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When can I move in?
The St Regis New York was built by John Jacob Astor IV, think of Astor square and piles of cash, and opened September 4th, 1904 as a sister property of the old Waldorf-Astoria which, at the time, was located much further south and half owned by Astor as well. Despite being named for a tranquil lake in the Adirondacks, when it was built, the St Regis New York immediately cause quite a stir. Why? It was set to be the tallest building in NYC, and as a result it would tower over the mansions of many of New York’s most prominent families. I’m sure Astor had no qualms or quarrels with the likes of the Vanderbilts or Rockefellers, and didn’t enjoy the disruption he would provide those families due to the St Regis’ extensive blasting needed to excavate for its foundation. Heh, heh, heh.
Another little fact: the entrance of the hotel is on 55th, which I always assumed was for a more peaceful entry than on 5th avenue. The reasoning may be a bit more layered. The 55th entrance happens to be just over 200ft from the Presbyterian Church on 5th, and at the time of construction, if you were under 200ft it required 2/3 of all private landowners approval to be issued a liquor license. Rockefeller even bought a mansion within 200ft to try and stop St Regis construction. If you’re keen on reading more of these fun facts, check out Wikipedia , but obviously, none of these tactics prevailed, and you can now stay at the St Regis New York as I did… with points.
Positioning is often a necessity when booking award flights, and this was our situation when we booked United’s Polaris from Newark to Tel Aviv. Since we’d all be in Indianapolis for Easter, instead of just flying into NYC the morning of our flight, we decided to build in a little one night splurge stay before heading out to the Holy Land. As luck would have it, Marriott was still pricing the St Regis at just 60k points per night, and as luck would have, rooms were available. The St Regis New York has been on my bucket list for a long time, but after having an incredible stay at the newly renovated St Regis Rome last December, and having just gotten engaged at the Peninsula New York directly across the street 2 weeks prior, it felt like the perfect time to visit. We decided to fly into NYC the afternoon before, in time to make the St Regis’ famed sabering which occurs at every St Regis around the world – roughly at 7pm.
- When: April 2019
- Where: New York City
- Loyalty: Marriott Bonvoy Titanium
- Free breakfast ( $93 – $46.50 per person in the room )
- Rate: 60k per night ( now 85k )
- Upgrade to Grand Luxe
- Room: 1102
Since we booked this prior to the program change in March of 2019, we were able to lock in a rate of just 60k per night. Cash Rates often soar past $1k a night, which they were during our stay, putting the redemption value over 1.5c per Marriott point. That’s easily 50%-100% over the standard value extracted from Marriott points and that doesn’t even include Bentley rides, butler service, the Champagne sabering, and breakfast credit. Simply put. It’s an aspirational hotel that gives its guests not only tremendous service, but loads of fringe benefits that make the stay one you’ll truly remember.
Unfortunately, the hotel does assess a $50, per night, destination fee. This is daily and by my understanding, non-cumulative. You need to use it up each day, or it goes unused. We had no problem using the credit though.
The $50 daily destination fee:
- $50 USD Food and Beverage Credit (available in all outlets)
- $50 USD Laundry/Dry Cleaning Credit
- $25 USD Fodera Hair Salon Credit
- 2 Museum (MOMA or Met) tickets per day
There’s no way around it. The hotel is flabbergastingly grand, and you know you’re in a for a real treat when you arrive and the house Bentley is sitting in front of a gilded valet stand.
Then you enter the hotel. Rather than a large, oversized lobby with vacuous space, the St Regis New York, instead, exudes boutique luxury with a Liberace twist. Frescos, marble, and gold oh my, there isn’t an inch of the lobby that hasn’t been addressed and put at attention. Luckily, the hotel was quite empty, our Titainum status was recognized, and our room key given.
