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The Knickerbocker 5.0

Times Square, New York City, New York

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Times Square location right in the heart of Manhattan
  • Spacious rooms with bedside tablets, free minibars, and luxurious bathrooms
  • Upper-level suites come with Nespresso machines, and free drinks and breakfast
  • Luxurious American restaurant headed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer
  • Rooftop terrace and bar has a cigar lounge and spectacular views
  • 24-hour fitness center with variety of equipment
  • Chic coffee bar serving light meals plus room service
  • Meeting and event spaces for up to 250 people
  • In-room salon services with hair, spa, and massage services available
  • Free car service within 15 blocks of the hotel
  • Valet parking and pet friendly
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • No pool or full spa
  • Some rooms lack coffeemakers
  • Reports of housekeeping not replenishing the minibars
  • Interior decor can feel cold and uninviting

Bottom Line

The Knickerbocker is a polished five-pearl hotel right in Times Square. Reopened in 2015, this sleek, hip property has 330 spacious, but not overly luxurious, rooms with bedside tablets that control lighting and temperature. Stand-out features include a coffee bar, a popular rooftop terrace with great views, a high-end restaurant headed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer, and an excellent fitness center, but there's no pool or full spa (in-room treatments can be arranged). Travelers set on a spa to complete their luxury experience may prefer Westin New York at Times Square

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Scene

Sleek, hip hotel built in 1906 and reopened in 2015

The sleek interiors of this historic hotel incorporate chic elements such as recessed lighting, glossy marble floors, and a simple color palette

The Knickerbocker has a storied history. It made its debut in 1906 thanks to John Jacob Astor IV. He later passed away on the Titanic, but he left behind a beautiful Beaux Arts-style building that became one of the most popular hotels in the city at the time. The hotel was a famous destination for celebrities in the early 1900s and is even rumored to be the birthplace of the martini. But that sparkling era came to a close with the Prohibition, and the hotel was shuttered in 1921 and converted into offices. In 1988 it was declared a city landmark, and subsequently underwent a major renovation, reopening its doors in 2015.

Today it’s one of New York City’s elite luxury hotels, with a historic exterior that has French Renaissance-style details and a copper mansard roof. However, the sleek, chic interior decor is far from historic, with glossy marble floors, lighting on the edges of the ceiling, and a monochromatic color palette of creams and browns. Some guests find this minimalist style cold and uninviting, especially paired with the lack of seating in the lobby.  

Because of its mature vibe, The Knickerbocker isn’t an ideal place for families with children, though the hotel does offer small backpacks, coloring books, and small toys to children upon arrival. The clientele is a mix of young and hip tourists attracted to the rooftop terrace, vacationing couples looking to be in the center of the city, and business travelers.

Location

In Times Square, within easy walking distance of many Manhattan attractions

Map of The Knickerbocker

The Knickerbocker is in the heart of New York City, at Times Square, surrounded by plenty of restaurants, bars, and Broadway theaters. It takes 10 minutes to reach Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall on foot, and the Empire State Building is a 13-minute walk away. For sports fans, Madison Square Garden takes 11 minutes on foot. It’s a 20-minute walk to the southern entrance of Central Park. A subway station and a bus stop right on the corner of the hotel gives easy transportation to other attractions such as the 9/11 Memorial (17 minutes), Chinatown (19 minutes), or Battery Park (19 minutes), where ferries leave for the Statue of Liberty. LaGuardia Airport is a 25-minute drive away, Newark takes half an hour to reach, and JFK takes 40 minutes by car. 

Rooms

Spacious rooms with tablets to control in-room lighting, free minibars, and luxurious bathrooms

The spacious Martini Suite has a minimalist design in a neutral color palette with light hints of purple (unlike standard accomodation types, which can skew basic)

The Knickerbocker offers rooms that are more spacious than most in New York City. But their minimalist design can come off a bit too basic with straight lines, color tones of tans, creams, and browns, and little to no decorative elements. Suites spice it up with a few undertones of purple, patterned walls, and luxurious rugs on wooden floors. Tribute Suites have separate living rooms and come with perks such as free breakfast or welcome gifts. There’s a delicate balance of comfort (goose-down pillows and cozy robes) and high-end technology such as large flat-screen TVs and tablets that control room temperature and lighting. Rooms also have minibars with free bottled water and soft drinks, but there are no coffeemakers (except in Tribute Suites, which have Nespresso machines). 

Bathrooms are sleek and luxurious, with white marble sinks, illuminated vanity mirrors, and frosted-glass showers with waterfall showerheads. Ted Gibson toiletries are a nice touch. Tribute Suites, including the Caruso Suite, have separate deep tubs and showers and are beautifully designed with purple-and-white marble walls and floors. 

Features

Rooftop terrace, bar, restaurant, coffeeshop, fitness center, meeting rooms, and free car service

The on-site restaurant Charlie Palmer at the Knick, run by its celebrity chef namesake, serves American cuisine three meals a day

The Knickerbocker's rooftop terrace  -- St. Cloud -- sets the hotel apart from many other properties in New York City, and the terrace' spectacular views, bar service, and a cigar room attract guests and locals alike. However, it closes significantly early for the city. There’s an on-site restaurant, Charlie Palmer at The Knick, that serves a menu of American cuisine created by its namesake chef for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For something more casual, the on-site bar and lounge serves lighter fare throughout the day. For coffee and grab-n-go items, Jake’s at The Knick is a good option, and the hotel offers 24-hour room service as well. 

Though the hotel lacks a pool, there is a high-end fitness center with brand-new equipment that goes beyond the regular cardio and weight machines and free weights, such as a punching bag. However, some parts of the exercise room can feel a bit crowded. There's no on-site spa, but in-room treatments can be arranged including hair services, spa treatments, massages, and even cosmetic deliveries.

The hotel provides a few meeting and event space options and terrace and restaurants can be rented out and outfitted with audiovisual equipment. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. There’s valet parking and a free car service that’s available to all, but it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis and only takes guests within 10 to 15 blocks of the hotel. Pets are allowed, but there’s a hefty, non-refundable fee.

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Address

6 Times Square, New York City, New York 10036, United States

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