In December, I took my family to New York City for a little Christmas magic before continuing our trip on to Boston to see family.
There are plenty of excellent hotel options to redeem points at in Manhattan. Despite having a room booked at the Park Hyatt New York, I ultimately decided that a 3-night stay at the Conrad New York Midtown using Hilton Honors points was our best option.
With a couple of free nights in my Hilton Honors account, I knew that I could get max value by redeeming them at an expensive property such as a Conrad.
Formerly The London NYC, this midtown hotel was completely renovated and rebranded in 2019, opened for a bit, and then closed due to the pandemic. Since it reopened, I have been eyeing it as a great potential spot for a family trip due to the room size, location, and, of course, the opportunity to earn or redeem points at it.
How was our 3-night stay? How many points did I burn? Do I want to go back? Let’s find out.
One of the biggest attractions of this hotel, besides being newly renovated and (at the time) only having suites, is the location.
The 562-room Conrad New York Midtown is located on West 54th Street in Midtown Manhattan. If you’re hitting NYC to be a tourist, this is a pretty darn good place to be based out of.
Just 5 blocks from Central Park, a quick walk to Times Square, 5th Avenue, and many other popular tourist spots, the Conrad has a very desirable address.
The hotel is 19 miles from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), where we arrived at 7 a.m. from Rio de Janeiro. The car ride from the airport took about 40 minutes with no traffic on a Saturday morning.
Guests coming from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) or LaGuardia Airport (LGA) should get in a little bit quicker.
Hot Tip: Looking for activities for kids in the Big Apple? Check out our list of best things to do in New York City with kids!
The Conrad New York Midtown is part of Hilton Worldwide, which means that guests can earn or redeem Hilton Honors points, or use free night certificates from credit cards such as the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.
Despite holding Hyatt Globalist status and having a reservation at the Park Hyatt New York, I kept an eye on rates at the Conrad because I had 2 Free Night Awards that I wanted to use. The only problem was that no standard rooms were available, only suites ranging from 299,000 to 1,045,000 Hilton Honors points per night — no, thank you!
Hilton Honors Points
Finally, about a week before our trip, some standard rooms opened up at 95,000 points per night, which meant I could redeem the free night certificates.
Rates were still starting around $700, so this turned into a great redemption. The $450 annual fee for the Hilton Aspire card seems steep at first, but if you can use all of the perks, it easily pays for itself and then some. I already got my money’s worth for the year before this trip, so this was really a free stay in my books.
After a quick call to Hilton to apply my free nights (you can see them online but still can’t book them online, which is annoying), I had a 3-night reservation in a suite in New York City. I booked 2 of those nights with free night certificates earned from my Hilton Aspire card and I paid for the third night using 95,000 points.
Since Hilton uses dynamic award pricing and rates for suites ranged from almost $700 to $2,400, prices to use points were pretty inflated.
Below are the other points options that were available during my visit:
- 1 Bedroom Suite, 1 King Bed — 95,000 points (what I booked)
- City View 1 Bedroom Suite, 1 King Bed — 299,000 points
- Park View 1 Bedroom Suite, 1 King Bed — 312,000 points
- Park View Premium 1 Bedroom Suite, 1 King Bed — 341,000 points
- Sky Suite, 1 King Bed — 813,000 points
Hot Tip: Where else can you stretch your points in the City That Never Sleeps? Check out our guide to the best New York City hotels to book with points for maximum value.
As a Hilton Honors member, I was allowed to check in the night before on the Hilton app, which I did before leaving Brazil. During the online check-in process, I was even given the option to select which room I wanted.
The hotel has 54 floors and I knew that if I wanted a chance at a Central Park view (without paying 312,000 points) I would need to choose a high floor towards the back of the building, so that is what I did.
After an overnight flight with 2 kids, we were welcomed to New York with some brisk and wet December weather. After piling into our Uber, we made our way towards Manhattan just after 8 a.m.
