When we were planning our trip to New York City, one of the first things we nailed down was the hotel, the RIU Plaza Times Square, it was an easy decision because it was by far the most affordable hotel we could find and it was brand spankin’ new! Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!
The RIU Plaza Times Square only opened in March 2016 and we stayed there the end of April 2016, so there you go!
When we walked in at close to 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday night, we were really impressed with the lobby. It has some fun and funky décor and the whole ambiance of the lobby is hip and contemporary.
They seemed very efficient with check in. We had people to help us load all of our luggage onto the cart but when we were ready to go to our room they were nowhere around but that wasn’t a big deal and it saved us having to tip them!
We were on the 19th floor. The hallways and floors took us a bit by surprise. The hallways were fairly narrow, especially compared to what we normally see in hotels. It makes sense though, why waste the real estate on a hallway? The decorations in the hallways were very minimal and the walls were stark white. Honestly the hallways reminded me of a hospital!
It was interesting that the lobby was so chicly decorated but the floors were so minimalistic.
The room, don’t expect roomy accommodations! I didn’t think I was but when we got in it seemed like less room than I expected. I was really glad that we had decided against bringing the baby’s pack-n- play because there would have been no place to set it up, none, nada, zip!
You walk into the door and are in a hallway with a small closet on one side and the bathroom on the other side. There is a full length mirror on the wall next to the closet with a hook between the two.
Bring some 3M removable hooks with you! We really could have used more places to hang things. There was plenty of wall space that we could have hung up a hook for each of us to keep everything organized and within reach!
The bathroom is small but sufficient, there is no bathtub, which also makes sense but before we went I had the thought that we could let Brigan sleep in the tub…glad I wasn’t planning on it. Also, I am glad that our kids are used to taking showers, verses taking baths. If we needed a bathtub, the RIU Plaza wouldn’t have worked, at least this family room, room 1903.
I will say this; the bathroom offers little in privacy. The door is a sliding glass door that is mounted to the outside of the doorway. It looks really cool but when you shut the door there is a gap between the door and the wall and so if you are in the right spot you can see the person sitting on the toilet! Not a huge issue if you are a family, but we had my mom with us and that could be a little awkward for her and my husband.
The other thing about the bathroom is that the wall of the shower was frosted glass. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you realize that this wall separates the bathroom from the room, so if you are in the shower, your silhouette is seen in the bedroom. Again, not a big deal since we were all family, but kinda awkward anyway. It also means that when you turn the light on in the bathroom, the bedroom lights up too. Not a big deal for us, my kids will sleep through anything but if you have a light sleeper it may make a difference.
The room we were in, 1903, had 2 double beds and a pull out couch, it was what they called a Family Room (a step down and not quite as big as a Family Suite). The beds were pushed together with a nightstand on either side (small nightstands, but they did have drawers in them which we used to put the kids clothes in). We immediately moved them apart and put one of the nightstands in between the beds, which made it so we weren’t sharing a huge bed! It was super easy to change the arrangement and I took all of a minute.
Next to the beds on the wall was the couch that folds out. Opposite to the couch sat a little desk and a small refrigerator. It was big enough for 2 half gallons of milk (laid down) and a half gallon of almond milk and a few yogurts, but not much else. The way our room was set up it was difficult to open the fridge if the pull-out bed was also open, so we had to plan accordingly. This was only an issue when my mom and I went to the store and bought milk for the baby and then when we got home the kids were asleep in the bed…we managed though.
Between the end of the beds and the wall was a two or three foot walkway, it was enough room for our stroller to stay at the end of the bed with a very small amount of room to maneuver around it. There certainly wouldn’t have been room for a pack-n-play!
I have to say that the bed and even the pull-out bed were very comfortable (due to our baby having a hard time the first night with no crib, I have personal experience with the pull-out bed!) The first night, we noticed that we only had 3 pillows! One on each bed and one for the pull-out bed! And we didn’t have any bedding for the pull-out. We called them to get more pillows and bedding. And they did bring us more; however they literally brought them at 2 am! What the HUH? And they thought it was weird that we were asleep! “Oh, were you asleep?” Umm, yeah!
Okay, so I get this is kind of weird to mention, but the color scheme of the room presented a slight issue when traveling with kids, especially small kids. Now normally, who cares what the colors they pick for the decor are? Well, the main colors were WHITE and LAVENDAR. Not the best when you have kids. The walls were painted flat white and by the end of 5 days let’s just say the walls were covered with finger prints about 2 feet up and I was washing them with wet wipes! I also had to take a wet wipe to the lavender throw pillows after a small incident with a chocolate cake from Carlo’s Bakery! However, I will say this, the pillows and couch wiped up easily!
The room had one wall that was a ceiling to floor window; it was really cool to be able to look out on the city. The one thing I really didn’t understand was there was an openable window at the bottom of this full window. Now, I get it for airflow and all (especially since you have to put your key into a master switch so every time you leave your hotel room the air conditioner gets turned off.) The problem I had with this window was that I have a 2 year old! And while luckily I don’t think he could have fit through and fallen out the window (My husband respectfully disagreed, he was convinced Brigan could fit through the opening and fall 19 floors)…he would be able to throw things out the window. It was definitely nerve wracking considering the age of our kids.
When we forgot to print out the kids Jr Ranger packets for the Statue of Liberty, the Business Center came in handy, (I wouldn’t so much call it a “center” as a high table with 4-6 computers and a printer, no chairs and no way to do a significant amount of work) we were able to print them out in no time at all and for FREE! It was great having that option!
When we checked in, we got a code to the free WIFI and that was super nice not to have to waste our data when we were checking Facebook and Instagram!
Another thing that was really handy was the little café that was attached to the hotel. They unfortunately didn’t have milk for our little guy but they did have some yummy pastries and cakes. Great place to get a little snack or a quick breakfast before going out on the town…or dessert before bed!
We were happy to find out that they will hold your luggage after you check out! This was convenient because check out was at noon and we didn’t have to leave until 3:00. We ended up checking out around 9 and then we were able to still sightsee without having to worry about what to do with our luggage.
PRO TIP: I would bring some 3M removable hooks with me if you are traveling with multiple people like we were. There was nowhere near enough hooks for coats/bags and even in the bathroom we could’ve use a few more places to hang things. When you are in such a small space staying organized is key!
TO SUM UP:
Great Price. We paid about $300 a night all said and done. Not bad for 7 people.
There was a small grocery store within a short walking distance. The Food Emporium was just down 8th Street a few blocks and they had a nice selection of ready-to-eat meals, and in the basement is a grocery store that had milk, yogurt, diapers, etc., pretty much everything we could possibly need for 5 days.
The room was big enough to hold a family of seven
Easy check-in and check-out
Business Center with Computers and Printer
Food on Premises (The Café was open when we went but they were still working on the Restaurant)
Safe in the Room
Luggage holding area
CONS OF THE RIU PLAZA TIMES SQUARE
Very little privacy
The floor level, opening window
The color scheme of the rooms
No room for a Pack-n-Play (and they don’t offer one even if there was room)
Not a lot of room to unpack your clothes/Not a lot of storage space to keep the room clean
Despite a few negatives at the RIU Plaza Times Square, overall it was really a great experience and we would definitely recommend it.
I give it 4 stars, it was overall a great experience and we would for sure go back and recommend it to all my friends!
Want to stay at the RIU Plaza? Check out more here
Read all about our Transportable Travels to New York! Day One!