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InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel [In-depth Review]

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New York City can be an expensive place to visit, especially if you want to stay in a luxury hotel. It’s a place I’ll travel to any chance I get, and this was actually my second trip there in as many months. It’s a quick 1-hour flight from where I live in Columbus, so it doesn’t take much convincing to get me to head to The Big Apple for a weekend.

This trip had 1 purpose — to visit The Golden Girls Kitchen, a pop-up restaurant experience based on the classic 1980s sitcom, at the South Street Seaport. In case you were wondering, it was totally worth it, but that experience is best left for a different article.

Let’s get to the matter at hand — a review of the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel. In this post, I’ll show you all around this hotel, including its location, rooms, dining, and amenities. Plus, I’ll share how you can book it with IHG One Rewards points.

Location

One of the reasons to stay at InterContinental New York Barclay is its location. Centrally located in Midtown East, right off of Park Avenue, it’s convenient for getting to many of the most popular things to do in New York City, including the Theater District, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, museums, and so much more. Plus it’s only 4 blocks from Grand Central Station, making it easily accessible to anyone traveling to the city by train.

Intercontinental New York Barclay front entrance
The InterContinental New York Barclay hotel is centrally located in Midtown East in Manhattan.

I flew into LaGuardia Airport (LGA) which is about 9 miles from the hotel (alternatively you could fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) which is about 16 miles away or Newark International Airport (EWR) which is 18 miles away) and grabbed an Uber ride to the property. It took about 25 to 30 minutes to arrive, albeit without much traffic. I paid for the $57 Uber ride (which included tip) using Uber Cash credits from both The Platinum Card® from American Express and American Express® Gold Card.

Booking

As I planned for this trip, I debated which hotel to book. The month prior I stayed at Thompson Central Park New York and even though I enjoyed that hotel, I wanted to try something new.

While I usually prefer Hyatt hotels, I chose an IHG location for this quick trip because I had an expiring free night certificate to use. Plus, I had Diamond Elite status so I was eligible for free breakfast.

I booked 2 nights in total. For the first night, I used my free night certificate from the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card. This certificate is good for a room that costs up to 40,000 points but it also allows you to add additional points if you want to book something a bit more expensive. Since this hotel cost 42,000 IHG One Rewards points on the nights of my stay, I added 2,000 points to my free night certificate.

Cost of Intercontinental New York Barclay room wtih free night cert
I topped off my free night certificate with 2,000 IHG points. Image Credit: IHG

I booked the second night using 42,000 IHG One Rewards points.

The cash cost of a Queen Classic room on the nights I booked was $290 before taxes and fees. However, once the additional fees were added in, the total cost of the room ended up being $376 per night.

Cost for Intercontinental New York Barclay including fees
The taxes and fees added over $80 per night. Image Credit: IHG

Since I paid 42,000 IHG points per night, I got a value of 0.8 cents per point, which is about 62% more than the 0.5 cents per point value we assign to IHG points. While this wasn’t a screaming good deal (like that time I got 3.6 cents per point in value at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa in Grand Cayman), it was still solid, and I was happy that I could redeem an expiring free night certificate.

Bottom Line: I got solid value from my points and free night certificate at the InterContinental New York Barclay, however, there are better options if you’re looking for the absolute best hotels in New York City to book with points.

Amenity Fee

InterContinental New York Barclay charges an amenity fee of $45.32 per night. Unlike Hyatt and Hilton, IHG still charges this fee on award bookings. If you’re not familiar with amenity fees, they’re sometimes called destination fees or resort fees. It’s a mandatory charge for “extras” offered by the property.

While this particular amenity fee includes a few things that have some value, none of it was discussed at check-in, so I imagine that most guests, myself included, have no idea what the benefits are.

The InterContinental New York Barclay hotel amenity fee includes:

  • 10% coupon for Ole & Steen Danish Bakery
  • 10% coupon for Neuhaus Chocolates
  • 15% coupon for Bloomingdale’s
  • $20 laundry and dry cleaning credit
  • $25 daily food and beverage credit
  • $50 Club InterContinental credit per day
  • Complimentary local calls
  • Complimentary premium Wi-Fi

The amenity fee was raised from $40.16 to $45.32 between the time I booked and the time I stayed at the hotel — I ended up being charged the higher of the 2 amounts.

Check-in and Elite Benefits

When I arrived at the hotel I was greeted at the entrance and led to the check-in desk. There wasn’t a separate line for IHG One Rewards members to check in, meaning I had to wait a bit as the hotel was very busy.

InterContinental New York Barclay reception
The reception area at InterContinental New York Barclay hotel.

The large lobby was buzzing with people due to a conference that was being held at the property.

