New York City DoubleTree Chelsea

It's day four (for me) in the A-Z blog challenge! This month I'm sharing all about my Christmas/New Year travels to Canada – providing insight into the places I went, reviewing the hotels I stayed at, and telling my story. Today's letter is D for the DoubleTree Hotel in New York City located in the Chelsea District. Feel free to follow along as I make my way through the alphabet this month! :)

image from DoubleTree website

Date: December 2016
Hotel: DoubleTree
Address: 128 West 29th Street, New York City, NY 10001-5301
Brand: Hilton
Elite Status: diamond
# of travelers: 2
nights: 1

Making the Decision

At this point in the Canadian planning process, Justin was already irritated with me for even thinking we had the money to travel anywhere, let alone with an overnight stay in New York City. So my aim in finding a hotel was to look for something cheap. $100 a night in NYC sounded pretty cheap to me. :)

The one potential downside? The possibility of bed bugs.

Reports on TripAdvisor suggested as much.

But, aside from that, the Doubletree Chelsea looked absolutely perfect for our rendezvous in the city that never sleeps.

First of all, free warm cookies upon check in! Yum! :)

Second, it was within walking distance of several of our favorite haunts – namely Raclette NYC! :)

Finally, we would be able to sleep just the tiniest bit longer since the Amtrak rail station was located just across the street. (We had 9 AM travel reservations.)

Getting There, Checking-In

Rather than deal with the metro, with luggage, at night, we hailed an uber for our long ride to the Doubletree Chelsea, a $40 fare, which was supposed to be free, had we used our coupon correctly. :-/

The entryway for the Doubletree Chelsea is a bit alarming at first glance. It's not quite as beautiful as what you will see at more expensive hotels. In fact, upon our arrival, it must have been trash day, or at the very least, preparing for trash day since they had lots of garbage cans out in front of the main entrance. Don't let this fool you – my experience at the Doubletree Chelsea was far better than those trash cans at the entrance could suggest.

Check-in was quick and easy. No one was standing at the curb to help us with our luggage as we emerged from our Uber, but that ended up being okay. We really only had carry-on bags anyway.

The man at the front desk greeted us kindly, gave us our room keys for our room on the 20th floor, and explained how breakfast worked while giving us our free breakfast coupons. We were happy to hear that breakfast begins as early as 6am which we knew would make it easy for us to get checked out and make it to our train with ample time!


There wasn't a whole lot to the lobby, which was comparatively very small to other hotel lobbies we've been to in NYC. There were a few chairs for sitting and waiting (or deciding which area of NYC to conquer next!), and flavored water for consumption. Walking past the front desk will lead you into the breakfast area/restaurant.

While my husband and I were only here for one night, I feel it should be mentioned that every time we were in the lobby, people were waiting on elevators. The DoubleTree Chelsea elevators were slow enough to cause a backup, but, in our case, not prohibitively slow. At no point did we think to ourselves "Man! I bet climbing twenty floors to our hotel room would be faster than these elevators!" Of course, if you are concerned that you have less patience than me, you might consider asking the front desk for a room on a low floor. :)

Room, View

Not particularly impressive, our room was decently sized* for the one night we were staying in New York City. Justin and I enjoyed the large King bed which was perfect for spreading out but not the most comfortable. The AC is pretty noisy at night and doesn't seem to work right. However, when you are tired, in the winter, it doesn't matter a whole lot. Cozy up under your blankets next to the husband if you are cold, or skip the blankets altogether if you are hot. The view is also lackluster, even on the 20th floor, but if you get the room for the right price, does it really matter? You will be hard pressed to find a room in New York City, that doesn't cost a fortune, with a view.

Amenities in the room included a large TV, desk with rolling chair, safe, iron and board, free wifi, and a Keurig coffee maker.

* You may want to ask for a room with two doubles if you think you will feel too confined in the small size of a New York City room.


Decent considering the size of the room, the bathroom was clean with soap, shampoo, conditioner, and a hair dryer.

Buffet Breakfast

Glancing at the menu for a seconds, it didn't take long before our waitress emerged to inform us that anything on the menu, that wasn't "buffet" would take an additional 30 minutes to cook. So, with that being said, Justin and I each asked for the $22 DoubleTree American Buffet Breakfast, which came free with my status, a cup of Earl Grey tea (for me), and a cup of coffee for my husband. The buffet breakfast had a number of delicious options including a ready-made yogurt parfait, various fruits (oranges and apples), muffins (chocolate, blueberry, poppyseed), oatmeal, eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, cereals, and any number of juices. We were also allowed to order french toast with warm maple syrup, belgian waffles, and freshly made omelettes with your choice of ingredients. Really, the DoubleTree breakfast was everything we could want and more!

One thing worthy of mention, as I do on every hotel review where free breakfast is featured: you may want to consider tipping your waitress based on the total cost of your meal. For example, our meal would have cost in the $50 range if I had not had free coupons, so we tipped based on that. Obviously, the less "waiting" on you the server does, the less you should be expected to tip.

image from DoubleTree website
Fitness Center & Amenities

While you won't find a pool at this DoubleTree, you will find a Fitness Center and a Business Center, perfect for getting things done. Also offered? Laundry and valet service, self-parking ($30 a night), luggage hold, and an in-hotel ATM.

Pets are welcome at this hotel.

Check Out

If checking-in was breeze, checking out was a … well, it was even simpler than that. :) We handed the man at the front desk our keycard, he asked if we needed our receipt printed, then offered to get us a cab to wherever we needed to go. While we were appreciative, we just informed him that we were walking to the train station, so no cab was needed for the 4 block walk.

Other places somewhat close:
High Line Park .7 Miles
Bryant Park .8 Miles
Chelsea Market 1 Mile
Times Square/Broadway 1 Mile

Overall Review
★★★ (average)

While the room and hotel were pretty meager in offerings, I thought, for the money, it was a great value. The location of this Doubletree was fantastic making it easy to go anywhere we wanted in the city without having to worry with the metro system at all unless we wanted to. The drive from LGA to the Chelsea District was fairly long, but I believe that's the case for most areas inside of Manhattan.

Aside from location, most other aspects of the hotel were simply mediocre. The bed was decent and we were glad to have not found bed bugs, as reported on TripAdvisor. The room looked out onto other buildings, which, while not great, could have been far worse. In fact, we've had far worse views in both other cities as well as New York City. For our room being on the 20th floor, I'm not complaining. :)

I think the best part of the whole experience (once again, aside from location) was the free cookies we received upon arrival (Yum!) and the free breakfast we were able to enjoy before our departure from the city. Surprisingly, there isn't too much in the way of coffee shops between the DoubleTree and Penn Station. If you have an early train to catch, you may want to consider getting breakfast the night before.

The Doubletree Chelsea is the perfect hotel for a budget New York City traveler who wants to be in the middle of it all. I would definitely consider staying here again both if I want a cheap trip to the city and/or if I ever have a train arriving at Penn Station that I need to catch.

Your Turn

Have you ever booked a hotel with a few reviews that concerned you (like the mention of bugs, dirty rooms, bad customer service, or, as in our case, the possibility of bed bugs)? How did it turn out for you? Were you pleasantly surprised? Or do you wish you had more carefully considered that advice when you were booking?


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