Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
- Checking In
- The Lobby
- The Room
- Food and Beverage
- Surrounding Area
- Final Thoughts
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Getting and maintaining World of Hyatt elite status is not easy, as the brand has a smaller presence compared to the other major hotel chains. But having World of Hyatt status is a boon if you’re a frequent traveler, as it confers perks such as upgrades, early and late checkout, and more.
With just a few days remaining in 2023, I realized I was just 1 night short of keeping my Hyatt Explorist status through February 2025. I didn’t have the time to book a trip out of the country or even a quick getaway to close destinations such as Philadelphia or Washington, D.C.
Luckily, Hyatt has a decent presence in New York City, where I live, which made finding a hotel a breeze. After considering cost and points options — and ensuring the hotel was pet-friendly — I settled on Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel in Manhattan’s Financial District.
This was not my first stay at Gild Hall; I visited the property back in 2021 on a (very similar) cheap mattress run (meaning I booked a hotel I wouldn’t otherwise need to qualify for status). I enjoyed my stay then, even with COVID-19 restrictions at the hotel, and was eager to see what had changed since my last stay.
Follow along to see what I loved – and didn’t love – about Gild Hall.
Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel, is located at the corner of Gold Street and Platt Street in the Financial District.
It’s one of just 3 Hyatt hotels downtown. The others either had no points availability that day (Hyatt Centric Wall Street New York) or were too expensive for a 1-night mattress run (The Beekman, also a Thompson hotel and a whopping Category 8 property).
Business and leisure travelers alike will appreciate Gild Hall’s fantastic location in FiDi. It has an absolutely prime location in the Financial District, putting you a stone’s throw to many popular attractions, dining, and public transit.
If you’re flying and plan on taking public transit to the city, the hotel is most accessible from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). You’ll board NJ TRANSIT from the Newark AirTrain, which will take you to New York Penn Station. From there, you’ll board a downtown-bound 2 or 3 train to Fulton Street. The trip should take around an hour if there are no delays.
From John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), you’ll take the AirTrain to the Howard Beach Station, board the A train, and depart at Fulton Street.
Finally, if you’re arriving in New York via the Amtrak or a bus company like Greyhound or FlixBus, you should have no trouble getting downtown via the A, C, 1, 2, or 3 lines.Hot Tip:
Walking Around the Financial District
After settling into my room, I took my dog, Migo, out for a stroll around FiDi. As a Brooklynite, I don’t find myself downtown often, and with a full day at my hands, I set out to explore with no specific destination in mind.
We stopped at the “Fearless Girl” and “Charging Bull” statues, the FDNY Memorial Wall, and the New York Stock Exchange and wrapped up our walk at Battery Park. Given how close things are downtown, you can cross much off your list in 1 or 2 days.
With just 3 days left before the end of the year, I had few choices for a mattress run.
New York is perhaps the world’s most sought-after destination for the New Year. With millions of tourists pouring into the city – many of whom elect to stay in Manhattan – I figured I wouldn’t have much luck finding affordable cash or points rates. I was wrong. Even ahead of a major holiday, I quickly found points and cash options available at a myriad of hotels.
I mentioned that I booked this mattress run to keep my Explorist status for another year. But there was another reason I chose to book 1 more night before the end of the year: to score a coveted Category 1-4 certificate.
Earning a Category 1-4 Free Night Certificate
You have 3 main ways to earn Category 1-4 free night certificates through Hyatt.
The first way is to stay at 5 different Hyatt brands (known as the 5-Brand Free Night Award or Hyatt Brand Explorer). This is a method I use often, especially as Hyatt acquires more brands globally, such as Dreams Resorts & Spas, JdV by Hyatt, and Sunscape Resorts & Spas.
I’ve stayed at the Thompson brand before (in New York and Washington, D.C.), so I wouldn’t be earning a Brand Explorer credit on this stay.
