I stayed at the Margaritaville Resort in Times Square in December 2023.
I was surprised by how thoughtfully the room was designed and by some of the modern features.
I recommend that any tourist who wants to stay in Times Square check out Margaritaville.
The late Jimmy Buffett turned his carefree, beach-loving, beer-drinking lifestyle into a billion-dollar empire long before his death in September 2023.
The crown jewel of that empire is the Margaritaville brand, named after his song, which includes restaurants, casinos, and resorts. According to Forbes, Buffett had a 28% stake in Margaritaville at the time of his death.
In 2010, it also expanded to include hotels. Today, there are seven different resort brands (Margaritaville, St. Somewhere, RV resorts, Compass Hotels, and more) in places like Key West, Nashville, Punta Cana, Cancún, and more.
In December last year, I decided to take a mini-staycation at one to find out.
I wasn't expecting to fall in love with the Margaritaville lifestyle. I'm not a Jimmy Buffet fan — also known as a Parrothead — by any means and I've never been to a Margaritaville before, but I loved my stay thanks to thoughtful, and modern touches in my room.
Here's what it looked like inside my deluxe room at Margaritaville Resort Times Square.
I stayed overnight at the Margaritaville Resort Times Square.
According to TripAdvisor, Margaritaville is the No. 1 resort in New York City.
I decided that as a New York City local, I had to check out this hotel given that high praise, and the fact that it had been popping up on my TikTok all summer long. It seemed like a cool place to hang out, namely the 35th-floor rooftop.
I booked a room at the peak of the busy holiday season with a discounted media rate.
The hotel has two bars, two restaurants, a rooftop pool, and more.
The hotel is the brand's first outpost in New York and it has 234 rooms spread over 34 floors. The room types are standard, deluxe, and premium, or a king suite. The variations depend on bed size, square footage, and what floor the room is on.
Additionally, there is a two-floor Margaritaville restaurant, a Landshark Bar & Grill, the 5 O'Clock Somewhere Rooftop Bar, the License to Chill Bar, and the Joe Merchant's Coffee & Provisions coffee stand.
There's also an outdoor pool on the sixth floor, which has its own roof deck, and a fitness center in the basement.
The ground floor also has a gift shop.
I stayed in a 225-square-foot Deluxe King Room, which can cost up to $459 a night.
All of the rooms at Margaritaville are decorated to evoke feelings. of being at the beach, with a beige, blue, and white color scheme.
My deluxe room was a step up from a standard room as it was larger and guaranteed to be on a higher floor. Mine was on the 21st floor, and I didn't hear any noise from below thanks to soundproof windows.
Standard rooms starts at $169 a night, making the high-floor views much more expensive.
The first thing that stuck out to me was something I saw before I even walked in the door: an electronic panel that signaled whether it was OK to come in or not.
More hotels should do this instead of the "Do not disturb" signs that are a waste of paper and can be very flimsy, and often fall off, which defeats their purpose.
Instead, this panel was impossible to miss. A bright red light meant the housekeepers could skip right over my room.
Every detail in Margaritaville is supposed to make you feel like you're on an island in the Caribbean, down to the room doors and the hallway carpet.
The guest room doors looked like they would lead to a cabana on the sand with the tropical teal color and beachy slats.
The runner through the hallway was also an oceanic shade of blue.
This was my initial view of the room. It was larger than I imagined.
The teal, white, and beige color scheme did, in fact, remind me of the sand, sky, and sea.
I was ready to feel crammed in, since everything in New York City runs on the smaller side, but the huge windows and the light colors made the space feel large.
I immediately took note of the hardwood floor.
Since I was a kid, I've always found hotel carpets to be unappealing as they can often hold bacteria or dust.
Imagine my delight, then, when I realized this room had hardwood floors. It was much easier to see if the floors were clean, and I preferred them on an aesthetic basis, as well.
Across from the bed, I had a small desk with a set of drawers, a lamp, and a view of 7th Avenue.
The desk had a nautical look with the set of drawers resembling a steamer trunk.
On the desk was a QR code under a glass casing, telling me that the hotel was now accepting cashless tips for housekeeping.
Since I rarely carry cash, I appreciated this option.
On the right side of the bed was an open wardrobe with more storage, a space for hanging jackets or clothing, and a Keurig.
The metal hooks on either side of the wardrobe had rope detailing, reinforcing the beachy, nautical vibe.
The Keurig came with Tayst coffee pods. There were also water bottles and Margaritaville-branded cups and coasters inside.
The closed cabinets housed a mini-fridge and a safe.
On the left side of the bed were floor-to-ceiling windows with views of midtown Manhattan, with a chaise to take it all in.
The chaise was perfectly situated for people-watching down below, but as it was rainy and cold, there wasn't much to see 21 floors below me.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed a sign on the window that noted the pool deck was directly below my room.
