We had planned to stay with friends when we arrived in New York but a few things fell apart last minute. We decided that after staying with a very gracious friend in Chicago for a week, having our own space for 2 nights would be nice.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that hotels in New York are expensive. Not wanting to pay more than we needed, I started looking outside of Manhattan in Queens (Long Island City), Andy’s old neighborhood.
Finding the Hotel
I searched for hotels using Kayak and was happy to find a reasonably priced room at the Ramada Long Island City. The room price was actually quite reasonable if I booked a prepaid room, it was all of the taxes that hiked the price up.
Andy advised me that the hotel was on the cusp of a more questionable part of Queens. Knowing that Andy knew the area, the price was far better than anything else I found and we were off a major train line which would quickly get us into the city – we decided to book it.
We drove to NYC from Chicago and arrived late. I learned when I went to the front desk that there was no valet parking or garages nearby. We took off to find some street parking. Luckily, it wasn’t hard to find free parking just 1 block from the hotel.
The front desk agents were not very friendly during check in. They also did not provide us with the wireless password, told me that they couldn’t change my airline earning preferences until the next day and at one point didn’t answer the phone when we rang the front desk from our room (one minute later we went to the lobby and he was sitting there playing with his cell phone).
King Bed Business Suite
When I was making my reservation, I noticed that the king bed business suite was the same price as the standard king room. I was excited to have a nicer room with a view of the city. While this was what I reserved, what I got was very different.
We were booked in a room on the 2nd floor. This did not give us much of a city view, I would argue that our view was of an auto shop parking lot instead of the city. While there are no pictures of the king bed business suite on the website, I truly believe that they oversold those rooms and we were given a standard room instead.
The room itself was quite small, something that goes with the territory of NYC where space is at a premium. Everything was clean which we appreciated, the only thing that was somewhat strange was that the toilet seat had advertising on it. I had never seen that before but I guess so long as it replaces toilet seats before they get too old, it works for me.
I have stayed at many different hotels that offer free breakfasts. While they typically aren’t the best food you can eat, they are fine and get you through to lunch. I have to say that this hotel had the worst breakfast buffet that I had ever seen. Everything was very picked over without being re-stocked. It was all pre-packaged food, nothing remotely fresh.
We had to print out some paperwork for our Kenyan Visa and called the front desk to see if we could print there and they said yes.
We then went down and saw a note on the computer that said $1 per page to print. We were amazed! I knew that there would be a fee to print but had never seen anything even remotely close to this much of a rip off before. Instead of giving our money to the Ramada, we put our files on a flash drive and stopped at a UPS Store in the city and paid a fraction of the cost to print everything.
I chose to credit my stay to Southwest points. Sadly, the partnership between Wyndham and Southwest ended in August ‘15 so it is no longer an earning partner. Fret not though, you can still earn airline miles through other airlines including United and American.
The price was good, but the level of service that I received from the front desk was below what I expect, even from a budget hotel. Further, the fact that I was given a room which doesn’t match what was reserved is extremely frustrating.
While our stay was fine, I would not classify it as great, nor would I choose to stay at the Ramada Long Island City again unless it was under new ownership.