Hotel review: AC Hotel New York Downtown


BACKGROUND: One of two AC Hotels in New York (the other is in Times Square), this one opened in October 2018. AC Hotels are select service hotels, which means they don’t have a concierge or 24-hour room service. Many, though, offer additional services, and this hotel has a bar, a lounge for relaxing and working in, a breakfast area, a good fitness centre and even a meeting room.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? It’s a new building, specifically a 336-foot-tall tower with 33 storeys. For the first few storeys it is fairly nondescript in terms of exterior, but look up and you’ll see how the window and the facade have been cleverly alternated to allow the maximum number of rooms to have views of the East River. Service was quick at check-in and I was lucky that my room was ready at 13h00, which I really appreciated as I’d just flown in from Frankfurt. There are three very swift lifts which didn’t cause any irritating waits even when going to the upper floors. In reception there is an AC Store selling some snacks and some local chocolate and candles. Staff were very helpful and offered advice on everything from restaurants and bars to the quickest and most affordable ways to get to Newark for a morning flight.

WHERE IS IT? Next to the Seaport Historic District, but also the Financial District of Downtown. Fulton St station is around a 10-minute walk away and you can walk to the World Trade Centre in about 15 minutes. There are loads of new bars and restaurants. JFK Airport is about a 40-minute drive away, though I took the Air Train and then the A train, and got there in about 75 minutes, and for only $7.50.

ROOMS: There are 274 hotel rooms, roughly around 10 per floor, right the way up to the 30th storey. There are some rooms on the sixth floor with balconies, though these haven’t been opened yet. Otherwise, room categories are 76 ‘double double’ rooms (that’s what they call them and they do have two double beds in them) and 198 King rooms. They are a good size – 22m2 – and have laminate floors, material coverings to the walls in a sort of arty brown, and a work desk with two power points and two USB points. There are also plenty of plugs/power points including on both sides of the bed in my King room. Wi-fi is super fast and free. The shower had a choice of rain shower and power shower, the latter definitely was powerful since when I turned it on it hit me in the face and drove me out of the bathroom. I fought bravely back though lost one towel to terminal dampness in the battle. There are Korres amenities from Greece in the rooms and large 50-inch flatscreen TVs in the rooms, which have the function of allowing you to stream your own content from your device through them – useful if you have Netflix or simply want to watch YouTube on it. The rooms have a coffee machine (you can make tea with it as well), and an empty fridge (two small bottles of water are provided). There’s a ‘hydration station’ on both floor 2 and in the basement (called The Cellar here), where you can fill up your own bottles.

FOOD AND DRINK: The second floor AC Lounge serves as both a lounge in the afternoon and a bar in the evening, and it’s where you get the buffet breakfast in the morning – which is cold, but with two hot egg dishes on offer. It also has Spanish tapas, a choice of quiche/tarts and some cheeses, breads and meats. There is a library area to one side and the use of an Apple computer with printer for boarding passes etc.

BUSINESS FACILITIES: There is a small boardroom-style meeting room on the basement floor which would seat 10- 12 people.

LEISURE FACILITIES: There’s a fitness centre on the basement floor with a good selection of equipment.

VERDICT: This is a great hotel in a good location for the Financial District and Downtown. Select service it may be, but I found the staff helpful and didn’t miss the concierge or 24-hour room service.

Tom Otley

151 Maiden Lane, New York City
T: +1 212-742-1900