This is an updated review of the Conrad Midtown that I visited in November 2019 shortly after it opened and again in November 2021 just as the US reopened for UK visitors. Due to Covid, some things had changed so the extra sections reflect the situation now. The hotel had also sorted out its opening issues as well.
I had almost given up on Hilton’s in New York until I found this Conrad which is now my go-to New York luxury hotel. Although the Conrad New York Downtown is OK (read my review here), it’s often super expensive and the service is variable. The Millenium Hilton is now also leaving the Hilton brand.
If you want to pay cash, your best bet is to book through a Hilton Impressario agent. These are luxury travel agents who are able to give extra Hilton benefits and you still get all the points and perks as a Hilton member the same as booking direct which is not the case with most travel agents. See below for more detail.
It’s worth noting that New York laws mean that to access the restaurant and fitness centre you will need to show proof of full vaccination. The NHS app or paper certificates are accepted.
What attracted me to this hotel was definitely the location as well as the promise of an all-suite hotel. It took just over 5 minutes to walk to the edge of Central Park from here. It was also walking distance to Times Square, Rockerfella Centre, 5th Avenue and most of the major stores such as Bloomingdales, Saks and Tiffanys.
You can read about what’s nearby and what is new in New York for 2021 in this article.
November 2019 – Things did not start well. I think the main issue was that the hotel had only been open a few weeks and it did not appear to be going for a soft opening with the number of guests I saw. The doorman offered to take our bags when we arrived but we declined as we had around 30 minutes before we had a tour in Central Park. Our plan was to hopefully get our room quickly or if it wasn’t ready (we were around 20 minutes ahead of check-in time) then store our bags and come back later. There was a long line for the solitary person on check-in and there were people and bags everywhere.
We stood in the queue for around 10-15 minutes but as we were now reaching the point we needed to leave, I decided we should just leave our bags and come back later. As there was no one else to be seen in the lobby apart from a concierge on the phone I went back outside to the doorman. Who refused to take our bags! I was quite taken aback at this point. Apparently, he can only take your bags outside the door and wheel them a couple of steps to the lobby! I explained our situation and he begrudgingly walked me to the concierge desk and left me there to wait another 5 minutes whilst he finished his phone call.
By this point, I was not amused. Eventually, the concierge got off the phone and pointed us the direction of the solitary bellboy who had just appeared. Of course, everyone swarmed around him so it still took some time to get the luggage stored. We were late for our tour so when we came back I asked for the manager to call me. He apologised profusely and I was offered compensation in points and he recognised my Diamond status. Although this was not an ideal check-in I am willing to cut them some slack as they had only just opened and I received more than adequate compensation. I think the doorman could do with some customer service training though!
This was a very different scene from my original visit. The hotel was on the quiet side but with a group of 20+ of us arriving at the same time, the hotel were extremely well organised. I double-checked whenever I went in and out of the lobby during my 2-night stay and never once did I see more than one or two people in line at reception. They seem to be a lot better organised. The doormen were exceptionally helpful during my trip so I have no complaints there either.
The Lobby was very glamourous though – I particularly liked the very lifelike bathing lady sculpture.
In New York hotels you can generally guarantee two things, they will be expensive and they will be roughly the size of a broom closet. This did not disappoint on being expensive but I have to say when I walked into the room I was wowed by the size. We did not receive an upgrade although we were on a high-ish floor. Though to be honest with rooms like this who needs an upgrade? All the rooms are suites and the room one up from the basic junior suite did not disappoint on size. One thing we did notice is that there was a bit of a lack of attention to detail with things like a handle missing for the sliding door. Hopefully, these will be rectified as people report teething troubles.
As you walked in there was a small hallway area with a bench.
Then you entered the very generous living room that had a proper dining table as well as a sofa and large TV.
I liked the style of the room which I would describe as classic/modern but it also felt more like an apartment than a hotel room.
There was a separate smallish bedroom with double door leading to it.
The bed was very comfortable with lovely quality 300 thread count sheets and the room was pretty quiet as well, again unusual for New York. There were all the usual amenities you would expect from a 5* hotel – slippers, iron & ironing board and some lovely robes that were silky outside but cosy inside. Next to the bed were two sockets each side, as well as USBs. The light switches were all very simple to operate, so more ticks in the box from me. We got two bottles of water for being Hilton Diamond but they were absolutely tiny!
Leading from the bedroom was a good-sized walk-in wardrobe.
This then led into a long narrow bathroom via a sliding door.