Another way to earn a free Category 1-4 night certificate is by holding The World of Hyatt Credit Card. You’ll earn a Category 1-4 free night certificate on each card anniversary when paying the annual fee. You can also spend $15,000 on the card in a year for an additional Category 1-4 free night certificate.
Finally, the last way to earn a Category 1-4 night certificate — and what I did during this stay — is by staying 30 qualifying nights (or earning 50,000 base points in a calendar year). Towards the end of the year, I realized I was short 1 night and began plotting how to close the gap for Explorist status and earn a free night award.Hot Tip:
The World of Hyatt card is among my favorite cards, as it comes with complimentary Discoverist status (as long as your card is open), qualifying night credits towards elite status, plus up to 9x points for Hyatt stays.
With just 3 days before the New Year, room rates at Gild Hall were just $252 for a 1-night stay in a king room. There were some additional charges, such as the mandatory $75 per stay pet fee for Migo, that I wasn’t super thrilled about. But pet fees are becoming standard across hotel chains, and it’s a charge I’m used to at this point.
All told, my 1-night stay cost $428, including the room rate, minibar, breakfast, drinks, and the mandatory pet fee. I felt the price was extremely reasonable, given the location downtown and New Year’s Eve just a few days away.
Note that this hotel does include a daily destination fee of $32.50, which is waived for Globalists. Destination fees can get a bad rap — and rightfully so in some cases — but Gild Hall’s fee seemed to cover a ton of amenities, such as:
- 10% off at Felice
- 2 welcome bottles of water
- Fitness studio access on the property and a 1-Day pass at Crunch Gym per stay per room
- In-room entertainment
- Local phone calls
- Morning Coffee and tea service from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- Press reader access
- Up to 2 free 30-minute Citi bike passes per room (1 per registered guest)
- Use of vintage-inspired bicycles
- Welcome glass of Prosecco (per guest) upon arrival
- Additional discounts at area attractions, tours, and wellness locations
As you can see, the fee covers a ton of perks, from getting around to in-room amenities to dining at the hotel, and even gives you discounts on tourist activities. If you’re a first-time visitor to New York, attractions can add up, so this isn’t the worst way to institute a destination fee.
I chose a standard king room and paid for this cash room using The World of Hyatt card, my go-to card for Hyatt stays. Currently, the card has a generous welcome offer for new cardholders: Earn 35,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months. Plus, up to 30,000 additional points by earning 2x in the first 6 months on purchases that normally earn 1x, on up to $15,000 spent.Hot Tip:
Gild Hall also participates in Hyatt Privé. Generally, when booking a Hyatt Privé rate, you’ll receive complimentary breakfast for 2, a 1-category upgrade, a property credit, early check-in, and more on stays of at least 2 nights. Reach out to Leigh Rowan on our team at firstname.lastname@example.org; as a top-tier Hyatt Prive agent he can book your upcoming stay with the best perks.
Paying Cash vs. Using Points
Gild Hall is a Category 5 hotel, which means award nights start at 17,000 points per off-peak night, 20,000 points per standard night, and 23,000 points per peak night. While those prices are excellent for Manhattan, I was running low on World of Hyatt points due to several upcoming trips in 2024 and elected to pay cash instead of points.
I paid for the stay using my World of Hyatt card, which offers up to 9x on Hyatt stays. World of Hyatt points are some of the most challenging points to earn, but they’re extremely valuable at 1.7 cents each.
Just a few days after my stay, my points were posted to my account: 1,683 base points for the stay, plus a 20% bonus for being a World of Hyatt Explorist, for a total of 2,020 points. Given our valuations, this haul is worth about $34.
Using My World of Hyatt Explorist Status
I lost World of Hyatt Globalist status last year, but I maintained Explorist status, which still offers some decent perks.
