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“Can't wait to go back!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of W New York

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W New York
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   541 Lexington Avenue, Between 49th St and 50th St, New York City, NY 10022 (Manhattan)   |  
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Ranked #330 of 458 Hotels in New York City
GreenLeadersBronze level
Syracuse, NY
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Can't wait to go back!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2007

After I got back from my weekend trip to New York, the first thing I mentioned to my friends and family was how great the hotel was. It is very surprising to see some of the bad ratings this place got - I don't have a single bad thing to say about it (well maybe one - see below). Let me frame my review by saying that I am in my later 20s, and don't travel often - maybe a few weekends away a year. I am by no means a hotel critic, but I am on the other hand very specific in what I look for and am sometimes difficult to please.

The decor and atmosphere was amazing. I was impressed from the minute I walked in the door. The music/lighting/aromatherapy really added to the experience. The whole place looked like it came out of the pages of a magazine.

There was a line to check in, but I can't fault the hotel for that - they had three people working the front desk. The service at the desk and at the concierge was good. I didn't order any room service, so I can't comment on that.

The room itself was small, but very clean and well decorated. The a/c worked great. I didn't come to NYC to hang out in the room all day, so I was happy with it. Also, the bathroom was a real treat - the fixtures and design were very hip and everything was very clean.

I didn't have a chance to hit the bar(s) at the hotel, but they looked like very relaxed, cool places to hang out. The crowd was perfect for somebody in their late 20s/early 30s.

My only complaint is that the fire alarm went off for a very brief minute early in the morning on one day. Not sure what the deal was with that, but it stopped after 5-10 seconds.

Either this place is getting a bad rap, or I had an exceptional stay.

  • Liked — atmosphere/decor was amazing
  • Disliked — nothing!
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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CT
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2007

I booked 2 nights at the W hotel on Lexington directly on The W website solely on the W reputation. If I had read the Tripadvisor review first, I probably would have booked somewhere else. Since I booked on the sight, I was unable to cancel the room or I would have been penalized one night ($269). So, my "spectacular room" was waiting and I braced for the worst after reading the reviews.

I arrived on Friday 8/3 at 6:30 p.m. and the lobby was packed. Both bar areas were full and the music was thumping. I had no problem checking in. It was fast and courteous. The elevator was a little slow, but there were a lot of people moving around. My room was on the 11th floor.

The room was tiny, but well appointed, attractive, and clean. It was tough for 2 people to move around and get ready. There was a musty smell in the hallway and in the bathroom. There was no vent in the bathroom, and a lack of ventilation (or AC) in the hallway. I wasn't bothered by it. There was no view.

The room was worn. The carpets could be replaced as well as the laminate around the window and AC unit. The bathrrom was small (no tub), but was in very good shape. The bed was a queen size, and solid. Nice linens and very comfortable.

If I group this room with the other $200 to $299 rooms I've stayed in NYC over the years, it would be high on that list. It was the perfect room if your days and nights are filled with activities and all you need is a place to shower, get ready, and sleep. It's close to a subway stop, and cabs are readily available. If I was stuck in the room for whatever reason (or had kids with me), I'd probably be uncomfortable.

  • Liked — Location to subway and access to cabs
  • Disliked — Expensive lobby bar and breakfast selection - but it is NYC
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Southeast, USA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2007

Arrived on an early flight and didn't expect a room to be ready-- but didn't expect a gum-smacking girl at the front desk with attitude either. So we left our bags and headed out for some exploring the neighborhood. The hotel is in a great location on Lexington Avenue and is really close to shopping. Bergdorff Goodman is a few blocks, Saks Fifth Avenue is a few blocks, and all the rest of the great smaller store. My favorite store is Takashimaya New York, located at 693 Fifth Ave-- there's a Japanese Tea Room in the basement which has great Daily Bento Boxes for lunch.

So back to the hotel lobby at the W. I could not believe that over the three days, not one single doorman ever greeted me or offered to open a door at the entrance. They also never asked if I needed a cab-- I've never had this happen at ANY hotel in NYC. Seems like the "casual" attitude has taken over.

The W's motto is Whatever/Whenever and all I can say to that is "Whatever!"

Let me say a few nice things: They do offer free apples and refreshing towelette wipes at the front desk. In the afternoon they had cucumber water near the elevators which was a nice touch. The Concierge was INCREDIBLE and deserves high marks for getting me two tickets to the Tony Award winning "Grey Gardens" which was completely sold out and was closing that night. Sure it took a chunk of change, and about an hour, but he did it: 10th Row Center on the Aisle. The only downside was I couldn't put them on my room tab to get "SPG points."

Speaking of points: Upon check-in I was told, repeatedly, that I would not be receiving SPG points. Repeatedly. Did I say repeatedly? This was due to my booking through Expedia and not through the "official" SPG website. I was not even getting credit for the nights toward my upgrades. Bummer....So, I get no points, I paid over 300 bucks a night for one of the smallest rooms I've ever stayed in NYC, and I get a big dose of attitude. This should be fun.