The Room: Grand Luxe
We had used points to book into a standard room, but since we had Titainum elite status, and St Regis is known for treating their elites quite well, we were very happy to hear we’d received an upgrade to a Grand Luxe category room. It’s configuration feels much more like a Junior Suite than an oversized room. In fact, having just stayed in a Junior Suite across the street at the Peninsula two weeks ago, I’d opt for this room over it most any day of the week. The style is quite ornate, but then again, you’re in the St Regis, and I loved the digs.
It offered a cosy, separate living room, with the bed tucked into another room. While they could have added french doors for more privacy, I appreciated the open layout which made the room feel larger than it would have otherwise.
Our butler immediately asked if we’d like any tea or coffee. Promptly those arrived alongside some cookies. It was also nice that there was a stand with glassware and complimentary water.
While the bathroom was a little on the small side, and lacked a true rain shower, it was still gorgeous and swathed in high quality stone. Comparing this to the Peninsula across the street, I’d have to say if you’re looking for larger bathroom space, go with the Pen, but the St Regis was gorgeous, albeit only offered a single vanity, but still squeezed in a separate shower and tub. Per normal St Regis standard, it was appointed with Remede products, high quality robes, and ultra high thread count towels.
My first experience with St Regis Sabering was in Rome and I was instantly hooked. It honors Napoleon who always sabered a bottle after battle, quipping, “Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it.” Thanks Napoleon! As I’d mentioned earlier, we arrived in time to experience this on our day of arrival, but also the following day before we left. Little things like this are absolute treats, and something my family will always remember.
Using the House Bentley
I’m a HUGE car guy, and since I was half staying here and half staying at the Intercontinental Barclay we made use of the car to take us. It was incredible. We tipped the driver $5 which funny enough was cheaper than both an Uber or Taxi would have been. You’ll need to wait, and it’s first come first serve. We took it a few times in the 24 hours we stayed at the property, waiting once roughly 20 minutes, and the other times less than 5.
Nat King Cole
The St Regis is famed for its Nat King Cole bar. After the sabering, we thought we’d use up that $50 dining credit, and try its famed Bloody Mary. While some contest its origin, the St Regis New York is credited with inventing the Bloody Mary, or as its called, The Red Snapper. And what a Bloody Mary it is. At $25 it’ll not only rip your wallet apart, but it isssssssssssssss spicy. Holy Moley, I found areas of my sinus cavity that I didn’t know existed. In fact, immediately after finishing my Red Snapper I challenged a random Basset Hound to a scent detection test. Embarrassingly enough, despite me winning, the drink must have been stronger than advertised because the basset hound was no regular basset hound, it was Keith Richards.
The following morning we enjoyed breakfast. Platinums, Titaniums, and Ambassadors get 2 American breakfasts, or a $93 credit. 3 of us dined and it was stunningly good, and we ended up going a little over the $93 but it was absorbed by the $50 destination fee. It’s served in the grand Astor Court. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Versailles, and treated like you’re one of the family.
You can see the menu here and an American Breakfast
I chose to order a Lox and bagel plate. One of the best I’ve ever had in my life. Fresh, dynamic, delicious.
I was very impressed with how new the equipment was, and they even featured a Peloton bike. Often times at smaller properties, the gym is an after thought, shoved into a basement or large suite. This had plenty of light, fresh water, cool chilled towels, and while on the smaller side, provided plenty of equipment, and was actually nicer than what the Intercontinental Barclay offered, and its several times the size.
The hotel is currently 85k Marriott points per night, and at some point will have both off peak ( 70k ) and peak (105k) pricing. We were able to stay at this property at the unbelievable rate of 60k, but even at 85k a night, I’d do it again. It’s such an experience, and is included in Marriott’s 5th night free benefit. That means, and if you’re able to score the property for 5 nights at 70k per night, once it goes off-peak, you’re in for not only an outstanding location, but feeling as though you’ve made it all for 280k points. Quite a way to see NYC for almost a week, and get incredible value out of the Marriott points.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.