One of my favorite perks is early check-in and late checkout. Explorists receive a 2 p.m. late checkout (when available), which was fantastic as I got to have a lie-in after breakfast. Explorists also receive 2 bottles of water upon check-in (same as Discoverist), upgraded rooms (excluding Suites and Rooms with Club lounge access), and guaranteed availability (72 hours).
I had a smooth commute from my home in Brooklyn for this 1-night staycation at Gild Hall. A friendly doorman greeted Migo and me upon arrival.
After taking my credit card and acknowledging my Hyatt Explorist status, the front desk attendant welcomed me back to the hotel and explained how to access the Wi-Fi, get coffee from the lobby, and what to know about the 2 on-site restaurants.
Upon checking in, I also received a welcome glass of sparkling wine, which was a nice touch.
Like many Thompson hotels, Gild Hall is dark in aesthetics, with a moody-colored interior. At other hotels, the decor might feel impersonal or even cold, but there was a sense of warmth here.
Aside from several single chairs and couches, there were few places to sit, and the lobby was pretty tight. Still, ample books and a chessboard kept guests occupied should they wish to socialize outside their rooms.
This was a notable downside to staying at Gild Hall, as the elevators were excruciatingly slow.
I wasn’t rushing to get anywhere, so the elevators didn’t bother me too much. But if you’re pressed for time to catch an Uber or get to a meeting, you may want to stay on a lower floor.
Valet parking is available at the hotel between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Cars (compact and sedans) can be valeted for $65 per night, while SUVs and oversized vehicles will cost $70 per night. Note that in-and-out privileges are not permitted, and the hotel’s garage will not accept pickup trucks.
As I mentioned, I brought Migo along as my travel companion, and he was well-loved by staff and guests. Of course, Gild Hall is pet-friendly and charges a mandatory $75 pet fee per stay.
Gild Hall allows you to leave your pet in the room while you’re out, but the hotel does have a limit of 2 pets per room. There’s a 50-pound weight limit for individual pets and 75 pounds for 2.
Unlike some hotels that offer welcome goodies for pets, such as treats or a bowl, Gild Hall didn’t provide this service. That said, given the prime location for walking, I’d still bring Migo along for another stay.
The complimentary Nespresso coffee available in the morning was a nice touch, and it proved popular, as several people were waiting around to use the machine.
The hotel has 2 dedicated meeting facilities: the Penthouse Suite and Thompson Suite. Both hold 25 people and feature 12-foot ceilings, a lounge area, a dining room, and a full-service kitchen.
I was upgraded to a king premium room, given my Explorist status.
Keeping to the hotel’s theme, the bedroom area is dark, with a gorgeous custom leather headboard, black desk, and dark carpet.
There were 2 power outlets on either side of the bed, with 3 outlets and 4 USB outlets each.
The bed was on the firmer side, so if you like a soft mattress (like I do), be prepared for a few tosses and turns during the night. The pillows were incredibly soft.
Aside from the closet space, the only other place to store your luggage was on a rack against the wall.
A very nice note from the room attendant was perched on the nightstand. Any personal touch during a hotel stay is always appreciated, especially from large chains.
The room was spacious and could comfortably accommodate 2 humans (or a human and a dog). The desk chair was the only seating, which was a slight disappointment.
There was a nice-sized TV and 2 complimentary bottles of water on the desk.
Water from the high-end Voss brand was also offered.
The minibar was stocked with goodies you’d expect: alcohol, chocolate, and sparkling water. I consumed several snacks (chips and chocolate) and was charged $10 total.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the Black-owned company McBride Sisters wine available in the room and for purchase. It was a nice touch and emphasized Hyatt’s stated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
My room was on the 15th floor, facing an apartment building and construction site.
There are many tall buildings in FiDi, so I didn’t expect much of a view. And even with construction next door, I didn’t hear much noise.
The bathroom contrasts the room and is decorated in cool, muted colors. The hotel uses D.S. & Durga products.
The hand soap was from D.S. & Durga, while the body lotion was from Molton Brown in Mandarin & Clary Sage. You’ll like both products if you’re a fan of earthy, musky scents.
