InterContinental New York Barclay

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponPin on Pinterest

01. Introduction: Business class battle royale – British Airways vs. Virgin Atlantic
02. British Airways 747-400 Club World (business class) San Diego to London (LHR)
03. Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London
04. Hilton London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 4
05. The 3 things that I love most about London
06. Virgin Atlantic Club House, LHR
07. Virgin Atlantic A340-600 Upper Class (business class) London (LHR) to New York (JFK)
08. InterContinental New York Barclay
09. jetBlue A321 Mint (business class) New York (JFK) to Los Angeles
10. Delta Connection CRJ-900 economy class Los Angeles to San Diego

Before this one night stay at the InterContinental Barclay here in New York, I never really gave much thought to luxury hotels. Of course I like fancy hotels as much as the next traveler, but I prefer to spend my money on flights and not worry so much about finding the most luxurious accommodations once I arrive at my destination. Give me a quiet comfortable bed in a good location, and I’m good. I don’t need to be pampered while on the ground. Or so I thought…

I’ve never had a bad hotel stay in New York City, so I felt that my chances of choosing a good hotel were pretty good (did I just jinx myself or what?). You see, there are a lot of choices on the island of Manhattan, and the competition between properties makes it a traveler’s dream. You can’t really go wrong with a mid-tier hotel in the city of New York – so it’s very easy just to decide on the area of the city you want to stay, and make a hotel choice based on that. That’s exactly what I did for this trip. The last time I was in the city, I stayed in the Times Square area. The time before that, Broadway. Since I didn’t really have any plans for my one night stay, I was quite flexible in terms of what part of the city I wanted to call my home base. I ultimately decided to stay near Grand Central Station, and the InterContinental Barclay one one of the options presented to me in my filtered search. It looked good, the price was decent (at least compared to everything else) so I booked it. Simple as that.

A quick check of the traffic situation on google maps while standing curbside at JFK after arriving from LHR revealed that things didn’t look too bleak going into the city, so I decided to splurge on a taxi. Unfortunately, the traffic was getting brutal once we made it into midtown shortly after 1pm and I ended up getting out of the cab with several blocks to go and just walking the rest of the way. It was certainly faster than siting in traffic!

queens midtown tunnel exit

Emerging out of the Queens Midtown tunnel to find standing gridlock. Welcome to New York City!

new york city traffic

All of this traffic wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t 85 degrees with no breeze.

Making matters worse was how hot it was in the city that day. The calendar may have said late October, but it was 85 degrees and I was wearing far too many layers of clothing to feel comfortable.

I was a hot sweaty mess by the time I reached the entrance to the InterContinental, and right away I felt massively out of place. Everyone in the lobby was wearing suits and pretty dresses, while SANspotter trotted in drenched in sweaty khakis and a t-shirt. Yikes. On one hand, I was feeling very awkward. On the other hand, things were looking up as this looked to be one heck of a nice hotel!

InterContinental New York Barclay

InterContinental New York Barclay exterior.

InterContinental New York Barclay

I love the huge awnings on NYC hotels. A very grand feeling!

InterContinental New York Barclay

Uh oh. I feel a bit underdressed in this place…

InterContinental New York Barclay lobby

InterContinental New York Barclay lobby.

InterContinental New York Barclay lobby

InterContinental New York Barclay lobby (looking towards the entrance).

InterContinental New York Barclay lobby

The check in desk (left) seemed a bit plain compared to how grand the rest of the lobby felt. The bellboy desk is on the right.

InterContinental New York Barclay hallway

I haven’t even seen the room yet and I’m liking this hotel quite a bit. This is the guest room hallway.

InterContinental New York Barclay

Room 504 – mine for the night.

I found the room to be quite interesting actually. I wasn’t all that impressed when I first walked in, but after having a look around, I realized that the design and decor of nearly every element of the room was top notch. It was a seriously good looking room – so good looking in fact, that I was afraid to touch anything before I had the chance to clean up a bit from the long and hot ride into the city from JFK.

InterContinental New York Barclay

My room at the InterContinental New York Barclay.

InterContinental New York Barclay

I found the decor to be somewhat bland at first, but after a quick look around I started to appreciate all the little details.

InterContinental New York Barclay

Check out that tile in the entryway! Fits the room perfectly, IMHO.

InterContinental New York Barclay

The mural on the front wall was a nice detail as well. I assume that’s a very old depiction of New York.

InterContinental New York Barclay

From certain angles the room looked a little bland…

InterContinental New York Barclay

…but changing the perspective a bit made all the difference. This is one of the nicest hotel rooms I’ve ever been in.

InterContinental New York Barclay

It’s nice to see a hotel room desk that actually looks like a desk!

InterContinental New York Barclay

Pillow close-up for all of you out there who like that sort of thing. I’ve actually received requests to show the pillows better in my hotel reviews, so…here you go.

InterContinental New York Barclay

Here’s a wide angle pic of the entire room as seen from the entrance.

InterContinental New York Barclay

Another wide angle pic of the room from the other direction.

InterContinental New York Barclay

Wide angle pic of the entryway. Notice the cabinet on the right hand side…

InterContinental New York Barclay

That cabinet contained a Keurig coffee machine and mini bar.

InterContinental New York Barclay

The closet (with some of the most amazing robes I’ve ever felt) was just to the left of the cabinet.

InterContinental New York Barclay

The bathroom was really nice, thanks in large part to that cool tile pattern!

InterContinental New York Barclay

I love staying in nice hotels, because it gives me inspiration for my own home. I really liked this bathroom, and I’d love to have something like this of my own.

InterContinental New York Barclay

I loved the retro simplicity of the vanity.

InterContinental New York Barclay

The bathroom amenities were surprisingly bland considering how high end this hotel is.

InterContinental New York Barclay

Here’s a wide angle pic of the entire bathroom.

InterContinental New York Barclay

Another wide angle pic of the bathroom from the other direction.

InterContinental New York Barclay

The view from my room. I was expecting something a little better being on the 5th floor, but this is NYC after all. Not very many good long-distance views in this city.

Normally I like to indulge in room service when traveling alone, but that’s just something that I can’t do in New York City. There are so many good restaurants up and down every street here, and it’s not difficult to find something many times better than what you could get delivered to your room. I did consider the room service option for a split second though – until I had a look a the prices. Yikes. I was clearly out of my league, and it was a big fat reminder that I was staying in a luxury hotel.

I ended up going to a local takeout place for dinner that evening, but I took full advantage of the luxuriousness of the room later with a long hot shower and lounging around in the amazing bath robe and pillow-like slippers. That was nice. Quite nice in fact, and I was very disappointed about being able to stay only one night here.

InterContinental New York Barclay

Taking full advantage of the luxury!

This was my second-ever stay at an InterContinental (my first was earlier this year at the Presidente InterContinental in Mexico City), and I think I like this brand a lot. Sure, they are more expensive than the usual Hyatt’s and Hilton’s that I tend to gravitate towards, but I need to find a way to earn reward points for future stays. It’s totally worth it.

How the heck am I able to fly in business class all the time?

Subscribe to my mailing list and and I'll share with you a detailed list of the top 5 tools that I use that allows me to fly in international business for free on a regular basis!

Thank you for subscribing! Please check your email - a confirmation link has just been sent to you and your subscription will not be active (and the free report not available) until you click that link.

Something went wrong.