Lobby inside Luma Hotel Times Square

Luma Hotel Times Square opened its doors in May 2017 as the first of the Luma Hotels brand. With more hotels in the works, the inaugural property in New York City is defining how a brand can succeed in offering guests authentic, local experiences for both its guests and the community.

Luma Hotel Times Square recently launched Chasing Light, a new seasonal photography walk and conversation series led by skilled photographer Grant Legan. Open to hotel guests and locals, each walk explores neighboring Times Square, the Garment District and Bryant Park during the magical “golden hour,” when the city transitions from afternoon to evening, offering a unique opportunity to photograph the city through a captivating light.

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Grant discusses how light plays a huge role in our lives and how he has utilized it in his work, while attendees manipulate light to capture stunning photographs of the surrounding skyscrapers, billboards and greenery. The walk concludes in one of LUMA’s suites overlooking the city, for a final photo-worthy moment from a unique vantage point. Here, the hotel’s Director of Sales Diane Elliott, explains what sets the hotel apart.

TravelPulse (TP): Times Square has one of the highest concentrations of hotels in New York City. What makes Luma Times Square distinct?

Diane Elliott (DE): Luma sets itself apart from other boutique properties in Times Square due to our innovative guest amenities and superior customer service. Plus, many of our rooms have a great view of the iconic Times Square Ball.

We have sewed ourselves into the fabric of this neighborhood by collaborating with local entities such as the Bryant Park Corporation to offer our guests seamless access to local events and happenings. We created a Glow Concierge program, which is a collection of lifestyle and wellness amenities to make our guests’ time on property even more comfortable.

For example, it includes a Sleep Therapy Bundle with a sound machine, a selection of herbal teas and an essential oil diffuser; and a Luma Library. Our robot butler, Alina, delivers a menu of books directly to the guest’s door, which they can borrow for the entire length of their stay.

Guest room inside Luma Hotel Times Square

We also feature rooms with two king beds which is unique for New York City. Additionally, in our lobby, guests will find Ortzi, a restaurant helmed by award-winning chef Jose Garces that was inspired by the Basque region’s tradition of tapas. In our Ortzi Lounge & Bar, our guests can enjoy a nightly complimentary glass of sangria.

TP: Luma Times Square is the first of Luma Hotels. How does this NYC hotel set the standard for future Luma properties?

DE: Each guest that stays with us here at LUMA can expect contemporary amenities and modern services such as complimentary lightning-fast Wi-Fi with individual access points installed in every guest room and suite. As a brand standard, we have also included ultramodern Smart TVs, plentiful USB ports, ergonomic work desks, complimentary digital subscriptions to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and windows that have an electronic control for both the sheer and blackout shades.

Luma Hotel Times Square exterior

TP: How does Luma Hotels work with travel agents?

DE: Strong relationships with travel agencies are highly valued at Luma and we only see it growing from here. We offer commissionable rates to all major consortia and we manage these programs to build awareness on all things Luma. We visit agencies throughout the US, host events for home-based agents, conduct online webinars and upload current promotions & news on agency online portals.

We also participate in agency marketing initiatives to reach agents in the growing digital world that include e-newsletters, social media posts and digital advertising. However, meeting with agents on a personal level is most important to us and we attend large agent events/trade shows to connect with as many as possible.

For more information, visit umahotels.com/