I will be in NYC from December 23rd until January 2nd, on points (I'm a Platinum Elite), and after having to cancel a similar trip for difficult family reasons, 3 years in a row, I reaaaaallllyyyy want this trip to be special for my family.
At this point, I have made reservations at: Marriott East Side; Westin Times Square; Sheraton Times Square; Marriott Marquis; the new Renaissance New York Chelsea. I still have time to cancel, but I did not want to risk not having the reservations if I waited. Generally speaking, I am leaning towards the East Side, BUT want to hear your opinions! Also, the Renaissance in Chelsea is not open yet, but seems lovely, so I'm willing to consider it too, although I am not familiar with the area where it is located, and need/would appreciate, your input!
For us, having an executive lounge is very important, so that is mostly what my choices are based on. Also, we like a bit of an "elegant" hotel, particularly since it is the Holidays, and we tend to be a bit dressy, generally speaking.
After reading a lot of the reviews, I am about to cancel the Marriott Marquis because of its "elite+1" strict lounge policy, since we are 4. We've never really had an issue in any lounge around the world, and obviously, we don't abuse the courtesy Marriott offers.
So basically, I would like to ask opinions on which hotel would be a better match in terms of:
1. Lounge access, offerings, hours of operation, etc.
2. Hotel decor, lobby being nice, rooms being updated, general "elegant" vibe
3. Being close to the subway, as well as upscale shopping and dining within walking distance. I know Times Square is certainly crazy (and not necessarily fitting with this point...), BUT since it's the Holidays, I'm considering it for my brother's sake... (Mom and I are more about dressy dinner and he's like "let's see the ball drop in jeans"!)
4. Any other amenities, points to consider, general recommendations, area-specific recommendations, transportation suggestions, etc. you may want to share.
I have checked most of the discussion threads about the specific hotels and about the city, but most are a bit old, so I thought a newer discussion could be appropriate.
As I said earlier, it's been quite a trying few years for my family, so I am going a bit OCD about this trip to make it as memorable as possible! Thank you ALL, in advance, for your tips and advice!