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Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, New York City 3.5

Midtown West, New York City, New York

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This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.

Review Summary

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Pros

  • Comfy, king-size beds in standard rooms
  • Rooftop bar with great views
  • Convenient location near major attractions
  • Free, reliable Wi-Fi
  • Three to five blocks from 13 subway lines
  • 24-hour fitness center

Cons

  • Cramped standard rooms
  • Immediate neighborhood is unattractive
  • No windows in the gym

Bottom Line

This attractive hotel sits on a less-than-attractive block in the wholesale Garment District, but its free Wi-Fi, lovely rooftop bar, modern restaurant, and proximity to tourist sites make it a great pick for the price. However, the rooms are a bit cramped. The nearby Archer Hotel offers more upscale rooms at just slightly higher prices. 

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Scene

A pleasant choice for its neighborhood, for those who want to be in its neighborhood

Guests enjoying the wonderful rooftop view

In a neighborhood full of wholesale garment shops and delivery trucks, the 177-room Strand boutique hotel is a sight for sore eyes. It opened in November 2009, but its Art Deco-inspired lobby, decorated in shades aubergine and ochre, looks to be from classier era. The loud, over-the-top decor employed by so many modern hotels is noticeably absent here; instead, artistic black and white photographs -- pulled from the Conde Nast archives -- line one of the walls and a cascading wall of water greets guests at the entrance. On top of the hotel, a charming rooftop bar overlooks the Empire State Building, just three blocks away. Attentive service adds to the hotel's appeal. Porters greet guests at the curb and open doors, and staff members seem to genuinely enjoy engaging guests in conversation when they bump into them around the hotel.

It's this class and attention to design that help The Strand stand out against similarly-priced hotels in its neighborhood, such as the Comfort Inn and Residence Inn. Of course, its well-equipped gym, attractive bar, and modern restaurant don't hurt either. 

Service

Friendly staff and a helpful concierge

  • Small hotel: Some staffers might remember your name after a few run-ins.
  • Attentive porters, most often
  • Helpful concierge, generally on hand from about 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (the hours aren't set in stone)
  • Same-day laundry and dry cleaning available for a fee

Location

Situated on a busy street in the wholesale Garment District, just a short walk from some of New York's biggest attractions and 12 subway lines

Map of Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, New York City

The Strand sits on a busy block in the Garment District, peppered with wholesale dress and jewelry shops, plus a few adult video/clothing stores. During the day, the block is constantly busy with pedestrians and a steady stream of cars, but come nightfall the immediate area is fairly desolate (the lack of bars or restaurants nearby leads to a drop off in foot traffic). Yet The Strand is incredibly convenient for tourists: Several of New York's biggest sites and shopping areas are within walking distance, and 12 subway lines are just blocks away.

  • Nine subway lines are just three blocks away; another four lines are five blocks from the hotel
  • Five-minute walk to Bryant Park, Herald Square, and the Empire State Building
  • Eight-minute walk to Times Square
  • 10-minute walk to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station

Rooms

Standard rooms are small and somewhat bland, but comfy beds and attractive bathrooms make up for the shortfalls.

Rooms at The Strand are very comfortable and clean, and don't purport to be much more than that. They lack the whimsical touches you'll find at so many other new and modern hotels, and instead have subdued colors and modest, Art Deco design elements. But you'll forget about the bland design the moment you sink into the bed. Plus, the technology is up-to-date; all rooms have an iHome docking station/alarm clock, a cordless phone with two handsets, a 32- or 42-inch LG flat-screen TV, and an electronic button next to the door that lets you choose "Privacy" or "Make Up Room."

  • Standard rooms, called "Superior" rooms (210 square feet), are a tight squeeze: the king bed takes up most of the room, leaving little space for suitcases or walking, and the closet is barely big enough for one suitcase.
  • Deluxe rooms (260 square feet) come with a king or two queen beds and have views of the Empire State Building.
  • Executive rooms (300 square feet) face the back of hotel and have either a king bed/pullout sofa or two queens beds.
  • The hotel's five premier rooms (350 square feet) have rainfall showerheads and (very) narrow balconies that overlook the Empire State Building.

All rooms include:

  • Free, reliable Wi-Fi
  • Extremely comfortable beds: down duvets; thin feather beds; 100% cotton sheets by T-Y Group; generous helping of down pillows (six to a king bed)
  • Attractive bathrooms with slate floors and a wood sink vanity
  • Fragonard Parfumeur bath products
  • The Hansgrohe showerheads have three different settings (full, massage, turbo), though the shower's partial glass wall means water may get everywhere on the "Turbo" and "Massage" settings. Plus, the shower design prevents you from being able to turn the shower on without getting wet.
  • Soft bathrobe by Boca Terry
  • Electronic safe (big enough for a laptop)
  • iHome iPod-docking stations (note: an iPod Nano won't fit)
  • Electronic housekeeping button lets you choose "Privacy" or "Make Up Room"
  • As part of the hotel's eco-conscious efforts, a motion sensor in each room shuts off the lights and AC/heating unit when no movement is detected, and turns them back on automatically when you re-enter the room.

Features

All the standards for a hotel in this price range

  • The fitness center is open 24 hours a day and has free weights, a weight machine, and cardio machines with individual TVs. 
  • Meeting rooms available on the basement level
  • Free, 24-hour access to the business center with just one computer and printer/fax machine

Family

Nothing particularly family-friendly

The Strand isn't decidedly kid-friendly or not kid-friendly, though the "adult" clothing stores on the block may dismay some parents. However, the location is convenient for families trying to see the sites.

  • Cribs available free of charge
  • No rollaway beds available
  • Executive rooms come with two queen beds or a king bed plus a pullout couch; deluxe rooms come with a king bed or two queens.
  • Empire State Building and Times Square are both within easy walking distance of the hotel.

Food

Breakfast buffet, rooftop bar, and restaurant

  • The Strand Bistro includes an enclosed garden area and is open for breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday and dinner every night.
  • The hearty breakfast buffet includes fruit, yogurt parfaits, pastries, cereal, mini-sandwiches, meat, cheese, and more (charge per person).
  • Plenty of take-out lunch spots are within short walking distance (Pret A Manger, Au Bon Pain), but the immediate neighborhood is not known for its restaurants. Ask the concierge for recommendations within walking distance.

Drinks

Rooftop bar with unbeatable views of the Empire State Building

The hotel prides itself on its small, garden-esque Top of the Strand bar, which has stellar views of the Empire State Building. The view alone makes a visit to the bar worthwhile (though the cocktails -- mai tais, caipirinhas -- will set you back about $15 each). Midtown professionals file in after work, which can make it difficult to snag a table in the early evening. The bar opens at 5 p.m.

Airport Transportation

About 30 to 90 minutes from three airports

New York City has three nearby international airports: John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Newark Airport (EWR). By car, getting into town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than from Newark, New Jersey, 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 and takes around an hour in average conditions. From LaGuardia, a metered cab ride to midtown Manhattan can take 30 minutes if traffic is light, three times that if it's bad. Rides from Newark 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, just note that since you’ll be sharing the ride it can take a bit longer to get to your hotel. 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. 

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Things You Should Know About Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, New York City

Address

33 West 37th Street, New York City, New York 10018-6201, United States

Phone

(212) 448-1024

Also Known As

  • The Strand
  • The Strand Hotel

Room Types

  • Deluxe Guestroom
  • Executive Guestroom
  • Premier Guestroom
  • Superior Guestroom

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