Ever since staying at the St Regis in Florence I was hooked. I currently stay in NYC fairly often, at least once a month, and usually book a cheap SPG hotel like a 4 Points by Sheraton. This time, however, I log on and check prices for this past Friday night and find that since we are entering the high season in NYC the average hotel price is expectedly high but for some reason the price for the St Regis, which is normally astronomically high, is less than half its normal average. I assume that this means that for some reason it’s under booked. In addition if this is true then my chances to obtain a suite upgrade are fairly high. So for only about $130 more than my second choice, I decided to splurge on what could possibly be my only time staying at the original St Regis hotel and I applied one of my 4 remaining advanced suite upgrade certificates. I say only time becasue I actually prefer to allocate my spend, points or cash, on exclusive hotels at more secluded, beach, or ski locations. In a city I do fine with a normal hotel.
Some people prefer to spend their travel budget on other parts of their travel and I totally understand that but the more I travel the more I have begun to shift my outlook. I used to take long trips pinching every penny on airfare, hotels and even taking slow regional trains for the purpose of spending all my money on as many food experiences as I could afford. And while I look back fondly on those trips, I have also learned that I personally enjoy a trip more if I elevate the whole trip even if I have to sacrifice length or that 4th fine dining experience (this last part is hypothetical as I’ve never skimped on food just length of the trip).
Anyway the St Regis in NYC is especially special becasue it’s the original St Regis hotel opened in 1904. The hotel was built by the Astor family which also built the eponymous Waldorf-Astoria. I arrived at the hotel at 3:30pm and my room wasn’t ready. Even though early check-in is one of the perks of hotel status I am more than happy to give it up if it means waiting for a suite. Plus waiting in NYC isn’t a hard thing to do.
After a short stint in the city and a drink at the King Cole Bar, I received a call telling me my room was ready. I picked up my key and made my way to my room. It was stunning and enormous. I have to mention that the room was made up of a formal foyer with the living room one one side and my bedroom on the other. Complete with two bathrooms.
The bedroom was stunning and located on a corner room yet the views from this hotel aren’t good at all as the city has grown around this hotel. When it was built it was the tallest hotel building in the USA and now I’m sure it’s not top 50 in NYC.
With my love of travel it’s no surprise that I’ve always loved suitcases. So for this weekend I chose to grab my “horsesaddle,” as my little brother calls it.
I appreciate fresh fruit in my hotel room and even more I was delighted to see that the non-descript coffee machine located in every hotel room here was upgraded to a Nespresso machine, which I took full advantage of.
The Nespresso machine was located in a little wet bar area located to the right of the foyer. It was well stocked with plates, cups, wine glasses, ect.
There were two identical bathrooms. Which were beautifully laid out in marble from head to toe. Also for a more modern touch there is a TV hidden in the mirror.
I also want to point out that even the air vents have the St Regis logo.
Summing up my stay here is challenging. On one hand it was one of the most beautiful hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in. On the other, however, the service at this hotel wasn’t anywhere near the service at other St Regis hotels I’ve stayed at in the past. Currently I’ve stayed at 4 St Regis properties, Florence, Mexico City, Aspen, and NYC, and this one had the worst service out of all of them. Not that it had bad service per se, rather it had a very hands off approach to service. This is a hotel that prides itself with its butler service. I apparently had a butler during my stay yet I never saw him. I even tried to prod him out by ordering a cappuccino in the morning. He almost sounded annoyed when I called the butler line and he replied, “I’ll order one for you from room service.” In Florence the morning coffee ritual came delivered by our butler personally with the morning newspaper plus a banana cake or the like. I mention this not to sound like a snob, although I know I am accomplishing that, but to point out that a service that is advertised to be so lackluster is kind of a buzz kill.
All in all though I really enjoyed my stay here. It was the nicest hotel I’ve stayed in NYC to date. The problem though is the price. It’s just simply not worth it. If I’m ever in the mood to splurge for a NYC hotel in the future I’ll stay at The Chatwal which although not quite as nice as the St Regis comes close. And as far as spending points here is just that I would prefer to stay at the St Regis Aspen or Deer Valley for the same amount of points so I don’t find value there either.