Staying at the DoubleTree Suites in Times Square during NYE celebrations

This review will be more about life at the DoubleTree around the New Year’s Eve celebrations, since that is when we stayed at this property, and needless to say, it is NOT business as usual during New Year’s. For reviews of this property at other times of year, you can refer to TripAdvisor.

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We had friends and family book a combined 4 rooms at the DoubleTree Suites Times Square for the New Year’s Eve 2014 celebration using Hilton Honors points over a year in advance at a time we happened to see the rooms going for 50,000 points per night, so we went all in and booked what we could, as there were 14 of us. Our rooms were going for $3,600 per night at the time of booking, so it goes to show you that when it comes to Hilton points value, not all hope is lost.

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This hotel has one of the best locations in the sense that it is right on Times Square, although there aren’t a ton of rooms with a ball drop view.

In preparation for New Year’s Eve, you will receive detailed instructions from the hotel and a clearance letter you can show to police to let you through the barricades. It is very important that you follow their instructions. The hotel was a madhouse in the sense that the lobby had a 50 person line at check in the day of arrival, bags all over the public areas, and security pretty tight controlling guest access to and from the hotel. To their credit, the hotel handled the crowds and the day very efficiently, and all hands were on deck for the evening. The staff was very courteous and professional.

Lobby:

The lobby is on the hotel’s third floor. It is well decorated, but it was really dark because the hotel is being renovated. It felt also somewhat small. With so many people checking in at the same time and all the luggage, it was very cramped and tough walking around. The line was about 30-40 minutes long!

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In advance of arrival, check in and other info:

One member of our party had Hilton Diamond status, and the rest of us had Gold, so we all received free breakfast coupons for our stay. The hotel was full of Diamonds that day, so lots of free breakfast and extra points flying around.

If you’re Diamond and are expecting to get upgraded to a room with a view of the ball, shake it off right now, as it’s not going to happen. The rooms are only available to book with money, and when we booked a year in advance, they were going for around $10,000 per night. Two nights before NYE, they were going for $7,000, but then they were all sold out. While we asked many times anyway during the past year, we were specifically told that no member would be upgraded to those rooms. The hotel also has “Party Rooms”, which are suites that face the stage and the celebrations, but do not have a view of the ball. Those were available for about $800 at time of check in, and there was an upgrade list, but again, no complementary upgrades even for Hilton Diamonds.    

For New Year’s Eve, the hotel issued a special room key that said “2014” in it, and you needed to show the key to get into the hotel.

The Room:

The DoubleTree Times Square is an all-suites hotel, so each room has a separate bedroom plus a living room with a workstation, sofabed and chair, small fridge, kitchenette and bathroom with access through the living room and the bedroom. For such a central location and old building, the rooms are very spacious and we really enjoyed our stay in them. The bed was very comfortable.

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Ginger’s:

The restaurant (named after Ginger Rogers) was relatively small, but at the times we went there wasn’t a long wait considering the hotel was sold out. We used our free breakfast vouchers and ate a nice $65 buffet on the house. They have an omelet station, and all kinds of fruits, pastries and assorted breads. Very high quality. The service wasn’t too personal both times we ate there, but we still tipped well since NYC is very expensive.

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Amenities:

With our Hilton Gold status, we also had free internet, which was pretty decent. Again, breakfast was free thanks to our status. In fact, every member of our party had Gold status or higher obtained in several different ways, so we all received free breakfast and really got our money’s worth. The hotel has a gym, but with all the crazy planning and running around we were doing, we didn’t even visit.

Overall impression:

Overall, I was glad to see that the staff and management really had their act together when it came to dealing with all the arrivals and foot traffic, NYPD access restrictions and sidewalk closures, and overall stress of the NYE experience. The hotel is in a great location, and I would love to stay there at a less hectic time. The rooms are great, and the views are amazing. In a later post, I will detail how we handled the actual ball drop view without having a room with a view and without having sidewalk access. It took a lot of planning, but it worked out perfectly.

What were you up to on New Year’s Eve? We hope it was memorable!

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6 Responses to Staying at the DoubleTree Suites in Times Square during NYE celebrations

  1. That sounds like a fun night staying in Times Square but wow those rooms sure were going for a lot of money!

  2. Jen says:

    Are you able to watch the stage from the hotel?

  3. travelguys says:

    Jen, if you get a “party room”, which usually cost more money, then yes. Those rooms face the stage, but most don’t face the ball, unless it’s a ball drop view, which I believe are all corner rooms and you can then see the stage and the ball. There are no public areas I’m aware of inside the hotel that face the stage, other than those party rooms, which were going for about $800 to upgrade to.

  4. Mike says:

    Do you think it would be worth paying an additional $800 to see the stage? Can you open your windows and hear the music?

    • travelguys says:

      If it was $800 only I would probably pay it, but that’s just me. Our room windows opened just a little, so I assume they all do.

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