Marriott Marquis Times Square New York Hotel


I don’t have any Marriott co-branded cards in my wallet right now, but I do have Bonvoy gold status as a benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express (membership required). I used that card to pay for my stay, and a few days later I discovered that my 14,076 points (9,261 base + 2,315 elite bonus + 2,500 bonus) had been credited to my account. If you frequently stay at Marriott hotels, consider a card like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, which earns 6x points on eligible purchases at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and offers a valuable up-to-50,000-point anniversary free night, a $100 luxury property credit on select cash bookings at Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis hotels, and more.


It’s challenging to imagine a location in New York that is more convenient than the Marriott Marquis. The hotel is located in the midst of Times Square, which is a part of Midtown. Every time I go to Times Square, I pass by this hotel, but I’ve never considered staying there.

From the square, it features blink-and-you’ll-miss-it signage. It’s directly to your left, across from the McDonald’s, if you’re standing on the steps above the TKTS booth, despite the front being covered in flashing billboards.


A hotel of this magnitude, surrounded by massive billboards, was unlikely to have a luxurious, customized entrance or check-in experience. The car and pedestrian entrances were on either side street.

The hotel, like Times Square, was large, crowded, and noisy.

Following the signs, you needed to take the elevators up to the eighth floor to check in.

The elevators were where you first realized how massive this hotel was. There was a large bank in the center of the building with about a dozen elevators, and you chose your floor and it chose the elevator for you.

Several of the elevators had glass walls, giving you a great view of the interior of the massive structure as you whizzed up and down.

On the eighth floor, there was a massive check-in area. While 2,000 rooms would never check in or out at the same time, the space was designed to handle dozens of guests at a time, and it felt more like I was registering for a large conference than checking into a luxury hotel.

Because I have Gold status in the Bonvoy program, I went to the Bonvoy Elite counter, where I was swiftly assisted. The check-in agent congratulated me for my devotion and excitedly informed me that I had been upgraded to a room with a great view of Times Square, which she added “is exactly where you want to be for New Year’s Eve views.” With a wink, we joked about how cold it would be outside and how we’d be waiting all day on the street for the ball drop. “Trust me, you’d much rather be in the room I’ve given you,” she replied.

She also informed me of the $30 daily destination fee. While this was not surprising, it was upsetting because I was in one of the world’s largest cities, not some remote location where I wouldn’t leave the property.

The destination fee could be used as a credit in the hotel’s bars and restaurants (which suited me because I wanted to try them out for the review), as well as a tour ticket and high-speed internet, though the check-in agent informed me that as a Marriott Bonvoy Gold member, I would receive the high-speed internet regardless.

Around the foyer, there were numerous amenities, such as souvenir stores and a money exchange. It had the feel of a theme park rather than a luxury hotel.

Surprisingly, for a 2,000-room hotel, there was no place for customers to relax as in a traditional lobby. The elevator banks, check-in desks, restaurants, and bars took up most of the floor space on the eighth level, leaving anyone who wanted to sit and wait to either perch on the edge of a restaurant or bar or just about sit in a corridor.


I was given a room on the 35th floor, farther down the long corridors. The higher I walked, the larger the building seemed.

I could see the gym a few stories below my room as I headed towards it.

As I entered the room, I noticed a bathroom to my left with a shower/tub combination.

This Works toiletries were provided in the bathroom.

A closet with a safe and baggage rack was located opposite the bathroom and near to the front door.

There was also a coffee machine nearby.

Let’s go into the room. First and foremost, it was massive by New York standards. I’ve stayed in hotel rooms in this city where the door practically reaches the corner of the bed as you open it and you can’t fully open your bag due to a lack of floor space. I could easily fit 25 people in this room.

A king bed with comfortable cushions was provided.

There was a full-sized couch, armchair, and coffee table facing the window.

It had a desk with a large flat-screen television.

There were floor-to-ceiling windows behind that.

Oh, and there’s that vista….

I’ll admit that, despite having visited New York numerous times this year, I gasped a little when I first saw this scene. It’s one of the most famous and identifiable places on the planet, and I had a great bird’s-eye view from the comfort of my bed.

Despite having so much open space and such a beautiful view, the room was somewhat tired. Given its ideal location, this would have been a wonderful hotel 35 years ago, but the furniture was a few decades past its prime. It reminded me of the kind of hotel room Jordan Belfort may have had in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

I slept well in the nice bed, but here’s the thing about Times Square: if you’re a first-time visitor, you make a beeline for it, snap some photos, and marvel at one of the world’s most iconic sights. But what’s it’s like to be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week? It’s similar to staying in an amusement park or experiencing “Groundhog Day.” I strolled through the area so many times during my stay that I began to identify the dressed street hustlers who duped tourists into paying for pricey photos with them. In the evenings, the girls in large Disney costumes peeled off to show off their “NYC” body paint.