Spectacular Room for over $300 per night. The room really was small. There was barely space to pass sideways by the TV-MiniBar console (there was tray that was teetering on top of the TV) on the way to the torn slipcovered chair shoved up against the bed next to the window. The only thing Spectacular was that they were getting $300+ a night.

While the bathroom was very neatly styled, there was nowhere to put my travel case since there was only a glass shelf with all the glasses and hotel items, and a pedestal sink. NOTE: Not all rooms have bathtubs-- my room had a shower only. Waterpressure was great and the showerhead was adjustable for tall guys like me.

Sometime around midnight the air conditioner stopped blowing cold air. Since I didn't want to have to wake up and have guys in my room fixing it at midnight, I left it until morning and sweated through it. I called down in the AM and asked them to fix it while we were out. But they didn't. So I called again when I got back that afternoon and after waiting 45 minutes, I called again and asked for a manager-- instead of connecting me to a manager... they finally arrived a few minutes later. After a few minutes inspection the guys brought in a brand new unit and installed it. I had already noticed mold and rust on the unit myself (see photo), and I also snapped a pic of the gapping hole where they pulled the unit. You can see, cleanliness is not next to godliness at the W NY. They were nice guys, quick to apologize, but they should have cleaned the mess behind the wall, which they didn't.

The new unit broke that night around 11pm. Called. Waited. Finally had to move rooms-- to a smaller room!!! And not even any kind of credit to my bill. How Spectacular!

I've stayed at many NYC hotels. I'm a SPG Preferred Guest. And this was the worst experience at a hotel in Manhattan, aside from the Ramada Plaza near the airport, but that was because of a bumped flight, and I think it's technically in Queens.

  • Liked — Concierge was top-notch. Location to shopping is good.
  • Disliked — Price. Front Desk Staff. Size of Rooms. Broken A/C. Staff Attitudes.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, UK
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2007

Got to the hotel and there were lots of people in the small lobby.
No one offered to help with luggages when walked into the hotel. Nevertheless, didn't wait long before a receptionist was available. The girl was very friendly and helpful and gave us a room on 14/F when asked for a higher floor room.

The decor on G/F was nicely and modernly decorated with strange grass patches here and there. Funky almost. Oh, apples readily available on the reception counter. Big and juicy ones too!

Quite a few elevators but quite cramped and a bit too dim. The corridor feelt dirty and did have an unpleasant odour......decor/wallpaper looked old to be honest - same thing with the room.

Even on 14/F, there is no view to speak of and the room was quite small, smallest among the 3 hotels my friend and I stayed. It was relatively quiet though. No plasma to be seen. The TV was tiny and made cica 1990.......

The room did have enough space for suitcases. Although I booked it, I didn't actually sleep there as I stayed at another hotel (Barclay, right opposite).

Bathroom was again big enough and to my surprise shower only - no bathtub....toileteries aplenty though.

My friend used the laundry service but they didn't send it back the next day as promised. Complainted and they waiver the charge. Bed felt comfortable though and sheet clean.

Fitness room bigger than the Barclay's and better equiped. No steam room/sauna however.

Didn't eat in the hotel but had a drink in the lobby lounge. Pricey and barmaid wasn't that friendly - not a profession bartender as you would expect from a chic, high-class hotel.

The lobby is far too small and with the bar crowd it's constantly too packed and had to dodge people on my way in and out.
Conciege was helpful but the counter was too small that only one person can help at any one time. Had to wait a LONG time to get served. Other staff were just wondering around really - no smile offered.

As W 'founding' hotel (I think), they really should make it more special and keep it at least look good. Except the G/F, they are in desperate need of a hugh renovation to other floors, esp the room!

Can't say it's worth 4* really but the location is good. For the money they are after, there are plenty of other better choices. Not all bad though. If you get a great rate through priceline, then it's an okay hotel.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Decor
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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San Diego, California
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
242 helpful votes 242 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2007

