- Small rooms
- Inconsistent service
- No business center
- Not great for families -- no rollaways, no kids' menus
A fairly standard take on lower-middle-range boutique-ism near Times Square. The Time markets itself as a bastion of flash and high design, but more than anything else it's just a clean, comfortable place to crash in midtown.
Don't be fooled by the hype. Despite its flashy website, even flashier owner, and a featured appearance on the Travel Channel show Great Hotels with Samantha Brown, the Time is a relatively low-key hotel experience with modest rooms, few frills, and friendly, informal service.
Along with the Dream and the Stay hotels, also in New York, the 193-room Time belongs to Vikram Chatwal Hotels (a subsidiary of Hampshire Hotels & Resorts), a company founded by Manhattan playboy Vikram Chatwal in 1999, when he was just 28. Before becoming a hotelier, Chatwal was better known for dating celebrities like Kate Moss and starring in several Bollywood movies. (Think "male Paris Hilton," with the hotel fortune coming after the trust fund, not because of it.)
Of course, to judge the hotel by the gap between expectations and delivery isn't entirely fair. The Time does have its charms: terry-cloth bathrobes, a unique primary-color scheme in each room, the popular Inc Lounge (which supposedly rocks out until 4 a.m. on the weekends), and the first elevator I've seen with a sense of humor (cartons of eggs line the base of the shaft, narrowly avoiding a crushing -- and messy -- demise each time the elevator hits the ground floor). Just don't expect the time of your life.
Speedy check-in and checkout, and excellent service at the bar. But the staff seems undermanned: not enough maintenance, and some room service slipups.
Located on a fairly quiet street, just a few blocks from the Times Square crowds. Perfect for a Broadway show, and nearly as perfect for a dozen or so other quintessential New York attractions.
Nestled on a well-lit but relatively quiet street seven blocks north of Times Square's epicenter at West 42nd Street and Broadway, the Time is just far enough from the sightseer hordes, but still just steps from the city's most popular attractions. Central Park (10 short blocks north), Carnegie Hall, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, the New York Public Library, the MoMA, 15 subway lines, and countless restaurants (including a few not called Sbarro or TGI Fridays) are all just a five-minute walk away. (Then again, staying virtually anywhere in or near Times Square will put you near those sites.) It's also in the heart of the Theater District, surrounded on all sides by -- and within short walks of -- all the major theaters.
About 30 to 90 minutes from three airports
New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Getting to town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than 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.
The Time has 193 rooms (164 standard guest rooms, 28 suites, and 1 triplex penthouse), each featuring one of three primary-color schemes: red (Romance), yellow (Active), and blue (Calm).
The Time is low on frills. There are no rooftop views, no verandas, no conference rooms, and no business center. There is, however, 24-hour gym, complete with free weights, a weight machine, three modern cardio machines, yoga mats, towels, and a TV.
Not a great place for families
There are better options in and around Times Square, but if your kids are old enough to share a room on their own, there's no reason necessarily not to go to the Time.
The on-site restaurant, Serafina, serves up standard Italian fare in a Euro-club setting. Within blocks are hundreds of other options, ranging from chains to intimate $60-a-plate French bistros.
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