The Westin Times Square offers a location smack in the middle of the Times Square neighborhood, special family rooms with microwaves and refrigerators that can be used with snacks from their new mobile snack cart.

The newly renovated Westin Times Square lobby has a luxurious living room feel.

The newly renovated Westin Times Square lobby has a luxurious living room feel. Photo courtesy of Robin Hutson, Mindful Traveling Mom.

The Westin Times Square is a towering four-star hotel in the heart of Manhattan’s most famous pedestrian traffic jam. Times Square is named for the New York Times headquarters formerly on West 44th Street and presently aims to be the heart of tourist New York.

Outside the Westin Times Square’s doors one can access bus tours, Madame Tussaud’s museum, The Avenger’s Station, and Times Square’s array of costumed characters posing with tourists where seedy bookstores, strip clubs, and adult entertainment once reigned.

For those not that familiar with New York City, Times Square is one of the most congested parts of the city and is not representative of the rest of city. But if you crave the tourist experience of New York, this is the place.

The Westin Times Square Family Rooms

We’ve stayed at this property many times over the years. The recent lobby renovation is beautiful, invoking a more casual living room and library. The Westin Times Square’s new rooms classify as family rooms, so we decided to check it out. These rooms offer a table for two, a microwave, refrigerator, and two queen beds in a town whose hotel rooms often have two TWIN beds to save space.

The Westin Times Square family rooms offer two queen beds.

The Westin Times Square family rooms offer two queen beds. Photo courtesy of Robin Hutson, Mindful Traveling Mom.

Children receive welcome gifts from the Westin, including a thoughtful activity book, crayons, and a water bottle in nylon black cinch-packs they can sport around town while sightseeing.

Comically, every kids’ pack also includes a copy of Time Out New York, the weekly digest listing everything going on around town. My daughter, old enough to read, was aghast at the cover story, “Does New York Make You an Asshole?” The hotel may be better off buying bulk copies of Time Out New York Kids in the future, but this easily won a place in my heart as best welcome amenity ever.

Most amusing welcome amenity for kids ever, courtesy of Westin Times Square.

Most amusing welcome amenity for kids ever, courtesy of Westin Times Square. Photo courtesy of Robin Hutson, Mindful Traveling Mom.

A clever new feature for Westin families is a mobile snack cart, upon request, will stop outside your door for children and parents to select snacks beyond the standard fare of minibar goodies. The snack cart offers yogurts, frozen pizzas, desserts, a variety of juices and nonalcoholic beverages, chips, and cereals, helping make use of your in-room refrigerator and microwave.

The Westin Times Square offers a mobile snack cart for families to purchase items for the fridge and microwave.

The Westin Times Square offers a mobile snack cart for families to purchase items for the fridge and microwave. Photo courtesy of Robin Hutson, Mindful Traveling Mom.

We found our refrigerator and microwave most useful to bring our leftovers from surrounding restaurants and reheat them as snacks in the room.

I’m a former New Yorker, and it was meaningful to take my children to John’s Pizza one block away with its excellent thin crust. A place unchanged since I ate there twenty years ago. For dinner, we tried Osteria del Doge on West 44th catering to more of a business crowd than tourists.

My children found the table perfect for puzzles. The tiny cushioned windowsill became my daughter’s favorite reading spot where she could lower the blinds and disappear.

Families have some space to play at the Westin Times Square.

Families have some space to play at the Westin Times Square. Photo courtesy of Robin Hutson, Mindful Traveling Mom.

The Foundry Kitchen

Breakfast for families is available as a full buffet option in the Foundry Kitchen in a newly revamped breakfast space below the Foundry’s small plates lounge off the lobby.

The breakfast buffet offered a thorough selection of hot items with a few specialties beyond scrambled eggs, home fries, and breakfast meats like bacon and mushroom frittatas and Ricotta Pastelillos. Like most Westin breakfast buffets I have tried, the Foundry Kitchen has an excellent assortment of nuts, seeds, and fruits for oatmeal, too.

Westin Times Square serves an excellent breakfast buffet at the Foundry Kitchen.

Westin Times Square serves an excellent breakfast buffet at the Foundry Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Robin Hutson, Mindful Traveling Mom.

Be Well at Westin features

Westin is definitely a brand targeted to serve business travelers well. It was my own go-to brand in my road warrior days before kids. I took advantage of the Westin workout option, borrowing a pair of new balance running shoes and socks to hit their gym. This is a fabulous feature for those who travel only with a carry-on or travel with kids.

Usually, in an effort to ensure my children have everything packed, I’ll overlook my own needs like shoes, underwear, hairbrushm or workout clothes.

The Foundry Kitchen at the Westin Times Square offers a daily breakfast buffet.

The Foundry Kitchen at the Westin Times Square offers a daily breakfast buffet. Photo courtesy of Robin Hutson, Mindful Traveling Mom.

Westin worked on creating healthy menus to respond to the needs of their target customers who are business travelers and their families. Westin offered only a healthy children’s menu for room service, while other hotels might feature a healthy menu amidst the standard junk food available at most places.

The chicken stir-fry with broccoli, carrots, edamame, and brown rice was— indeed—impressive. The fruit, nuts, and cheese platter introduced me to our first Moondrop grapes. Amazing!

But for those asking, “Hey, where’s my junk food?” I loved that the Westin also offers family packs where families can order a bulk meal for four for $100 while enjoying an in-room movie: pizza, chicken fingers, or cheeseburgers with French fries, salads, popcorn, and drinks.

While many would choose to be adjacent to the theater district, the crowds on the sidewalk in this area are as bad as any in New York City, particularly on weekends. For this reason, some families may be prefer staying further downtown or on the Upper East and West sides for a more residential experience.

I was impressed that our room, only on the 12th floor, was very quiet. I suggest asking for a room that doesn’t face Eighth Avenue or 42nd Street. The Westin is definitely a strong choice for all of its varying amenities.

If the refrigerator and microwave don’t sound like an added feature that will make your stay more comfortable, the standard rooms on higher floors can offer some spectacular views.

Thank you, thank you, Westin Times Square, for introducing me to moon drop grapes.

Thank you, thank you, Westin Times Square, for introducing me to moon drop grapes. Photo courtesy of Robin Hutson, Mindful Traveling Mom.

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