The bathroom looked beautiful but I was disappointed that a suite of this size did not have a bath. New York is the perfect place to have a long soak in the bath after a day in the freezing cold pounding the pavements! And yet due to size, it’s rare to find a new hotel with baths. There was a least a large shower that had decent pressure but I was surprised to see the bog-standard US showerhead rather than a rain shower.
I loved the enormous vanity area with enough room for even all my toiletries and makeup. The complimentary toiletries were one of Conrad’s standard brands – Shanghai Tang Mandarin Tea which I really like for its subtle and refreshing fruity fragrance. As well as the standard items there were a few extras such as mouthwash and a vanity kit. There was also a well-lit magnifying mirror and the lighting was excellent which is often not the case in hotel bathrooms.
Opposite the vanity unit was another mirrored unit with sockets which was handy for drying your hair. There were plenty of spare towels there too.
I was given a similar room this time which had some fantastic views of Central Park. All the little opening niggles had been taken care of.
This time I noticed a Nespresso machine which I hadn’t seen on the previous trip. Since I was working on this trip I also appreciated the numerous sockets dotted around including some in reach of the table for a laptop (but you need a decent length lead).
There was also a hygienic pack.
The toiletries were exactly the same as was the bathroom and bathrobes.
Breakfast and dining
The hotel has a bar and restaurant called Dabble for all day dining. Breakfast was served until 11am which is always a plus point if you have had a late night.
Dabble was smart and modern but again they seemed to be going through a few teething troubles in terms of staff training.
When we sat down the table was missing a few basics…
Things like teaspoons, butter and jam/marmalade all seemed to take them by surprise. Finding the milk was also a challenge. See if you can post it in the photo above!
As a Hilton Diamond, I got $30 breakfast credit per person per day for breakfast which I thought was reasonable. There was a choice of a la carte or buffet. The buffet looked OK if limited but the menu had some unusual choices so we went for that.
Here is the menu:
The food was a little disappointing at this level but still tasty:
I had the Huevos Rancheros which I order a lot in the US. It was well cooked but a little minimalist compared to what I would normally get. It was pretty much a tiny tortilla with two eggs on top and a small amount of salsa verde. My partner’s Shakshuka was again not really authentic with pached eggs swimming in sauce. It was also a bit overconcentrated with the tomato in the sauce:
During my stay the Dabble restaurant was closed as it was mid-week. Instead, breakfast was available on room service. In actual fact, I’d rather do this anyway so it’s no bad thing. Dabble is now open weekends Friday-Sunday for breakfast until 11am and open for dinner except Sunday and Monday.
Here is the room service breakfast menu:
The hotel doesn’t have a lot of facilities but it does a great gym which is large, well equipped and open 24-7.
It’s one of the largest hotel gyms in Manhattan and available exclusively for hotel guests.
- Strength and cardio equipment by Health Life
- Free bottled water and earphones
- Kinesis™ walls by Technogym®
It is also a good place to score come free bottles of water!
There’s no spa but guests who visit Exhale Spa at 150 Central Park South, and show their key card, will receive a 25% discount.
Pricing and how to book
You can usually get rooms between $350-750 which at the lower end is very reasonable for the amount of space somewhere like New York.
I travelled courtesy of British Airways Holidays in November 2021. Don’t forget they currently have a special offer for double tier points in BA Holidays for travel until 31 October 2022. Prices for an economy flight and 3 nights room only at the Conrad cost from £836 per person in June. 4 nights at the Conrad and Club World flights (all New York flights are currently scheduled to have the Club Suites) start from £2234 per person in June 2022. You can search for prices for the Conrad and BA flights using BA’s Holiday Finder page here.
Rooms start at 95,000 Hilton Honors points for the one-bedroom king suite like this. I think that is a good deal for the amount of space you get.
If you want to book flights and hotels separately, I’d suggest booking with a Hilton Impressario agent as you get a number of extra benefits on your rate:
- Complimentary Breakfast for 2 people
- $100 USD hotel credit per stay, or local currency equivalent
- Next category upgrade, subject to availability
- Double Hilton Honors points
You can also still collect Hilton points and use your benefits of Hilton status.
The hotel obviously had a few teething issues the first time I visited. The second time they had been open for a lot longer and everything seemed to be working well.
For me, the location and sheer size as well as quality of the rooms makes this my favourite hotel to stay in New York so far. Having a room that felt more like an apartment was a welcome break from the hectic buzz of New York. The comfortable bed and the quiet room also would make me recommend this hotel.
I would definitely return again for a third time and hope for an upgrade to a suite with a bath for my weary feet next time!