The address is famous enough that any driver in the area could find the hotel even without GPS leading the way, but the big “Conrad” sign at the base of the soaring hotel let us know we had arrived at our temporary home.
When the driver pulled up to the hotel, we were greeted by the hotel doormen who gathered our bags while my wife and kids ran inside to escape the rain and cold.
The lobby is relatively small with the restaurant on the right-hand side, the concierge and front desk to the left, and then a sofa and a pretty fun art display in the center of the lobby.
The lobby was buzzing, but after a very brief wait at the front desk, I told the agent that we were checking in but fully expected to just drop our bags and then go explore the area until the room was ready.
After some typing on her keyboard, she let me know that the room I had chosen or any potential upgrade was not available at the moment, but if we wanted to take a room on a lower floor we could check in right away. Yes, please!
The agent then asked to see our proof of COVID-19 vaccination, which is a requirement in New York City.
We knew we would be asked to verify vaccination status, so we downloaded the NYC COVID SAFE app on our phones ahead of the trip. The app is pretty basic as it just provides a place to store a photo of your ID, vaccine card, and recent test. Just showing a photo or providing our original vaccine card was also accepted throughout our stay in New York, so the app is not totally necessary.
Once everything was checked, we were handed our keys and made our way to our suite for a very early check-in!
Apparently, we were quite optimistic about being able to just hit the ground running, because checking in at 8:30 a.m. turned out to be a lifesaver. Being able to properly unload, freshen up, have a coffee, and make a game plan really set us up well for the rest of the day.
Hot Tip: New York’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements changed the week we arrived and will likely change again. Before visiting the city, be sure to check the Vaccine Key to NYC website.
As a Hilton Honors Diamond member, there is a long list of benefits, however not many made an impact on our stay.
The Diamond benefits at the Conrad New York Midtown were:
- Room upgrade upon availability
- $25 breakfast credit, up to 2 guests
- Premium Wi-Fi
- Free bottled water
Really the only thing missing at the Conrad was a lounge. The breakfast credit doesn’t go far, especially with room service. Otherwise, these perks were pretty “meh.” However, I absolutely consider that early check-in a great perk!
The front desk agent was hinting around the possibility of an upgrade had we wanted to wait to check-in.
However, being able to get a suite that early in the morning was worth more than any upgrade… hopefully. We will never know!
This is our second time staying at a Conrad property as a family. The first time, at the Conrad London St. James, the hotel gave our daughter a really cute stuffed English Bulldog.
I didn’t know if that was a location-specific amenity or not, but our kids were happy to find out that the Conrad New York Midtown had their own cuddly amenities as well!
While I was checking in, one of the front desk agents came around the desk and handed my son and daughter each their own stuffed teddy bear.
Dressed in a nice white shirt with a purple tie and a cute Conrad vest, these bears were (and still are) a big hit with our kids.
When we arrived home, they got nice and comfy next to their cousin from across the pond.
Fortunately, there was no resort fee at the Conrad New York Midtown. However, had there been, it would have been waived as I was a Hilton Honors elite member staying on award nights.
Unlike World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors does not guarantee its top-tier elite members a late checkout.
Fortunately, we left early on our day of checkout, so it wasn’t needed, plus, we were still quite happy with the early check-in.
The Conrad New York Midtown is a city hotel, so we weren’t expecting much when it came to property amenities. A pool would have been fun for the kids, but we didn’t have much time for lounging as we spent most of our time being tourists in New York!
One of the most impressive amenities at the Conrad New York Midtown was the fitness center. I can easily say it was one of the nicest that I have visited in recent travels, and it was enormous, especially by New York City hotel standards.
Located on the fourth floor of the hotel, guests can take advantage of “one of the largest hotel gyms in Manhattan.” It’s packed with modern cardio and strength equipment, plenty of free weights, stretching areas, and more — but no Peloton bikes, which seemed odd for a hotel and gym of this caliber.
