Joanna Hunkin checks into the W New York — Times Square.

Getting there:

From Newark airport is expensive — about US$100 (NZ$143) in a yellow cab. But that's more a reflection on Newark than the hotel, which is slap-bang in the centre of Times Square so you really can't get any more central.

Check-in experience: Was like no other I've ever experienced. The reception on the sixth floor shares an open floor plan with the hotel club Living Room, which is a popular night spot. Arriving at midnight on a Monday, the club was pumping and I experienced sensory overload. But the staff were friendly and efficient.


Room: 4409 — officially called a Wonderful Room.

Price: US$404 a night

What's so good about this place? Step outside and you're in Times Square.

And the bad? Step outside and you're in Times Square . . .

What's in the neighbourhood? Everything. And it's open all the time. Personally, I've never felt the need to shop at Gap at 2am but if you have, this is the spot for you.

Toiletries: Were sufficient but there was no shower cap. Massive fail.

Food and drink: In addition to Living Room (which is so popular there are queues down the street on Friday and Saturday night — so guests come in via a separate door and present their room key to enter) there are two restaurants. Dos Caminos is a popular Mexican chain, serving top-notch margaritas, while Blue Fin serves sushi and seafood.

The bed: King size and comfortable — although the pillows were on the soft side.

A room with a view? From the 44th floor, I had a view straight up Broadway, which was particularly magical during a spring snowstorm.

Bathroom: Featured a shower over bath and a dreaded cling-on shower curtain. Some of the tiles were cracked and the whole room felt tired and dated.

Free Wi-Fi? Yes — but you have to call up and ask reception for the password.

Noise: Wasn't an issue for the first four nights but come Friday, non-stop sirens pierce the night. Forty-four floors up did nothing to dim the din.

Room service: Has a 20 per cent service charge on top of the already inflated prices so didn't seem worthwhile — especially when you've got all of Times Square on your doorstep.

Value for money: Is anything in NYC?

Exercise facilities:Are rumoured to exist but I never went in search of them.

Perfect for: Those who want the ultimate bright-lights, big-city experience and don't mind strangers twerking against them as they wait for the lift.