I spent three nights this week at St Regis New York. This may surprise long-term readers, who may remember that I wasn’t hugely impressed with the hotel when I stayed there last year.
So, why did I go back?
I booked when it was still 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (now 85,000). There was no way that I was going to get anything of equivalent value with Hilton or IHG for a similar number of points.
I have Titanium Elite status until the end of the year, which meant I might get an upgrade to a huge suite again (I did, see photos in this article)
The location on 5th Avenue is excellent
I didn’t want to spend time at a new property learning how everything works – I generally tend to stay 2-3 times at a place before trying somewhere new
After my stay last year, I knew exactly what to expect and what not to expect, so my expectations were managed
Now, let’s get this clear. The mark of a great hotel is when it bends itself to your requirements. I should not be expected to change my own behaviour / schedule to fit the hotel, especially when rooms start at $1,000 per night.
However, change my own behaviour I did. And it worked OK.
I got up at 6am every morning. The only way to get breakfast without a long queue is to be down at Astor Court at around 7am when it opens, so I was. It is a big hotel with a small restaurant, and as it is a la carte no-one is in a hurry to leave.
(As it is already 11am in the UK at 6am New York time, I have a full inbox and a lot of HFP comments to review, so the early start is actually beneficial. By the time the shops and museums open at 10am, the day is wrapping up in the UK.)
I made sure I ordered a free pot of coffee to my room before noon (after noon, a pot of coffee costs $25 including tray charge, taxes and service and there are no coffee machines in the rooms)
The rip-off $50 daily resort fee does come with a $50 daily food and beverage credit. Part of the reason I flew in on BA1 is that I knew I’d be in the hotel in time to spend my $50 that evening.
I also adjusted my schedule so that I would be in the hotel for lunch or dinner each day, to work through $50 of food.
As I got a $50 laundry credit each day with the resort fee, I only brought one spare shirt and had the other one washed each day via the express service. This was very convenient – I rarely travel so light for such a long trip.
I worked in trips to the Met and Whitney museums, since your $50 daily resort fee also gets you into these museums for free
I still haven’t used the hotel Bentley, which will drive you – for free – to anywhere within a 10-block radius.
In return for giving up some flexibility over my day, I made the most of the hotel. None of the things which disappointed me last year disappointed me again, because I knew about them already.
So, I have softened towards St Regis New York. It turns out that:
I like having a la carte breakfast (nothing as tacky as a buffet here) when there are only 3-4 of us in the restaurant in the early morning
I like having a freshly laundered and ironed shirt every day, and coming back to my room during the afternoon to find the next one cleaned and ready in the wardrobe
I like having someone bringing me a silver tray with a cafetiere of coffee on it for free in the morning (who knew?!)
I like having a huge suite which is bigger than most 2-bed New York apartments, and being directly on 5th Avenue to boot (view below is down 55th Street)
If you have Marriott Bonvoy elite status – because breakfast is very expensive otherwise, and a good upgrade is a key part of the experience – I would recommend giving St Regis New York a go.
In truth, even at 85,000 points per night it is good value – relatively speaking – when a room for cash is $1,000 plus a lot of taxes.
If you DON’T have elite status then I would be a little more wary, because you won’t get the free a la carte breakfast or a good upgrade – although your $50 ‘resort fee’ can be offset against breakfast.
Overall, I even made a ‘profit’ on the resort fee. For 3 x $50 fees, I got 3 x $50 food and beverage credits, two laundered shirts and around $50 of museum tickets. A couple would have doubled up on the museum tickets and used more of the laundry credit.
Butler service is included with ALL rooms at St Regis New York which is not the case at many other St Regis properties globally where it can be restricted to just suites. This means that coffee on demand (AM only), pressing of your clothes, packing and unpacking (if you want it, I don’t) etc is included for everyone.
PS. Whilst massively subjective, I also think St Regis New York has the most beautiful hotel corridors I’ve ever seen ….
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (July 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year. Until 31st August 2021, the bonus is doubled to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus 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.)