Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hotel Review: The W Times Square

Just got back from a whirlwind two-day trip to NYC where I became very familiar with the inside of a 12x25 conference room and the other occupants therein.

But I did have a chance to stay at the famous W Hotel on Times Square, so I figured I'd relay my thoughts to my loyal reader.

Like the majority of my colleagues, I voted for W as the place to stay. And like many of my colleagues, I regret choosing W.

In our defense, there aren't many good choices for hotels when you're choosing at the last minute. Ideally, we would have known in advance where we'd be going and could have used that knowledge to choose a better hotel candidate.

Several of my colleagues had chosen W only four weeks ago, and were willing to give W a second chance. So since it was a last-minute trip, we made the best decision from the options available. To be fair, W talked a good game.

On the surface W looks like a good hotel. You're greeted in the foyer by water flowing in the glass riverbed above your head. The welcome desk on the seventh floor features minimalist post-modern decor with thumping nouveau electronica club music piped in to compliment the constantly moving groovy lighting.

So the initial impression is the W is pretty cool, and you'll be happy choosing W as your hotel. But it doesn't take long to figure out that all the loud music, groovy d├ęcor and weirdo lighting is as much a distraction as anything.

My room was on the 43rd floor. Stepping out of the elevator, the lighting was very dim, the walls painted black and the floors covered with a dark gray Berber. As I neared my room, there was a distinct aroma of old, rotten water damage.

Inside my room, it was the same story. Everything seemed pretty good on the surface, but when you looked at the details you saw the lack of quality. There was mold on the bottom of the shower curtain. The handles on the plumbing fixtures were loose and seemed to do their own thing sometimes without my authorization.

W also insisted on ignoring my wishes with regards to the thermostat. It insisted on heating things up, even though I specifically wanted my room cooled off. I suspect there was some kind of hidden agenda behind W's actions, probably related to money and cooling costs.

In the end, W is responsible for the poor quality of the accommodations, though I suspect they got some bad advice from people claiming to be hotel experts. The advisers are probably the one's who suggested the night club The Whiskey in the basement of the building (The last thing W needs is whiskey).

So in conclusion, I'm not really happy with my decision to go with W, and I hope there will be a better hotel candidate available for future trips. I just hope the high-cost of the stay ($600 per night) hasn't done irreparable harm to my company.

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  1. Hotels are always "hit and miss."

    Off topic: Are you going to Manhattan on Saturday? My "don't jinx the alma mater" bones prevent excessive smack.


  2. $600 per night in Times Square? Your company got away with a good deal. Stupid overpriced coastal cities...

  3. That sucks. I stayed at The Hudson and I loved EVERYTHING about it. In fact, the sheets were so fanfrickingtastic, I dodn't want to get out of bed. EVER.

  4. I stayed at that W hotel years ago when the Twin and I were visiting New York for our first overnight stay back when we were 19 or so. I think.

    Anyway, it was the most awesome hotel I've ever stayed in, as I recall it now. All the people that worked there were young and pretty, and they seemed to have a uniform of black turtlenecks with gray pants, or something like that. The room was small but VERY cool, and while we tried to sneak into the Whiskey to hang out with my sister and her then-husband, it didn't fly. But I remember wanting to go back there someday when I was over 21 so I could officially hang out in what looked like a very cool bar.

    Glad to hear it's deteriorated at the same approximate rate I have. I still charge exhorbitantly huge amounts as well, so we have that in common, too.

    I wonder if the W in San Francisco is better kept?

  5. R.Sherman, I'm in no position to talk smack re: football, so in the immortal words of KU football fans of the passed, "Wait until basketball season!"

  6. Faith, The W is still as pretentious as ever and full of wannabe hipsters and posers.

    As for hotels on Times Square, I'll take The Millennium any day. It has genuine quality, and I saw Spiderman there the last time I stayed there.

  7. This reminds me of the hotel we stayed at in Denver on our honeymoon. It was called the Luna, and now goes by Jet. It's a complete crapheep by either name and the most expensive place we stayed at during our mountain adventure. Effing hipsters.

  8. I guess that's why I stay at Motel 6. $600 for a night? I should get a bj for that much money.


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