I stayed in the Intercontinental while on a family vacation in NYC beginning of August 2013. The hotel definitely made it a beautiful memory and contributed largely to enjoying the city and a lot of what it offers. Her's how the experience goes:
It is a huge building on 40th and 8th. You cannot miss it as it is very nicely imposing big glass building just one block away from the famous times square. The main entrance of the hotel is on 40th street also called restaurant street. Needless to say, you have a huge choice an variety of cuisines from all over the world. You cannot wake up a day wondering what to eat or enjoy, everything is there. The intercontinental is also a very short distance (from one block to 4) of all major Broadway theaters, for example the Majestic theater where Phantom of the Opera is playing is just in front of the hotel and can be seen from most rooms, Lion King plays a couple of blocks away.
Another wonderful advantage of its location, is the proximity of the hop on hop off downtown and uptown tour starts. The Uptown tour of the Gray Line (red buses) starts a block to the north on 45th and 8th while the downtown tour starts on times square.(a 1 minute walk from the hotel,s main entrance)
For all those who love shopping, well this hotel is 2 blocks from 5th avenue and a short 5 minutes walk from Macy's largest store, so shopping adepts are in for a treat when they stay at the Intercontinental
And of course while the Intercon is central to all the great places around the city (Madison Square Garden, Empire State Building...) all can accessed through cabs, buses and the subway system where the hotel is just close to many of its stations serving all lines.
2- The hotel itself
It is a huge glass building that one can't miss. The nice offering of the hotel starts as soon as you step out on the main entrance, it is huge and very spacious letting you load and unload your bags in complete ease without being constantly rushed. Going into the lobby, you notice the proportionate in surface and size and just marvelously simply decorate for you to feel that you are actually stepping into an Intercon. The reception desk is just in front of you and you don't have to climb stairs to get to it and the elevators are just a couple of steps away from the reception, so no extra efforts at all to get checked in or ask questions.
The halls are very much reflective of a 5 stars city hotel, so don't expect lanterns and chandeliers or endless halls, that is not the mission of the hotel. It is definitely a genuine NYC facility and lives up to that expectations in every detail.
The hotel has many facilities and restaurants mainly the Ca Va on the lobby. Shake Shack (one of the best burger joints in NYC) is on the eastern side of the hotel just on 8th avenue
Rooms are very spacious. I was in a 2 double queen room overlooking the north side of the city. The view of the NYC skyline towards central park was gorgeous throughout the day especially at night and early morning.
Rooms come with state of the art equipment that are just there to make things much easier for you. TV is a large 42 inch LCD centrally placed in the room and provides you access to a huge variety of movies. The room comes also with an HP computer with touch screen providing you access to all hotel services related to your guest experience along with various presentations on what one can do to enjoy NYC. It is also a small business center allowing the docking of personal USB drives and the printing of airline boarding passes.
As for the bathrooms, they are also wonderful, spacious enough with a relaxing showering system, it is also equipped with all beautification equipment which you find in 5 star hotels, exactly the things you need to glam up ahead a classy outing in the city
I had also the opportunity to use the services of the employees of the hotel. The front desk officers are all great, they are good at explaining everything to you and guide you throughout the hotel without being overly talkative and always with a large smile (strangely female employees smile much more than males over there). The doormen and baggage handlers are everywhere and they will jump at your service no matter what, of course a tip is expected but based on how assisting they are, they stand out compared to some others I had to deal with in other hotels. Room service and house keeping personnel are equally great, always smiley and they would always greet you in halls even if they are passing you by and not servicing your room.
As much as interaction with employees was great I couldn't but notice two glitches in:
A- I have been to NYC more than 10 times and know the city by heart but I wanted at some point to get some assistance with Broadway tickets from a concierge (as the party I was with never visited NYC before and had some questions) but they couldn't find the concierge anywhere so we ended up asking the doormen outside and they were just great in providing the information needed. But this is fine as one does not need much help to get things done in NYC,
B- The second glitch is much worse for me. After spending 5 days at the hotel and after checking out, we went out the main entrance and stopped a yellow cab ourselves as one happened to be passing by the hotel's main entrance, (so did not need any help of the doormen). But I was surprised that one of those doormen walked towards the cab driver and started talking to him while one of his colleagues raced to load our bags in the trunk. I also couldn't help but notice that the driver handed a couple of bucks to the doorman who raced to his window (not the one who was loading the bags), when I asked the driver what was it all about, he told me he was asked to give him money as he stopped to pick us up without being signaled by the doorman. I don't think something like that should happen in front of a guest who had a great time and has a great view of the hotel. I asked the driver to pull over so I can talk to the doorman who obliged the poor driver to give him money but he just said it is not worth it, i ended up having to compensate the driver as I felt bad for him. I expect that a chain like Intercontinental looks into this as it is a very small action that the hotel wouldn't want to leave a bad impact on the ensemble of his great people
It is not a cheap hotel during August, I must have spend $540 per night including taxes, while I think it is with it for the level of comfort and luxury we received and of course not discounting the fact that it is a high season, there might be something cheaper around town boasting the same level of service...The Westin for example where I stayed last year in NYC for the same period is exactly in front of the Intercontinental and somewhat cheaper for a similar service (I ended up getting the internet free last year just by being courteous to the check in officer) while the Intercon personnel refused that (and it is not a cheap internet service, $12.99 for each 24 hours and it does not let you stream movies).
I don;t see why the Intercontinental Times Square charges so much for internet accesses especially to Priority Plus club members when you are located in the middle of Manhattan when most hotels are moving towards providing free WiFi or highly discounted internet accesses. It is actually cheaper to park ones own car in a parking in Manhattan than getting a 24 hours WiFi connection at the hotel. Something guests need to expect while booking there
Overall, I can give the hotel a 4 stars rating based on my varied experience in other places around the city. I recommend the hotel if you would like to spend a splendid time in NYC and enjoy all what Middtown has to offer. You will be well treated, highly pampered but expect to pay for all this, something that is not always the case in other similar hotels in NYC or other large cities in North America
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Towering 36 stories above the city, the InterContinental Times Square features 607 luxurious guestrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River. Drawing upon natural elements, the rooms are designed to evoke the feeling of a chic Manhattan residence, and average at 350 sq. ft. amongst the largest in midtown. Each room includes spacious work station, 42 in" HDTV and a spa-inspired bathroom with walk-in rain shower accentuated with blue mosaic tile. Situated just off the Times Square neighborhood, known as the "Crossroads of the World," the hotel brings the InterContinental touch to one of New York City's most popular areas. The hotel is close proximity to the Broadway Theatre District, Central Park, Fifth Avenue shopping, and many major transportation centers in Manhattan making it a convenient base to explore the city. Featured at the hotel is the Stinger Cocktail Bar and Kitchen, a lounge experience by Celebrated Chef Todd English. Guests are welcome to indulge in worldly comfort food alongside bespoke cocktails and an extensive offering of wine and beer. Offering signature cocktails three sized options and large batch punch-bowls the lounge at the Stinger brings the art of craft cocktails to Hell's Kitchen and the Theater District. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental New York Times Square Hotel New York City