Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Located just west of Times Square, on the southern edge of Hell's Kitchen, which is packed with excellent restaurants and bars
Holiday Inn Express Times Square is not actually in Times Square, but a few blocks away in the sparse West 30s, a somewhat desolate, former industrial area with few shops or restaurants.
Beyond the dazzling marquees of Times Square, Midtown West still offers plenty of other kinds of thrills, from hip restaurants and gay bars in Hell's Kitchen on its west side to tourist must-sees like Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, and 5th Avenue department stores on its east. At the northern boundary, marking the start of Central Park, there's Columbus Circle -- home to the luxe Time Warner Center and its acclaimed five-star restaurants.
Space is limited, but the guest rooms are clean, up-to-date, and very comfortable.
About 30 to 90 minutes from three airports
New York has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Getting to town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than getting there from Newark, but travel times are heavily dependent on the time of day and traffic conditions. From JFK, a taxi to anywhere in Manhattan costs a flat rate of $45 and takes around an hour in average conditions. From LaGuardia, a metered cab ride to midtown Manhattan costs about $40 and can take 30 minutes if traffic is light, three times that if it's bad. Rides from Newark cost at least $40 (plus tolls) and can take more than 90 minutes. It's customary to tip your driver 15 to 25 percent.
Those looking to save some cash can use the privately run shuttle buses that are available at all three airports for about $14 per person. For more information on the shuttles, go to Super Shuttle or New York Airport Service. Public transit is also available for as little as $7 per person, but travel can take up to two hours and involve a lot of lugging bags up and down stairways.
For mass-transit directions right to the hotel, check out HopStop.com.
The Holiday Inn Express has 210 clean, but not exceptional, guest rooms, free Wi-Fi, free (mostly prepackaged) continental breakfast, and a good, but not great, location -- on a somewhat desolate street, just a few blocks south and west of the glittering heart of Times Square, close to the great bars and restaurants of Hell's Kitchen.