I almost always read (and heed) TripAdvisor reviews before booking hotel rooms. About once or twice a year I ignore the reviews for one reason or another, and almost always regret it. Case in point, the W Hotel New York. Believe the reviews, this hotel is really dreadful. I have stayed in Four Points that have significantly better service and facilities. I can deal with the small rooms, that is expected in NYC. The lobby is nice enough to look at, the the first floor is hopping with bar guests and diners. I checked in about 11pm after a late night flight from Europe. The service at the front desk was chilly and detached. When I asked the hostess if I received an upgrade for being a Starwood Platinum member, she looked at the screen and coldly responded 'no.' When I asked why not, she told me because I booked my room using points, that I would have no Platinum benefits. What? Isn't that exactly the reason why we accrue our points in the first place?! After some discussion, a manager walked by, coldly clicked some keys in the computer, and he found a jr suite for me. However he didn't address me or the receptionists obvious lack of understanding on how the programs work there. I could understand if the hotel was sold out, but no upgrades based on ineligibility using points was crazy. We got to the room - a jr. suite in NYC is like a regular sized room anywhere else, but I was happy for it nonetheless. However, the hallways are dank and musky, and the carpet is worn and frayed throughout. The furniture in my room could've come from my nephew's college dorm hand-me-downs. I haven't seen that much particle-board since my last trip to Ikea. The bathroom was fine. The mattresses are extremely out of date and uncomfortable. They bounce so much we thought we were on a waterbed, and had plenty of time to ponder that as we were rolling into each other in the center of the bed. Arriving late at night, I called the 'Whatever/Whenever" line to request a late check out. It rang for five minutes before an agent answered, and then cut me off midsentence to tell me that I needed to speak with the front desk to complete that request. (So much for whatever/whenever). After 10 minutes of ringing (no exaggeration), I ended up having to call the Starwood Platinum Concierge 800 number to ask them to complete the request for me. They were very slow to answer the phones (if ever), and the whatever/whenever button was true to its name. Their attitude was very 'whatever' and 'whenever' they got around to answering their phones, they may or may not assist you. The staff at this hotel had a tremendous amount of attitude and it wasn't positive. The location is fairly good, walking distance to Times Square and many other spots, and easy subway access a few blocks away. I realize it's NYC and that New York is its own animal, but bottom line is that if I have neutral to friendly service and a comfortable bed, I can deal with most anything else. This hotel offered none of the above. Try one of the newly remodeled Sheratons instead. Same amount of points and you'll be a comfy bed. The Starwood Platinum Concierge told me that they get regular complaints on this hotel. Save your time and energy, believe the reviews, and move on to another choice. This hotel does not deserve the W brand name, and the long list of lengthy poor reviews shows they are not interested in making the changes needed to earn their stripes. Stay elsewhere.

Stayed July 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2007

I cannot understand how various travel sites give the W New York a four star rating. At best, this one deserves three and that's being generous. This hotel's rooms are extremely small and not at all designed with a guest's comfort or needs in mind. There was not one drawer -- even in the deeply scratched desk or nightstand -- in the "spectacular" room we booked for three nights. This was a two level upgrade above the even tinier "cozy" and "wonderful" levels. We referred to the room as our spectacular closet. Folded clothing was supposed to go into the narrow cubbies of a fabric hanging shelf thing, sold in home stores as a device in which to stack shoes. They hung this improvised dresser from the closet rod and it ate up half of the closet space. The bathroom was also miniscule with just a stall shower with no tub, and it smelled musty because there's no ventilation. When I complained about the smell which was reminiscent of old, wet towels, they sent someone from housekeeping to spray some heavily perfumed air freshener which just made it worse. The ambiance is pretentious and the place tries way too hard to be...I'm not quite sure what it's trying to be.
On the plus side: the beds are comfortable, the Bliss toiletries are nice and the location can't be beat. The Waldorf, a Marriott, Doubletree, Kimberly Suites and the Benjamin are all within a block of this hotel and I'd opt for one of these before ever returning to this particular W. Very disappointing.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — miniscule rooms
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Norfolk
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the W in July 2007. Checked in went to our room and laughed. The bed is in the middle of the room with a big circle headboard cut out so you can see through it on both sides. The first thing I noticed is no dresser or anywhere to put our folded clothes and etc. Went to the closet and there was a hanging container but it did not work for either one of us. There were four hangers, one was broken. The inroom safe was not useable as it was locked so after we put our bags away we went down to the front desk and told them our problem. She said that someone would come to our room in ten mins. We had to be there for maintaince in order to reopen the safe. We waited over 45 mins. and left. The first night sleep turned out to be an adventure as the bed sloped to the middle, on our way down the next morning to report our unhappiness another couple was on there way back down and they had been moved twice with no difference in beds. No need for us to report and move we thought. The ice had melted in our glasses and we noticed black hard objects in the bottom of the glasses. Thought maybe it was a one time thing,but no it happened everytime we had ice. So we drank at the bar. The food and the bar were good as was the nice bliss products in the bathroom..that room was small. All in all for the money go somewhere else.

Stayed July 2007
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Additional Information about W New York

Address: 541 Lexington Avenue, Between 49th St and 50th St, New York City, NY 10022
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Manhattan , Midtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#41 Spa Hotel in New York City
#47 Green Hotel in New York City
#166 Luxury Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — W New York 4*
Number of rooms: 693
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When it comes to New York City hotels with style and sophistication, W New York continues to rewrite the book. Passionate and provocative, W New York is a vibrant retreat where fashion, food, music, and art excite your soul. Set in midtown Manhattan, the iconic W New York offers travelers a soulful sanctuary on the pulse of New York City. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, our New York City hotel is a refreshing mix of high-tech hospitality and glamorous urban living. No matter what inspires you, W New York indulges your passion. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
w New York Hotel New York City
w New York City
w Hotel New York City
w Hotel Lexington

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