Sunday, September 9, 2007

Doubletree Suites Times Square New York

It appears this is my present hotel of choice when visiting NYC since my latest stay will be my fifth. Being my purpose is to enjoy the latest stage offerings on Broadway, this hotel is conveniently located on the corner of 47th Street and Broadway (actually 7th Ave) at the north end of Times Square (actually Duffy Square) and a few minutes walk to about a dozen theatres. One could leave the hotel fifteen minutes prior to an 8pm curtain and still arrive at the theatre with minutes to spare. In fact one theatre, the Palace, is located right below the hotel.

I usually request for a room on a high floor mainly to avoid the noise from the street below and for a better view. I also request for a room away from the elevator for the lack of foot traffic passing by my door. Remember this is a family-friendly hotel and noisy families can be a distraction.

The hotel is situated across the street from the TKTS half-price ticket booth (currently under re-construction) and next door to the Times Square Visitor Center and a 24-hour McDonalds. More about these spots will be discussed in a later post.

Unlike other hotels that bound Times Square, the Doubletree is an all-suite hotel soaring 45 floors. Although the room size is on par with, for example, rooms in the Marriott Marquis or Renaissance Times Square, the two-room set up makes the room feel more spacious. The living room area offers a second television, pull-out sofa bed, coffee table, desk and second mirrored sink area where below in a cabinet are stored a mini-refrigerator, microwave and safe. Free in-room coffee service is standard for all rooms. A USA Today newspaper is delivered to each room on weekdays and turndown service can be requested. To conserve energy, towels that you would like changed must be placed on the floor so housekeeping will know to replace them.
The living area makes the room useful for guests to host a little get together with family or friends in the city; business travelers for informal meetings; or for any hotel guest to enjoy a quiet in-room meal. So in a way it does matter that the bathroom in standard rooms do have separate doors to enter into, one from the bedroom and one from the living room.

This set-up helps to save time for parties of four especially when getting ready in the morning. No doubt the second sink makes the difference.

Although the hotel is friendly for families, singles and couples should feel welcome as well. The ground floor entrance is very unassuming with a security guard posted to be sure all entering have a hotel key card. The lobby is actually reached by taking the elevators to the third floor sky lobby. At check-in expect to receive a warm and delicious Doubletree signature chocolate chip cookie.

Due to the architecture set-up of the hotel, only three rooms on each floor actually face Broadway, but all other rooms still offer views of either Times Square South or Times Square North made even more striking from higher floors. Corner rooms offer a panoramic view of Broadway and Times Square North but feel a little tighter area wise than the hotel’s standard room layout.
The hotel has only one dining option. The Center Stage Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily with the Cabaret Lounge (a small bar) on the same floor. The fare is standard but the buffet breakfast has all egg dishes, waffles, pancakes and toast to order.

Rates at the Doubletree are on par with the brand hotels that bound Times Square. Expect room rates to start at about $250 during a low period to the outrageous during a peak month. Exepect some sticker shock when booking in a busy month like November. Try for mid-summer or January/February for more favorable rates. In all the Doubletree is a safe, secure and comfortable hotel with an often too hefty price for the location. A net direct rate offered on the hotel’s website requires full payment at booking and saves twenty dollars per night compared to the hotel’s current internet best rate. Not much but something substantial when considering the hotel taxes that are added to the bill.

One more note regarding sky lobbies. Several NYC hotels have this feature and getting in and out of the hotel can be a chore and a wait. Just ask the folks staying at the 50-story 1,800 room Marriott Marquis. However the Doubletree has 460 suites so even before and after the theatre, you can quickly return to refresh yourself and change or drop off your shopping finds and be back out enjoying the city in a jiffy. The size of the hotel probably allows the staff to be a little more attentive during your stay as well.

Check out for more informaton. The hotel is a part of the Hilton chain and members of the Hilton rewards program earns points with stays at the Doubletree. The hotel is located at 1568 Broadway, New York, New York 10036. Tel 1-212-719-1600.


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