Hotel Review: Hilton New York This is the third post in the series titled BlogHer'12…
In a city where hotel rooms are several hundreds of dollars a night, Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel stands out. The hotel offers a value luxury boutique experience in New York near attractions and the subway.
Now part of the Hyatt portfolio of hotels Gild Hall is a bargain at only 15,000 points a night. Because The Beekman, another Thompson hotel a few blocks away costs 25,000 points a night.
I’ve stayed at many of the 14+ Hyatt hotels in New York and Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel costs the least amount of points. Assuming you stay in New York, New York versus staying in New Jersey.
Gild Hall is in the Financial District (FiDi) so it is away from the big crowds and noise. But a short walk to the subway and you can be uptown in minutes.
Pro-tip: For the lowest cash rates book on non-holiday weekends. Because there are certain times when you should use points and when to pay cash for hotels.
A stay at Gild Hall hotel is a great way to use your Category 1 to 4 free night from your Hyatt card. Because you can see and stay in New York for free.
Plus you’ll earn 2,000 bonus points on your first qualified stay. This is combinable with Hyatt’s current up to 1,500 points per night promo. My two night stay earned 4,000 bonus points. 🙂
Gild Hall a Thompson Hotel New York Value Luxury Boutique
Because I was arriving in New York two days before another trip to Vietnam, I wanted to stay at a hotel with easy access to the subway, a comfortable, relaxing room, reliable Wi-Fi, where I hadn’t previously stayed and was reasonably priced. I found all that at Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel.
Pro-tip: There’s a Vietnam Consulate in New York if you didn’t have time to get a Vietnam Visa online.
I arrived at 6:17 PM after a long day flying from San Diego through Dallas and arriving into New York.
The hotel can be tricky to find if you’re using Uber. Tell your driver that Gild Hall is across the street from Stout NYC.
Pro-tip: You can take a taxi from JFK to Manhattan for a flat rate of $52.
This would have been cheaper than my Uber. But I was experimenting to see if it was cheaper to get an Uber from Jamaica Station than the airport. It wasn’t and cost more than a taxi. 🙁
If you’re looking for the cheapest option and don’t mind schlepping your luggage up and down flights of stairs the subway wins hands down.
But the trains were running late. Taking an Uber meant I’d arrive at my hotel faster and avoid navigating the stairs with my carryon.
As you enter the hotel the front desk is to your right. The front desk resembles an old school hotel reception – set to the side, boxed on all sides. Imagine any black and white movie with a hotel front desk and that is Gild Hall.
They welcomed me but there wasn’t any acknowledgment of being a Globalist. As Gild Hall hotel is a new Hyatt member I didn’t expect it.
Nor is there a World of Hyatt sign or dedicated check-in area. Given the size of the lobby, it’s not practical or safe to have a World of Hyatt sign. There’s not enough room and it would be a safety hazard.
I had confirmed in advance with my Hyatt Concierge that Gild Hall offers the same benefits to Globalists that all Hyatt hotels offer:
- Free breakfast
- Early check-in
- Late checkout
- Free suite upgrade where available
All guests receive a welcome drink upon check-in: a glass of Prosecco or a bottle of beer.
The front desk clerk said they upgraded me to a King Deluxe room. Points bookings and Category 1 to 4 free night certificates book into the lowest room category, a King Superior room.
A quick check on the Hyatt app showed all three types of suites available: King Suite, Thompson Suite, and Penthouse. So, I asked about a suite upgrade and they reassigned me to a King Suite. This was the first time all year I’ve had to ask to be upgraded and I’ve already stayed 30 nights at Hyatt hotels.
Pro-tip: Here are some tips on how to get a hotel upgrade.
The lobby has three seating areas: one directly behind the entrance and in front of the staircase, the second to the left of the elevators next to the staircase and the third to the right of the front desk.
When I arrived the lobby and bar were happening because of their weekday Happy Hour.
Sorry for the lack of photos. I took several on the morning I checked out but didn’t realize I forgot to put my memory card back in my camera.
Gild Hall has an identity problem. Is it a luxury ski chalet set in New York’s financial district (FiDi)? Or is it a modern hotel?
Rooms combine several styles from mid-century to ski lodge. The leather headboard with buckles in the bedroom suggests cowboy chic or ski lodge with mid-century touches. But the bathroom screams Park Avenue with its chrome, glass shelves and shower, and open vanity.
The suite, room 100, was a bit small even for a New York hotel. But as an older hotel Gild Hall rooms are smaller compared to more recently built hotels like the Park Hyatt New York.
The living room had a TV, leather couch, two crushed velvet chairs, and a work desk.
The left desk drawer hid a charging station with two outlets, a USB port, and an ethernet port. Always a plus because you can never have enough outlets.
Suites include a kitchenette with a sink, microwave, Keurig machine, assorted types of alcohol, and a small bar/counter where you can eat.
If you feel inspired you could mix up some drinks using the shakers and a cocktail set.
Interesting assortment of snacks and other items in the minibar including a scented candle, and adult toys.
