Last week, I posted a bottom line review of the Conrad New York Downtown. Over the same weekend, I also got a chance to stay at the Conrad New York Midtown. I have wanted to try this property for a long time; standard rooms used to be suites (I can’t recall whether that was when it was still The London or after it converted to a Conrad) and the property is very well-located just a couple of blocks from Central Park, 5th Avenue shopping, the theater district, and subway lines. While Hilton’s new take on the old breakfast benefit still disappoints me, I think this hotel makes for a great use of a Hilton Free Night Certificate.
Conrad New York Midtown: Bottom Line
Bottom line: The Conrad New York Midtown is a top-tier Hilton property with a great location and excellent rooms. If you’re looking to stay in Midtown Manhattan and you have a free night certificate to use, this could be a great choice, particularly if you can score an upgrade to a Park View suite, which was both large by Midtown standards and had fantastic views.
- Points Price: May vary, but it was 95,000 points on the night we booked. The phone agent said that this was the only date available in the month of July at the time (it just happened to be a convenient night for us).
- Cash Price: Varies, but is very frequently north of $500 per night.
- Points Value: When rates are high, this is a pretty good value. If the cash rate were $500, that would yield about 0.625c per Hilton point, which is ahead of our Reasonable Redemption Value of 0.4c per point. Considering the fact that we used a free night certificate from the Hilton Aspire card, we were very pleased.
- Resort Fee: None on an award stay.
- Parking: Valet parking starts at $75 per night plus tax ($85 for oversized and luxury vehicles). I used Park Whiz and booked a garage for about $50 per night all-in (I saw one option nearby this hotel for about $40 per night). See Stephen’s post from a couple of years ago for more on Park Whiz: How Park Whiz Saved Us $100+ On Parking In Chicago.
- Turndown service: Yes, but this only involved closing the curtains and placing a mat and bottles of water by the bed. There was no chocolate / treat.
- Housekeeping: We only stayed one night and therefore didn’t need housekeeping services.
- Internet: Very good.
- All-day dining in Dabble, the restaurant immediately off of the lobby.
- All-day room service. Menus were in the room.
- Spa: None.
- Fitness Room: There is a fitness room, but I forgot to check it out.
- Hilton Diamond Elite Benefits:
- Upgrade: Yes! We were upgraded proactively 3 days before check-in, receiving both an email and a notification in the app of an upgrade to a 1 bedroom Park View suite. The view was fantastic and the room had doors that closed between the bedroom and living room (they were a little difficult to close as you had to get them just right, but it did work).
- Club Lounge: None.
- Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the lobby restaurant. Both Gold and Diamond members receive a food & beverage credit of $25 per day per registered guest in the room (up to two) that can be used toward breakfast. The menu only featured buffet options (a $25 “continental” buffet and a $45 “American” buffet that included hot items), though I did hear someone come in after us and ask to order “just an omelet or something”. I didn’t see a menu for that and both the hostess and server appeared a little confused, but it seems that perhaps it can be done as they were seated. My wife and sons had the Continental buffet (I didn’t) and the total came to about $64 — which was almost taken care of by the F&B credit. The options on the Continental buffet were actually pretty extensive.
- Would I stay again? Possibly if I needed to be in Midtown. The rooms were very nice and the proactive upgrade days before arrival (and before reaching out to the property at all) was very nice in terms of elite member recognition. Breakfast could still get pricey for a family here though (just as at the Conrad Downtown).
- Conrad New York Midtown pros:
- Proactive upgrade days ahead of time with an email notification several days in advance
- True 1 bedroom suite with door with the upgrade
- Fantastic view (YMMV by room)
- We checked in early (around 12:30pm) with no problem
- Very close to subway stops
- Great location if you want to be in midtown. Close to the park, 5th Ave shopping, theater district (the Stephen Colbert show tapes a couple blocks away, Times Square is several more blocks or easily accessible via subway)
- Conrad New York Midtown cons:
- Nothing done to go above and beyond apart from the upgrade (I only make this con in comparison to the Conrad Downtown, which really went over and beyond in its welcome for us)
- Breakfast could get expensive for a family (we only purchased 2 continental breakfasts).
Overall, we enjoyed our one-night stay very much.
As was the case with the Conrad Downtown, breakfast could be quite pricey since the only options on the menu were a continental buffet for $25 or a buffet with hot items for $45:
That said, the continental buffet was pretty extensive:
The Continental Buffet certainly provided enough options to fill you up. Given the fact that the Hilton Gold and Diamond member food & beverage credit almost covers the continental buffet, it’s not a bad deal if you have one or two people in the room. In our case, my wife and 4yr old son ordered the continental buffet. We were not charged for our ~2yr old (which is nice since he barely ate anything). I did not eat at the hotel because I used the Too Good to Go app to pick up half a dozen bagels and cream cheese for $4.99 on Sunday.
The room itself was really nice. It was spacious and comfortable and everything felt premium and nice. Frankly, I’d have thought this hotel was almost new if I didn’t know better. It compares really well to most Midtown properties I’ve ever seen.
As you can see above, the room was in great condition. I’ve stayed at a good number of Manhattan hotels before and have often been surprised by how badly some high-end hotels show their wear in terms of worn curtains, scuffed up or stained furniture, etc. There was none of that here. Everything looked to be in terrific condition with the one exception being the edges in the closet where bags get rolled in and out. The sofa and chairs and curtains and floors were all in excellent shape (and that was all the more impressive given the traffic that Midtown properties get).
Given the location in the heart of Midtown (on 54th St), this hotel seems like a great option for Hilton free night certificates, though of course the quality of this stay was largely influenced by a nice upgrade. For what it’s worth, this stay was booked via my wife’s account and she was informed of the upgrade three days before arrival, so I think that upgrade simply came by virtue of her Hilton elite status. I’m not very familiar with this hotel’s make-up, but since 1 bedroom suites used to be a standard room option, I wonder if they have very few “standard” rooms and frequently upgrade Diamond members to 1 bedroom suites? Even if that is the case (and I certainly don’t know that’s true), the upgrade here wasn’t just to a 1 bedroom suite but a 1 Bedroom Park View suite, which is a higher category altogether. Again, that’s some nice elite recognition considering the fact that we didn’t even need to request it.
Service was good if not quite as enthusiastic as at the Thompson or as ambitious as the Conrad Downtown. The couple of doormen remembered us — one who knew we were going to the Mets game informed us of the score the moment we walked in (runs had been scored while en route back to the hotel since we left early) and another made it a point to remember my sons’ names. Our interactions with staff were limited but positive.
Keep in mind that Hilton’s breakfast benefit won’t quite cover breakfast for two, and I didn’t see a separate kids’ menu, so I imagine that breakfast for a family could quickly get pricey, particularly if you want the hot buffet. But for those who don’t care much about hotel breakfast since there are many other local options, this hotel certainly provides a very comfortable stay in Midtown. I’d probably return, though as we said on this weekend’s podcast, it is hard for me to turn away from Hyatt in New York City since Globalists get free parking on award stays and free breakfast. Still, for use of a free night certificate, and especially if I didn’t have a car to park, this would be a solid option.