New York City certainly doesn’t suffer a shortage of luxury hotels. Or Starwood hotels, for that matter: the W New York Times Square, Westin Times Square, W New York Union Square, and the Alofts and Sheratons sprinkled throughout the city all give Starwood Preferred Guest cardholders plenty of options for cashing in their points. For those of us that like to save up our Starwood Preferred Guest hotel points (Starpoints) and spend them all at once on a lavish NYC vacation, though, the St. Regis New York hotel is the way to go.
My family and I did just that, this past Thanksgiving. We used 70,000 Starpoints that the Starwood SPG/Amex partnership deposited in my account, along with every single hotel point we had naturally accrued using our SPG card for the past couple of years, and booked two gorgeous rooms in the St. Regis New York hotel. This is a famous, landmark property — the first St. Regis in the world — and we wanted to experience the sheer opulence of a hotel that we’d only walked by, dozens if not hundreds of times, in the past. That old-time New York City glamour and class is in full effect here, and my only concern is that in the future, my kids will wonder where our butler is!
Just the Facts, Ma’am: The St. Regis New York hotel is a 5-star, AAA five-diamond luxury hotel on Fifth Avenue. It is walking distance to iconic New York City stores like Louis Vuitton, Saks Fifth Avenue, FAO Schwartz, and Tiffany’s, and is four blocks from Central Park. It’s a historic hotel, having first been built by John Jacob Astor IV, and constructed architecturally in the French Beaux-Arts style. Starwood now owns the St. Regis after a few ownership changes, and today the St. Regis New York is its flagship hotel, known as one of the most best luxury hotels in the world. There are 171 guest rooms and 67 suites, all up to current standards of heightened swankiness. Yes, guests get personal butlers; ours was named Rhonda.
Our take: So, my family and I go to New York City several times a year because our extended family lives there. Plus, you know, apparently there’s some kind of theater/museum/culture scene going on. We’ve stayed with relatives or in an extended stay hotel for the past decade. Let me tell you: Going from a trundle bed in an in-law’s cramped second bedroom to one of the best luxury hotels in the world is quite a leap in quality. My teenager said, “the hotel’s atmosphere made me feel like a princess even when I arrived in sweatpants and an old travel shirt.” We were treated like very special guests from the moment we walked up the red carpeted stairs to the moment we left, dragging our wheelie luggage sadly behind us.
The St. Regis New York hotel staff, from bellman to concierge, were all incredibly friendly and helpful. The concierge called and was able to get my family a reservation at a very popular restaurant for that evening — no mean feat, in NYC during a holiday. I wish I had her magic and skills. While we are very familiar with New York City, the St. Regis New York concierge and front desk lady didn’t know that, and both offered to help us figure out what attractions and activities we’d want to see and do. This was a quick New York City Thanksgiving trip so we didn’t actually do very much besides hang out with various sub-groups of our extended family, but the offer of assistance was really appreciated.
The service was impeccable. This is somewhat expected, of course, at a 5-star, five diamond cosmopolitan property like the St. Regis New York hotel, but what really knocked our socks off was our aforementioned personal butler. 24-hour attentiveness is likely appreciated by overseas and jet lagged travelers who arrive or get hungry at two or three in the morning. For us, the concept alone was special. This personalized service is above and beyond what we expected. Other service details include complimentary tea service upon arrival, complimentary coffee service in the morning, and an available luxury car and driver — a classic Bentley Speed Six, for crying out loud — should guests of the St. Regis New York hotel want to arrive at the theater or ballet in style.
St Regis New York is the highest category of SPG points, ringing in at a blinding 30,000 to 35,000 Starpoints for one free night. Hey, it’s top of the line what do you expect? We knew what we were getting into when we decided to blow our entire saved-up wad of Starpoints on a luxurious Thanksgiving stay in New York City, and we were not disappointed. Well, I’m only disappointed in myself: I guess you can call me “Most Likely to Sleep Late and Miss the Thanksgiving Day Parade.” It might take us a few years, but we’d like to save up our Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints again for another big blowout stay at this fantastic luxury hotel.
I received 70,000 Starpoints to stay at a Starwood property of my choice over the holidays, as the last part of my Starwood Preferred Guest American Express “Amex Stars” 2-year partnership. All opinions expressed as mine.