Instead of Peloton bikes, there were a few LifeCycle bikes, which are fine… but these may be a disappointment to some. I got my steps in by walking the city, so I didn’t care that much.
One of the more interesting features, which I had not seen before, was the Kinesis wall by Technogym. I’m still not sure how it worked, but it looked cool.
There was a free weight station tucked into the corner.
A punching bag hung in the middle of the big entryway — another item that you don’t see very often.
And of course, a solid hotel gym wouldn’t be complete without a towel and water station, where I found myself stocking up since the waters in the room were so small.
No matter if you’re looking to get some cardio in, kickboxing, weight lifting, your own online class, or just some stretching and yoga, there were plenty of options (and space) for guests here.
If you are traveling to New York with your dog, you will be happy to know that the Conrad New York Midtown was pet-friendly.
Guests were allowed to bring dogs up to 75 pounds with them. The pet deposit fee is $75 per stay.
Free high-speed Wi-Fi is a benefit for Hilton Diamond members. However, I don’t remember selecting a premium internet option when logging on.
Regardless, internet speed was strong in the room, consistently providing around 30 Mbps during our stay.
This speed was more than enough as we really only used it to do some social media surfing after our days in the city.
Valet parking was available for guests for $75 per night, and that did not include in and out privileges. Yikes!
I needed to rent a car to drive to Boston, but I was sure to get it the day of checkout as to not get hit with that fee — which is not waived for elite members.
Hot Tip: Just past the hotel was an uncovered public parking lot. Rates were around $50 for 24 hours, so that may be worth checking out if you’re looking to save some money on parking.
New York in general was pretty strict when it came to COVID-19 protocols.
Proof of vaccination was required for check-in, dining, and use of the fitness center.
Throughout the hotel, guests and staff were required to wear face masks, which pretty much everyone did. And with the cold weather, masks helped keep our faces warm!
Hand sanitizing stations were available (and full) throughout the hotel.
The biggest attraction when booking this hotel was the size of the rooms. At the time of booking, Hilton was only selling suites, so a standard room was a 1-bedroom suite — sweet.
However, despite the website still displaying “all-suite hotel,” deluxe rooms are now being sold, which represents a pretty big devaluation. Now the same 95,000 points get less room.
Apparently, these deluxe rooms were previously only being sold to third-party online travel agencies (OTAs), but since late December 2021, that has changed.
After a quick ride up to the seventh floor, we found our suite. Had we waited for a room with a view, we would have had to take a different bank of elevators that go all the way to the 54th floor.
We were assigned room 712, which was about halfway down the hallway after taking a right out of the elevator. I believe there were only 2 other rooms past ours.
The suite is listed on the website at 500 square feet (46 square meters), but it felt bigger than that.
When entering the suite, there was a small entryway with a bench and mirror, a great place to drop bags and take off shoes before entering the room.
This little area really made the suite feel like a little apartment as it gave it a “homey” feel. The only things missing were some hooks to hang our jackets.
Right through the entryway was the modern and comfortable living room that had a sofa, coffee table, 2 end tables, a small dining table, a large minibar setup, and a TV stand with shelves.
The sofa was quite comfortable. However, the sofa did not pull out into a bed, which was a huge bummer for us.
We ended up requesting a cot, aligning it next to the sofa, and then covered them both with sheets to make a bed for the kids. It was not ideal, but it was comfortable for the little ones. Fortunately, the hotel did not charge us for the rollaway bed.
The table was a great spot to get a little work done in the evening and have room service breakfast in the morning.
Behind the table, next to the door to the bedroom, was a good-sized TV (maybe 50 inches?) and the shelves had some nice pieces of art and books which again helped make the suite feel more like an apartment — or “private pied-à-terre” as the hotel website repeated often.
On the other side of the doorway was a tall cabinet that housed the minibar and a bunch of goodies.
There was a nice array of beverages, both alcoholic and non.
Just beware, the minibar does have sensors as we found out after being charged for a Diet Coke when we tried to squeeze a water bottle in. The charge was quickly removed after a text to the front desk.
