The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection
What We Love
- The 1902 building dripping in literary history (and dressed up by a 2012 renovation)
- Broadway cartoons by bar regular Al Hirschfield lining the walls of the Blue Bar
- A central location steps from the theaters of Broadway
- READ MORE: Where to eat, play and shop in NY
What To Know
- The hotel’s mascot, Matilda the cat, presides over the lobby; feline fanciers will be delighted, cat-haters should look elsewhere
- As in most hotels in New York, rooms are on the small side
- Valet Parking is $55 daily, on-site self-parking is $35; you won’t need a car anyway
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Like New York itself, this hotel is both historic and of-the-moment. The site of the famous Algonquin Round Table, where assorted wits and journalists met for lunch in the 1920s and 30s, the Algonquin still has a scene-y restaurant, plus the art-filled Blue Bar and a midtown location that’s steps from Grand Central Station. Since its 2012 renovation, it’s also got all the modern conveniences you’d hope for, from free WiFi in the rooms (in case you want to become the next Algonquin wit) to a 24-hour fitness center that, like the city itself, never sleeps.
In the Area
Care to take in a Broadway show or a concert at Radio City Music Hall? An exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art or the American Folk Art Museum? Want to ride up to the top of the Empire State Building or stroll up Fifth Avenue to window-shop at Tiffany’s (no, you can’t really have breakfast there). Well, put away your cab fare because all of those sights are within walking distance of the hotel. So is Central Park, and, should you feel the need to hightail it to the country, Grand Central Station.
How to Get There
I was so excited when I booked the Algonquin hotel. My perception was it would be 5 star service and they have a resident cat Hamlet. What a great way to start our trip. We stayed 1 night only as we had a flight the next day To Europe.
Upon arrival just after 9 pm, we struggled trying to get our luggage to the front desk. There was no doorman to greet guests and the staff behind the front desk sat there and watched us struggle. There were no other customers so I was bewildered when I saw them sitting there watching us. Finally a fellow guest held the door for us. When I got to the front desk we were greeted by “Yes?” I said we were checking in. I am a Marriott gold member, usually we are thanked for our loyalty. Not this time. She gave me the key and informed me to update my credit card on my profile. (I just received a new Marriott cc). So, check in did not set the tone.
We had nice service in the Blue Bar, the burger was REALLY good. And before retiring for the evening I got to pet Hamlet, the resident cat. They have cool umbrellas you can purchase with his picture on them but $45 was a little steep. I still might have purchased one but when I asked about it the person at the front desk handed me one. I said thanks!!! She said. “It’s $45. Do you want it or not”. I did but I’m not buying something from someone who was so rude.
Spend your money someplace else.
A Marriott property boutique hotel just a few steps from Times Square. This small hotel with 100 rooms is quiet, clean and very comfortable. Great service and friendly pampered stay. Typical amenities including restaurant for breakfast, attached Blue Bar, coffee available, fitness center, lounge area cozy and comfortable. The room was on the small size, especially the bathroom but the style with raised wood panels, high ceilings and moldings galore made us feel like we were living in a different century, let alone decade.
A great hotel and a great addition to the Marriot Property. We visited there in May and will return in December for the holidays. We love the breakfast and the Bar! The location is perfect for an NYC visit.
As a native New Yorker it was nice to get a chance to stay in a historic hotel like the Algonquin. Hotel service and style was wonderful. Love the lobby and soaking in "old New York". Room was clean, nicely appointed, updated bathroom. Location is midtown Manhattan, so obviously convenient and lots of dining options around, as well as proximity to Central Park, museums etc. What I didn't like is the forced "destination fee", which is essentially a charge to force you to use $25 per night on property. I also have to add that the Algonquin's Blue Bar is amazingly still around. I say amazingly because it is arguably the worst luxury hotel bar in the City. Besides the obnoxious blue LED lighting, the quality of the drinks is not at all on the same level with a place like The Pierre or Park Hyatt. All in all, however, it was an enjoyable stay and I would probably return.
The Algonquin has a great history as a temple of the Queen of Intelligent Snark and retains much of its original (or at least original looking) glamour. I would use the stairway every day just so I could admire the wear patterns on the marble steps. The location is incredibly convenient to multiple subway lines, high-end shopping and dining (if you are into that), and Broadway. Unfortunately there were several negative aspects of the Algonquin which leads me to conclude I will not return.
The bed was rather lumpy and creaky, and the pillows were mushy. I had an inside room, so there was only a close view of grim brick and trash; the blinds stayed closed the entire trip. The inward-facing room appeared to ensure quiet though. The food, what little I sampled, was terrible (more on that below).
But what truly sinks this hotel's rating in my opinion is Marriott's imposition of its ridiculous $25-per-day "destination fee" on top of an already high-priced hotel rate.
It's an absurd and transparent attempt to raise the daily room rate on guests without being quite as upfront about it. The company may dress it up by offering items which may not be used in part or at all by its guests, but it is just another version of a resort fee. Resort or destination, the "complimentary" "perks" are just as useless to me. I was not in town to take a tour, and the $15 laundry credit is pretty laughable when cleaning pyjamas alone cost $10-11 (feminine clothing articles tended to get charged more overall). The $25 daily food-and-beverage credit (which was non-cumulative, just in case you thought you could bank that during your trip to splurge on a nice meal at the end) did not, as one can imagine, go very far.
I made the mistake of using one of those $25 f&b "credits" to consume one of the three under-$25 breakfast options, the $19 Broken Yolk sandwich, at the hotel's Round Table restaurant. I'm not entirely sure to this day if I had received the correct order. The sandwich arrived with its toasted bread soggy on one side, and the clumped-together prosciutto seemed more like Canadian bacon in looks and texture and was so salty it was practically inedible. Very unappetizing. The bill was unusual; the sandwich had a $10 charge, plus a $9 fruit cup, described on the ticket as "unused", bringing the total to $19, to match the price listed on the menu. As if the daily destination fee already didn't leave an impression of gouging; although even if the original, pre-fee price of that sandwich was $10, it was still a rip-off due to its poor quality.
I had debated whether I should try again another morning and order the $16(!) granola. Instead I decided I'd drink my irritation away for the rest of the trip. They didn't succeed, but at least the Hamlets were delicious and the bartender did not skimp on alcohol.