The blocks around New York City’s Time Square offer a sea of hotel possibilities. We found our catch on West 39rd Street. The Holiday Inn Express Times Square is among the several lodging options shouldered among fabric stores and a few eateries between 8th and 9th Aves at the edge of the Garment District.
Two college friends and I used this Holiday Inn, a 36-floor high-rise, as a base from which to experience Midtown Manhattan. From the staff who helped with parking information, to the person who pointed us in the direction of the High Line– a park designed for walking above street level, we found everyone to be attentive and accommodating.
Our room on the 31st floor gave us a wonderful view from the Empire State Building at the far left to the Hudson River on the right. The Freedom Tower could be seen in the distance.
It is true that you almost had to be lying on the bed closest to the wall with the window to see the Empire State Building, but it was a lovely view despite the rain. I particularly liked seeing the red neon sign of The New Yorker building that was a focal point at night.
We found the room small, but big enough for the three of us, and very comfortable. Rooms come with a coffee maker, hair dryer, flat screen TV and free WiFi.
The breakfast is free and quite good. Fresh fruit, Chobani yogurt, turkey sausage, hot biscuits and cranberry juice caught my attention. Some of the hot items change each day in order to provide variety for guests who stay more than one night. One day, eggs were omelets and the next they were scrambled. The breakfast room seemed to have enough seating even though it bustled with people of all ages each morning. I saw a couple people with paper trays taking food up to their rooms. Several families were in the mix.
Because there are only a few rooms per floor, the noise level is low–unless you were staying in our room when our next door neighbors began to whoop it up well after midnight. I could hear entire sentences; that’s how loud they were. Once I called the front desk to complain, and security paid a polite visit, the noise stopped. The desk help was apologetic about the noise and called after the security came to let me know that I should call back if the guests became loud again. They didn’t.
I did use one of the computers in the lobby to check in for my flight and print out the boarding pass. Because there isn’t a fitness center at the Holiday Inn Express, there is an arrangment with Candlewood Suites right next door. The fitness center is quite small with a few pieces of equipment.
As we left the hotel after checking out, all three of us said we’d stay here again. The location was perfect. We walked from the hotel to Times Square, to our Broadway show to Lord and Taylor on 5th Avenue and back to our hotel. We also walked along the High Line and to Grand Central Station.
Room rates start at $179. Those with a city view cost more. Valet parking is $50 a night without in and out privileges. Book through the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) site, or try for a better rate at Hotels.com and Expedia.
Holiday Inn Express Times Square
343 West 39th Street
New York, 10018
Post and Photos Courtesy of Jamie Rhein