Conrad New York Midtown Bottom Line Review

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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.
  • Dining:
    • 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.

There was a bench and mirror in the entrance area so you could easily sit to put your shoes on, etc. That opened up into a large living room area.
Beyond the living room was a spacious bedroom with its own TV and plenty of space.
Speaking of space, there was a large closet area between the bedroom and the bathroom. I actually brought a chair into this area and worked at night when my family was asleep.
The bottom left storage area of the closet was almost the perfect size for a carry-on bag.
We asked for a rollaway from my 4yr old and basically got a twin bed — this was a really nice rollaway. It was also the same height as the couch, so we rolled it up against the couch so he couldn’t roll out of bed in that direction.
One very picky complaint is that the light switch for the closet area gets hidden behind the sliding door to the bathroom. We initially had a really hard time finding this switch
The views from both the living room and bedroom were terrific.
The night time views were as cool as the daytime views.
A single vanity sink, but across from it (as you can see in the reflection) was a set of shelves with a mirror (and power outlet) at the top, so two adults could pretty easily get ready at the same time.

Second vanity (with power outlet on the top shelf).
The water stayed in the shower reasonably well considering the fact that the door opened in the middle.
The doors took a little finesse to get shut in a way that they would stay closed, but they did the trick.
My pictures of the view came from the table with chairs by the window, which was a great place to get some work done with a view.
Unlike the Conrad Downtown, I didn’t see a sign about a charge for storing personal items in the minibar, but neither was there any space to do so (the empty shelf on the left was missing water bottles when we checked in — someone stopped by the restock it and we were not charged).
The bottles of water with the coffee were complimentary and we were told that we could get more bottles 24/7 in the gym (which is a travel hacking trick that many use for free bottled water at hotels, but I was surprised to be told that). Minibar snacks below the coffee machine / kettle were not complimentary.
The bench in the entryway was great for getting shoes on/off.

The lobby art was kind of weird.

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.

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YoniPDX

For much of COVID the mini-bar at lots of properties was absent. In July we stayed at The Nines -a Luxury Collection on PDX.

It was an FHR Plat stay – you had to request a coffee maker (n/c) I only knew from reading reviews on advance. The charge for the Kettle/Coffee maker – that is shocking. The Nines did have a gourmet hot coffee and Tea setup till
10:30 in the lobby -gratis. Afternoon they had Cold brew coffee on tap as well as Honeybush tea.

Mini-bar wise much like when renting a car – take photos entering the room and at departure (I almost forget – it had been a while sonce I had seen a minibar in a room). I try to make it a habit to checkout in person and get a printed folio (always easier to handle in person -than by phone later).

This time it paid off as the Mini-bar fridge must have a sensor showing its been opened.

The conciergerie had sent a bottle of wine and some chocolates to our room we were celebrating an anniversary. I simply had ask for her to confirm our open table reservation and request outside seating at the rooftop restaurant for our anniversary celebration. I digress I simply had placed the empty bottle outside our door. Somehow it showed up on our bill – perhaps the concierge hadn’t coded it in the system as a comp.

This has to be the most expensive mini-bar I have ever seen ($56 for an Old fashion in a bottle – bespoke- but almost as much as a shot of JW Blue label at a bar).

John JOSEPH

Before it was The London it was originally the (Japanese) Righa Royal and it was all suites when it first opened.

Miguel Neto

I stayed at the London, I think they had a regular room, although most were these suites. The rooms were better decorated and less crowded, had a premium look, now it’s like a cheap Hilton Courtyard hotel. Lobby was practically non existent and restaurant was for a short time Gordon Ramsay’s. It was a great luxury hotel, now doesn’t appear well priced or premium, however space is a luxury in today’s New York, location is excellent for a tourist.

Last edited 10 days ago by Miguel Neto
Colleen

Very informative and helpful – thanks, Nick! We have 3 nights (using Aspire certs) here and 1 night at the Thompson (which you also thankfully reviewed) at the end of September.

I will definitely be asking if we can just get an entree in lieu of the continental breakfast.

FWIW, as you pointed out in earlier comment, we booked two queen deluxe room. It seems to be harder than it should be to find “nice” hotels in NYC with two queens rather than two fulls (side eye to the Park Hyatt and Andaz 5th) so I hope the Conrad comes through.

Gene

@ Nick — I am almost certain that his hotel is ALL suites, so if you booked a “standard room”, it was for a 1 BR suite all along. This is a great hotel (the rooms, anyway).

Gene

Interesting. We have used a few Hilton free nights here and ahev always been booked directly into a 1 BR Suite. Sounds like they have changed that. As a Diamond, I would be very unhappy if we did not receive a 1 BR suite at this property.

C.J.

Shortly after the conversion from the London to the Conrad, one bedroom suites were the standard room. The king bedded and two double bedded rooms were nonexistent at the time. I also don’t recall the junior suite. I remember using an AMEX free night certificate and booking right into the one bedroom suite.

Last edited 9 days ago by C.J.