City that never sleeps. Concrete jungle where dreams are made of. However, you want to describe this city and however much it divides opinion, personally, I never tire of visiting it but it is down to the supremely costly hotel fares that my addiction to New York City remains in check. With London being another infinitely expensive city, I usually find that our British pounds go a long way in other countries but in New York City, a pound still feels very much like a pound.
Whilst this is the one city where I probably spend least time inside my hotel, the days of sightseeing are both exhilarating and exhausting so I seek somewhere comfortable, convenient and welcoming to return to; a hotel with a classy elegance reflective of the city it resides in but equally one where the nightly rate does not exceed the price of my international flight and this was how, after weeks of research, I stumbled upon Cassa Times Square.
Cassa Hotel Times Square
We reached our hotel a couple of hours earlier than anticipated and prior to check in time, thanks to a turbo-speed immigration and baggage collection so our room was not quite ready upon arrival. Energised to get exploring though, we willingly took the staff up on their offer to store our baggage, whilst we sat down to cups of hot chocolate and lemon water in the relaxed lobby lounge. We were also encouraged to dip into the large bowl of apples and bananas laid out in front of us.
In fact, this fresh fruit stash became our morning staple for the next three days. The food bloggers among you may be scoffing at the fact that we ate bananas for breakfast in the foodie empire that is NYC but having had various lunch, dinner (and cupcake) plans pencilled in for the next few days and recalling how much weight we gained during our previous New York visit, we were quite happy to forgo a sit down breakfast with fruit and a hot drink from the lobby instead.
This relatively new hotel has a boutique luxury feel about it and was all set for the festive season with a large Christmas tree a the entrance with personalised Cassa Times Square decorations.
The staff throughout the stay, from the concierge to the bell boys, were always smiling and offering to help. One of them must have sensed that I always start to get hunger pangs around midnight when she told me, with no prompting, about the 24 hour deli just down the road. Perhaps those bananas were not quite achieving the purpose for which they had been recruited after all.
And special mention ought to go to the member of staff at concierge at 4am on the day of checkout, who had to deal with my meltdown, when I leaped out of the cab, ran across the (even at that hour) busy main road, straight over to the hotel reception, shrieking “Let me back into the room, I have forgotten my handbag in there.”
My handbag (or purse to my North American comrades) that was carrying my passport, bank cards, driving license and basically everything that I needed for everything at that point. I have always said that I am a nocturnal creature and most definitely not a morning person and if this episode was not evidence enough, then I do not know what is.
Cassa Times Square does not have its own restaurant but you only have to blink in New York City to find a dining spot and what Cassa Hotel lacks in restaurants, it makes up for with its panoramic rooftop terrace. We headed up on a bright blue-skied morning before heading out for the day but it is open for guests until midnight and lends a position of relative peace in the New York City hubbub from where to absorb the skyscraper-filled horizon. They even had a hot tub on the terrace but our swimwear remained tightly packed away for the Caribbean cruise that was to follow on from this break.
Hotel Rooms at Cassa Times Square Hotel
Back to the rooms though. I was surprised to find our room was far more spacious than I had imagined for a hotel right in the heart of Manhattan with more than enough suitcase, seating and strolling space around the bed. Clearly, with its Times Square location, we were not expecting this to be a quiet stay but the bed was so comfortable that we slept solidly each night despite our apprehensions about outside noise. And that location! We wasted no time after landing to leave our hotel and found Times Square, the New York Public Library, Grand Central Station and the Bryant Park Christmas Market within easy walking distance.
The TV was all IPad controlled and the decor was one of sleek, minimalist chic and had a very Scandinavian feel about it.
I was impressed with how spotlessly clean our room was always left upon our return in the evenings, especially considering how cluttered I managed to make hotel rooms look within about five minutes of walking into them.
With city hotels, it all comes down to what your needs and desires are as a travelller. If you need spas, pools, hotel restaurants and room service dining during your New York stay, then you will need to look elsewhere and dig deeper for more loose change; but if you are after a classy, boutique hotel in the heart of the city which has all your creature comforts and essential room amenities and a cohort of staff that shower you with personalised service, then Cassa might be right up your street.
What are your recommendations for New York Hotels?