ssindc

Marriott-Bonvoy Moment: NYC (Madison Square Garden) ... & The Vessel (at Hudson Yards); SpringHill Suites

Discussion created by ssindc on Nov 21, 2019
Latest reply on Dec 9, 2019 by painedplatinum

Another Marriott Bonvoy Moment (or Experience) for me, this one in New York City.  The package was (basically) for two tickets - in the Marriott Suite - at Madison Square Garden for the New York Rangers versus Washington Capitals hockey game.  The package included one night at one of the nearby SpringHill Suites - New York Midtown Manhattan/Fifth Avenue (on 37th Street ... more on that, below).  Briefly, I'm glad I did it, and I'll rate the overall experience "fully satisfactory" (but, frankly, I'm hard pressed to oversell it).

 

In the big picture, however, it was a great trip ... up and back on the train is one of the great things about living in the DC area.... And I added an extra night (at my expense) at the hotel, enjoyed the hockey game, a couple of meals, and some hard core shopping with my elder (who lives in Brooklyn), and finally got to visit/experience The Vessel at Hudson Yards (and so, well, there will be pictures)... [Warning: all pictures from the hockey game are mobile phone only - fans can't bring big lenses into the games.  Alas.]

 

Insiders Inside Note/Tip: In my limited experience, this was a "modest moment" in contrast to, say, an over-the-top, once-in-a-lifetime, we'll be talking about that one for years kind of Moment.  To the extent I've now partaken of both, if you're interested in the more high-end experience, don't miss this post:  Sheraton Rio! Copa! Marriott Bonvoy Moments Experience! OUTSTANDING! (w/pics!!!) 

 

For example, this was very much a self-directed Moment/Experience.  In contrast to the Rio package, where Marriott staff welcomed and treated us like kings and fully engaged in the activities, we had no contact with any Marriott personnel on this one.

 

OK, let's start with the positive: the Marriott Suite at Madison Square Garden (on the Lexus Suite Level) is very nice and extremely well staffed.

Suite staff

In addition to some food, there were plentiful giveaways (for hockey or basketball fans).

pucks

OK, we took pucks (but not basketballs).  To each their own.

bballs

Very nice, comfortable seats - and the suite had a rest room (which is nice) and a closet and some extra seating. Trust me, there are far worse ways to watch a hockey game.  As for the hockey game, it was pretty much true to form. From warm-ups:

warmups

Lots of pre-game noise and light.

lights

Overall, a really fun evening - but (as noted above) - very much a hockey game in a nice suite as opposed to a Marriott-unique experience.  Still, an excuse to entertain one's offspring in the Big Apple - I'm glad I did it!

us

And did I mention I squeezed in a little tourism? 

 

Yup, I finally got to experience THE VESSEL at Hudson Yards. I'd add it to any list that includes the World Trade Center Observatory - lengthy write up & photos here - W NYC Downtown, WTC (Observatory & Memorial), and Pics!  - and the top of the Empire State Building....  I highly recommend it.

Vessel trains

What exactly is it?  To each, his/her own: public interactive, immersive art? gathering place? park? garden?

public space

Fascinating, captivating... 2,500 steps? 80 landings/platforms?

vessel

innumerable unique views

vessel construction

and perspectives,

vessel look down

including some hall-of-mirrors experiences...

vessel mirrors

It kind of felt like being inside an Escher device/construction or a mobius strip/loop....

mobius strip

It was worth it ... particularly because it's free (if you plan ahead) ... just for the people watching...  They claim that most folks only spend about half-an-hour there ... I was there (in the chill and the wind) for far more than an hour - I found it captivating and compelling....

vessel people

Their web page says: spiral staircase, a soaring new landmark meant to be climbed. This interactive artwork ... [is] a focal point where people can enjoy new perspectives of the city and one another from different heights, angles and vantage points....

vessel stairs

If you're like me - you enjoy heights and views - you can't wait for them to open the new viewing platform, The Edge, slated to be the highest sky deck in the Western hemisphere, in March of 2020.

The Edge

Should be fun!!!

 

As for the SpringHill Suites, ... as is often the case ... New York City hotels can be maddening.  And I was slightly frustrated, because I recently stayed in a "better" (but definitely far more satisfying) SpringHill Suites, in Las Vegas - summary here: Las Vegas SpringHill Suites (Convention Center) - Red Rock Canyon, Cycling ...

 

In all fairness, left to my own devices, I wouldn't have stayed at this property, but it came with the Moment/Experience ticket package....

 

Full disclosure: there were two types of packages available - with and without the hotel.  For whatever reason, the auctions for the "with hotel" packages concluded first (or earlier), and the price (number of points) difference was marginal, so I (basically) viewed the night in the hotel as a freebie.  

 

I must say, I don't really understand the marketing angle on this.  If "Moments" are supposed to be "special," why put the kind of folks who have points war chests in (less than special) SpringHill Suites? 

 

It's not like there weren't plentiful options (and I'm not even talking out the high-end stuff like the Ritz Carltons or the Editions)... In our experience, the Renaissance 57 (not far away) is reasonably priced and "unique," ... and, of course ... right there in Times Square, among others, you have the iconic (and massive) Marquis and the extremely popular Renaissance (with one of the best (most entertaining) view M lounges you'll find anywhere).  Still, it is what it is....

 

As for the hotel itself:

  • There are a gazillion Marriott-SPG-Bonvoy hotels in NYC these days, and - as we see elsewhere - this one was a multi-property pod, with an adjacent Marriott (Pulse-Vacation Club) and a Fairfield Inn.  (I haven't stayed at either.)  Within a few blocks are two other properties we've used - the Residence Inn (one of the best we've stayed in - it's a great property) and a Courtyard (which has some nice rooms, but is a Spartan property otherwise).

  • nice staff at the front desk (but very limited interaction with them) - and very friendly staff in the breakfast room;

  • my greatest frustration was the air handler, which was one of the loudest imaginable - and, sadly, it was quite close to the bed;
    • alas, the air handler noise was insufficient to drown out the loud (and clear) elevator floor ping (which, thankfully, petered out before 1:00 am and didn't start up again until almost 5:00 am)...

  • the closet was functional for a very short stay (1 or 2 nights) - I had to be in a suit the day after, so I actually needed the closet, and I was glad that I didn't have much else to put in there;

  • there were two small elevators - which is not very many for a tallish building, but one was not operational for much of the stay - we only experienced one long wait (which was inconvenient, but not nearly as bothersome as the relentless whining of the arrogant/obnoxious guest who shared the wait/ride - alas, with only one elevator, there was no obvious way to avoid him); the bumping and rattling might have unnerved some guests (but, having jumped out of airplanes in the Army, the noise didn't bother me).

 

At the end of the day, I'm glad I burnt the points for the hockey game - I'd rather use the points than hoard them, ... it was great to spend time with my elder in NYC, the Vessel was worth the visit ... and I'm glad that there are so many Marriott Bonvoy hotel options to choose from in NYC/Brooklyn.

Outcomes