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It's 5 o'clock for this hotel
After living in New York City for some time I became aware of a strange hotel: a tacky, tropical-themed monstrosity standing proudly in Times Square. I’m talking, of course, about Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Resort.
Shockingly, the resort recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy but seems to remain open for the time being. In order to catch a glimpse of this rare urban oasis I decided to check the place out before it disappeared for good. But first I had to do some review sleuthing.
Sadly these reviews are exactly what I expected.
The hotel boasts 234 guest rooms, Times Square’s only outdoor pool (I can’t imagine why), and no fewer than four separate tropical-themed bars distributed throughout its 32 floors.
There’s also allegedly a fitness center in the basement, but something tells me that doesn’t get much use.
My buddy Aaron (of Dallas BBQ fame) and I walked into the lobby and were immediately overwhelmed with choices. We asked an employee for his recommendation.
“I’d recommend the Margaritaville Restaurant on the second floor; they have burgers, wings and nachos,” he told us, as if every restaurant in Times Square didn’t serve burgers, wings, and nachos.
We ended up at a restaurant which appeared to be deserted. In fact, most of the hotel seemed deserted.
It appeared that nobody worked on that floor. We thought about walking behind the bar and fixing ourselves two cocktails, but decided instead to go to a different bar (one with employees) and see what drinks were on the drink menu.
We regretted that decision as soon as we saw the drink menu. One drink called “License to Chill,” looked like a glass of iced Listerine garnished with a lime wedge.
We had gone to the poolside bar to see Times Square’s only outdoor pool in all its glory. It was roughly the size of the runner rug in my apartment.
I asked the bartender what types of people normally visit the Margaritaville Resort in Times Square.
“Honestly, it’s mostly just New Yorkers on a staycation,” he replied.
Suddenly it all made sense. The guests here weren’t worldly travelers; most of them had probably just won big on a scratch-off and were looking for a place to drink fluorescent alcohol and feel like they were on a trashy vacation for a night.
We finished our drinks and headed back downstairs.
We decided to check out one more bar on our way out when we saw it: the two-story Statue of Liberty replica standing in a gross restaurant, holding not a torch, but a giant illuminated margarita glass.
Never before had I seen America’s proud history bastardized on such a grand scale. The replica serves as a breathtaking beacon of hope and freedom for all who just want to say YOLO and get fucked up in what may be the saddest hotel to ever exist.
One can even dine inside the statue, but this seat appeared to be reserved for VIPs. I imagine that this is where Mr. Buffett sits when he’s in town.
As we were leaving I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to spend the night at such a terrible place while it was actively going out of business. Then I got an idea:
If this post gets 25 likes, I will book a room and spend 24 hours locked inside the Margaritaville Resort in Times Square.
For 50 likes I’ll wear a pair of Hey Dudes the entire time.
I may even drink a License to Chill (or two!) in the Statue of Liberty booth. There’s only one way to find out!
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