I didn't try to open the windows since it was rainy and cold, nor did I spot anyone using the pool in winter, but I did note this sign.
Of course, I did not plan to throw anything out the window, but I'd never seen a sign like that.
For privacy, I could completely cover the windows with blackout curtains.
In addition to the soundproof windows, closing the curtains made my room dark and quiet, which is not a luxury I always have in my apartment on the Upper East Side.
On-theme art adorned the room, including an old-fashioned treasure map of NYC and an island scene.
I was impressed by the art and how it simultaneously stayed on theme with the Margaritaville brand. It was a level of detail I wouldn't have expected from a hotel in the center of one of New York City's biggest tourist hubs.
The king bed had crisp white linens and a pillow that read "Changes in attitude," a reference to a Buffett song and album.
"Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" was Buffett's breakthrough album, released in 1977. It features the eponymous song and "Margaritaville."
I thought featuring this callback to it on the bed was a nice touch.
Behind the headboard was a decorative piece of art that looked like a patchwork of cabana doors, just like the door to the room. The bed itself was very comfy, and the linens were soft. I had a great night's sleep.
The light fixtures on either side emitted a warm glow, making the room feel cozy.
The nightstands had plenty of outlets, a nifty reading lamp, and a digital alarm clock.
Something I've encountered on my travels over the years is a severe lack of outlets, especially as the number of electronic gadgets I bring with me increases.
Off the top of my head, I need a phone charger, a laptop or iPad charger, an Apple Watch charger, a charger for my headphones, and a way to charge my portable charger. And that's just me. If I'm with someone else, they need plenty of plugs, too.
Usually, I'm left scouring the room, unplugging lamps for more space.
Thankfully, each side of the bed had two normal outlets and a USB plug. There was also a clock that had two USB outlets, and more scattered throughout the room.
Another technological detail I noticed was the panel on the inside of the door that activated the sign outside.
Hitting the "Privacy" button was all it took to turn the red light on outside. Hitting it again turned it off.
I'm unsure what the "Service" button did, as I never needed to use it.
Next to this panel was a digital thermostat for temperature control.
During downtime, I decided to watch TV. I was pleasantly surprised to see the TVs were equipped with a Chromecast.
Now that fewer people are using cable TV and instead stream all their TV needs, I was pleased to see a smart TV in my room that gave me the ability to cast what I was streaming on my phone, onto the TV. I hope to see more hotels embracing this tech-forward approach.
I fired up Peacock on my phone, connected to the TV, turned on "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City," and relaxed.
Now for the bathroom. A large bathroom mirror was ideal for selfies and makeup and had good lighting.
If you'll notice, the sink fixtures are whale tails — yet another nod to the beach.
The mirror didn’t open, but there were built-in shelves next to the sink.
There was plenty of room for toiletries, without taking up precious counter space.
The toilet was across from the sink.
The bathroom was fairly standard, continuing the teal theme, and adding a piece of Margaritaville-appropriate art, with a cover from The New Yorker from the '80s. It's just one of many details that pays homage to Buffett throughout the hotel.
The bathroom door was a sliding, barn-style door, likely intended to save space.
My favorite thing about the bathroom was the shelf above the toilet paper for my phone.
Having a place to put your phone in the bathroom is key. You don't want to touch it with dirty hands, but you also don't want to put it on the toilet directly, or on the floor.
Adding a shelf above the toilet paper is an easy fix — I've installed one in my own bathrooms in the past.
The oversized shower next to the sink came with a rainfall shower head.
The shower didn't have a door, which meant that water got all over the place when I used it. The hotel did provide a bath mat, but it wasn't enough.
Inside the shower were branded products from St. Somewhere Spa, which are the spas located inside certain Margaritaville locations, though not here in Times Square.
The name is a nod to Buffett's 28th album, "Songs from St. Somewhere," released in 2013 by his label, Mailboat Records.
Back in the main room by the front door, the room had a full-length mirror with overhead lighting.
I've noticed in hotels over the years
that full-length mirrors can be hard to come by. And even if there is a large mirror, the lighting can be terrible.
So I was glad to see that the one in my room had direct overhead lighting with perfect lighting in the entryway. I was able to get a good look before leaving.
My first day was rainy, but when I woke up the next day, it was perfectly sunny, ideal for looking out at the city.
When the sky was clear, I could see across the city all the way to Hudson Yards, a neighborhood on Manhattan's west side.
I could even see The Edge, an observation deck on the 100th floor of a Hudson Yards building.
I was expecting something much cheesier from Margaritaville, but I was pleasantly surprised by my stay.
Going into my stay, I expected it would be overly cheesy given Margaritaville's in-your-face beachy reputation combined with a location in the tourist trap known as Times Square.
But my room was quiet and clean, had thoughtful details, and incorporated technology smartly.
In the future, I'd recommend a room at Margaritaville to any visitor who wants to balance touristy kitsch with higher-class amenities.
Read the original article on Business Insider