DoubleTree Times Square Review
I enjoy most of the hotels I stay at. Most hotels, at least those that are branded by a chain like Hyatt or Hilton, keep up their rooms even if the building is dated. I’ve found some lower end properties that still have great service to make up for the lack of luxury. It is rare that I find a hotel with little or no redeeming qualities. But I think I finally found that hotel in the DoubleTree Suites in New York’s Times Square.
I have never stayed right in Times Square before (and hopefully never will again). However, I was only going to be in New York for one night and I was able to do a Hilton best rate guarantee to get the room for $127+tax for the night.
Hilton.com had the room listed for $152 + $25 mandatory “Urban Destination” fee + taxes. I found it listed on travelocity.com for $136 + $25 mandatory “Urban Destination” fee + taxes. Hilton will match the lower price you find and beat it by 25%. After the match, I was able to book the room for $102 + $25 + tax for a total of $151.22.
Typically I avoid hotels with hidden fees but even with the added $25 it was a cheaper room than I could find elsewhere.
The DoubleTree Times Square is located at the corner of 47th and 7th. It is above the Palace Theatre (home of The SpongeBob Musical which really just makes sense) and rises to 45 stories.
As you exit the front door you are looking directly at the TKTS booth in the heart of Times Square, which is actually pretty cool.
As you enter off Times Square, there is really just a small elevator lobby with a security guard. The first interaction with a staff member was the security guard barking “ROOM KEY!” at me as I walked through the door. I explained I was checking in and she told me to take the elevators to the lobby. This was a pattern at the property; the only time I was ever greeted with a “Hello” or “Welcome” was by the breakfast staff. Literally every other interaction with a staff member was initiated by me.
The main lobby is quite small. There is a coffee shop by day/bar by night on one side and the front desk on the other.
I arrived after a red eye flight and knew there likely wouldn’t be any rooms available. Check in isn’t until 4:00pm but I thought I might get lucky. The front desk staff told me there was nothing available. I asked when I should check back and I was told after lunch.
So I headed over to drop my bag at the luggage storage. The man greeted me and took my backpack. He bluntly let me know that he wouldn’t be there when I got back, so he would like me to tip him now. As I left I heard him yell at a girl that I would guess was 8 years old for unclear reasons.
Another staff member stopped me to say hello and offer me a “welcome gift”. It turned out he wanted me to come see his Hilton Vacations presentation and that he would give me 25,000 points that would help me become a Diamond elite. Knowing that isn’t how Hilton Honors works (and not wanting to waste time with a timeshare presentation) I declined.
After spending some time in the city, I went back around 1:00pm, hoping to get changed before the theater matinee I was seeing. My room was ready. The agent took my bag claim tag and said that the luggage would be “right up”.
After waiting in the room without my stuff for 40 minutes, I needed to head to the theater for my show. I stopped by the desk (again, no “How may I help you?”) and explained I was heading out for the afternoon, but wanted to make sure the bag would make it to my room.
Front desk: OH no, we can’t deliver a bag with no one in the room.
Me: Oh, okay, well then I can just go get my bag from the luggage check area myself and take it up now. Could I have my luggage tag, or do they know where my bag is?
Front desk: I already sent the ticket over. I’ll call over to them and let them know you are picking it up.
Me: Walk over to the luggage check. Wait.
Luggage Check (same one that earlier had said he wouldn’t be back so I should tip now): Can I have your claim ticket?
Me: Oh, I gave it to the front desk, she said you had it. She just called.
Luggage Check: You don’t have the ticket? Do you see how many bags I have?
Me: No, I don’t have it. The front desk told me that you had it.
Luggage Check: Well, I have no idea where your luggage is. Why don’t you go find it your self.
Me: Walk in to luggage room, grab my bag, head out.
Luggage Check: Oh you got it. Puts out hand for a tip.
I contacted DoubleTree via Twitter and explained the rudeness of the staff. I got an apology and 20,000 Hilton points so I guess it wasn’t all bad.
I headed up to the 27th floor to see my room.
The DoubleTree Times Square rooms are huge by New York standards and are true suites. You enter into the living room complete with TV, desk, fold out couch and wet bar.
There is a small mini fridge under the TV.
The bedroom can be accessed directly from the living room or through the bathroom.
I reserved a king bed and it was as I expected. An additional TV is in the bedroom. Note that one of the bedside table lamps didn’t work.
The furniture and decor of the room is quite dated. It reminded me of furniture I might have found in my dorm in 2003. The room was clean.
The view was across to a new hotel still under construction. When it is finished, guests will have direct views into neighboring hotel rooms.
The property supplies ear plugs for noise, though I didn’t notice any issue. Perhaps at a lower floor you would hear Times Square.
The bathroom at the DoubleTree Times Square is narrow. You can enter from the living room or the bedroom. The single sink vanity does have plenty of counter space.
The bathtub and shower are typical of chain hotels. Plenty of towels are provided, I am guessing a lot of families stay at the property.
The shower products are the standard DoubleTree Crabtree & Evelyn.
There is no pool however there is a gym on site.
As a Hilton Honors Gold (if selected in MyWay Hotel Benefits) or Platinum member, breakfast is included. The breakfast is located on the 5th floor in a windowless space known as Ginger’s. I arrived when it opened at 6:30am and was the only guest.
I was actually impressed by their breakfast offering. In addition to a good selection of food at the buffet, you could order hot dishes like pancakes or French Toast made to order in the kitchen.
The breakfast was definitely the highlight of my stay. And the staff at the breakfast were actually somewhat friendly!
The $25 Urban Destination fee is a joke. Upon check in you are given coupons for $10 off at the coffee stand and $15 off at the bar. I did use the $10 coupon to get 2 bottles of water at check out.
I would not recommend anyone stay at the DoubleTree Times Square unless:
- You are traveling as a family with kids
- You HAVE to stay in Times Square
- You don’t mind rude employees, some that might yell at your kids
- You want a decent breakfast and are a Hilton Gold or Diamond
Even then I would suggest checking out some other options first. My one night stay was nearly enough to turn me off of Hilton properties. I went in with low expectations ($125 in the heart of New York) and the hotel met my expectations.