Hotel Review: Hampton Inn NY-JFK – Jamaica, NY

The Hampton Inn NY-JFK is located just outside of New York’s JFK airport. Choosing an airport hotel can be tough because many of the reviews are from people who were arriving the night before for an early morning flight, had an overnight connection or were stranded due to a delay. The Hampton Inn JFK is also used by several different airline crews as an overnight stop. Therefore many of the reviews are the same, saying how it’s okay for the night and all they needed was a place to stay.

For me, the Hampton Inn JFK was my base for a 15-night work trip. I guess when your work location has no hotels nearby, the corporate travel agent just puts you up at the nearest airport hotel.

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Hampton Inn NY-JFK
144-10 135th Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11436

The 216 room Hampton Inn at JFK was built in 2000 and most recently renovated in 2015. While airport hotels suffer from more wear and tear than other locations because of the number of guests only staying one night, this one still appeared fresh even if it was several years since its most recent refresh.

If you’re arriving from JFK airport, the hotel offers round the clock shuttle service picking up from the Federal Circle station. To reach the station, it’s a free ride on the JFK Airtrain from all terminals. The hotel suggests calling when you arrive at Federal Circle. When I called, they asked me how many people were in my party and how many bags we had and provided me with an ETA.

To get back to JFK, the shuttle leaves the hotel twice an hour, on the hour and half-hour, and drops you off right at the terminals.

Self-parking at the hotel is limited and costs $25 a day plus taxes.

Check-in

The entrance to the hotel is under the porte cochère. 

The check-in area is small with a desk for two associates. There’s a tiny grab and go section next to the counter, with sandwiches, salads, drinks and snacks. There’s a side section of the lobby with sufficient seating for people to wait for the airport shuttle with their bags. This is also where the hotel put up the tacky display selling various memorabilia.

Cold water, lemonade and occasionally cookies were available.

I arrived at the hotel before noon. Even though check-in time was 3PM, I was hoping there was a room available. There was no line at the desk and the associate processed my information quickly. He noted my Hilton Gold Status and provided me with my two complimentary bottles of water. He let me know the hours for breakfast and handed me the keys and the Wi-Fi password. I headed to the elevators to get to my room on the 9th floor.

The Room

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Exiting the elevator, this hotel has a design that fits the Hampton Inn brand – rather bland, with muted colors and with a splash of color here and there.

I headed to the end of the hall and my room, 919.

The room was a basic layout, with the bathroom and a small closet to the left as you entered.

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As for the central part of the room, you have a bed (I was assigned a king room), chair with a small table, desk, refrigerator and a flat-screen TV. There were night tables on both sides of the bed but no drawers. There were also no drawers under the TV cabinet, opting for the more modern look of pull out baskets.

I’m learning to like the baskets more because at least they don’t collect dust and crumbs like drawers can. I just wish they’d provide more of them. I guess most people aren’t staying here for 2 weeks. I ended up keeping my smaller items in my suitcase for my stay.

The room featured an excellent blackout curtain that lowered in a single sheet from the ceiling to the window frame. It eliminated almost all light from entering the room. Also, considering the room was right near the airport, I heard virtually no noise during my stay from outside the room (except for the occasional siren from the roadway below).

I also liked that during the remodel, the hotel added plugs and USB connections everywhere they could around the bed and on the desk.

The bathroom was functional, plain and really white.

The only thing wrong with the bathroom was the toilet handle was loose and you needed to fiddle with it to stop the tank from draining. Instead of always running, if this toilet was low on water, it would just randomly flush. Not the best thing to happen in the middle of the night, just as you’re getting back to sleep.

Breakfast

Asis  with most all Hampton Inn locations, this hotel served a free breakfast every day from 6AM to 10AM.

Every morning there were plenty of starchy baked goods, including pastries (which were not good), bagels (which were OK for hotel bagels) and English Muffins. BTW, you every see someone put an English Muffin in a toaster without pulling it apart???? I did.

The hot items included oatmeal, some type of egg dish, breakfast meat and some kind of potato or pancake/french toast. There were also three kinds of cereal, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, a make your own waffle station, juices, and smoothies. Finally, there was a bowl of fresh fruit (including under-ripe bananas which took 4 more days in my room before they were ready to eat).

On the far side of the dining room was a coffee/tea station that was kept out all day. For hotel coffee, it was decent and always tasted freshly made (like within the last hour or so).

Unlike so many locations that serve free breakfast, this one seemed to have enough space for all the guests. This may have been due to the staggered times people wanted to eat due to airline departures. Still, it was nice not to have to stalk around the room, looking for a seat.

Food

Being an airport hotel, there wasn’t much nearby as far as food options. If you wanted to eat in the evening and didn’t have a car, nothing was in walking distance. However, the Hampton Inn is connected via walkway to the Hilton JFK located right next door. The Hilton has a lobby restaurant/bar that’s open late.

It’s not the best food, but it’s convenient. The only thing I didn’t like is that you can’t charge items from the Hilton to your room at the Hampton Inn.

Hotel Staff

I didn’t have to deal much with the staff other than the shuttle drivers for most of my trip. However, during the middle of our stay, another member of our group was informed that the company credit card on file to pay for our rooms was declined. The hotel rep took the proactive move of contacting our travel agent and found out the card number had been compromised. The hotel rep received new billing information and adjusted the billing for everyone in our group. At no time was our stay inconvenienced and when I stopped by the desk just to make sure everything was OK, she assured me that she was taking care of it and I didn’t need to do anything else.

Excellent customer service at a hotel is so rare that it was a pleasant surprise to have someone go out of there way to solve a problem, so I didn’t have to worry about it.

Final Thoughts

I’m sure that most people don’t think they’ll ever stay for two weeks at an airport hotel. By doing so, I got a look at some things that most other people don’t like the rotation of the breakfast items or the differences between members of the housekeeping staff.

For most people who are going to stay here for a single night, it’s a perfectly fine location. It’s very close to the airport with a ride from the hotel to the terminals taking less than 15 minutes. If you want to get to Manhattan, it’s under $10 to catch a ride to Jamaica station and there you can take the fast way or the cheap way into the city.

The only downside is the lack of places to eat near the hotel. You can head over to the TWA Hotel at JFK if you want (the hotel shuttle will drop you off at T5 and it’s a short walk from there). You can also order in using one of the many food delivery services. For a last resort, you can grab a sandwich or wrap from the grab and go section or head to the Hilton next door (or the nearby Courtyard by Marriott) and eat in their restaurants.

However, I think the free airport shuttle, comfy beds and pillows, blackout curtains and quiet rooms is more what people are looking for in an airport hotel and this location marks off all of those boxes.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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