InterContinental New York Barclay back lobby
There was a conference going on during my stay, so the lobby was always busy.

Before I arrived, I received an email that my room was upgraded. Since I had booked each night on a separate reservation, I was informed I would have to come back to the front desk the next day to reactivate my key cards. While this was a minor inconvenience, I was just happy that both nights of my stay could be upgraded.

InterContinental New York Barclay lobby
The elegant lobby seating area featured an ornate ceiling decoration that also functioned as a light.

My Diamond Elite status was acknowledged at check-in and I was given coupons for free breakfast each morning in the hotel’s restaurant (more on this below). Technically, Diamond Elite members have the choice between breakfast and points as a welcome amenity, but I was automatically offered breakfast (which was my preference anyways). However, after I checked out, I noticed that I also received welcome bonus points.

IHG Diamond Elite Welcome bonus points
I received welcome points in addition to a free breakfast. Image Credit: IHG

Hot Tip: IHG Diamond Elite members are eligible for a complimentary breakfast buffet in the hotel’s lobby restaurant.

Amenities

Water Dispensers

There are water dispensers next to each ice maker on select floors at the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel. I was lucky that there was one right next to my room, but I didn’t discover it until my second day there because it wasn’t mentioned at check-in. Since free bottled water isn’t available to IHG One Rewards members, it was great to have water dispensers available (and I like this even better since it doesn’t waste so many plastic bottles) — I just wished the staff had told me about them.

Both hot and cold water was available in the dispensers which were operated by foot pedals — so convenient!

InterContinental New York Barclay water dispenser
Water dispensers were conveniently located with the ice machines.

Fitness Center

The fitness center, located on the third floor of the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel, offered a wide variety of equipment for hotel guests and is open 24 hours a day.

InterContinental New York Barclay gym
The gym at InterContinental New York Barclay.

The cardio equipment consisted of treadmills and elliptical machines.

InterContinental New York Barclay fitness center elliptical machines
The elliptical machines at the InterContinental New York Barclay gym.

There were also a variety of weight machines.

InterContinental New York Barclay fitness center weight machines
Weight machines were also available for use in the gym.

Pet-friendly

InterContinental New York Barclay is a pet-friendly New York City hotel, although it will cost you. There’s a $250 non-refundable deposit per stay to bring your pet with you. You can only bring 1 pet per room and it must weigh less than 25 pounds.

Club InterContinental

Club InterContinental is the hotel’s lounge. It offers a continental breakfast each morning along with evening canapes and coffee and teas throughout the day.

Lounge access comes with select room categories or it can be purchased for $150 per day per room (up to 2 people).

Room with access to Club InterContinental at New York Barclay
Select room categories include access to Club InterContinental. Image Credit: IHG

Premium City View Room

As I walked to my room, I noticed the hallways and elevator banks were just as detailed and elegant as the rest of the hotel.

InterContinental New York Barclay hallway
Even the hallways and elevator banks were ornately decorated.

Each door was adorned with an ornate room number.

InterContinental New York Barclay guest room crest
This hotel definitely isn’t into minimalism.

I booked the base-level room that was available using points for this trip, which was a Classic Queen room, and I was upgraded to a Premium City View Room with a king-sized bed. This category of room is a corner room with 2 sets of windows, which made the room light and bright.

Intercontinental New York Barclay Premium View Room
Premium City View Rooms are corner rooms with 2 sets of windows.

The corner location was nice since that meant I only had shared a wall with 1 set of neighbors. Unfortunately, the neighbors I got loved to talk loudly late at night.

There was a sweet welcome gift waiting for me in the room, along with a note thanking me for using a reward night at The Barclay.

InterContinental New York Barclay welcome gift
What a sweet welcome gift!

There was a built-in minibar area to the right of the room’s entrance. It was full of snacks and drinks that could be purchased for extortionately high prices ($9.50 for a can of Coke? No, thank you).

Intercontinental New York Barclay built-in minibar area
My room had a built-in minibar area.

There was a minifridge that was filled mostly with beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for purchase but there was a small spot to store a drink of your own.

Intercontinental New York Barclay in room fridge
The minifridge was filled with beverages to purchase but had a small spot to add your own drink.

The coffee maker was located right above the minifridge. There was a Keurig machine along with coffee and tea K-cups.

Intercontinental New York Barclay in room coffee maker
The in-room Keurig came with both coffee and tea K-cups.

The sweetener, stirrers, and creamer were stored in individual packs, which was a nice touch.

Intercontinental New York Barlcay In Room Coffee and Tea Condiments
The coffee and tea condiments were packaged in individual kits.

The king-sized bed was flanked by wall-mounted lamps and nightstands on each side.

