Art-lover’s paradise: A review of the Conrad New York Downtown

Editor’s note: During the
COVID-19 crisis, our team has temporarily ceased taking review
trips. Instead, we have been�
publishing a selection of our most
popular reviews from the past year. We have, however, resumed the
publication of new, previously unpublished flighthotel and lounge reviews,
from trips taken before the lockdown. We hope this will help you
choose once we’re all ready to start booking trips again.

This stay occurred before the coronavirus pandemic caused
restrictions on travel to many destinations.
New York state
currently requires visitors from certain states
to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.

As a New Yorker, it’s not often I get to check out Manhattan
hotels. So, when my best friend was coming to visit I jumped at the
chance to have a staycation in my own city. It also gave me an
opportunity to experience my new Diamond Hilton Honors status at
the Conrad New York
Downtown
.

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This hotel is great for visitors, especially if you have elite
status with Hilton or points to burn. It’s an all-suite property
that’s been recently refreshed, is close to a ton of attractions,
offices, transit options and gives you access to New York’s
fabulous West Side and the Hudson River.

Related: A
review of the Conrad New York Midtown

Conrad downtown NYC 2020. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)Conrad
downtown NYC 2020. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

I loved this hotel — and I loved it even more when I learned
it
began its life as an Embassy Suites,
which explains why the
rooms are so big. It was built in 2000, and legend has it that
employees at nearby Goldman Sachs didn’t want to stay at an
Embassy Suites when they came to town. The firm bought the hotel in
2011 and rebranded as the more luxurious Conrad in
2012.

I’ll bet employees don’t complain about the accommodations
these days.

In This Post Booking

I booked my stay directly with Hilton online. The total came to
$353 per night with taxes. The base rate, however, was $301, so you
can see how quickly those taxes and fees add up in
New York City
. There are state and city taxes and a “Javits
Center fee†of $1.50 for the expansion of the city’s mammoth
convention center.

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)(Photo
by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

I earned a total of 11,754 Hilton Honors Points for the stay
including 4,377 base points, more than 6,000 bonus points thanks to
my Diamond elite status and a 1,000-point bonus when I checked into
the hotel.

Later, I received an additional 6,860 Hilton points because I
used my brand-new Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card,
which earns 14x points on eligible Hilton stays.

Related:
Why Hilton’s top credit card has me switching my hotel
loyalty

That Aspire credit card comes with Hilton
Diamond status for as long as you have the card
. While the card
has a large annual fee of $450 (see rates and fees), there are other
valuable inclusions
like an up to $250 annual Hilton resort
credit, an up to $250 annual airline credit and a free weekend
night when you open your account and each year on your card
anniversary.

Related: Review
of the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American
Express

If you want to stay at this property in the future, you can
expect to pay anywhere from $265 per night to over $500 per night
for a deluxe suite with one king bed, depending on the time of
year.

If you want to use points, rooms start at 80,000 Hilton Honors
points per night, which is a solid deal.

Location

The Conrad
New York Downtown is in a fabulous location near the lower tip of
Manhattan. You couldn’t ask for a better spot as a tourist. With
a 15-minute walk, you could be at the ferry dock to visit the
Statue of Liberty. The Oculus transit station and shopping center
is a 10-minute walk away. Brookfield Place mall is across the
street, as is the incredible memorial to victims of the Irish
famine.

Not far from the Conrad NYC Downtown. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)Not
far from the Conrad NYC Downtown. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The
Points Guy)

The Sept. 11 memorials and museum are also within walking
distance. You could walk around Battery Park, take the Staten
Island Ferry, bike on the Westside Highway, explore Wall Street or
even get to City Hall without ever hailing a cab. There are great
places to eat and grab a bite nearby, too, including Locanda Verde
and, for something more casual, Clinton Hall.

Check-in

The check-in process was great. It was very quiet in the lobby
and at the front desk, which might have been because coronavirus
fears were beginning to escalate in the U.S. when I stayed
here.

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)(Photo
by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Related:
7 reasons to get the Hilton Aspire card

There was no one in line, and the employee was very nice. I was
told I was entitled to a welcome amenity (I chose bonus points) as
well as free breakfast due to my Diamond status. In addition to
complimentary breakfast, Hilton’s top-tier members enjoy perks
such as executive-floor lounge access and room upgrades, so I was
pleased to see my status in action.

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)Front
desk at the Conrad New York Downtown. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The
Points Guy)

The hotel has some cool features, including its LEED (Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. That means
it has a relatively light environmental footprint. But really, I
was blown away by all the artwork. Art lovers are in for a
treat.

Related: How
to choose the best Hilton credit card for you

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)Lobby
of the Conrad New York Downtown. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The
Points Guy)Room

As I mentioned earlier, this property recently got a refresh,
which included updating the soft furnishings, improving the
lighting and replacing the televisions and carpeting. If you go
anytime soon, you’ll hopefully still get that “new carpetâ€
smell.

