Review: Sheraton New York JFK Airport

Introduction
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JFK Airport possibly has the least glamorous airport hotels of any major airport (well, along with London Heathrow), so I usually do whatever I can to avoid an overnight here. When I do have an overnight in New York I almost always try to go in the city.

In this case that didn’t make sense, though. We had just a quick overnight in New York and it would be cold, so I just wanted to get to the nearest airport hotel.

I booked the Sheraton JFK Airport for $125. That seemed like a low rate, but I guess that’s what you get for staying a Saturday night during the first week of the year, when business travel hasn’t picked up yet.

For reference, this is a Category 4 Starwood property, meaning a free night would cost 10,000 Starpoints. I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so the rate would have to be at least $220 for me to consider using points.

All the Kennedy Airport shuttles depart from Federal Circle (which requires taking the AirTrain), but since we were arriving at Terminal 8 we decided to just share an Uber to the hotel. It wasn’t very expensive, and meant we could be picked up directly at the terminal and wouldn’t have to wait in the cold for up to 30 minutes.

The Sheraton JFK is a roughly 10 minute drive from the airport, so it’s quite conveniently located. Jamaica isn’t the most exciting place for an overnight, but the hotel did look decent enough from the outside.

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Sheraton JFK Airport exterior

The lobby of the hotel felt more like a Hampton Inn than a Sheraton, in my opinion. The reception was located to the left, the restaurant straight ahead, and the elevators to the right.

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Sheraton JFK Airport lobby

The associate checking me in was friendly, thanked me for being a Platinum member, and informed me I’d receive free wifi, club lounge access, etc.

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Sheraton JFK Airport lobby

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Sheraton JFK Airport restaurant

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Sheraton JFK Airport elevators

I took the elevator up to the seventh floor, which is the top floor of the hotel, and also where the club lounge is located.

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Sheraton JFK Airport hallway

I was assigned room 717, which was a right turn out of the elevator and then on the left.

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Sheraton JFK Airport room entrance

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Sheraton JFK Airport floorplan

For a JFK Airport hotel, I was reasonably impressed by the room. It featured a wide entryway with the bathroom to the left and a closet to the right.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room entrance

The decor wasn’t especially inspiring and mildly funeral-homey, but on the plus side everything was in decent condition and felt clean/fresh.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room

After a while in Europe I was quite looking forward to a Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed, and this one didn’t disappoint. It was plush and featured four pillows.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room bed

By the window was the desk, which hosted two bottles of water and an ice bucket on the left, and the coffee machine on the right.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room bed

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room coffee machine

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room complimentary water

Then next to the bed was a comfortable lounge chair.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room chair

And on the opposite wall of the bed was a wall-mounted flat screen TV, which could easily be viewed from bed or the lounge chair.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room TV

The room was so close to the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn that you could literally see inside the windows. Actually, the wifi signal from the Hilton Garden Inn was stronger than the signal from the Sheraton.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room view

The bathroom featured a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower with sliding glass door.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room bathroom

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room shower

While the water pressure in the shower was fine, the temperature control was a bit of a challenge, as you literally had to move the control about a millimeter in order to find an acceptable temperature.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room shower

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room toilet

Toiletries were Sheraton branded, as usual.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room toiletries

I believe the hotel’s club lounge is presently being renovated (or something), because the makeshift club lounge is literally just inside the hallway on the seventh floor as you walk outside the elevator. It’s sort of awkward, actually.

The club lounge has a single couch, two seats by the TV, and a single table.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club room shower

Here’s a poster they had up about the club lounge “refresh” plans, which don’t make much sense to me, but…

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club lounge

The breakfast spread was surprisingly decent.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club lounge

For one, they had a Starbucks coffee machine which made a mean cup of coffee, though it took forever.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club lounge coffee machine

In terms of food, they had bagels, croissants, cereal, danishes, toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, and bacon.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club lounge breakfast spread

Then there was a fridge with bottled water and soda.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport club lounge fridge

I suppose the good news about the club lounge literally being in front of the elevators is that you can grab a drink or cup of coffee 24/7 — there’s no way for them to “lock” the lounge at night.

The hotel also has a gym on the ground floor, which is reasonably nice, with good equipment.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport gym

We took the 8AM shuttle back to the airport (it operates 24 hours a day), which is shared with the Hilton Garden Inn next door. While the hotel only picks up at Federal Circle, the shuttle will drop you off at any terminal, so it took us all the way to Terminal 8.

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport shuttle

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Sheraton New York JFK Airport shuttle

Sheraton JFK Airport bottom line

While the Sheraton JFK Airport is by no means memorable, I was pleasantly surprised. It was clean, the rooms were in good condition, the staff were friendly, and while the club lounge was a bit odd, the offerings themselves were decent enough.

I’d certainly return if I had a short overnight at JFK (which is something I usually do everything in my power to avoid).

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Comments

  1. D’oh! Wish I had this review when I was stranded at JFK and was looking for a hotel last night! Definitely going to keep it in mind for next time.

  2. Interesting–I’ve always had the same (mis)perception you had about JFK airport hotels so have avoided them like the plague. However, based on this, will keep this property in mind next time I have an early flight out of JFK.

    I am baffled by your first sentence, though–if your comparison between JFK and LHR is accurate, why have you spent so little time in London (possibly the greatest city in the world, and I say this as a New Yorker 😉 )?

  3. The Club Lounge has been located in the 7th floor lobby since at least April 2013 so I think it’s well beyond temporary. This has to be the slowest hotel remodeling project ever. I feel like they’ve been working on it for years!

  4. I stayed here a few years ago and I remember it being much worse, so perhaps they have renovated a bit since then. I definitely would not have described the room as fresh and clean at that point.

  5. Ben, love the blog, reports, pictures etc… Read it everyday…
    Can you do me a favor? No more pictures of open toilets!
    Close the flapper!

    Regards from Miami

    Ron R

  6. @ Andrew — Hah, fair enough. I guess it’s because I have “real” reasons to be in New York (family, business, etc.), while I don’t have as much of a need in London.

  7. I actually stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn that you kept referencing. It was fine and the rate was good. I actually recall having one of my best hotel dinners there, in terms of food quality, that truly surprised me.

  8. Your review is quite detailed and I agree with all of it. The only issue you didn’t speak about is the parking, as you didn’t have a car. I stayed at the hotel recently not for a flight but for a company party nearby and it had a good rate. The issue I had was their parking situation. It is awful. The lot is WAY too small for a hotel with that many rooms. There is a second lot behind the hotel as a spillover but is not lined and is a trapezoidal shape. I had to park in the middle of it and walk in the rain to the front door and it stunk. All in all for a trip like yours with no car, perfectly fine for all the reasons you mentioned. I just wanted to add this little tidbit so those with cars will be aware.

  9. I stayed here in December when I had to catch my CX flight to HKG. Had very low expectations but was blown away by the friendliness of the staff and the upkeep of the room/bathroom. Very clean.

    Agree with Captain on the parking situation; the spaces seemed so cramped.

  10. JFK and NYC really need to get together a build some nice hotels near the Jamaica Airtrain station. You would have the best of both worlds with a one seat ride from any terminal and a quick train ride into Manhattan.

  11. The Hilton at JFK is supposed to be better.

    But what Hampton Inns are you staying at? The Sheraton’s lobby looks much nicer than any I’ve seen in a Hampton. I could maybe see a Hilton Garden Inn comparison, but not Hampton.

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