While the room is cozy, it’s clearly showing its age. The marble bathroom tile showed a few cracks, and a noisy A/C system seemed to rattle on and off throughout the night.
The bathroom door was also decked out in ridged frosted glass. I was a solo traveler, so this didn’t bother me, but I could imagine it might seem off-putting if you’re traveling with others.
Food and Beverage
Gild Hall has 2 dining options: La Soffitta, a 35-seat intimate wine bar, and the 2-room Felice Restaurant. As a reminder, Hyatt Globalists get complimentary breakfast for 2 daily, which can be used at Felice.
La Soffitta is the star of the show at Gild Hall. Situated on the second floor, more than 100 Italian wines decorate a staircase that leads to the space, making you feel like you’re in Rome instead of downtown Manhattan.
La Soffitta hadn’t opened when I dropped by early in the evening, but on past visits to the hotel, I’ve noted that it’s an extremely intimate space.
There are just 6 seats and the bar and 35 in the dining area, making it the perfect spot for a business meeting, a date, or a solo excursion.
The Italian restaurant Felice quickly became a favorite, given its affordable happy hour in an upscale, mature setting. Happy hour is between 4 and 6 p.m. and features small bites, wine, and cocktails. I ordered a Prosecco and settled in for a while to watch a college football game.
There’s a small seating area behind the bar if you prefer to enjoy your drink or meal at a table.
I enjoyed breakfast the following day, opting for French toast and a glass of orange juice, which cost around $30.
Service at New York hotels can be hit or miss, but I found the service at Gild Hall to be friendly without being obtrusive. I didn’t have to wait long to check in or to receive service at the bar and restaurant.
Stepping out the front door, the popular Stone Street — known for its eclectic mix of bars and restaurants — is about a half-mile walk away, perfect on a nice day. If you aren’t familiar with Stone Street, it is a pedestrian-only street dating back to the 1600s, where you can dine outdoors between March and November. As I visited the hotel in December, there wasn’t any outdoor dining, but it’s a hot spot for New Yorkers and tourists alike during the warmer months.
One World Trade, Observatory, 9/11 Museum and Oculus
If you’re staying in New York City, visiting One World Trade is probably at the top of your list.
Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange
At just 10 minutes walking distance, 3 minutes by bike, or 7 minutes by car, the New York Stock Exchange is a must-see. Unfortunately, you can’t actually go inside (tours are closed to the public), but there are plenty of places outside to take photos. Many guided tours also stop at the NYSE.
Finally, no trip to New York is complete without seeing (and crossing) the Brooklyn Bridge. The famed bridge has been the backdrop for countless TV shows and movies, and Gild Hall is just a 10-minute walk to the Manhattan side of the bridge.
Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel is quickly becoming one of my favorite Hyatt properties in Manhattan. As a boutique hotel, it doesn’t offer much in the way of fancy amenities — and its rooms could use a refresh — but it makes up for it through affordability and being located in a fantastic location.
The Beekman Hotel, located just a few blocks from Gild Hall, may be considered one of Hyatt’s best in Manhattan – but if I want a lovely, quiet stay at a bargain price, Gild Hall is the hotel I’m choosing.
The information regarding The World of Hyatt Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Featured Image Credit: Victoria M. Walker
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Gild Hall located?
Gild Hall is located at 15 Gold Street, New York, NY 10038.
How many points do I need to stay at Gild Hall?
Award nights at Gild Hall start at 17,000 points per off-peak night, 20,000 points per standard night, and 23,000 points per peak night.
Is Gild Hall near One World Trade and the 9/11 Museum?
Yes, Gild Hall is about a 12-minute walk from One World Trade and 9/11 Museum. The hotel also 3 minutes by bike or 7 minutes by car.
Is Gild Hall a Thompson hotel?
Yes, Gild Hall is part of Hyatt’s Thompson brand.
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