Intercontinental New York Barclay bedroom
There was a wall-mounted lamp and a nightstand on each side of the king-sized bed.

One side of the bed had an alarm clock with USB outlets.

Intercontinental New York Barclay alarm clock
There was an alarm clock with USB outlets on one side of the bed.

The other side of the bed had a phone along with 2 regular plugs and 2 USB outlets.

Intercontinental New York Barclay night stand
The other side of the bed had a phone and separate plugs.

A TV was located across from the bed on top of a set of drawers.

Intercontinental New York Barclay guest room desk and tv
There was a set of drawers and a TV opposite the bed.

Next to the drawers was a small writing desk with a swivel chair.

Intercontinental New York Barclay guest room chair and desk
There was a small writing desk with a swivel chair.

The desk conveniently had plugs built into the side.

Intercontinental New York Barclay in room desk plug
There were plugs built into the side of the desk.

Adjacent to the desk was a comfortable accent chair and side table.

Accent chair in guestroom at Intercontinental New York Barclay
This was a comfy place to sit, and it added a nice pop of color to the room.

The closet was tucked away in the corner of the room behind the chair.

Intercontinental New York Barclay closet
There was a closet tucked away in the corner of the room.

It contained an extra pillow and blanket, a safe, an ironing board, room to hang clothes, and a hotel-branded robe and slippers.

Intercontinental New York Barclay closet close up
There was a robe and slippers in the closet along with a safe and ironing board.

Bathroom

The charming bathroom wasn’t huge, but it was a good size for New York City standards, and it had thoughtful details. The black and white checked flooring from the entryway extended into the bathroom, giving the space an elegant and classic feel.

Intercontinental New York Barclay guestroom bathroom
I loved the black and white bathroom.

I’m very particular about hotel showers and this one passed my test with flying colors. In addition to being nice to look at (you can’t go wrong with a subway tile shower) it was roomy, had 2 great shower heads, and high-quality bath products

Intercontinental New York Barclay guestroom shower
There was a modern shower with a glass door.

There was a large rainshower-type head as well as a hand-held option. The water pressure was great and there was plenty of hot water.

Intercontinental New York Barclay guestroom shower heads
There were 2 showerhead options.

There was shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in large containers from the Bal D’Afrique line by Byredo.

Intercontinental New York Barclay shower products
There were full-sized containers of bath products.

The single sink didn’t have much extra counter space, but it was just fine for this short trip.

Intercontinental New York Barclay bathroom sink
There wasn’t much counter space but it wasn’t a problem on this trip.

Next to the sink were large size bottles of hand wash and body lotion, also from the Bal D’Afrique line by Byredo.

Intercontinental New York Barclay bathroom sink products
Full-size bottles of Byredo hand wash and body lotion were next to the sink.

One of my favorite details was the bar of soap that carried the message, “Hold Me”. It made me smile every time I saw it.

Intercontinental New York Barclay bathroom tissues and soap
I loved the fun soap and monogrammed tissue holder.

The hotel took its branding seriously even in the bathroom— the tissue holder, soap dish, and the canister that held extra bath amenities like cotton pads and emery boards were all branded.

Intercontinental New York Barclay bathroom canister
This monogrammed canister held extras like cotton pads and nail kits.

Next to the toilet was a hand-held bidet wand.

Intercontinental New York Barclay guestroom bidet
There was even a hand-held bidet wand next to the toilet.

Food and Beverage

The Parlour

Located right off of the lobby, The Parlour is the only restaurant at the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel.

The Parlour Restaurant at InterContinental New York Barclay
The Parlour is the only restaurant at InterContinental New York Barclay.

The breakfast buffet is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. A continental breakfast is available for $34 while the full Quintessential American Buffet Breakfast costs $44 — relatively reasonable prices considering it’s in the heart of New York City (and especially when compared to the minibar prices).

Additionally, there was a to-go coffee service available at The Parlour bar during breakfast hours.

To go coffee at Intercontinental New York Barclay
There was a convenient to-go station for coffee at the bar during breakfast hours.

Lunch, dinner, and snacks are served from the all-day menu from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

The bar, which is open from noon until 11:30 p.m. daily, looks out onto the lobby and was a nice place to stop for a drink or a quick bite to eat. On Saturday night, there was even a live jazz band.

The Parlour Bar at Intercontinental New York Barclay
The Parlour Bar is located right off the lobby and was a nice spot for a drink or late-night snack.

The Parlour Breakfast Buffet

Since I had IHG One Rewards Diamond Elite status, I was eligible for a free breakfast each morning.

Diamond Elite breakfast at InterContinental New York Barclay
As an IHG Diamond Elite member, I was able to get breakfast for free each morning.

