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Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeTrip ReviewsHOTEL REVIEWSWyndham JFK Airport: One Lie After Another

Wyndham JFK Airport: One Lie After Another

Wyndham JFK Airport Hotel Review is part of TPOL in NYC Trip Report.


I have so many posts from NYC Airports that it commands its own category. The latest installment is this Hotel Review of the Wingate by Wyndham JFK Airport/Far Rockaway.

The Backstory 

I had my first work meeting in NYC since 2019 (see Out of Office But in the Office). I couldn’t find a hotel for less than $700 in Brooklyn, Long Island City, and not even Jersey City.

a screenshot of a phone
The Fairfield is 1k? What is going on in NYC this week?

My choice was to cancel the trip entirely or make the harrowing commute from JFK airport for a more reasonable rate. Last time, I stayed at the Lexington Inn for the reasonable price of $105 (see Jamaica, Queens: How to Avoid Expensive Hotels in NYC). As a resident of the Wyndham Rio Mar Golf Club, I decided to go with a name brand I could trust. I chose the Wingate JFK for $270 for 2 nights. That was a mistake. Here’s why:

Location 

Before arriving, I had never heard of Far Rockaway. I only knew the name from the subway signs that indicated that the train was headed uptown. I assumed, given the name of the hotel, Wingate JFK, that it was relatively close to the hotel. It was not. It was a thirty minute drive.a car parked in a parking lot

No Shuttle 

In selecting a hotel near JFK, my first priority was to make sure that the hotel had a free shuttle to the airport. Paying for an Uber would defeat the purpose of staying at an airport hotel.

a screenshot of a hotel
I didn’t find a gift shop either.

When I arrived, I called the hotel three times. No one answered. Frustrated, I took an Uber to the hotel for $35 in the hopes I would be reimbursed upon my arrival. The opposite happened. I was informed that there is no free shuttle and that Wyndham corporate has it on the website without the authorization of the hotel.

$50 Early Check In

Despite being a golf member at a Wyndham property, I have no Wyndham status. I was slightly appalled that I would have to pay $50 to check in early. So far my cost-cutting strategy was not working.

Subway

The hotel is conveniently located around the corner from the A train which, one train change and 24 stops later, conveniently has me at Grand Central Station. The hour-and-a-half journey is miserable but the price of $2.75 cannot be beaten. a building with a sign on the side a train with a door open

Uber Returns

After an exhausting day running around the City, the last thing I wanted to do was endure an interminable train ride home. That did not make the $75 Uber ride more comfortable.

a group of people on a subway
Fine going to the city but not back.

Cost Breakdown 

I paid the following:

  • $270 for 2 nights
  • $50 for early check-in
  • $32 Uber to hotel
  • $37 Uber to JFK
  • $77.91 first night Uber back to hotel
  • $76.98 second night Uber back to hotel

Total: $543.98 

Lessons

  • Legal: The lack of an airport shuttle is consumer fraud. Naming the hotel JFK Airport when it is thirty minutes away from the airport is another scam. Bachuwa Law will be going after Wyndham for this.
  • Hotel: Without status, I should have arrived later in the day so I could have saved the $50 early check-in. Without points or an affordable option, I should have left after one night, saving $135.
  • Uber: Yes, Uber is a rip-off but it was predictable that I would not have to deal with the subway for the return. However, if the hotel was truly near JFK airport as advertised, it would have been around $55-$60 for the Uber.

Hotel Review 

The room had a comfortable bed. The shower was the typical NY shower with no water pressure.a parking lot with a car parked in front of a building a bed with a lamp and a window a tv on a dresser a bathroom with a sink and toilet a group of small bottles and a small packet of toilet paper on a oval shaped tray a shower and bathtub in a bathroom

Overall 

I had to go to NY for work and made more than I lost. But $550? I guess it’s better than paying double or triple.

a screenshot of a hotel
Similar to TWA Hotel? (see TWA Hotel JFK: Where to Not Spend a Layover.)

 

 

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19 COMMENTS

  1. You would have been better off staying by one of the “airport” hotels around Jamaica station at the end of the AirTrain. Right on top of the LIRR and subways into midtown.

  2. That’s where I stayed last time. It’s referenced in the article. Read the comments from that post lol. Was told I was lucky I wasn’t killed.

  3. If you didn’t simply check the location of the hotel on Google maps, the fault lies with you for not doing the adequate homework.

    • Yes, predictable comment. Booked the day before and didn’t have the time to keep searching for hotels. I googled JFK hotels and shuttle. That should be good enough.

      • Honestly, that sounds like a Google problem and lack of checking up on it (regardless of the reason). Listing a shuttle on their website when one doesn’t exist – that sucks and I’m not going to believe that they’ve told corporate that they don’t have one and corporate has refused to take it off. Sounds like classic bait and switch to me.

  4. Was there a conference? Those prices seem insane? I’m in New York almost once a month for work and I regularly stay the Hyatt Grand Central for 250-350 during the week and it’s pretty easy to get from there over to Brooklyn (especially by the convenient ferry system). $600 all in for a wingate sounds horrible

  5. Dude, love your blog but a few moments of the most basic research and quick call to the hotel to verify their “shuttle” should always be part of your plan. You’re a professional traveler.

    • Calling=kryptonite. And even if I called, it’s not like they answered when I tried that day. Website says airport transfer. I can’t be bothered to go beyond that.

      • “Calling=kryptonite” LOL. Fair enough. I hate Trip Advisor for obvious reasons(and yeah, this is revisionist history) but in cases like this I always go for a few seconds to ferret out any slimy issues.
        Agree, this hotel is trash.

        • I could have done more. Next time, I still won’t do more. I am proactive to a point. That point is Google lol. And in fairness to me, I was doing all the research on points and chain hotels that I needed to book and be done. It shouldn’t take one day to plan a trip to NYC. How much time (money) did I lose doing that instead of actually working?

  6. The moment I saw “JFK/Far Rockaway” in the name of the hotel I knew you were in trouble. Far Rockaway is on the opposite side of Jamaica Bay from JFK, and based on that distance an airport shuttle seemed impossible. It is unfortunate that you were unfamiliar with the geography of that area of Queens and relied on yet another completely misleading hotel website description. Hopefully people who read this blog have learned from your misfortune.

    A future alternative to extremely high hotel rates in NYC may be finding a hotel in Westchester County, perhaps Scarsdale or Tuckahoe, that is close to the railroad. A trip on the Metro-North line from Tuckahoe to Grand Central is about 41 minutes.

  7. Maybe you can have a post-Covid travel hack article about old school calling the hotel and confirming things like shuttles and restaurants before the refund period ends, considering how many hotels leave their pre-Covid stuff up? I’ve cancelled or not booked hotels half a dozen times in the past year because their restaurant is actually closed “due to Covid,” their advertised shuttles no longer run “due to Covid,” and of course we all know housekeeping doesn’t clean much anymore “due to Covid,” though we are supposed to tip them more “due to Covid.”

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