Chic coffee bar serving light meals plus room service
Meeting and event spaces for up to 250 people
In-room salon services with hair, spa, and massage
Free car service within 15 blocks of the hotel
Valet parking and pet friendly
Free Wi-Fi throughout
No pool or full spa
Some rooms lack coffeemakers
Reports of housekeeping not replenishing the minibars
Interior decor can feel cold and
The Knickerbocker is a polished five-pearl hotel right in Times Square. Reopened in 2015, this sleek,
hip property has 330 spacious, but not overly luxurious, rooms with bedside tablets that control lighting and temperature. Stand-out features include a coffee bar, a popular rooftop terrace with great views, a high-end restaurant headed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer, and an excellent fitness center, but there's no pool or full spa (in-room treatments can be arranged). Travelers
set on a spa to complete their luxury experience may prefer Westin New York at Times Square.
Sleek, hip hotel built in 1906 and reopened in 2015
The Knickerbocker has a storied history. It made its
debut in 1906 thanks to John Jacob Astor IV. He later passed away on the
Titanic, but he left behind a beautiful Beaux Arts-style building that became one of
the most popular hotels in the city at the time. The hotel was a famous
destination for celebrities in the early 1900s and is even
rumored to be the birthplace of the martini. But that sparkling era came to a close with the Prohibition, and the hotel was shuttered in 1921 and converted into offices. In 1988 it was declared a city landmark, and subsequently underwent a major renovation, reopening its doors in 2015.
Today it’s one of New York
City’s elite luxury hotels, with a historic exterior that has French Renaissance-style
details and a copper mansard roof. However, the sleek, chic interior decor is far from
historic, with glossy marble floors, lighting
on the edges of the ceiling, and a monochromatic color palette of creams and
browns. Some guests find this minimalist style cold and uninviting, especially paired with the lack of
seating in the lobby.
Because of its mature
vibe, The Knickerbocker isn’t an ideal place for families with children, though the hotel does
offer small backpacks, coloring books, and small toys to children upon arrival. The clientele is a mix of young and hip tourists attracted to the rooftop
terrace, vacationing couples looking to be in the center of the city, and business
In Times Square, within easy walking distance of many Manhattan attractions
The Knickerbocker is in the heart of New York City, at Times Square, surrounded by plenty of restaurants, bars, and Broadway theaters. It takes 10 minutes to reach Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall on foot, and the Empire State Building is a 13-minute walk away. For sports fans, Madison Square Garden takes 11 minutes on foot. It’s a 20-minute walk to the southern entrance of Central Park. A subway station and a bus stop right on the corner of the hotel gives easy transportation to other attractions such as the
9/11 Memorial (17 minutes), Chinatown (19 minutes), or Battery Park (19 minutes), where ferries leave for the Statue of Liberty. LaGuardia Airport is a 25-minute drive away, Newark takes half an hour to reach, and JFK takes 40 minutes by car.
Spacious rooms with tablets to control in-room lighting, free minibars, and luxurious bathrooms
The Knickerbocker offers rooms that are more
spacious than most in New York City. But their minimalist
design can come off a bit too basic with straight lines, color
tones of tans, creams, and browns, and little to no decorative elements. Suites
spice it up with a few undertones of purple, patterned walls, and luxurious
rugs on wooden floors. Tribute Suites have separate living rooms and come with perks such as free breakfast or welcome gifts. There’s a delicate balance of comfort (goose-down
pillows and cozy robes) and high-end technology such as large flat-screen
TVs and tablets that control room temperature and lighting. Rooms also have minibars with free bottled water and soft drinks, but there are no coffeemakers (except in Tribute Suites, which have Nespresso machines).
Bathrooms are sleek and luxurious, with white
marble sinks, illuminated vanity mirrors, and frosted-glass showers with waterfall
showerheads. Ted Gibson toiletries are a nice touch. Tribute
Suites, including the Caruso Suite, have separate deep tubs and showers and are
beautifully designed with purple-and-white marble walls and floors.
Rooftop terrace, bar, restaurant, coffeeshop, fitness center, meeting rooms, and free car service
The Knickerbocker's rooftop terrace -- St. Cloud -- sets the hotel apart from many other
properties in New York City, and the terrace' spectacular views, bar service, and a cigar
room attract guests and locals alike. However, it closes significantly
early for the city. There’s an on-site restaurant, Charlie Palmer at The
Knick, that serves a menu of American cuisine created by its namesake chef for breakfast,
lunch, and dinner. For something more casual, the on-site bar and lounge serves lighter fare throughout the day. For
coffee and grab-n-go items, Jake’s at The Knick is a good option, and the hotel offers 24-hour room service as well.
Though the hotel lacks a
pool, there is a high-end fitness center with brand-new
equipment that goes beyond the regular cardio and weight machines and free
weights, such as a punching bag. However, some parts of the exercise room can
feel a bit crowded. There's no on-site spa, but in-room treatments can be arranged including hair services, spa treatments, massages, and even cosmetic deliveries.
The hotel provides a few
meeting and event space options and terrace and restaurants can be rented out and outfitted with audiovisual equipment. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. There’s valet
parking and a free car service that’s available to all, but it’s on a
first-come, first-serve basis and only takes guests within 10 to 15 blocks of
the hotel. Pets are allowed, but there’s a hefty, non-refundable fee.
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