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This is the 4th and final installment of my hotel reviews during our New York City trip in 2021. For a recap of all the other properties we visited, properties where we stayed for free or booked using a major discount, click here:
- AC Hotel by Marriott Downtown New York
- Residence Inn by Marriott New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area
- Gild Hall, a Thompson hotel (Hyatt property)
Ok, Jason, why did you move hotels again?
If you didn’t get a chance to read my earlier posts above, in a nutshell, we had all of these free night certificates earned from different hotel branded credit cards. Booking a hotel in New York City, especially during the holiday season, could easily get very expensive, and we figured that it would be a perfect time to use up many of our free night awards in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Chase Free Night Certificate
For this particular stay at Kimpton Hotel Eventi, we used our Chase Free Night certificate – valid for 1 night room and tax at participating IHG properties with a current point redemption level of 40k points or less. My wife and I each had free night certificates to use. I booked the first night under my account. She booked the second night under her account. The credit card also gave us instant status as Platinum Elite members.
Where is Kimpton Hotel Eventi
For most of our stay in NYC, we stayed at different properties in downtown NYC, near the World Trade Center. I wanted to change it up a bit on our last three days and opted for Midtown Manhattan. I had a few choices and I chose Kimpton Hotel Eventi on Sixth Avenue between W. 29th and W. 30th St. For a more distinct landmark description, how about this for key attractions within walking distance? The iconic Empire State Building.
And of course, the largest Macy’s department store in the world, famous for the yearly Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – both on W. 34th St.
Upgrade at check-in – City Deluxe King Room
I think one thing I’d like to put out there, when we think of upgrades, we need to dispel that upgrades are only best if you’re given a bigger room (i.e. a suite). In my books, that’s not always the case. When we booked the Hotel Eventi, we booked a regular standard room with our free night certificate. No suites were available at check-in. But Diane, the front desk employee, gave us a corner room on the 20th floor with views of the Empire State Building.
For someone like us, that’s a major upgrade. I’ve been to New York City many, many times, and have seen the Empire State Building many times, but it was great to be given a room that gave us clear views of the ESB. A room like this during the holiday season could go for around $400-$500 per night. Here’s a video tour recap of our City Deluxe King Room.
Marble everything – Kimpton Hotel Eventihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA_VZ1HSplM&t=15s
Halftime Upgrade – Premium Suite
What exactly is a halftime upgrade? Well, if you’re like me, I don’t mind moving to another room in the middle of our stay if the hotel chooses to give us an upgrade. I got this term from my buddy, Dave from Basic Travel Couple. Our motto is – it’s better to get an upgrade than no upgrade at all. As mentioned, at check-in, there were no suites available. But I was told to check the next day in case a suite becomes available. Sure enough, the following afternoon, we stopped by the front desk, and Jennifer assisted.
We inquired if a suite was available. She said yes, but there was an extra charge to upgrade to a suite. I did mention that we were IHG Platinum Elite members, and if it helps any, I also added that it was our last night in the city and that I just celebrated my 50th birthday. She went to the back office and came back with good news, we were given a free suite upgrade. Here’s a video tour of our Premium Suite.
Experience at the Hotel Kimpton Eventi
I’ll get these things out of the way. There was no complimentary breakfast (unlike our stays with Hyatt or properties such as Marriott Residence Inn). The Hotel Eventi does have complimentary coffee available in the morning. And in the afternoon, we were invited to a free wine tasting between 5 and 6pm. There were a couple of on-site restaurants downstairs. We did not get to try L’Amico, I wish we did. It had a great vibe where you could dine indoor or outdoors (covered), and you get to people-watch.
As with all of our other hotel stays whilst in NYC, our stay at the Hotel Eventi was also limited to us going back to the hotel to just sleeping at night. We were gone most of the day. Although, I have to say that by the time we were at this hotel, we were already somewhat winding down from our NYC visit. We relaxed more. We found ourselves returning to our room mid-day vs. the other properties where we were gone in the morning, and explored all day and returned by 11:30pm each night.
What’s near Eventi?
Aside from the Empire State Building and Macy’s, it’s also a 10-minute stroll to Madison Square Garden, a few blocks away from Herald Square, and if you love Asian food, it’s an easy walk to Koreatown. There are lots of dining options in Koreatown. Most of these dining options were also easy on our wallet. For breakfast, we opted for a Sunday brunch at Friedmans on W. 31st St. We got there so early that we easily secured one of the corner dining tables. We had Nova Benny and their Sunday special, Steak and Fries. Delicious and perfect for our busy last full day in the city.
The latest checkout we were given was 1pm. We took that option. and still found time to explore every bit of New York during our last 5 hours in the city. We simply left our luggage with the bell man, and came back to pick up our luggage around 5pm.
What’s my secret to getting a hotel upgrade?
It’s no secret, really. Is there a secret password? From experience, upgrades are based on availability. I’ve shared this before:
– Never expect an upgrade
– Be nice, ask kindly….it goes a long way
– Work with the hotel front desk, be flexible. If you don’t mind waiting for a better room, do so.
– Don’t demand, don’t act entitled
– Staying more than a night? Consider a half-time upgrade – perhaps get upgraded on your other nights
– Thank them, and acknowledge them even if no upgrade is given, thank them for trying.
Which credit card gets us FREE night certificates
We have the old IHG card with a $49 annual fee. This $49 credit card is no longer available. Do we use the card often? We only use it “as needed” if ever there’s an offer with Chase to earn extra points. We’ve had this card for 5 years, we pay the annual fee of $49, and we are given a Chase Free Night Certificate and we could book any IHG charging 40k points or less. We got lucky that our Chase Free Night certificates worked here at this 4-star hotel in NYC.
As a reminder, the old card is NO LONGER available. There is now a new IHG card that also gives Free Anniversary Night certificate, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- Earn 125K bonus points with a minimum spend of $3,000 in purchases within 3 months
- Annual fee $89
With $89 annual fee the first year, this card pays for itself:
- $100 TSA Pre or Global Entry Credit
- Free anniversary night
- 4th night FREE on your points stay of 4 nights or more
- Automatic Platinum Elite Status
NOTE: Offers are subject to change. This was the offer at the time this blog entry was written.
For a list of over 60 credit cards, click here.