Let me address the renovation concerns first because when I was booking my stays at the Omni, that was the thing I was most concerned about. In fact, this was so important that I had also booked a competing hotel in case the noise was a factor. I had full day meetings the next day on my visits so it was very important for me to get a good night's rest. It turned out that my worries were over nothing. I am a light sleeper but I didn't run into any issues with noise in the morning. Perhaps I got lucky, or perhaps the construction crews were on vacation those days (Apr 22 and Apr 25) but if I had not read the tripadvisor forums, I would not have realized that there were renovations going on. I also did not experience any issues with elevator waits or other issues typical for a renovation. The caveat is that I was lucky enough to get an upgrade on my visits so it's unclear if my noise experience was atypical. The upgraded rooms I had were terrific. I used to live in NYC for 8-9 years, and I have stayed at many hotels in the City since I have left, so I have a very good idea of what is a normal hotel room in the City. These were very high quality rooms, very spacious, probably second in size only to a suite I had at the Yale club years before. Again, ymmv because as I understand it, the standard Omni rooms are, well, pretty standard for NYC.
Some minor quibbles during my stays (but keep in mind, I'd rate my experience a 9 out of 10 overall, and I have already booked the Berkshire for my next trip to NYC):
- I checked out on Friday April 23 and decided to check my bags with the bellman that morning until I could retrieve them later that day. I got very snooty attitude from the bellman. It was along the lines of you're-interrupting-my-daydreaming-time-and-oh-you-better-tip-me-after-I-take-your-bag. Again, I'm an ex-NYer who is used to a little NY attitude but this was not normal, and definitely not appropriate for a 4 or 5 star hotel.
- I could not adjust the AC fan lower in my room on my first stay. I located the control panel and the other functions were responsive but for some reason the fan control was not working. I had to live with a slightly cold room that night. It was not too bad. The control panel in the room on my stay on the 25th worked fine, so I know it wasn't operator error, either.
- I had breakfast at the Fireside restaurant one morning and the bill was pretty outrageous, even by NYC standards. I remember having a bagel and an OJ, and the person I was meeting with had a fairly typical egg breakfast, with coffee and juice, and somehow the bill came to $40+.
I've written more about the negatives than I intended so I will balance that with some of the positives.
- they delivered 3 newspapers in the morning to my door. I am a newspaper junkie so this was a great treat
- the complimentary beverage delivery in the morning was reliable and excellent. Sign up for their loyalty program to get this.
- wifi worked without any hiccups
- The rooms I had were fantastic. The bathroom was beautiful, clean, well-lit, spacious. Aside from the AC panel issue, everything in the room was top rate. I had a balcony in one of my rooms, which was a first for me in NYC.
I cannot conclude this review without mentioning that when I booked my next trip to the Omni Berkshire, I ran into a glitch in my reservation. My initial calls to customer service got the run around, and I was told that I would get a call back from a director at the Berkshire in 48 hrs. In my experience, that is code for "we will never call you back." However, I did get a call from Kathryn S., who resolved my issue and then went above-and-beyond by stepping through each date of my booking (I have a couple rooms booked under several reservations -- it's complicated) to make sure I had what I wanted, and she then simplified my convoluted bookings and re-created a new reservation, and then typed out an email to make sure I had what I wanted at the right prices. It was probably a 20 minute call, well past the end of the normal workday, and while I'm not conveying it fully in this write-up, it was definitely first class customer treatment. I am a status member of a competing hotel brand but my future business in NYC has been won over by Omni.