A little box of adult toys to keep you entertained. The kit includes a blindfold, vibrating ring, personal vibrator (including battery), lubricant, and restraints.
Gild Hall’s restaurant, Felice, has their own branded wines. A few are left in your room on the bar/counter and are available for purchase
A laptop sized safe, iron, ironing board, and robe were in the closet but no slippers. Housekeeping delivered a pair of black velvet thong slippers.
With a second TV in the bedroom, you won’t have to fight over the remote. The bed was comfortable and the 400 thread count sheets luxurious. I almost considered staying in bed and ordering room service.
Pro-tip: You have a better chance of getting an upgrade to a suite if you’re only staying one night.
The dual sinks set in a marble countertop let two people brush their teeth and get ready at the same time. Toiletries were D.S. and Durga brand.
Given the nightly room rate and the luxe furnishings, I had expected soft, fluffy towels. But the towels were pretty average.
The glass shower was big enough to two people. The water pressure was intense. Given a choice between a strong shower and a weak shower, I’ll take one with good water pressure any day.
I asked if they could show me my originally assigned room, a King Deluxe room on the 17th floor.
The room, including the furnishings, looked exactly like the King Suite. The only difference, it didn’t have a kitchenette or living room.
In Superior and Deluxe rooms the minibar is in the closet.
A bowl of fruit and a box of cookies were waiting for me so I brought these to my suite. 🙂
As I was checking out the fitness center, I ran into one of the employees who was on his way to my room to deliver two Frozen Twix.
One of the notations in my Hyatt profile that I like frozen Twix.
Pro-tip: Employees will read what’s in your Hyatt profile to enhance your experience.
What I really like about Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel is that it’s tucked away on Gold Street. So there isn’t as much through traffic as compared to staying in Times Square.
When you stay in a big metropolitan city, traffic noise is a given but you won’t hear too much of that at this hotel.
There are three fitness centers located on floors 6, 7, and 18. Each held the same exercise equipment: a treadmill, elliptical, yoga ball and mat, and a stand of hand weights.
The weights ranged from 2.5 pounds to 25 pounds.
Pro-tip: The gym on the 18th floor appeared to be the least used.
I was given vouchers for free breakfast at Felice’s. The choice was Continental Breakfast with juice or the American Breakfast with American coffee.
I chose the American Breakfast with bacon and sunflower seed toast and a smoothie based on the recommendation of the night manager.
Service was quick and efficient. My water glass was constantly refilled. Aside from a generous helping of bacon (5 pieces) the portions were small. I ordered my eggs over easy but they came over hard.
The sunflower seed toast was thick cut but one slice of bread cut in half and toasted in a panini maker. The bread would make a good peanut butter sandwich.
Despite the voucher only being valid for coffee and having signed a check for the smoothie, at checkout I wasn’t charged for my smoothie.
Because I had an early flight I didn’t get a chance to eat breakfast my last morning. Looking forward to trying the French toast on my next visit.
How to Earn Hyatt Points
Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel is a Category 4 hotel and costs 15,000 points a night. I used two Category 1 to 4 free night certificates: the first the annual free night from my Hyatt card and the second from the Brand Explorer Award.
I chose to use my free night certificates instead of points because they were going to expire in a few months. This also freed up my points to be used for more expensive stays or higher category hotels.
You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt. Points transfer on a one to one ratio. Transfers are instant.
The table below lists all the cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.
|Signup Bonus & Minimum Spending Requirements||Annual Fee||Value of Points Toward Travel||Why I Like This Card|
|Chase Freedom||$150 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.||$0||1 cent||The revolving quarterly bonus categories let you earn lots of cash back on regular spending.|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||$150 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.||$0||1 cent||A no annual fee cash back card gives you freedom to redeem points as needed.|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.||$95||1.25 cents||This is a great first card if you're getting started in travel rewards.|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account||$550||1.5 cents||The $300 yearly travel credit, 3X points on travel and dining, plus the free airport lounge access is worth the high annual fee.|
|Chase Ink Cash||$500 after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account||$0||1 cent||A no fee cash back cards lets you put more money into your business.|
|Chase Ink Business Unlimited||$500 after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account||$0||1 cent||When using this card to book rental cars, you get primary insurance coverage|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred||100,000 points after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account||$95||1.25 cents||Great for businesses with travel expenses because you earn 3X points on travel|
Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel
15 Gold Street
New York, New York 10038
If you want to stay in New York without spending a fortune consider staying at Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel.
As a Category 4 hotel, it’s a great use of your annual Category 1 to 4 free night certificate from the Hyatt card. If you don’t have the Hyatt card, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred.
Gild Hall hotel is a great base to explore New York. The subway is a 4-minute walk away. It’s an easy walk to Midtown, SoHo and other parts of the city. Because Gild Hall is downtown, there are plenty of Ubers readily available.
I used Uber twice during my stay and both times I waited less than 2 minutes for a ride.
Gild Hall is away from the hustle and bustle of Midtown and the Times Square area. If you’re looking for a quiet place, it’s a nice refuge from the noise.
Where have you used your Category 1 to 4 free night certificate?
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