What? New York, The Big Apple, the city that never sleeps. It’s my favourite city (after London of course, my loyalty runs deep) and on my last visit, I wanted to go all out, I wanted to go big, I wanted to stay right in the heart of the city: Times Square. So, I headed to W New York – Times Square, a minute from Times Square? Check. Two seconds from a Starbucks? You betcha. 99 cent pizza so close you can smell it? Yep. It had everything I needed for my all-American stay.

New? Nope, it’s been open since 2001, but it’s sleek and swish, there aren’t scuff marks around, it could have easily opened yesterday.

Where? Right by Time Square, you’ll find it at 1567 Broadway, 47th Street, New York, NY 10036, www.wnewyorktimessquare.com

Rooms: There are 509 rooms in the hotel, ranging from Wonderful Rooms, through to the Extreme Wow Suite, regardless of how high or low your room is (try and get as high as possible for the best views) all rooms come with 49” flat screen TVs (or bigger), bathrobes and Bliss toiletries which included extra touches like an exfoliator mitt. What you don’t get however is free WiFi, a small point but one that makes all the difference if you don’t want your phone bill to make you wince when you see it. We were staying up on the 52nd floor in a Cool Corner Room, which gave us two windows so we could look out over the sprawling city not below us, but standing tall around us. The room was filled with a King sized bed that enveloped us in a big all American way each night, a desk, chaise sofa and, in the corner a glass enclosed voyeur shower – their words not mine. It really is just frosted glass, so be prepared to bare all. It was my first holiday with my boyfriend and he now can’t escape from having seen me use both the shower (perhaps seductive?) and the loo (most certainly not). Just keep this in mind when booking. The only downside to the room was that there was nowhere to store your clothes, no drawers or wardrobes and I haven’t quite mastered packing lightly yet. That said, as far as New York rooms go (they have even less space than us in London) the room was big, bright and you just can’t beat waking up to the sight of New York as you lie in bed.

Bar: The hotel’s main bar is the Living Room. Although if  you think that means it’s all cosy sofas, twee wallpaper and a homely feel then you’d be wrong. The space is chic, with a DJ ball inspired by Times Square’s New Year’s Eve, private booths and the sort of music that you’d imagine a slick New York bar to have. Neon lights, geometric shapes and touches of Art Deco bring the look together, if the decor sounds busy, then bar definitely is, it’s clearly popular so make sure you book if there’s a group of you.  If you head there on a Monday you’ll find Live in the Living Room, weekly performances from up and coming and established musicians.

Restaurants: The hotel has two restaurants, Blue Fin and Dos Caminos. If you think London is expensive for drinks, then welcome to New York and they get you, because the prices don’t include tax or tips. They’re sneaky.  So when we heard about Dos Caminos happy hour we knew we were on to a good thing. The Mexican restaurant designed by Brooklyn-based hOmE, sits on the ground floor and lower ground floor of the hotel. The happy hour isn’t so much an hour but rather a happy few hours. It runs from 3pm – 6pm and 9pm until close (Monday -Friday) and you can’t go wrong with a prickly pear frozen margarita for just $8 or guacamole with tortilla chips for $6. Otherwise on the full menu you’ll find sections dedicated to Mexican street food, tacos, ceviches and more substantial dishes like skirt steak asada with tomato chipotle salsita, borracho beans, queso chile toreados, cilantro chimichurri and tortillas.  It’s fun, the staff are having fun and they want you to have fun, their enthusiasm is infectious – it’s the sort of place you’d want to start your night at, or if you’re not just planning on going for drinks and things to nibble at ,then I’d suggest booking a table downstairs where it’s a little quieter.

The other restaurant is Blue Fin, designed by Robert McKinley, it rather reminds me of a Martin Brudnizki designed restaurant, (Sexy Fish and Scarfes Bar in London and Sessanta in New York). It brings together oranges, blues and a striking wall which makes me think of the curve whited lines on the underside of a Blue Whale. Spread out across three levels you’ll find a street-level sushi bar led by Chef Boo “Mike’ Lim, an upper level bar and lounge area with communal area and private dining rooms and on the lower floor the main restaurant. It was the cheeriest place to start the day, I know some people find Americans overly happy, like eager puppies, the Tigger to England’s Eeyore, but I can’t get enough of it. Visiting for breakfast I had quite possibly the biggest, fluffiest omelette stuffed with avocado, cheese and sausages and there was an equally excellent huevos rancheros. Visit for dinner and you’ll find a predominantly seafood and sushi menu although you will of course find a steak and burger.

Things to do: You’re in New York, you can do anything, you can even get tickets to see Hamilton if you speak with the concierge, they are miracle workers; as long as you have a few hundred dollars to spare. If you do have some down time on your stay and don’t want to spend your whole time eating and drinking then head to the gym. It’s divided into two rooms, there’s a good range of equipment, plenty of free weights, flex and cardio machines. If gymming isn’t your thing, then the hotel is also home to the “Style Lab” which is in partnership with CEMA Creative.  A secretive shopping pitstop, “Style Lab” offers guests and visitors the opportunity to peruse a carefully curated selection of distinctive clothing, travel gear, and gifts from local and emerging designers.

Go With: Of course if you take into account the bathroom then someone you don’t mind seeing you in your birthday suit. Otherwise it’s New York, take someone who wants to explore, eat, dance all night and revel in the buzzing energy.

Final Word: From the location and restaurants, to the staff who couldn’t do enough to help us, I couldn’t recommend W New York Times Square more. Yes it it’s going to be more expensive than if you stay further out of the area or if you go for an Air BnB, but sometimes you just need to go all out.

Like This? Try These: InterContinental New York Times Square, Hyatt Centric Time Square New YorkW London Hotel in Leicester Square

W New York Times Square: 1567 Broadway, 47th Street, New York, NY 10036
www.wnewyorktimessquare.com

Images: W New York Times Square


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