Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 In Review: Hotels

New York City:
I made around 12 trips to lower Manhattan and stayed in a couple of lower Manhattan hotels and some Times Square hotels as well. For my favorite it would have to be a tie between the Renaissance in Times Square or the Helmsley (a Starwood property). The Renaissance had a decent bar with good food (get the honey wings); something that was lacking from the other hotels - especially ones in lower Manhattan. I think that hotels figure you're going to be dining out.

The other Marriott properties I stayed at (Marquis, Lower Manhattan) disappointed. The former was too big - it was like staying in a space ship... the latter was overpriced and in spite of its isolation did not offer any decent amenities.

The Waldorf Astoria was nice, but not nicer than any of the nearby properties to a degree that justifies the inflated price.

View from the 16th floor of the Mariott Dadeland
Other lackluster properties:
The winner for most frustrating hotel has to be the Marriott Miami Dadeland. There's nothing remarkable about this hotel and its isolated location in a very not-pedestrian-friendly area doesn't help it.

The most frustrating quirk has to be the elevator system at the Sheraton in Portsmouth, NH. Only one of two elevators goes to the top (club) floor where frequent travelers stay. It seems counter intuitive to put your most loyal customers in the most inconvenient area to access. This property remains the best bet in Portsmouth however.






Noteworthy properties:
The Four Seasons Jackson Hole is a great property. I was there in October (off season) and enjoyed the amenities and service. The suite room was fantastic.

I also liked the Westin Jersey City. Rooms had great views of Manhattan and the city was a quick subway trip under the river. The restaurant in the lobby was very welcoming.

This property outside of Denver is a gem.

My favorite Hilton property was the Hilton Short Hills. Good proximity to a great mall with a Legal Sea foods and the best breakfast buffet I've encountered. The rooms were nicely appointed as well.

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