A while ago, we took a quick weekend trip to the Big Apple for some much needed R&R. Since we were looking for a relatively low priced property in the center of town, the Westin Grand Central came up as a number one choice. And simply because it was the middle of January, hotel rates were around $105/night, which felt like a steal for a weekend in NYC. The hotel used to be an SPG category 5 @ 12,000 points at the time which is actually a great deal for when rates are higher. This is also no longer the case though.
212 East 42nd Street
New York, NY, 10017, United States
Phone: (212) 490-8900
SPG Category: 6 à 25,000 points/night
There is absolutely nothing to write home about here and the lobby is pretty much your regular, run-of-the-mill Westin lobby. We were promptly checked in, offered our free breakfast coupons in lieu of 500 SPG points, and given our room keys. Since the hotel was apparently full, the only upgrade we received was to a room facing the Empire State Building, a few streets away. We were glad however that we received the late checkout ofNothing to complain about, but also nothing to write home about.
The Room: Again, nothing special, but held to the Westin brand standard well. The room size was especially decent for Midtown Manhattan and views were rather good of both the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building.
WIFI & Connectivity:
The hotel had extremely fast WIFI access (averaging over 50 mbps), and so watching online streaming was a breeze (that’s all we care about anyway right? J) The room featured outlets in all the right places: next to the bed and by the desk.
Breakfast is served daily at the LCL Bar & Kitchen, and Platinum members get $16 off per person per item off the menu or a grab and go continental breakfast. I didn’t partake in either because I woke up well after breakfast was over, but it seemed to be nice enough for a quick bite.
Lunch @ Junoon
Junoon Restaurant | 27 W 24th St, New York NY 10010 | Phone Number: 212.490.2100
Since we didn’t have breakfast that morning, we headed out to Junoon Fine Indian Dining for lunch. Junoon is one of three Michelin star Indian restaurants in New York, and is about 1.5 miles from the Westin Grand Central. It was an absolute scorcher outside (below 20 F) so we just took an Uber. Since it was a weekday, the restaurant wasn’t busy and so I’m sure we would’ve been seated quite quickly without a reservation. The ambiance, service and food are what you would expect from a Michelin star restaurant, absolutely faultless. Prices are on the really high side, but that is to be expected.
I ordered the Vegetarian Thali so that I could try multiple dishes and it came with both bread and dessert at the end. The rest of the group ordered a variety of items off the menu. Portion size was good and we all ended up sharing to finish what we had ordered. The menu pairings have changed since we last visited (there is no longer a thali), but it still has a very good selection of vegetarian dishes.
I will say this before ending my commentary: you are pretty much spoiled for choice when it comes to Indian food in this part of the country so the prices didn’t seem to justify us revisiting on a regular basis. Though it would definitely be a nice restaurant to try on a rainy day.
After lunch, we went back to the hotel picked up our things and headed back to the Jersey side of things. It was almost 5pm, but the hotel seemed to have no problem.
Bottom Line: The Westin Grand Central is a rather conveniently located hotel and has all the required amenities. Room size is decent, Wi/Fi speed is fast, and views of the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building are pretty good. At this rate I would not hesitate to return, but given its new category, I would rather find a Hyatt or even stay at the Ritz Carlton (which costs a lesser number of star points).
Check out some of our best NYC pictures in our Focal Point: Empire State Building post.
Have you ever stayed at the Westin Grand Central? What’s your favorite Indian restaurant in New York?