I had subconsciously remembered the sequences of commercials on several of the billboards by the time I checked out. Many airlines place advertisements in Times Square.

I fell asleep at 9 p.m. due to the customary jet lag from the U.K. time zone. As a result, I awoke unusually early (about 5 a.m.), which is fairly typical for me while transitioning to US East Coast time. Despite drawing the curtains as tightly as I could, I could still see flashing lights through the small holes. Even when no one is out on the streets, the brilliant lights of Times Square run 24 hours a day, and at 5 a.m., you just want to turn them off and sleep.

Times Square is a terrific place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there, and I doubt you would either.

Food and Beverage

Despite having the capacity to accommodate over 4,000 visitors each night, the hotel only has a few food and beverage options. That’s not surprising given the hotel’s proximity to hundreds of restaurants, bars, cafes, and clubs. Even first-time Times Square tourists may recognize that such a popular tourist spot is unlikely to have the best cuisine, but I was pleasantly pleased by what the hotel was able to deliver.

Let’s begin at the beginning. The View restaurant and nightclub, touted as New York’s only revolving restaurant and bar, was located on the 48th level. Reservations were necessary for dinner (as well as Sunday brunch) at the restaurant. Each evening, there was a three-course set menu for $92 per person, without drinks, taxes, and tips, with high-end selections including lobster and foie gras. Both tourists and locals found it to be a charming setting for a special occasion.

However, because I was staying alone, I went to the cocktail lounge one story down instead. The View lounge was just like my hotel room: large and antiquated, but with a fantastic view.

As promised, the views from the 48th floor were stunning.

I got a martini, which cost $19 but was worth it for the wonderful view.

My cheerful server also handed me a napkin with a map of Times Square sites that I could spot as I gently turned inside.

There was also a buffet available for $61 per person for one hour, which included one drink. I took a round around the lounge to inspect it. The food looked good and full, but don’t anticipate lobster or foie gras; it was primarily cheap, heavy things.

Instead, I went downstairs to Crossroads American Kitchen and Bar on the eighth floor, the major lobby restaurant. This was a large room, smack dab in the midst of the massive lobby.

Prices were considerably more reasonable here, set away from the windows and without those magnificent vistas. I ordered a steak, which was delicious.

This restaurant also served as a breakfast buffet. When not in use, the buffet was skillfully placed to the side, allowing the personnel to keep it totally hidden from view.

While I was initially surprised by the $37 per person buffet price, I immediately realized it included unlimited freshly squeezed orange juice and filtered coffee.

The buffet, like the rest of the hotel, was large and filling, though not particularly high-end.

On the lobby level, just past the Crossroads restaurant, there was a large lounge bar. It had a lower perspective of Times Square, but I think I liked it to the top-floor lounge since you could see people on the street rather than just roofs.

I ordered a light lunch from the bar menu, which included deep-fried calamari with jalapeos, lemon, and a spicy marinara sauce.

This is what I got.

The marinara sauce lacked flavor, and after unsuccessfully searching for jalapeos and lemon, I bit into the calamari before noticing the missing items were also deep-fried and mixed in with the squid. This means that each mouthful could be calamari or a smoky chile.

The entire dish did not appeal to me.

Because the hotel had 24-hour room service, I slept in and then had breakfast in my room on the last morning. I finished my menu and hung it on my door. It arrived the next morning on time.

Given that I was eating it in my room, the presentation was minimal, and there was an absurd amount of packaging in addition to the dozen or so sugar packets that came with my single cup of coffee.

While lounging in my big New York hotel room, I did like the taste of my morning bagel.


Despite having 2,000 rooms, the hotel did not include a swimming pool. The wonderful, full-size gym was the nicest feature. With jet lag causing me to wake up early, I arrived at 6 a.m. to find it rather crowded.

This was the most well-equipped hotel gym I’d ever seen, and it had everything I needed.

There was also this absurd view from the treadmills.

Although there was no on-site spa, the hotel did recommend a nearby third-party spa.

Overall impression

If you’ve never been to New York before, it’s impossible to imagine a more central place from which to experience some of the magnificent city’s attractions. If you have a Times Square-view room, like I did, you can spend the entire night gazing out the windows enjoying one of the best views of the city.

But you most likely will not.

The rooms are vast by New York standards; it is without a doubt the largest hotel room I have ever set foot in throughout my five visits to the city. The second-largest hotel in New York will always feel impersonal, but the employees tried their utmost to make me feel at ease.

While this hotel would have been amazing when it initially built more than 30 years ago, it is clearly showing its age, with everything feeling a little weary. Unless you have a seat close near the window, the lobby eateries and bars are pretty gloomy and dreary.

When you first see Times Square as a tourist, you are completely awestruck, but after a few visits, it isn’t at the top of your list of locations to visit. A one- or two-night stay in the city is ideal for a first-time visitor, but I doubt you’ll be looking at the scenery after a week.

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