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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.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Best part about tipping is when you hand in a discount voucher upon asking for the bill but they calculate the tip before applying it…

    BTW I read that US restaurants are now allowed to add a surcharge if paying by card. Would be interesting to know if they’ll calculate the tip after adding such surcharge (already do it for taxes).

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Tipping culture in the US is insane, why am I tipping for what I consider to be the basic elements of your job or to serve myself at a buffet. Also a country where nothing costs you what it actually says on the menu even if you’ve waited an age for whatever you’ve ordered.

      I don’t mind tipping for good service but it’s when they expect something for a bad one that you get really annoyed.

      • Rob says:

        St Regis room service menu excludes $8 delivery charge, 22% compulsory service charge (plus gap left on bill for extra tip) plus state taxes!

      • Anna says:

        Or just for serving coffee, as mentioned by Ghengis! At one HGI buffet breakfast, the waitress put a pot of coffee down on our table, together with the bill (which we shouldn’t have had anyway as gold) with the tip worked out! So effectively asking for around $8 for 5 seconds’ work!

      • Olly says:

        +1. Giving someone an automatic tip for doing a job that they get paid for doors not encourage good service. I know the argument that they don’t get good wages but they should and tipping for good service only, would improve the customer experience.

        • Russ says:

          I don’t tip anyone anymore. I pay the heavy mark up for hotel/airport transfers – that’s their tip. Obviously service notably decreases the next time I stay i.e. turn down service disappears, no chocolate or fluffy elephant made out of towels on my pillow but I can live with that.

          For a tip you have to do something extra for me like run down the shops and get me a paper, or, for a very LARGE tip, get me a bacon sarnie in Doha.

    • Rob says:

      To be fair, I tend to do the same in the UK if on pizza 241.

  • Adam says:

    I stayed at the NY St Régis last week (11-15). Nothing like anywhere we had stayed before but cashing in Marriott points (before the rate increase) made for a great 40th birthday experience for the wife.
    We used the house Bentley to get dropped to Times sq. We normally walk everywhere, but getting out of the car just off the square was good fun.
    The butler service was a little strange at first but you soon got used to it. Calling for a coffee before getting up was great. Another nice quirk was the daily champagne sabering ritual in the bar.
    A real bonus for us (and worth bearing in mind for NY hotels in future) is that without me having to haggle too much, at check in the receptionist waived the resort fee as we were ‘making a long stay’. It was only a 4 night stay, but not committing to $50/day spend instantly put us in a good mood.
    We cannot comment on the food as we always ate out, but the bar was great and the champagne ritual equals free champagne (2 glasses each!).
    If in NY again, I would absolutely consider cashing in Marriott points for a repeat visit.

    • Rob says:

      Still never been there for champagne sabering. Did see it in Istanbul St Regis though.

  • FlyingChris says:

    If you stay 5 nights or more, front desk will give you the option to waive the $50/night destination fee. Doesn’t advertise this in advance.

  • Kai says:

    Why do you have breakfast in the restaurant? You can order it via room service and as a Titanium member, it’s still free.

    • Rob says:

      Where’s the fun in that though?! I am in the room working for 8 hours anyway.

      • Kai says:

        So that you don’t have to get up at 6am or tip?

        • David says:

          I’d imagine there’s still pressure to tip room service…

          • Kai says:

            Tip (22%?) is applied automatically and waived altogether with room service, whereas if you go to the restaurant you need to tip separately I believe – weird I know.

  • Martin says:

    Who knew it existed – the sub culture of hotel corridors!!

    My personal favourite is the Four Seasons in Tokyo. The look & feel fitted both the hotel brand & the country perfectly.

  • Ian Johnson says:

    Whilst I enjoy a lot of your articles Raffles, I struggle with the notion of going to a museum simply because it’s ‘free’. I’ve also never considered how beautiful a hotels corridors are either!

    • Russ says:

      Ah but it’s a whole new world when your suite is on a separate floor and access is gained by private lift. Bit of a bugger though if your next night’s in a Holiday Inn 🙂

    • Tripadvisor says:

      That is the most drab dated hotel room. All thats missing is a blue rinse gran asleep, having fallen from her zimmer into one of those chairs.

      Rob, you genuinely spent eight hours in there during the day? I’m surprised NYPD’s finest didn’t find you on the pavement below.

      • Rob says:

        Photos do not do it full justice, same as IC Paris.

      • BFT01 says:

        The Edison at Times Square is more dated than that room, I had the unfortunate experience of staying there last year

    • Rob says:

      I always go to one or two of big art museums anyway. MOMA is shut and there were no shows elsewhere that appealed. Whitney I was passing anyway.

  • Lady London says:

    Photo of St. Regis corridors then, please?

    What is it about US hotels’ love of brown colouring? Unless done well and a natural part of the hotel such as an old mansion or a stately home, i find it depressing.

    I suppose it’s better than thr glaring bits of orange often found up to about Mercure level, in France. (Haven’t stayed yet enough at upper levels in France.)

  • Oli says:

    7.20am here at Astor Court for breakfast, only a small family and another couple sat here for breakfast. I would say I should have slept in but today the weather is glorious after a couple of days of rain and I did stay in for longer than i should have after checking in yesterday, taking in all the suite has to offer, so I am glad to get the day started early

    • Rob says:

      If you’re in 1735 you have mine 🙂 I had 1736 last year but view is worse in that.

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