Element New York Times Square: An industrial disaster

Still on the same business trip to New York, I booked in this hotel located near Times Square. From a marketing point of view, everything seems perfect: the location, the very sleek rooms, the very ” boho ” concept… Let’s see how the Element New York Times Square fares… And it won’t be brilliant.

Booking

As usual, I made my reservation without a glitch on the SPG website. Finally, without a glitch, except for the price. Nearly $250 + taxes per night for a half-service hotel is not cheap.

I changed my reservation several times and fortunately was able to limit my stay to one night. It wasn’t for avoidance purposes at first, but in the end, I was right…

Arrival

I walked to the hotel from the W Times Square. The district is already more dreadful, some homeless vociferating around this block located at two steps of the Bus Terminal.

Element New York Times Square West

The exterior of the hotel is not very attractive, but the lobby is absolutely disastrous: low ceiling and especially very crowded by travelers waiting for who knows what with tons of luggage: obviously, the hotel must work with tour operators and the common areas are largely undersized.

Element New York Times Square West

The reception is rather cold. No recognition of status, obviously no upgrade, a room on a rather low floor, and a green paper bag containing a bottle of water and a cereal bar. What a joke!

Room

Located on the 30th floor of the property, the room is very basic. Where are the beautiful pictures of the website? The reality is really quite different. Already, despite its relatively recent age, the furniture is worn out. Then, the room is also cluttered, badly arranged, not ventilated, and especially dirty, very dirty. There are crumbs everywhere. The air conditioning makes a hellish noise, it is under the window and it is almost impossible to sleep with.

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

The bathroom is a good size, and the presence of a shower (not a tub) is nice.

Staff members will come knocking on my door several times and bother me while I’m working to find out when I’m checking out. At the third time, I get annoyed and tell them to check with the reception what is my check-out time, in this case it is 4pm.

Hotel facilities

Element New York Times Square West

The facilities of the hotel are very basic. However, a gym is available in the basement of the property.

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

The latter, although equipped with good quality machines, has a very low ceiling height. Because of my height, whenever I used the treadmill, my head would hit the ceiling. Very unpleasant!

Restaurants

The hotel has no restaurant. Nevertheless, travelers should be offered breakfast. This one is free (or rather systematically included) and can be taken behind the reception. The promise of a hot offering is a joke, since it’s bagels you can toast. What a scandal!

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

Element New York Times Square West

The hotel also offers a free snacking service in the evening between 5 and 7 pm, which I could not try

Departure

The departure formalities were carried out without problem. When I was asked how my stay was and I said “really bad”… Well, no reaction. Crazy. Thankfully Starwood had taken care of me after I posted some pictures on Twitter!

Conclusion

A hotel not worthy of displaying a Starwood sign, with a staff in the fourth basement of hospitality.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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