We are a retired couple who have averaged 3 international vacations per year over the past decade. We stayed for a week at the Verve Hotel, in September 2013, based on its #1 Tripadvisor ranking. However, after we arrived, we too wondered why this hotel is ranked as the best in Long Island City when it only receives a 3 star rating from travel booking websites. Probably the answer has 3 parts:
1) The other 20 hotels in the area, with 2 exceptions, are rated as 3 stars or less. ie. There are no luxury hotels in Long Island City to compare the Verve to.
2) The vast majority of patrons of this hotel are young couples who likely have not stayed in luxury hotels and are unable to make a valid quality comparison.
3) It would appear that most reviewers are using the Tripadvisor bubble system to indicate how satisfied they are with their stay. So the large number of 5-bubble scores (that give the Verve a #1 rank on Tripadvisor) really mean that most people were very satisfied with their time in this budget hotel.
Why do I keep calling the Verve a budget hotel (albeit a good one)? It's quality is about equal to a basic Best Western (which usually gets a 2 1/2 to 3 star rating on Expedia, etc):
a) The rooms are reasonably large but are very plainly furnished and decorated. The flat- screen TVs are cheap ones with very poor resolution, adequate for news and sitcoms but very annoying for sports. Although there is extra space, the only chair in the King room is a desk chair. However, the rooms are very clean and the beds are comfortable.
b) The breakfast is a basic one. There are 4 choices of junk-food cold cereals, oatmeal hot cereal, scrambled eggs, sausage patties, cheese, and pancake mix. Coffee, milk,orange and apple juice are the drink selections. There a several different breads and donuts. Fresh fruit is in short supply; bananas and apples rotate on a daily basis. On the positive side, the breakfast room is bright and spacious and spotlessly clean.
c) The area surrounding the Verve is an older industrial neighborhood with tattered buildings and crumbling sidewalks. Four churches are within 100 yards but there are few decent restaurants. (Beware the Holiday Inn restaurant which is one block away; see my review on it.) However, the area is safe and 3 subway stations are a 5 minute walk away. You can get to Times Square in 10 minutes!
d) Equipment seems to suffer from maintenance problems. For 2 days the TV sports channels were off-line. One morning the internet was down. Our shower did not work properly. Our room's safe jammed shut on 2 consecutive days. Some keys on the business center computers do not work properly. However, the staff members were very sympathetic and had the problems fixed as soon as possible.
In summary, we would come back here because it meets all our needs. However, if you are thinking of staying at the Verve, read a lot of reviews about this hotel so you know exactly what you are getting. And finally, here are hints on price and room location: If you are staying for several days, go on the Verve website and register as a club member. Then you can pay in advance and receive a good discount on the room rate. We paid $123 per night compared to the advertised price of about $160. With breakfast included, that's a very good price for a New York hotel. Regarding room location, ask for one on the Manhattan side. If they don't honor that request, as in our case, you will hear subway trains all night unless you turn up the air-conditioner fan.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Verve Hotel in Long Island City, an Ascend Collection hotel near Manhattan. Offering boutique accommodations in the heart of Long Island City, the Verve Hotel, an Ascend CollectionTM hotel, is within walking distance to Silvercup Studios film and television production facility. Local points of interest like the LaGuardia Airport, downtown Manhattan, Long Island University and the Queens Zoo are less than four miles from this Long Island City, NY hotel. John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport are minutes away. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Verve Hotel, An Ascend Collection Hotel Long Island City
- Ascend Collection Long Island City
- Verve Hotel, An Ascend Collection Long Island City, New York