I was given a card when I checked in that I could turn in to the restaurant when I went for breakfast. It said I could get a continental breakfast, so I wasn’t expecting more than coffee and a couple of pastries. However, in practice, it ended up being a full breakfast buffet with numerous hot and cold items (of course, I ended up mostly sticking to coffee and pastries anyways).

The food was tasty but buffets, in my opinion, are never as good as ordering from a menu.

Diamond Elite Free Breakfast Coupon at Intercontinental New York Barclay
Diamond Elite members receive a card at check-in to use for the complimentary breakfast buffet.

Hot Tip: According to the card the hotel hands out, Diamond Elite members get a complimentary continental breakfast. However, after my stay, I contacted the hotel to clarify and got confirmation that IHG Diamond Elite members are entitled to the Quintessential American Buffet Breakfast each morning, which includes a selection of both hot and cold items.

The buffet was located in the only restaurant in the hotel, The Parlour.

InterContinental Barlcay breakfast buffet
The buffet area was in a separate room just next to the tables.

There was a hot breakfast section that included a variety of eggs and potatoes.

InterContinental New York Barclay breakfast buffet eggs
The breakfast buffet included a variety of egg dishes.

Next to that, there was a selection of sausages and bacon, along with oatmeal.

Intercontinental New York Barclay hot breakast buffet
The hot breakfast buffet included a selection of breakfast meats and oatmeal.

A refrigerated section of the breakfast buffet included things such as yogurt and fruit. There were also overnight oats, a yogurt parfait, and a green smoothie shot.

InterContinental New York Barclay breakfast buffet yogurt and fruit
The breakfast buffet had a great selection of fruits and yogurt.

This section also offered sliced smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs, deli meats and cheese, butter, and cream cheese.

InterContinental New York Barclay Breakfast Buffet meats and cheeses
There was smoked salmon and other meats and cheeses on the buffet.

There were assorted pastries available, including croissants, mini muffins, cakes, donuts, and mini eclairs.

InterContinental New York Barclay breakfast buffet pastry
There were cakes, donuts, and pastries available.

There was also a toaster with bread and bagels.

InterContinental New York Barclay breakfast buffet bread and bagel choices
There was a selection of bread and bagels along with a self-serve toaster.

The condiments were in self-serve containers and included more than just the basics. There were fun things like fig preserves and lemon curd in addition to more traditional condiments like peanut butter and honey.

InterContinental New York Barclay breakfast buffet condiments
There was a variety of condiments available at the breakfast buffet.

Additionally, there was a variety of cold cereals with 4 different types of milk — skim, whole, soy, and almond.

InterContintental Barclay breakfast buffet cereal
There was a wide variety of cold cereals and milk.

In-Room Dining

In-room dining is available at InterContinental New York Barclay. Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. while lunch and dinner are served from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.

Service

Overall the service I received at InterContinental New York Barclay was excellent. The staff I came into contact with, from the front desk to the bartenders to the waiters, were very friendly and helpful.

My only criticism is that I wasn’t told about the amenity fee benefits or the existence of the water dispensers. While this problem isn’t unique to this hotel, it’s something that I find particularly annoying. My hunch is that most guests have no idea what benefits are included (like the $25 daily food and beverage credit or shopping coupons) and therefore are missing out on a decent amount of value that they are paying for in the mandatory amenity fee.

Final Thoughts

My 2-night stay at InterContinental New York Barclay was excellent. It’s an elegant hotel in a convenient location for exploring New York City.

The rooms were spacious and comfortable and the breakfast buffet was reasonably priced and included many choices. Staying at the Barclay is an especially great option if you have IHG free night certificates or IHG One Rewards points burning a hole in your pocket.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many InterContinental hotels are there in New York City?

There are 2 InterContinental hotels in New York City — InterContinental New York Barclay and InterContinental New York Times Square.

How many rooms does the InterContinental Barclay have?

The InterContinental Barclay has 702 rooms, including 13 suites.

How much is the InterContinental New York Barclay resort fee?

While the InterContinental New York Barclay isn’t a resort, it does have a resort fee, also called an amenity fee. It’s currently $45.32 per night. This fee will be charged even if you use points or a free night certificate to pay for the room.

What hotel chain does InterContinental belong to?

InterContinental Hotels is part of the IHG family of brands and it participates in the IHG One Rewards program.

How many IHG points does it cost to stay at InterContinental New York Barclay?

Room prices in points vary based on demand and the time of year. Generally rooms cost 24,500 IHG One Rewards points to 69,000 IHG points per night, however, we’ve seen the price as high as 99,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Katie Seemann's image

About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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