I hesitate to write this. It might get me in trouble.
You see, any time that the Blackneys (my father’s side of the family) head to New York City, there is only one place that they stay: The Wellington Hotel. Over the years, I have stayed there a few times as well, most recently on a girls weekend getaway with my mother, sister, aunts and cousins to the Big Apple this month. And while my family absolutely adore this hotel and will never stay anywhere else, there are some things to know and tips to help make your stay better.
The very affordable Wellington Hotel has one of the most desirable locations in New York. Not only is it in proximity to all Midtown Manhattan landmarks, such as Central Park, Broadway, Carnegie Hall and Times Square, but the N, R and Q subways are just outside the door. And with a little more walking or a short taxi ride, there are more subway options, restaurants, shopping, as well as the Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller Center, and the Theater District.
In addition to a fair price point (by New York City standards), the hotel also offers a variety of suites that include a kitchenette with fridge and microwave, plus separated living spaces. These is ideal for wedding parties, large touring groups and family vacations.
Extra amenities include two restaurants, room service, a 24-hour business center and two gift shops. While I have not yet dined there, Molyvos Mediterranean is a highly regarded Greek restaurant serving meat and seafood options. Furthermore, when you book through the hotel, you also get complimentary wi-fi. And with bell boys that my family knows by name, there is a loyal staff who not only stick around but also display friendly customer service in a city that is better known for moving quickly without pleasantries.
While it is a great value and offers some space solutions for groups, it is an older hotel with some maintenance and upkeep issues. Honestly, the decor does not bother me at all, though it is rather old-fashioned and somewhat confused. I like the vintage gold walls, sparkling chandelier and the ornate ceilings, but then some 80’s interior designs are thrown in too. Some will find this adds character and others might wish for updated carpeting and fixtures. According to my mother and two aunts, they have done some renovations so there is a variety of room styles. I also have read reviews of people having to deal with noise from construction. While noise could be a concern, the renovations are needed, because what I consider charm now will likely deteriorate into something less enticing in the near future.
This also leads to my insider tip. The rooms here are each very different, and so if you do not like your room then speak with the staff and try to get it changed. The next room will likely be better if the first option does not suit your needs. We swapped suites this most recent trip, because we needed a different bed configuration without a pull-out sofa. On the other hand, sometimes you end up in a lovely room with more space than you may need. If you are seeking space, then pay a little more and upgrade to a suite. Otherwise, you very likely will end up in a very small room. On one stay, the toilet and the tub were so close together that I stepped into the tub to sit on the loo. The hotel is very busy so your best bet is to outline your desires in advance, book directly through them, and arrive early.
But it is New York and this is an old building, so much of the size and space constraints come from it’s very own architecture. The hallways are narrow and the elevator is old, slow and cramped too. In our room, we had a broken lamp, missing lightbulbs, peeling paint and wallpaper; but not in a disgusting motel way, more in an old building way. It is almost as if as soon as they repair something, then another thing breaks.
The truth is that I would probably not choose to stay here with Dave — not for a romantic getaway. But for a family trip or for cost-conscious travelers who are less concerned about style and more interested in the number of beds, especially because the day is spent on the streets of the city and not a hotel room, then this is a superb place and a great value.
Hopefully I still get invited back soon, because I really do <3 New York.