Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
No matter the time of day, it seems, there's a gentle groove playing in the funky lobby of the W New York Times Square, and a crowd hanging out sipping cocktails. That atmosphere, plus the central Manhattan location, extremely comfortable beds, and a well-equipped fitness center, make this a solid choice for anyone looking to be situated in Manhattan's bustling Theater District.
But it's also worth keeping a few other factors in mind. First, don't let the carefully constructed vibe, or the W brand's marketing, fool you: Under the "boutique" trappings, the W is a fairly large outpost of the Starwood mega-chain. So you're not getting an intimate, small-hotel experience or highly personalized service. And given that, the room rates tend to be fairly high.
On the other hand, the W brand's consistency is a distinct virtue: When checking in to a W anywhere in the world, guests generally know they'll get decent-size rooms, a high-quality fitness center, a lively, funky lobby scene, and W's famously comfortable beds -- and all that's delivered at the Times Square outpost.
Standard W service of "whatever, whenever."
Like all Ws, the Times Square property prides itself on its "whatever/whenever" service, wherein guests are encouraged to ask for, as the name suggests, anything at any time.
West 47th Street and Broadway, in the bustling Times Square Theater District.
This location on the corner of West 47th and Broadway is at the north end of Times Square. The TKTS booth, where same-day theater tickets are available for up to 50 percent off, is just steps away. A virtually constant stream of people, mostly tourists, fill the sidewalks. Blinding neon marquees consume every visible lot high into the sky. Food, souvenir shops, and sightseeing options are endless, and the sheer volume of bike and foot traffic can induce sensory overload.
The city closed off Broadway to automobile traffic between 42nd and 47th streets, making it pedestrian-friendly and more conducive to sightseeing. Cabs can no longer drive through the square, but they're easy to find if you walk a block or so in any direction. And virtually every subway line in the city runs through or close to Times Square.
Beyond the franchise shopping and pedicabs, there's a slightly more authentic (and less tourist-oriented) New York to be found only two long blocks or so to the West -- in Hell's Kitchen, a slum turned upscale neighborhood that boasts less gimmicky, less expensive, and much better restaurants than Times Square.
30 to 90 minutes from three airports.
New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Getting into town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than 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.
By virtually any standard, these are really great rooms -- big, very stylish, comfortable, and well equipped. Bathrooms are small and don't have tubs, but feature nice Bliss products and a luxurious glass-enclosed "Voyeur" shower.
As at most W hotels, the in-house fitness center, known as Sweat, is clean and very well equipped, with free weights, more than a dozen cardio machines, plenty of fresh towels, and a bowl of fruit for a mid-workout pick-me-up.
Pets get the royal treatment.
With its super-hospitable pet program, the W seems more welcoming of dogs than kids. The hotel can arrange dogsitting, dogwalking, a pet bed, pet toys, clean-up bags, leashes...pretty much anything you need to make your pet's stay in the city more comfortable.
There is a weight limit for pets, as well as a non-refundable cleaning fee. In addition to the fee, there is a nightly fee for Fido (or Fluffy).
Nothing particularly kid-friendly, but plenty of room for a crib or rollaway. And lots for families to do in and around Times Square.
Unlike most of the other W hotels, the W New York Times Square seems to attract a fair number of families. No doubt this has to do with the appeal of Times Square itself, as there is nothing particularly kid-friendly here.
An in-house seafood restaurant, plus countless options nearby.
The in-house restaurant at the W is the seafood restaurant Blue Fin. Like the rest of the hotel, the restaurant is heavy on design with a capital D.
The 24-hour room service is also supplied by the Blue Fin kitchen, but includes standards like burgers and pastas in addition to the restaurant's seafood-heavy selections.
If you've been to a W hotel anywhere in the world, you basically know the drill: A lively bar scene, funky design, solid in-house gym, friendly and attentive service, great beds -- and fairly expensive prices. The only difference: This 509-room property is in bustling, touristy Times Square.