Executive suite at Conrad Hilton Downtown. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)The
executive suite at Conrad Hilton Downtown. (Photo by Clint
Henderson/The Points Guy)

I stayed in an executive suite, and I loved it. It was huge by
New York City standards — the hotel says it’s more than 700
square feet. I loved the desk setup and the large walk-in closet. I
also appreciated the separate bedroom. But my favorite amenity was
the Nespresso machine, with new pods available on demand.

Executive suite at Conrad Hilton Downtown. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)The
executive suite at Conrad Hilton Downtown. (Photo by Clint
Henderson/The Points Guy)

My biggest complaint about the room was the low ceilings. The
views look out to nearby high-rises, but I didn’t mind looking
directly at some of the tallest buildings in the country, including
the World Trade Center.

My bathroom was narrow, which could be frustrating, and the
bathtub was short, though at least it was deep.

Executive suite at Conrad Hilton Downtown. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)The
executive suite at Conrad Hilton Downtown. (Photo by Clint
Henderson/The Points Guy)

There was a separate living room with a wet bar area complete
with cabinets and a small sink. There was an L-shaped couch that
was comfortable and had a pull-out bed.

Executive suite at Conrad Hilton Downtown. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)The
executive suite at Conrad Hilton Downtown. (Photo by Clint
Henderson/The Points Guy)

My friend thought the mattresses were a little hard, but I loved
both the bedding and the mattress.

My internet seemed to work pretty well, but the speed test
returned disappointing results. Download speeds were 14.9 Mbps and
upload speeds were 14.6 Mbps. I was able to work without any major
issues, though, which would be the most important thing for any
business traveler.

Food and beverage

I ordered room service around 9 p.m. It was delivered very
quickly — only about 15 minutes later. It was super expensive as
expected — $120 with service included and a $5 delivery fee. The
sliders were excellent, the pepperoni pizza was fine (though it
reminded me of a very basic frozen variety) and the chicken club
sandwich was a little dry.

The employee who delivered our meal was very friendly and said
only about 100 of the more than 400 rooms were occupied that Friday
night — a harbinger of the havoc the coronavirus was about to
unleash on the travel industry.

The next morning after a great night’s sleep we enjoyed
breakfast at the Mediterranean-style restaurant and wine bar,
Atrio. It’s the hotel’s upscale restaurant and where elite
members can claim their free breakfast. The restaurant has lots of
space, an open kitchen and nice views of the city.

Diamond members can choose from a limited side menu or apply $20
per person to anything else on the menu. My friend had avocado
toast ($22) and a coffee, and I had eggs and bacon (also $22) as
well as grapefruit juice and a double cappuccino.

The total bill came to $47.91, but we weren’t asked to pay for
any of it. It looks like they gave me more than the $40 typically
allocated to the Diamond breakfast, which I thought was a lovely
gesture.

There’s also the Loopy Doopy rooftop bar, which is a terrace
on the 16th floor of the hotel. It offers sweeping views of the
Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. Sadly, it
was still closed for the season during my visit. 

Amenities

The hotel boasts more than 2,000 pieces of one-of-a-kind
contemporary artwork including the massive lobby mural by Sol
LeWitt  â€œLoopy Doopy (Blue and Purple)†which I loved.

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)The
lobby of the Conrad downtown NYC. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The
Points Guy)

The gym was filled with new equipment including at least five
cardio machines and free weights. Cleaning attendants were
constantly wiping down surfaces and there was a giant
hand-sanitizer dispenser. One of the staff members I chatted with
said she’d worked there for 20 years and it was the emptiest
she’d ever seen the hotel.

Service

The service at the Conrad New York Downtown was, overall,
excellent.

All the employees I interacted with were friendly and chatty. I
called the front desk a few times to get more Nespresso pods and
they were delivered quickly and with kindness.

Turndown service was offered, and we were left with extra
coffee, ice, a sleep fragrance called “Scented†and extra water
bottles.

Related: Why
you may not get housekeeping on your next hotel
stay

There was only one time I was taken aback during my stay. I
asked the woman at the front desk for late checkout since the hotel
was practically empty. I asked for 3 p.m., and she said she could
only do 2 p.m. I don’t know why that hour mattered so much, since
the hotel was a ghost town, but I still left a very happy
camper.

Overall impression (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)Near
the Conrad New York Downtown. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points
Guy)

I really enjoyed my stay at the Conrad
New York Downtown.

Thanks to the spacious rooms, good service, glamorous setting
and easy access to the wonders of Manhattan, I’d gladly recommend
this hotel to any traveler, especially if he or she can snag a good
deal using points. And I imagine as the hospitality industry
recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll be able to find great
deals using both points and cash.

I know some folks complain that this Conrad is in an isolated
part of lower Manhattan, but I’d much rather have a little
breathing room downtown than to be crowded in a busy epicenter like
Times Square.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire card, click here.

All photos by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
Art-lover’s paradise: A review of the Conrad New York
Downtown