On a recent trip to New York City, I needed to spend one night in Manhattan, and I decided to book a night at the Sheraton New York Times Square.
I wasn’t expecting my stay to be as luxurious as some of the other New York stays I’ve had in the past, such as the Park Hyatt New York or the JW Marriott Essex House nearby, but I was happy to try out a brand that I don’t frequent very often.
Sheraton New York Times Square – Booking
For my one-night stay, the best available cash rate was US$220, compared with the points redemption cost of 46,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. In general, the property seems to hover between 40,000 and 50,000 Bonvoy points per night based on seasonality.
Based on our target valuation of Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents per point (USD), it was a better deal to pay cash than redeem points in this instance. I opted to save my points for a future stay, where I could squeeze more value out of them.
In addition, the hotel levies a destination fee of US$30, which came paired with a US$30 property credit from the hotel.
I assume the hotel gives this out as they expect that many guests won’t actually end up using it, which, alas, is exactly what happened in my case. I simply needed a hotel bed for a quick in-and-out overnight stay, and breakfast was included, so I didn’t have a chance to use the property credit.
Thus, effectively, my room charge was US$250 including the destination fee. However, this was still a good deal compared to most other downtown hotels in Manhattan, since rates had been elevated across the board during the month of June, and I’d expect that to last well into the summer.
Sheraton New York Times Square – Location
The hotel is housed in an inconspicuous building located in Midtown Manhattan at 7th Avenue and 53rd Street, a relatively central location that no doubt makes this hotel a popular choice.
Like many other New York hotels, its Midtown location places guests within walking distance of many popular New York attractions. Central Park is only a few blocks to the north, and Radio City Music Hall is only a few blocks to the south.
Despite the hotel’s name, however, Times Square is still a number of blocks away to the south, so including it in the hotel’s name might be a bit of a stretch.
As is the case in New York City, to get further around Manhattan, you will have to hop on the subway. The closest subway line, 7 Avenue Station, is located just half a block north from the hotel.
The city’s three main airports are all within reach for those travelling to the hotel after a flight into the city. New York JFK is 35 minutes away, LaGuardia is 25 minutes away, and Newark is 30 minutes away by car, with cheaper but slower public transit options available from each airport as well.
Sheraton New York Times Square – Check-in
I arrived at the hotel around 9pm, and was informed that I would be staying in the Traditional King Room.
No upgrade was forthcoming, and nor did I push too hard for one by “suite-talking,” as I only needed a place to sleep for the night. Since I would be gone in the morning, I didn’t plan on spending too much time at the property.
The marble-clad lobby was spacious and simplistic. The check-in staff acknowledged my Titanium Elite status and mentioned that I had breakfast in the Hudson Market restaurant as part of my benefits.
Check-in was smooth and pleasant. What was less smooth, however, was a horde of guests at the elevator.
Indeed, there was a huge crowd at this hotel throughout my stay, which was to be expected at a central New York City hotel during one of the busiest summers for many years.
The hotel has undergone through a soft renovation fairly recently, which included adding modern touch panels outside the elevators. I pressed my floor number and the panel told me which elevator I needed to enter.
After making it through the bustling crowd and getting into my elevator, I found Room 3011 right by the elevator bank here on the 30th floor.
Sheraton New York Times Square – Traditional King Room
Located on the 30th floor, the Traditional King Room held no surprises – it was a classic Manhattan base-level room, with standard-issue room features and space at a premium.
The king-sized bed, a small workstation, and a chaise longue near the window made up the entire room.
The bed had a wooden headboard and was accompanied by two bedside tables, each with a circular-based lamp.
The chaise longue sat right beneath the window, offering a comfortable seat on which I could enjoy a coffee in the morning.
There were USB ports and power outlets by both bedside tables and at the workstation. The workstation consisted of a small area to the left of the dresser that spans the length of the wall at the foot of the bed.
Similar to the bedroom, the bathroom was quite small, with nice faux-marble countertops and a bathtub and shower combo. As with most recently renovated hotels, the mirror was backlit by LED lights.
The coffee machine in the room was satisfactory. A more upscale coffee machine would’ve definitely been appreciated, but for a Sheraton in North America, this is about the standard that you would expect.
Overall, the room was underwhelming, but was also exactly what I was expecting. I’d say that it was passable for a Manhattan crash pad, which is what I needed out of this stay, but by no means aspirational.
Sheraton New York Times Square – Breakfast
The hotel’s breakfast is served from 6:30–11am on weekdays, and from 7–11:30am on weekends in the Hudson Market restaurant on the ground floor.
As a result of how busy the travel scene has become and the high occupancy at this particular hotel, I found myself standing in a 15-minute queue to be seated for breakfast at 9am.
After my wait, I was assigned a table and was presented with a menu. I was told that the entitlement for Marriott Bonvoy elite members is breakfast for two people, and since I was eating by myself, the server confirmed that I could order two portions.
I went ahead and ordered the All-American Breakfast and the Traditional Hot Oatmeal. For a balanced meal, both choices were entirely adequate, but forgettable in terms of quality.
Then again, these days, perhaps even having an elite breakfast benefit honoured at a Marriott hotel in North America is something to be cheerful about in the first place.
I’ve found many hotels across the continent to be endlessly looking for ways to wiggle out of providing a full breakfast and trying to get away with offering a continental breakfast instead, so I was happy just to get a full hot breakfast in the morning here at the Sheraton New York Times Square to start my day off on a right note.
Sheraton New York Times Square – Other Facilities
The fitness centre was located in the basement level, and was fairly spacious for what is a hotel that otherwise appears to lack square footage. Indeed, the size of the fitness centre is substantially larger than what you might expect from looking at the guest rooms and public areas.
The workout area goes down quite a few hallways, and there’s a wide range of equipment, including Peloton bikes.
Being situated in the basement, there were no Manhattan views to speak of, but this well-equipped fitness centre definitely had more than enough equipment to accommodate the hotel’s sizable number of guests.
A full-service Starbucks outlet is located in the main lobby, featuring the usual drip coffee and a broad menu of specialty beverages.
There were also grab-and-go food items, including some hot options. When I had first arrived at my 15-minute wait for breakfast, I did inquire as to whether the breakfast voucher was redeemable at Starbucks, but was told no.
The hotel’s bar, Library Bar, has an expansive alcoholic beverage menu, as well as light bites and a full dining menu. Library Bar is open until 11:59pm every night.
Lastly, even though I didn’t end up using it, it’s worth noting that the hotel’s US$30 property credit may be used at the Starbucks, Library Bar, Hudson Market, and for in-room dining.
The Sheraton New York Times Square offered exactly what I needed out of a crash pad in the heart of Manhattan at a relatively friendly price, but it really didn’t offer anything special beyond that.
It was nice to get a free breakfast in the morning as part of my Titanium benefits and pad my elite qualifying nights balance, but ultimately, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to stay at this hotel again. If I was in New York and wanted to experience better-quality accommodations, there’s quite a long list of other hotels I’d rather pick.
However, if I did need another in-and-out overnight stay at the right price point, especially around Midtown, then I’d consider coming back to the Sheraton on the basis of this decidedly satisfactory experience.