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I return to St Regis New York …. or ‘how a hotel stay improves when you know what to expect’

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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.

My 2018 review of St Regis New York is here.

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

More importantly:

After my stay last year, I knew exactly what to expect and what not to expect, so my expectations were managed

Review St Regis New York hotel Madison Suite

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)

Review St Regis New York hotel Madison Suite

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.

Review St Regis New York hotel Madison Suite

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)

Review St Regis New York hotel Madison Suite

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.

Review St Regis New York hotel Madison Suite

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 and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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 comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 3rd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

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 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 a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy 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 (83)

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

  • Ross99 says:

    Do you tip for the “free” stuff?
    Breakfast, Room service coffee, shirt?
    Interested to know if the staff hang around waiting for tips as it’s NY

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Free or not they still expect at tip. It’s NY they always want a tip, even go so far to give you several choices of amount it’s very thoughtful of them.

      • Ed says:

        Do you tip in airport lounges in NYC? Genuinely have no idea about the etiquette.

        • Rob says:

          The guy at the BA bar got nothing from me or anyone else. US airline lounge staff are different.

        • David says:

          In the AA lounges I’ve been to (DFW and CLT), there’s a big pile of $1 bills on the bar which you’re expected to add to…

          • Lady London says:

            I do a dollar a drink at any airport louange in US. I really dont like the constant tipping culture there. Even seems they expect you to top thème for ritten service…seems you are just supposed to adjust the level in that case. I draw the line at that though.

        • Graham Walsh says:

          Nope especially as I never take any cash when I travel

    • The_real_a says:

      I’m curious what the going rate for tips for these things are too… And how much should one tip the Bentley driver?

    • Genghis says:

      The Conrad kindly put the full price of the free breakfast down on a bill and take it off so you can easily calculate 20%.

    • Michael C says:

      I’m used to the whole NY tipping scene, but the hovering waiters on a recent trip to an HI Orlando asking at the table EVERY 2 minutes “AreYouOK?AreYouOK?” at the buffet b/f was annoying beyond words!

      • John says:

        Give them 5% for poor service

      • Lady London says:

        That was poor service. And if they didnt cease after a word…probably zero tip.

        That kind of incessant “service” can sometimes be their way to turn the tables faster.

    • Oli says:

      First night here and its only 3am so I can only report on the room service I ordered last night to make use of the $50 credit, tips at 22% is already included on the bill charged to room so I didn’t add a cash tip. For the free tea/coffee, you get it every morning and at check in. I asked for coffee when the butler was showing me around the room so tipped then as part of my usual check in day and check out day tip to butler when I stay at any St Regis. Will report back later today on breakfast and laundry service.

    • Rob says:

      Butlers don’t hang about. Laundry is left in your wardrobe when you are out.

  • riku2 says:

    If i’m on holiday in a city like New York or Tokyo the only time I spend in the hotel room is to sleep, so having a huge suite or even a room with space to open the suitcase flat on the floor is a bit of a waste of money (or in this case points). And if working there i’d rent a flat. For $160 I’ve rented a one bedroom flat 2mins from central park and can make my own hot drinks any time of the day or night and have breakfast at a time of my own choosing – not based on when the restaurant is quiet.

  • Crdlft says:

    Where are the photos of the corridors? Sounds stupid but I judge a hotel on corridors and lifts. Two of the first things you see, and two of the easiest places to avoid spending money. If they are good, everything else usually seems to end up pretty good.

  • Tom says:

    Which St. Regis have you been to that didn’t provide butler service? It’s a fundamental part of the brand and I’m not aware of a St. Regis that excludes this from any rooms.

  • Nick_C says:

    For me, one of the great pleasures of New York is getting out and just enjoying the city.

    Give me Andrew’s Coffee Shop instead of a posh hotel breakfast any day.

    • Michael C says:

      I’d go for that, Nick. Love the waking up at 0600h. Within the hour, we’re in Bryant Park with our young one & a DIY b/fast, perfect start to the day.

      • Anna says:

        +1. Loved having breakfast in the 30th floor Skyline Lounge at the Hilton Millennium UN with the Chrysler building and Empire State building on one side and the Hudson river on the other, and only a handful of other (British) guests to share the buffet with at that time of the morning!

    • Craig says:

      +1, or if I’m awake early it’s out to a deli for a take-out and breakfast in bed.

  • Marcw says:

    I do not travel to NYC to just plan my day around hotel features. I go there to enjoy the city. Hotel is there to sleep.

    • Rob says:

      I am there on a regular basis though, so not the same.

      I still work 8 hours a day too.

      • Evan says:

        I’m with you Rob. I know NY very well. When I go there I don’t feel the need to charge around seeing sights for the sake of it. I go to meet people, have fun and enjoy myself. So guess what I stay in a nice hotel!

  • Mikeact says:

    Rob…how did you travel from the airport to the hotel this time ?

    • Rob says:

      Was going to try the Blade helicopter shuttle as there is a $120 promo but weather forecast was dire so took E train to 5/53 instead, only 2 blocks south.

  • Jovanna says:

    Rob, I admire your energy and commitment. I hate these nonsense resort charges. You gave me a good chuckle with your efforts and plans. Well done!

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