These snacks were tempting, but we had some good self-control!
The glassware was a nice touch.
The room came with 2 bottles of water, which were next to the Nespresso machine. However, they were mini bottles. So after making 2 espressos, we had used half of our supply.
Fortunately, 2 more bottles were restocked during turndown and there were some available in the gym, as well.
It was nice to have all of these items together and be able to hide them away with just a close of the door.
So far, everything was great, but this wouldn’t be a complete review without mentioning that the carpet was quite dirty with food crumbs and a wrapper under the couch. However, housekeeping took care of that while we were out.
As for the view, it was about what you would expect from the seventh floor of a building in Midtown Manhattan — a view of another building.
Obviously, a view of Central Park would have been awesome, but we didn’t end up spending much time (during daylight) in the room and the early check-in easily outweighed waiting for a higher floor.
Hot Tip: If you want to try and score a room with a view of Central Park, try to request a room above the 30th floor ending in “07” or “09.”
Through the doorway that had 2 swinging doors was the bedroom that also led to the bathroom via the walk-in closet.
The bedroom had a king-sized bed with 2 night tables, a bench, a big window, and a TV on a stand in the corner, with not much room for anything else.
The bed, sheets, and pillows were all very comfortable — especially after an international flight in economy and walking all over New York City.
Each side of the bed had both AC and USB outlets, which was great for charging all of our electronic gear at night.
The room was decorated with some nice pieces of art above the bed and stylish wall-mounted bedside lights, which again really made the room feel more than just a cookie-cutter hotel.
Immediately to the left when walking into the bedroom was the walk-in closet.
The closet had a full-body mirror (very important!) and a bench, as well as some drawers, shelves with extra linens, a small storage closet, luggage rack, an umbrella, and a lighted coat rack.
Oh, and some nice little slippers!
Inside the narrow closet was an iron.
And inside one of the drawers was a safe.
Through the closet was the stunningly beautiful bathroom.
Covered from floor to ceiling in white tile and marble, this was arguably the nicest part of the suite. The only downside was that there was no door, so if you wanted some privacy, you would need to close the closet.
The single sink sat in front of a massive border-lit dimmable mirror with 2 outlets.
Amenities were a mix of Crabtree & Evelyn and Shanghai Tang.
Opposite the sink and vanity, next to the shower, was another mirror with outlets and shelves for extra towels and a hairdryer.
The all-glass shower had excellent water pressure with both a showerhead and handheld option.
My only complaint was that water would find its way out through the bottom of the shower door, leaving the bathroom quite wet after 4 showers.
Hanging next to the shower were 2 very soft Conrad-branded robes.
And, finally, in the back of the bathroom was the toilet.
Food and Beverage
Dining options were quite limited at the Conrad New York Midtown, with room service being the only option during the week.
But that’s ok because we didn’t come to New York to eat at the hotel. Let’s review what you can expect during a visit to the Conrad.
The Conrad New York Midtown’s only restaurant is Dabble.
Located just off the hotel lobby, Dabble is a rather elegant spot, but not too stuffy. With a nice dinner and cocktail menu, this could be a good spot for a date.
When we walked by the windows while returning to the hotel on Saturday night, the restaurant was busy and had a vibrant atmosphere.
However, we only visited for breakfast on Sunday morning because it was closed for the remainder of our stay.
For guests looking for a decent hotel breakfast while staying at the Conrad New York Midtown, visiting Dabble on the weekends is your only choice.
On Sunday morning, my wife, 2 kids, and I had breakfast at Dabble, and it was quite ok.
When we arrived, we showed our proof of vaccination and were seated in a nice cozy booth.
We were quickly attended to by a very friendly waiter who handed us menus and told us that our youngest child (3 years old) wouldn’t be charged for breakfast.
