011 using two of my Sweet Dilemma Free Nights. Only booked a week in advance, I think room rates were around $500 a night! Now that was great value! The good old days of free night promotions back in 2010. Well, at least we have the Radisson promo this year. Anyways, stayed at InterContinental Times Square first weekend of June using BOGO certificate (Ambassador weekend voucher) Paid $347 (all-in) for two nights at Sky View Room, excellent value too. More info on my blog http://travel.bart.la/2012/06/03/sky-view-room-at-intercontinental-new-york-times-square/ Might be an alternative for the CP for folk who want to stay close to Times Square. Thanks!

  9. I stayed there 3 years ago. This hotel is about location. The room including bathroom was good. Overall, it is a notch below most Westin hotels.

  10. My iPhone 3GS worked terribly in NYC in January, the worst performance I have ever experienced and with ATT that is saying something. Many folks I spoke to have told me the same thing.
    .
    When you cannot repeatedly receive or make a cell phone call while walking down the sidewalk in NYC, there is a real problem.

  11. We have spent seven nights over four stays here in the past year, the most recent in May. We have never had a problem with the cleanliness of the room or the attitude of the front desk personnel. As a plat, always received free internet and free breakfast, until our most recent stay when we were told the policy changed and there was no free breakfast for plat guests using points. But since we had gotten it in the past, the clerk agreed to give it to us anyway! As for the cell phone problems, AT&T is notorious for that, especially in the NY area. I wouldn’t blame the hotel.

  12. Nobody, no matter how clueless the tourist, should ever WANT to stay in Times Square. If it’s a good option for you in terms of points and deals, that’s fine. Times Square has about as much to do with New York as the gift shop has to do with the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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