Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: the Conrad New York Downtown hotel

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

This is my review of the Conrad New York Downtown hotel.

Over in New York this week, I was back at Hilton’s Conrad New York Downtown.  Recent changes in the area around the hotel have made this an even better place to stay, as I will explain.

If you have a stack of points with Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards Club – which are the two dominant schemes for Head for Points readers – and are looking for a luxury New York hotel redemption, you will probably end up choosing between InterContinental Times Square (my review), InterContinental Barclay (my review) and Conrad New York.

Last year I tried the reopened Barclay and was a little underwhelmed.  I am also underwhelmed by InterContinental Times Square.  Even the Conrad isn’t perfect.  Basically, these are all bed factories.  You will look in vain for swimming pools, huge amounts of public space, multiple restaurants (The Barclay hasn’t even got a proper restaurant) etc.

They are very pleasant bed factories, don’t get me wrong.  But they are bed factories.

And if you want a bed factory, you want one with a big bed.  Conrad New York Downtown is an ‘all suite’ hotel.  There are no duff rooms here.  You are guaranteed a suite of at least 43 square metres with a decent sized bedroom:

Conrad New York Downtown review

…. with a separate living area:

Conrad New York Downtown review

….. a huge shower:

Conrad New York Downtown review

…. decent bathroom:

Conrad New York Downtown review

…. and a good size desk (from where I am typing this) and a Nespresso machine.

If you have status, you may even get a view of the Hudson out of your window, as I did:

Conrad New York Downtown review

Some background

Conrad New York Downtown used to be an Embassy Suites, Hilton’s midscale family brand.  The building is owned by Goldman Sachs and is connected to their HQ building.  Amusingly, Goldman Sachs found that its clients and staff refused to stay at the Embassy Suites so it was converted into a Conrad.

The ‘all suites’ nature of the hotel was forced on it because of the previous Embassy Suites layout, where all rooms include a kitchenette and sitting area.  Even now, the Conrad rooms include a sink in the living area which is a little odd.

The hotel is in Battery Park, a very short walk from World Trade Centre.

If you haven’t been in the area for a couple of years, there have been massive positive changes.  The shopping mall – Brookfield Place – opposite the Conrad has been totally rebuilt and is now a luxury mall with a decent food court.

There is also, at present, a little outside bar at Brookfield Place overlooking the yachts in the harbour.  It is pleasantly quiet, as you’d expect at $10 for a can of beer including compulsory tip.

Brookfield Place outside bar area

From Brookfield Place, you can now walk underground into the astonishing new PATH train station and Westfield shopping mall, called Oculus, designed by Santiago Calatrava.  A bargain at $4 billion, just $2 billion over budget, but you can see where the money went:

Oculus World Trade Centre

You can access the subway at Fulton Centre via Oculus.  There is no need now to cross the huge road which separates Battery Park from the WTC site.

What else should you know?

The hotel has a small rooftop bar, although it was booked for a private event on one night I was there.  It is heavily used by locals.  There is also a small bar on the ground floor:

Conrad New York Downtown review

… as well as a little used restaurant.

The building contains a cinema and in the same block – although not accessible from inside the hotel – numerous other bars and restaurants, including a Shake Shack.

It is worth mentioning breakfast.  Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond members can get a $20 credit towards the a la carte menu (there is no buffet) or pick one free item from a short list.

I had this scrambled eggs bruschetta twice and it was a pleasant change to yet another buffet.  Filter coffee is included.  It is a civilised way to start the day.

Conrad New York Downtown review

If you want a newspaper, you can pick up a free New York Times or Wall Street Journal in the restaurant or at the concierge desk.


To be honest, if you are blowing your bonus and are coming in Summer, my preferred New York choice is still Soho House with its superb rooftop pool and vibrant events list.

If you are using points and want a luxury experience, Conrad New York Downtown is still my preferred pick.  You need to be happy with the Battery Park location but that is not a major issue for me.  The ‘4’ or ‘5’ express subway lines get you to Grand Central in 3 stops and Central Park in 4 stops anyway.

In terms of cost …… I booked Conrad New York Downtown before the Hilton Honors changes took place earlier this year.  It cost me 70,000 points per night.

It now seems to be 80,000 points per night – you rarely see it lower even with the new Hilton Honors policy of reducing reward prices on cheap nights.  This is because a ‘cheap’ night at the Conrad still isn’t really cheap – you are looking at over $600 including taxes midweek.

Of course, you can argue that New York is about going out and you won’t be in your hotel much.  In that case, feel free to stay elsewhere.  If you’re looking for a good luxury option to use your Hilton Honors points, I recommend the Conrad New York Downtown.

The hotel website is here if you want to find out more.

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (July 2024)

There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points and they come with generous sign-up bonuses. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (34)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Cate says:

    Conrad related, I’m booking a few nights at the Conrad St James for this year and wonder with all the recent articles on Hilton what’s the best way to get an upgrade to a suite? Usually I book the lowest cash room through their website, wait for the email trying to uplift me to a suite for more cash, press yes to that and turn up on the day and see what they offer me. Is their a better way?

  • John says:

    We stayed here three years ago today on a BA sale. £540 pp, 3 nights. It was a brilliant hotel, much better than the extremely touristy side of Time Square.

  • Mark says:


    Just to say we stayed in this hotel last October and we really liked it for many of the reasons mentioned in Rob’s article..

    We travelled as a family of 4 and both my wife and I have Hilton status which meant all 4 of us could have the free breakfast (2 people per member as we booked 2 rooms)

    The hotel did have a very good buffet breakfast, at the time of our stay – but this was only on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This was free for Hilton Diamond (and I assume Gold).

    For weekdays, the free breakfast was as Rob describes and we found that we had more than enough food for the 4 of us.

    I would certainly recommend the hotel and as other readers have commented earlier, it would also our choice for NYC next time.

  • Danksy says:

    Good review – Looks like a decent choice for NYC!

    Has anyone been to the Conrad Miami? Thinking of there for a week in August!


    • pointsarb says:

      Conrad Miami is a great hotel, nice breakfast for Diamonds although they wriggled out of a Diamond upgrade citing occupancy levels but I had my doubts on that statement. Other than that you’ll enjoy!

  • Cate says:

    Just had a message from Amex now offering 20% off selected Radisson Blu hotels.

    • Crafty says:

      Does the link look shareable?

    • Joe says:

      Indeed I got this, but I genuinely cannot see a 20% reduction in price (compared to a separate search on a separate computer) – are you seeing different?

  • Kris Schimmel says:

    You don’t fancy the Waldorf Rob?

    • Rob says:

      Waldorf has closed down. And it was a dump, I stayed twice.

      Beautiful lobby of course, I always went in when I passed it.

      • Martin Barber says:

        I only stayed once in 2010, and got upgraded to a terrace suite as a Diamond. It was in the main rather than Tower section, but still very nice. The closure is only for two-three years while they refurbish.

  • bsb says:

    I stayed there a couple of weeks ago. I was extremely underwhelmed, but I parted with cash for the experience so maybe my expectations were higher. I feel it’s tired and outdated. But I do think the location is awesome, althuogh i wouldn’t stay there again.

  • Yllanes says:

    Good review. I just wanted to comment that there still is a buffet at this hotel (free for Gold and Diamond) on Saturdays and Sundays. In May I got the buffet on Sunday and the $20 credit on Monday.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.