The breakfast menu only had 2 options:
- Continental Breakfast: Buffet variety including coffee, juice, pastries, yogurt, granola, preserves, and butter — $25
- American Breakfast Buffet: Buffet variety including coffee, juice, eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, oatmeal, pastries, yogurt, granola, preserves, and butter — $45
As a Hilton Diamond member, we had a $50 daily food and beverage credit to use or lose. As you can see, $50 doesn’t even cover hot breakfast for 1 person after tax and tip… a far cry from Hyatt Globalist status where my family of 4 can have daily breakfast for free.
Our kids ended up sharing the American Breakfast Buffet while my wife and I each had the Continental Breakfast. Both options serve from the same buffet, so if you choose the continental, just don’t grab anything hot.
The hot buffet was decent, with a standard lineup of bacon, watery eggs, and potatoes.
My son particularly liked the (stale) mini pancakes.
The continental side had some fresh pastries and bagels.
As well as some fruits, yogurts, and cereals.
Overall, breakfast was fine but expensive and ultimately nothing special. While it was pleasant and convenient, we found room service to be a better use of the daily credit.
Dabble was open Saturday and Sunday for breakfast from 6:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. and Friday and Saturday for dinner from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Since Dabble was closed during the week, the only option (besides ordering delivery) for food or drink at the Conrad New York Midtown was room service.
This ended up working out better for us anyway because it was quicker (if we ordered in time) than sitting down at the restaurant, plus we could be a little more strategic with our $50 credit.
The room service menu was actually more complete than the dining room, with options for pancakes and omelets, which was interesting.
Our go-to order was buttermilk pancakes topped with fruit and an order of scrambled eggs that came with potatoes, toast, and bacon.
With the coffee maker in the room and the $50 credit, this was the closest we could get to a free breakfast. However, the $10 delivery fee and 17% gratuity put us over by a few bucks.
Not bad for breakfast in NYC, but not a lot of food for 4 people.
Room service was open daily for breakfast from 6:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. There was no lunch service. A digital menus was available.
Lobby Coffee Station
During the weekend there was a cute little coffee stand in the lobby.
Located right outside of Dabble, guests could serve themselves some complimentary coffee in to-go cups.
This was much needed when we arrived early on Saturday morning, but I was quite disappointed when I went to grab a cup on Monday morning!
Free coffee was available on Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 a.m. until 10 a.m.
Without much to do on property, we didn’t really have too many interactions with staff. This hotel very much had a residential vibe to it where guests came and went as if they were residents staying in their own apartment.
However, in the few moments that we did interact with the staff, the service was impeccable.
From check-in, where the agents got us into a room way earlier than expected and gifted my kids some cute stuffed animals, to the housekeeping that was very responsive to our requests, to the dining room staff who were memorable despite there being buffet service, I have nothing but compliments for the team.
Even the door staff was awesome as one of the doormen helped me rearrange our luggage about 10 times until we got it to fit into our shockingly unaccommodating Nissan Murano rental from Hertz.
Overall, our stay at the Conrad New York Midtown was very good and was everything we were looking for to make our Christmas trip to NYC special.
Getting the space of a suite was awesome as a family of 4, and being able to pay with Hilton Honors points made it even better. However, now that the hotel is selling deluxe rooms for the same price, I find it hard to get as much value from the same amount of points. That is a big devaluation in my book and already has me considering other options for my next stay in New York City.
The limited hours (and staffing) for food and beverage outlets is an issue that most hotels and restaurants are dealing with in the U.S. right now due to COVID-19. But besides that, the food (especially room service) we had was pretty good. My only complaint would be regarding how little you can get with the Hilton Diamond elite credit, but that has more to do with Hilton than the actual property.
Otherwise, the location is unbeatable for being tourists in New York City. The staff was great, and the rooms were spacious, modern, and comfortable. Really not much more you can ask for!
All said and done, it was a great redemption and I hope that it continues to be a good value moving forward.
If you are considering staying at the Conrad New York Midtown and have some questions, leave them in the comments or come join our private Facebook Group, Level UP Travel, and ask them there!
The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.