There’s nothing like Autumn in New York City! The end of summer humidity, the leaves changing in Central Park, the ritual unpacking of cute fall clothes; my family loved it all when we lived in NYC. Now that we live in Los Angeles, one of our annual family pilgrimages to New York is in November. Thanksgiving in New York City, famous mostly for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, is just about our favorite family-oriented travel holiday. Since we used to live there, Thanksgiving trips to New York are obviously tinted with love and nostalgia, and this past year was perfect. A huge reason why this was, was the amazing stay my family had at The Chatwal Hotel.
As one of the Ambassadors for the Starwood Preferred Guest ® credit card from American Express, I was given 70,000 Starpoints. The challenge was to spend it over Thanksgiving and…holiday challenge accepted! The Chatwal Hotel, like all NYC hotels during the holidays, is pretty pricey and worth it. For two night at the Chatwal, we got a gorgeous room that slept four, at 30,000 Starpoints a night. This left me with 10,000 Starpoints that I happily pocketed for later.
Our interest in staying in The Chatwal Hotel was sparked when it was named one of the top ten “Best Hotels in New York City” in the 2016 Travel & Leisure World’s Best Awards. Looking at some photos, we saw that The Chatwal’s design is Art Deco, my husband’s absolute favorite kind of design, and that its Times Square-adjacent location was perfect for the three shows we were going to see over Thanksgiving weekend. And then — why, look at that, it’s a member of the Starwood family! That means quality (and Starpoints usage). All these considered, who wouldn’t be interested in a NYC hotel? Calling, making a reservation, and using the Starpoints all went as seamlessly as usual. Little did we know, back then, that the Chatwal Hotel would make for a perfect, romantic NYC holiday.
When we got there we saw that this is one seriously boutique-sized hotel. There are only 76 guest rooms and suites, and here’s a treat: each room has complimentary high speed internet access. Those of you who travel and stay in luxury hotels have felt the pain of daily wifi fees, as this nickel-and-diming is a main source of annoyance for quite a few frequent travelers. The Chatwal Hotel relieves us of this burden; of course, Starwood SPG Amex card members get complimentary wifi at Starwood hotels as a member benefit anyway, but The Chatwal is to be commended regardless.
The Chatwal Hotel Guest Rooms:
The Chatwal guest rooms include Superior Queen Rooms, Deluxe King Rooms, Grand Deluxe King Rooms, and Deluxe Double/Double Rooms. The Chatwal guest suites include Junior Suites with Terrace, Garden Suites, The Chatwal Suite (pictured below), Producer One Bedroom with Rooftop, and the Director One Bedroom Suite. I was only able to see our own room during our stay because it was Thanksgiving week. Have you been in New York City over Thanksgiving? Crowded is an understatement. As you can imagine, all rooms were booked. But, the room was great. The Empire Art Deco was crisp with the clean lines you’d expect, and the consistency of style throughout the property hotel brings a sense of wholeness and escape to our overall impression.
The Lambs Club: This is the restaurant at this boutique luxury hotel. The Art Deco design continues here, adding to the flow of feel throughout The Chatwal. NYC theater history buffs will love this fun fact: the Lambs Club was originally a clubhouse for The Lambs, America’s first professional theater club (established way back in 1874). Members included Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astaire, John Barrymore, Rogers & Hammerstein, and W.C. Fields! Today it can seat up to 90 guests, who can all sit back and imagine the nights of frivolity spent here in days gone by. We ate here for breakfast twice and dinner once, and we loved it. At brunch, there was live music, to our immense delight; a four-person band playing and singing hits from the 1920’s, complete with a flapper at the vocals! We later learned that there’s live music — not too loud or intrusive — every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
There’s a mezzanine bar at The Chatwal as well, but the Lambs Club is magic. Imagine being a man infatuated with the Art Deco style, a love for Gershwin-era New York City romanticism, and being surprised by a flapper singing “Ain’t Misbehavin’” during brunch. The sentimentality for New York City’s Golden Age practically oozes from the pores of my husband, and from the gleaming walls of The Chatwal Hotel as well. It was a perfect NYC hotel for my family, and we met the SPG Amex Holiday Challenge with delight.
The value of Starpoints cannot be overstated. Whether card members typically save up their Starpoints all year for one big pampering blowout, spend the points here and there for air fare, shopping and dining, or are lucky enough to have 70,000 Starpoints deposited into their accounts (ahem), using them to soften the blow of holiday travel seems especially wise and wallet-friendly. Yes, I’ve gone on and on about this past year’s Thanksgiving being the best NYC trip so far. We went to Saturday Night Live, went to a jazz club, saw the Upright Citizens Brigade, saw Hamilton, definitely ate too much, saw old friends and family, and stayed at Starwood’s The Chatwal on 44th Street. The Chatwal was such an unexpected delight that it’s a toss-up deciding what was the best NYC experience this year…and that’s including Hamilton.
Disclosure: I received 70,000 Starpoints to stay at a Starwood property of my choice over the holidays, as part of my Starwood Preferred Guest American Express “Amex Stars” partnership. All opinions expressed as mine.