Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Stay Report: Element New York, Times Square West (October 2016)

A Stay Report: Element New York, Times Square West
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I was in New York for the weekend and I needed to switch hotels so I looked on the Starwood app and the Element New York had a very good rate for one night.  Element is part of the Westin Hotel and is an eco-friendly hotel that offers studio rooms with a kitchen with a sink and a stove, a full fridge, free breakfast, and free wifi.  I have stayed I Element’s before and enjoyed the experience so decided to book the stay. 

The hotel is located on 38th street, about 4 blocks from Times Square.  While is close enough to many attractions, it’s off the main street so the noise pollution is reduced.  When you walk up to the hotel, you first notice the outdoor seating that is available as part of the indoor lobby (part of the eco-aspect of the hotel).  As you enter inside the hotel, on the right hand side is the check in area while on the left is the concierge desk and the lobby seating area.  Check-in was quick and I was given the key to my room. 

The elevators are located in the middle of the lobby – with the check-in area and small sitting area in the front of the elevators, and then behind the elevators is the main dining and restaurant area where breakfast is served in the morning (and water and coffee are available throughout the day).  The sitting areas and the restaurant area offered enough seating during the daytime, but during breakfast time the place was overcrowded and the seating minimal.

The hotel has over 40 floors as well as the lobby floor and a ground/basement level.  The basement level consisted of the fitness center, which was a good size and offered a decent amount of equipment, plus laundry facilities.  These were nice amenities that are welcomed to any guests.  There were three elevators available, but the elevators were extremely slow.  There was always a long wait for the elevators, especially in rush times such as the morning, and because of the delayed they are generally very crowded.  I took the elevator up to my room on the 22nd floor. 

My room was located right in front of the elevator, and throughout the night I could not hear the sounds. The hallway was somewhat narrow so it was only two steps from the elevator to my room.  Overall, my room looked more like a compact studio, with everything in one room.  As you walked into the room, along the right wall was the kitchen while along the left was the entrance to the bathroom.   The bathroom was relatively big as compared to the room, and it had a sink, a toilet, plus a standing shower with a rain head.  The kitchen had a full-size fridge, an oven, a microwave, a sink, plus stocked cupboards with plates, pots, and utensils.  There was also a coffee pot on the counter.  Right next to the kitchen, along with right-side wall, was a desk below and a TV on the wall.  The desk had many open drawers below it and on top had a DVD player plus other entertainment systems connected to the TV.  In between the desk and the window was a mini-sofa.  On the other side of the desk, was the bed.  It was supposed to be a king size bed but felt more like a queen, and it provided a pretty comfortable rest.  There was a small night stand between the bed and window, and on the other side of the bed was the mini-closet.  The closet was small in size and contained a mini safe plus a mini ironing board and a standard iron.  Overall, the room was decent for one or two people but it was narrow and tiny – a standard compact New York studio.

Hotel amenities included free in-room wifi, for as many devices as you need and the speed was pretty fast; free breakfast throughout the week and free happy hour Monday thru Thursday – I went on a Monday morning and the breakfast was very crowded and all the items needed to be refilled multiple times; a well-stocked gym; a business center; a laundry room; and an outdoor patio.

Overall, the hotel provided a lot of amenities and was conveniently located.  The additional amenities, both inside the hotel and inside the room, were appreciated and were a positive aspect.  Negative aspects included the narrow rooms and hallways, and the long wait times for the elevators.  

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