I booked the Westin New York Grand Central hotel for 12,000 Starpoints because the rates in New York City were sky high for a Monday night. The standard rate was $579+tax and I felt I got more than 3 cents per Starpoint worth. I was torn between picking the Westin Grand Central and using 5,000 Starpoints + $75 cash for the Sheraton JFK. Since I had plans for the evening in the city, it was more convenient for me to stay in the heart of the city instead of an airport hotel.
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I’ve actually stayed at the same hotel last year when it was still called The New York Helmsley and slated to open a week after as the Westin Grand Central. The hotel was under renovation at the time, but I was lucky enough to receive an upgrade to a one bedroom suite. It was a completely renovated suite with Westin amenities with sweeping views of New York City.
I made my trek from JFK to Jamaica Station where I changed over to the E Train. I got off at Court Square – 23rd Street to change over to the 7 train which went towards Times Square and I got off at Grand Central Station. The hotel is a 3 minute walk from Grand Central Terminal and the entire journey was under 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The Westin New York Grand Central staff was eager to help me with my bags and the lobby was very ornate. There’s a concierge desk on the left and the main restaurant and bar to the right of the lobby.
I asked the front desk agent if there were any suite upgrades and he said the hotel was completely sold out. However, I was upgraded to a premium corner city view room pre-arrival. I asked for 500 Starpoints as my Platinum amenity and 4pm late checkout was granted.
I went up to the premium corner room and immediately felt it was a decent sized room for Manhattan. The room was spacious with 1 King bed, couch seating for two, and an executive desk.
The bathroom was small and economic with your usual Westin amenities.
The best part about the hotel is the sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.
I would highly recommend this hotel if you need a central city stay at a five star facility. It’s easy walking distance to Bryant Park, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center. I like to walk around New York City and all the subway lines are accessible nearby by taking the S train from Grand Central to Times Square.