Review: Even Hotels Times Square South
We had four nights in New York City, and after our initial one-night stay at the Hilton Times Square Hotel, we checked into the Even Hotels Times Square South. It was 11am in the morning and they already had a room prepared - win! We would have been happy to just drop our luggage off.
This hotel was booked with purchased IHG Rewards Points, during one of IHG's bonus point sales. This meant that our stay was at a signficiant discount, as opposed to the usual rate.
The stay cost a total of 120,000 IHG Rewards Points.
I was welcomed as a Platinum Elite member at check-in, and was offered the choice between a drink voucher at check-in, or 600 IHG Rewards Club Points. I opted for the former, and received four.
The hotel still deposited 600 IHG Rewards Club points into my account, as I found most IHG hotels did over the course of our trip, so I am glad I opted for the drink vouchers!
The 'Well-come' island adjacent to the reception desk contains two different types of drinks, and cold water. They offer you these when you check-in, and you can help yourself over the course of your stay. This was a nice added touch.
We made out way to our room on Level 23, Room 2302. While the front desk associate did not suggest that we'd received an upgrade of any kind, I did note that this was one of the higher level rooms in the hotel, and had pretty good outlook, so we were pleased.
The rooms were small, but well designed.
The bed was to the left as we walked into the room. It is a 'Simmons Beautyrest Bed’, with eucalyptus linens, and a luxury duvet. There was also a pillow menu with different options, though we opted to not try any others as the standard pillows sufficed.
Next to the left side of the bed was the phone and some notepads. USB plugs were abundant, adjacent to the beds, and near the desk, for easy charging of devices.
Next to the right side of the bed was a clock radio (which had another USB port), and a remote which adjusted the lighting in the room.
The TV was on a swivel, so could be pulled out and oriented towards the bed, for easy viewing. The room guide says that HDMI cables are provided at every TV to allow device connections (which is GREAT for a hotel, most have their own in-room systems that don’t allow connections for Netflix and the like). However, I couldn’t find the cord. There was a spare connection point, so perhaps you may have been able to request a cord at reception (the in-room guide suggested that if you left cords at home, they have plenty for you to borrow).
The desk was small, but adequate, and the desk chair was comfortable, and fully adjustable. I spent a bit of time doing some work here. The free wireless internet is so easy to use; you just log-in with the code they give you from reception, or with your IHG email address. Simple. Was very fast and reliable, the most so of any hotel that I have stayed at for some time.
To the right of the TV was a whiteboard, where the staff had left a welcome message.
Each room has an in-room training zone, complete with accessories. The hotel even has fitness videos that you can use. These can be accessed through the IHG app by clicking on Even Hotels, choosing fitness, and then selecting from core, cardio or strength. Alternatively, they can be found on the EVEN Hotels exercise channels on the in-room TV.
There is a Keurig Coffee Machine, and different teas/coffees. These were replenished daily.
Free packaged tea that you can take home with you.
There is a free water bottle that you can take home - I currently have this sitting on my desk at work. I understand that the hotel will often lead outdoor activities, or can recommend running tracks etc. so this may come in useful during your stay too.
While the hotel charges an exorbitant amount for laundry, like every other chain hotel, they do have free laundry for active-wear. Sandy and I joked about what this might entail, and how far you could push it ("I promise these are my gym clothes!!") but it fits in with the theme of the hotel, and is a nice amenity, and probably to prevent smelly guests walking around all the time. The free laundry bags were in the closest area adjacent the bathroom.
The bathroom amenties were by EO, which Sandy loved. They were all made in the US too.
The shower was wonderful, with hand-held or rain-shower options. There was no tub, but some rooms do have these (I prefer a shower nevertheless). It seems that I didn't take proper photos of the bathroom - I admittedly tend to concentrate on accessories and the things you don't tend to see up close in hotel website photographs.
The shower accesories were hand squeeze bottles, which is great as it minimises waste.
The hotel doesn’t include these in the room, but offer free of charge upon request: Shaving cream, toothpaste, toothbrush, disposable razors, combs, sewing kits, shower caps. I have stayed in expensive hotels where some of these amenities cost extra, so this is a nice added convenience.
The room had a decent view of the adjacent cityscape, which I hear is not that common for NYC.
The lower level of the hotel has a marketplace & grab and go area, with bean to cup coffee, tea, juices, sandwiches, cold drinks, energy snacks, treats etc – you just scan, and tap your room card. If you want to use one of the complimentary vouchers, just let a staff member know, and then you can pretty much just take the drink away without any other processing involved. We used ours on some green dragon tea cold drinks, and two on coffees.
Cork & Kale does breakfast and dinner, but we didn’t try any of these. The bar is open until 11pm, though we did see people drinking down there even later.
They also do blended smoothies, which I wish we tried.
You can allegedly build your own meals – pick up an order form from reception, drop your order off by 9pm, and pick up next morning from 6am.
Newspapers and Macs are also available in the seating area adjaent to to Cork and Kale, near the elevators, and it’s quite a nice area to do some work (if you like working in a communal space), or to do some reading. There was also a printer that allowed walk-up printing from wireless devices.
Water and ice stations are available on levels 5, 10, 15, and 20, and in the market place area, and in the gym.
In terms of other hotel features, which we unfortunately didn't visit:
- There is an Athletic Studio located adjacent to the elevators on the lobby floor, and features three zones for core, cardio and strength work outs. This is open 24/7.
- There is a Flex Room, which can be used for group fitness classes, social events and meetings. Plug your phone into TV, log into IHG App, and do group fitness. The room also has a punching bag, and an interactive gaming system – games are on the system, or can be borrowed from the "Well-come" island along with controllers.
We ate in our room one night. There was no cutlery in the room, so I rang to ask for some from housekeeping. They quickly brought these to our room too (albeit plastic, but complete with salt and pepper).
Overall the service in the hotel was good, and a lot friendlier then we were expecting for this fast-paced, busy city. We left the hotel at around 10am on our last day in NYC, ready to walk to Penn Station to catch our train to Washington DC. If the price was right, or there was a good deal on IHG Rewards Points, I would definitely stay again.