We’ve stayed at several hotels in Manhattan around the theater district. We’ve gone fancy, like the time we stayed at the Waldorf=Astoria and we’ve gone for the best value when we stayed at the Fitzpatrick Grand Central. This trip, we had a set of parameters we needed a hotel to meet. We didn’t want it to be too expensive and we wanted to be close to the Sheraton New York on 53rd St.
I was flexible with booking either a chain or independent hotel since I planned on using our Citi Prestige card to book our four-night stay and get one night free. A quick search turned up a hotel which had a rate which was almost too low to be believed.
Going to the hotel website, I confirmed the rate was real and booked a room with the Citi Concierge via email.
Here are the details of our stay:
Courtyard New York Manhattan/Central Park
New York, NY 10019
The 378 rooms of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, built in 2013, occupies the 6th to 32nd floors of the 68 story building (the other floors are home to a Residence Inn by Marriott hotel). When opened, this was New York’s largest single-use hotel building. From outside, the building’s metallic blue sheen has a striking appearance against the surrounding skyline.
Every email we received from the hotel made sure to tell us that while the street address of the hotel is on Broadway, the entrance of the hotel is located on W 54th St. That’s the location we provided to our taxi for the ride from LaGuardia Airport and we were dropped off right by the door.
The check-in desk does double duty, handling guests for both the Courtyard and the Residence Inn. While the hotel has over 630 rooms combined, we never found the lobby too crowded, nor did we have a long wait to check in or ask any questions during our stay.
After checking in, the elevators on the left, by the grab and go store, are for the Residence Inn and the ones located to the right (not pictured) are for the Courtyard rooms. One thing you’ll notice in many pictures from the property are the three elongated human-like figures with teeny tiny heads. They’re everywhere. In the lobby, the elevators, the restaurant. These are the creation of artist William DeBlizan and it’s quite a bold statement by the hotel to spread these images everywhere. I mean with art you either love it or you don’t and this one just left me asking “I wonder why they chose this theme for the entire hotel?”
We were assigned room 2403 and headed to the elevators.
There are four elevators dedicated to the hotel floors with Courtyard rooms. We never had a long wait but during busy periods around breakfast and checkout, the elevators were usually filled. We were told that you had to place your room key against the elevator scanner to access the floors but this system worked very inconsistently. Many people just pushed floor numbers and the elevator worked and other times you’d press the floor number and the elevator would sit there.
The interior hallways of the hotel were dark and bland. Nothing visually exciting, so I didn’t even bother taking a picture. The hotel has an odd, rather angular footprint so the room configurations all seem to be slightly different.
Our room looked to be wider than most but not very deep. I will say that even while we were directly next to the elevators since we had to go to the end of the hall and turn to get to our room, it felt a little more private than it would have otherwise.
The entryway led into a half wall where the hangers and ironing board were housed. Directly to the right was a double barn style door leading to the bathroom.
I will give this hotel credit. Besides the black hallways, they used some bold color choices in the design, like the orange and yellow motif in the bathroom. The bathroom was small, definitely a one person at a time type of room.
The toiletries were Paul Mitchell branded, common for Courtyards, which I like and Sharon doesn’t care about because she brings her own products from home. The shower had a full glass enclosure, a plus, and a feature that was new to me. On the temperature control valve, there was a temperature gauge that let you know how hot the water was. Where has this been all of my life? The toilet paper holder looked like they forgot about it in the design and just placed a hook behind the door. It did the job but was not visually appealing (or easy to reach).
There was a table in the nook by the bedroom area housing an empty refrigerator and a personal (un)safe place for your valuables. On the top was a personal Keurig coffee machine with a variety of K-Cups
The king size bed took up much of the rest of the room. Because of the angled wall, I needed to walk sideways to go to bed each evening. There was room for a nightstand on each side of the bed (but whoever thought it was a good idea to put a GLASS shelf on the bottom level right by the floor)?
The opposite wall housed a very long, low dresser/desk area with a TV taking up half of the counter space. We never turned on the TV for our entire stay, not even NY1, so I can’t vouch for its quality or selection of channels Sharon used the desk for most of the stay, working to keep YMMV running via laptop while we were on the road. I had to work with my iPad Pro from the bed, setting up a desk and chair made from the multiple pillows we were provided.
In the “Why Even Bother?” category was the energy saving slot by the door. You know the type – you’re supposed to insert your room key to turn on the lights and air conditioner.
I guess this was not a popular feature when the hotel opened so the management went and made cards for the guests:
Look, they’re a perfect fit. Kind of defeats the energy saving purpose of installing these devices in the first place though, doesn’t it?
Even only being on the 24th floor, we were treated to some great views looking over Broadway towards the east side of Manhattan.
We found the Wi-Fi in the room to be suitable for our needs such as updating the blog and streaming music and Netflix. We do get Premium internet for free as Platinum members so I’m not sure how good the basic package would be.
Be careful if you want to park your car here because the parking fees for 24 hours cost $60. That’s why we hardly ever rent a car when traveling in Manhattan.
For a big city hotel, they have some amenities that would come in handy for those traveling on a long trip, or with kids. On the 34th floor, guests of both hotels have access to a fitness center (There was an additional room filled with stationary bikes, treadmills, yoga mats, weight balls, and dumbells but it was almost full and I don’t take pictures of other people working out.)
Also on the same floor was the (surprisingly large) guest laundry.
I’ve already written about how we took the $10 food and beverage amenity as our Platinum choice. The main dining area for Courtyard guests is the nosh! restaurant/bar/coffee stand on the fourth floor. This is where we ate breakfast for two days of our stay. (Notice the artwork on various poles around the room).
After breakfast, the lounge seems to be used mostly by guests waiting to check in or by guests waiting to leave for their flights to the airport. In other words, plenty of people sleeping on the chairs and couches.
For the price we paid for the room, under $200 a night including taxes (this hotel does not charge a resort/city/destination fee), I think it’s a great deal. The area is excellent for walking around the theater district. You’re only a few blocks walk to Central Park and one warm-er day we walked up to Lincoln Center. If you want the hustle and bustle of Times Square, it’s only a 10 block walk.
The hotel rooms were an average size for New York. Not much room for any extras and you needed to be creative to find a place to keep your suitcase so you don’t keep tripping over it during your stay. I wish there was more counter space for two people to work at the same time without one of them needing to sit on the bed.
However, this was a great hotel for our needs. It was only a five-minute walk to where our meetings were being held, was offering a great price and turned out to be a great location for the rest of the things we planned for the weekend. Normally I wouldn’t have looked this far north for a hotel but I’m finding that staying up towards Central Park in the upper 50s is just as convenient for going to see shows as staying down in the lower 40s.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary