Review: Westin New York Grand Central

Review: Westin New York Grand Central
Attending the Starwood American Express cardmember event at the US Open
Win 30,000 Starpoints courtesy of the Starwood American Express!


In the interest of full disclosure, this stay was part of the “Amex Stars” program I’m participating in this year. As a result the cost of my stay was covered by the Starwood American Express. Stay tuned, as I’ll be giving away 30,000 Starpoints tomorrow morning in conjunction with this experience.

The Westin New York Grand Central just opened in the past year, as it was previously The Helmsley. This is a nice addition to the brand since it’s only the second Westin the city (and the other one is in Times Square, so as far as I’m concerned it’s the only one). 😉

It’s a category five Starwood property, making it 12,000-16,000 Starpoints per night. Alternatively, if booking a “cash & points” rate, a night would cost 6,000 Starpoints plus $110. For what it’s worth the rate for my room was roughly $300, which once again was paid for by the Starwood American Express.

The Westin is located on 42nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, so has a pretty central location, whether you want to go to 5th Avenue, Times Square, or wherever.

The lobby itself isn’t huge, though feels “fresh,” and from the moment I stepped in the hotel I smelled the signature Westin “scent.”

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central12
Lobby

Check-in was efficient and the associate checking us (my mom and I) in was friendly. She inquired which Platinum amenity I wanted, and I went with the breakfast option.

We were staying on the 36th floor in a traditional double bed room (there were no room upgrades available as the hotel was sold out due to the US Open).

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central10
Hallway

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central09
Our room

The room was standard for a Westin, and felt “fresh” given that the hotel opened less than a year ago. The room had two comfortable Heavenly Beds, a desk with a chair, a flat screen TV, and a chair with ottoman by the window. For a standard room in New York City I thought it was quite spacious, actually.

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central01
Traditional double bed room

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central02
Chair with ottoman

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central04
Desk

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central05
TV

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central03
View from the room

The bathroom featured a sink, toilet, and shower, with Westin bath amenities.

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central06
Sink

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central07
Toilet

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central08
Shower

On the whole the room was pleasant and brand standard for Westin. The wifi in the room was fast, and as a Platinum member complimentary.

Breakfast is served at “The LCL,” which is located just off the lobby of the hotel. As a Platinum member we could either take the “grab and go” continental breakfast, or otherwise use a $16 credit per person towards anything off the menu.

The continental breakfast consisted of juice, coffee or tea, fruit (either whole fruit or a fruit cup), and then a pastry, of which there were a variety.

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central11
Breakfast

The hotel also had a really nice gym with modern equipment, located on the second floor.

Westin_New_York_Grand_Central14
Gym

Anyway, on the whole this is a solid Westin and they did a good job with the rebrand. It’s no means a luxury property or anything other than the Westin brand standard, but ultimately the location is good, the rooms are on the big side, and it’s nice to have a second Westin in the city. In comparison to the other Starwood properties in Manhattan, the Westin is certainly one of the better values; I think the location is slightly better than the Four Points or Sheraton, and we all know how I feel about the Ws.  That being said, the Westin Grand Central, like many of the large hotels in New York, has been courting the convention crowd, so depending on your dates the price may be significantly higher than say, the Andaz 5th Avenue down the street.

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

Comments

  1. The Westins may be centrally located, but they’re not downtown. Downtown Manhattan is 14th Street and south; Midtown from 14th to 59th, and Uptown north of 59th.

  2. @ LarryInNYC — Whoops, you’re of course right. Didn’t mean “downtown” but rather “in the city.” Fixed now!

  3. Awesome! There was a boardingarea meetup there a few months ago at the LCL with wandering aramean, just another points traveler, miles professor, point me to the plane, etc. Awesome times!

    BTW, in the last paragraph I think you meant to say midtown, not downtown, when you stated “nice to have a second Westin downtown.”

    Can’t wait to hear more details on how to grab those 30,000 starpoints you’re giving away tomorrow!

  4. Yes, very nice review of a new SPG property and I hate to quibble but this prop is squarely in midtown. Hope I’m not being a jerk Ben, but big difference…

  5. Thanks for the review. Wish they didn’t try to cheap down the breakfast and at least give you a continental that includes yogurt, and some cold cuts and cheese, and maybe a boiled egg, which is what a continental breakfast includes in most of the European continent.

  6. Ben: Breakfast seems a little on the skimpy side even by U.S. Standards.

    Per the Plat T&C on the Breakfast vouchers: “At a minimum continental breakfast includes juice, coffee, pastries, cereal, and yogurt for you and 1 other guest registered to your room.”

    While it’s nice that they offer you $16 off the menu as an alternative, if one opts for the continental breakfast, they were missing the cereal and yogurt but they added fruit…overall really not too generous on their part.

  7. Lucky,

    Did you happen to notice how much or how little the $16 credit would have got you had you not opted for the to-go breakfast?

  8. A good example of “if you’ve nothing nice to say, don’t say anything”.

    It’s probably safe to say that if this wasn’t a sponsored post this post would a) never have happened, or b)would have been appropriately (and delightfully) snarky.

  9. Hello,

    If I have to choose between sheraton four points time square hotel vs. Westin grand central hotel, which one is recommended. I don’t mind both locations.

    thanks
    Christine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *