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“This place could be so much better...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Library Hotel

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Library Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   299 Madison Ave., at 41st St., Entrance on 41st Street, New York City, NY 10017 (Midtown)   |  
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Ranked #3 of 464 Hotels in New York City
Seoul
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“This place could be so much better...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2011

Although we've travelled for years, and relied a Trip Advisor a great deal, we've only just decided to start posting reviews. Many will follow from this trip. In reading this review, please be aware that our low post count is not an indicator of our experience. We're backpackers. flash packers, and five star aficionados, depending on the trip and requirements.

The Library was interesting. This is not a five star hotel. It is, quite obviously, boutique. Boutique does not, however, mean 'great'. The Library does not deserve it's ranking.

Our check in experience was pleasant. Billy was on the desk and was incredibly helpful. Jaime, the bellman, carried our well worn travel backpacks to our room with a smile worthy of gratuity we never feel compelled to give unless it is actually deserved, despite the "culture."

The room was clean, and well ordered. The mini bar, on the other hand, was ridiculous. This pressure censored wonder noted that it would charge for any weight change, which meant that it was apparently impossible to chill the complimentary water provided by the hotel, or anything else. It also incorrectly charged us for a Snickers bar that we didn't even know was there. Should you stay here, be sure to check the charges before you pay for anything, as mischarges must be common. This is not really acceptable for a high end hotel.

On the first morning of our visit, serious thunderstorms hit the city. Not wanting to deviate from our planned itinerary, as we had a short time in New York on this trip, we decided to head out. We requested an umbrella, at which time we were informed that they were 'all gone'. This, for us anyway, was unacceptable for a hotel of this calibre. It was suggested that we purchase one at Grand Central.

Executive/Club benefits are standard in NYC's boutique hotels. Nearly all of them have wine and cheese available in the early evenings. Here, however, the experience was uncomfortable. Although we quickly realized that it was acceptable to pour your own drinks, many guests clearly did not. We witnessed many people trying to work this out, as the staff were very attentive for the first drink, but did not follow up at all. For those used to club/executive level amenities at other establishments, this was a very different experience, and, unfortunately, not in a positive way. It has also been noted that the books in the 'reading room' are…average. The experience would certain only be improved with a proper collection of hard backed literature.

On check out, we were 'greeted' by a woman whose name we simply can't remember because her attitude made us want to bolt. She was curt, rude, and couldn't remember we'd spoken to her the day before, or that we'd booked an airport transfer. Perhaps the backpacks threw her…but it was certainly not a pleasant experience at check out.

Overall, this hotel has decent rooms, is a great location, with some staff who at least work for the expected gratuity. It is not, however, five star. It is also not worth the room rate. As expats living in Tokyo, we think we know a fair bit about expensive cities, hotels, and rooms, so this is not a critique on those fronts. It is, however, a critique of the manner in which this hotel conducts some of its business and in the way some staff treat its guests. I doubt we'll be back to NYC in the very near future (and we're aware things change rapidly in the industry), but we'd be unlikely to stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LibraryHotel, Director of Sales at Library Hotel, responded to this review, August 24, 2011
Dear prince_alexander,

Thank you for posting your thoughts on your stay. You make a lot of valid points and this valuable feedback will help us continue to refine our level of service. We’re happy that Billy and Jaime gave you outstanding service on arrival, but we truly apologize for not meeting your expectations for other aspects of your time with us. Because we pride ourselves on attitude free service, we are most concerned that you felt you were not treated well on departure. Because these comments are anonymous, we can’t figure out who you might have worked with at check out so that we can find out what happened and find a way to provide that staff member with the coaching that may be needed. We would be most grateful if you contacted me at lenka@libraryhotel.com to share any further details about that encounter.

Regarding your point about how we run out of umbrellas, we agree that this was unacceptable and, as such, we will now be placing umbrellas in our guestrooms as well as having them available at the door which has been our practice until now. This will ensure all of our guests access to an umbrella at all times.

As far as your experience in the Reading Room, we have noted your thoughts on the book collection and although we regularly do acquire new books for the room, we will really focus on this in the next month or so and we will work to bring a fresh new collection to the space. Regarding the service however, we must say, it’s the first we’ve heard that our guests were confused as to whether or not they could help themselves to the wine & cheese spread. Due to your input we are now thinking to add a sign at the buffet bar area advising that our guests may help themselves at anytime. Do you think this would help? We would love to hear your thoughts as well as from the TA community. Our staff members enjoy walking though the Reading Room and talking to guests during wine & cheese hours, but the intention of the Reading Room is to provide complimentary refreshments 24/7 and guests help themselves most of the time although the breakfast and wine and cheese service is hosted. We truly love getting to know our guests and this is our intention when walking through the space, talking to our guests, filling their glasses, and letting them know we are there for them if they need anything.

We have noted your thoughts on the mini-bar and censor set-up. First, I would like to let you know that we have added an opportunity on our website for our guests to request an empty mini-fridge to be provided in their room on arrival. Although the censored mini bar is a standard across the industry, we have always had options available on request for those who would like to chill or store items in their rooms. In addition to being able to provide complimentary mini fridges for our guests upon request, we are also more than happy to empty the mini bar so that our guests may use it for your own purposes. In light of your comments, we hope it may be helpful if we were to place a small sign near the mini bar noting that option.

Although you were charged for a mini bar item, please know that this does not happen often, but if it ever does, we are always glad to adjust the charge as we ask all guests to review their bill upon checkout.

It is always our goal for our guests to leave the Library with the most positive and memorable experience and we’re sorry to hear that you did not feel your stay was all you hoped for. However, if you would be so kind enough to give us another chance, we would appreciate the opportunity to make sure you will leave here happy next time. Please do contact me directly should you be willing to try us again and let us show you the changes we have made and the full level of service we have built our reputation on. We hope to hear from you very soon!

_ Lenka Hermanova, General Manager, and the staff at the Library Hotel
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Merricks, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2011

We stayed at the Library Hotel for five nights in July/ August. We found it on Trip Advisor and were so very happy that we chose it.
It is in a great spot on Madison and 41st, within walking distance of many attractions and with wonderful Grand Central Station a mere two minute walk away, ideal for Subway access.
Downstairs is a fabulous bar/restaurant with lovely food and great service, so handy after a big day in NY in mid summer.
Check in and check out was pleasant, courteous and efficient. The staff, at every level of service, were helpful and polite. Being from Australia we were a bit nervous about tipping lobby staff and found in some of the places we stayed that we were smothered by them. Not at the Library. Offers of help were low key and we were comfortable moving in and out of the lobby without feeling like we were running the gauntlet to escape zealous if well meaning employees.
Our room was clean, well appointed and comfortable. Air cons were efficient which we appreciated.
Computer access was gratis, a wonderful surprise as was the delightful room on Level Two which in the morning was the venue for breakfast and for the rest of the day and evening a lounge facility with complimentary cheese, crackers, chilled water, tea, coffee and biscuits and fresh pastries. It became a home away from home for footsore tourists and really made our stay from very good to excellent and memorable. daily papers were available and of course the room is lined with hundreds of books.
The bar on the 14th, which is open to the public was amazing. It has an open air terrace with colourful plants, small trees and casual seating. We loved being able to sit in a garden amidst the skyscrapers of NYC sharing a toast to a wonderful city in such a beautiful space.
We have recommended The Library to everyone we have spoken to and if we are ever lucky enough to return to New York would not consider staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mercer Island, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

My husband and I had a fantastic stay here and just had share our experience. The Library Hotel is in a great location, one block from Grand Central station, one block from the NY Public Library and Bryant Park, and about a ten minute walk from Times Square.

Our teenage daughter joined us the first night and the second through fourth nights my husband and I were by ourselves. We had planned this carefully by booking a Junior Suite the first night which slept three people, and then booking a King Suite for the remainder of our stay... planning to switch rooms after the first night. However, upon checking in, there seemed to be some confusion at the front desk which told us "we're happy to inform you that we've upgraded you to a King Suite!", which was in fact a downgrade for the first night and had no bed for our daughter, and what we had actually booked for the remainder of our stay. When we explained this, they quickly reassured us that our Junior Suite room was still available and there would be no problem. Flash forward 24 hours when we were checking back in to switch rooms, they apologized for the confusion the day before and told us that they were upgrading my husband and I to their very best King Suite with a balcony overlooking Madison Ave. with a view of the Library. Their ONLY balcony room. Definitely a major upgrade for a minor mistake! Oh, and they even delivered a free bottle of champagne. :)

I love good customer service, but this hotel is wonderful in so many ways. From the complimentary breakfast, to the complimentary wine and cheese in the evenings, to the great rooftop bar and deck. I think anyone who appreciates the personalized attention of a boutique hotel would love their stay here!

Room Tip: You can't book their King suites online, so call the hotel directly to book. They are the same...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LibraryHotel, Director of Sales at Library Hotel, responded to this review, August 18, 2011
Dear BeccaM723,

We’re so glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us! We definitely take pride in providing great customer service and exceeding our guests expectations. We deeply apologize that we offered you a different room upon check-in and are grateful that everything worked out in the end. We will be sure to look into your situation further to help avoid this happening to our future guests. After reading your review, we thought we would take this opportunity to clarify room categories available at the Library as our King rooms are not in the same price category as the Queen rooms. In addition, we believe it’s important to mention that we do not offer any one bedroom or larger suites. Our wonderful sister properties do provide these larger rooms types though. Our highest category is our Junior Suite with a King bed plus a sofa bed. This is the room type you had booked for the first evening with your husband and daughter. The second highest category room type is called our Deluxe Queen Bed Room and it is the room category that you booked for the remainder of your stay. However, we were able to place you in our Love Room instead of the Deluxe Queen. This was an upgrade, and it is true, that it is the only room type with a balcony. In fact, it is the most popular themed room and can be booked directly with the hotel when available. As a result of its popularity, the Love Room is a room category in itself. The last of the room types that we offer are our Petite Full and Petite Single Bed Rooms with the latter being popular for our single travelers. We hope this clears up any confusion and helps the TA community decide on the most suitable room type when staying with us. We offer very specific measurements and floor plans on our website along with virtual tours if any additional details are needed. Please feel free to contact me directly should anyone want further clarification or have additional questions. We truly thank you for your time in posting your thoughts and hope to welcome you back very soon!

_ Yogini Patel, Honorary Librarian, and the staff at the Library Hotel
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Princeton, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011

The Library Hotel is one if the best hotels that I've stayed in from New York to California. The service was consistently suberb; the environment clean; and the Junior Suite with King Bed was impressive in size for Manhattan. You even get slippers and a robe to use while you're there which was nice after a long hot summer day. The rate was competetive and included a continental breakfast included, as well as a wine and cheese reception in the evening. There are also snacks available all day long. The staff were always accommodating and the food quality high. The complimentary bottle of wine in recognition of my husband's BD was a welcome surprise. The location is great. This hotel clearly understand creating a unique customer experience. I won't stay anywhere else when visiting the city.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
368 reviews 368 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011

It has been several years since my wife and I last stayed at the Library Hotel and we were back there for only one night recently. The hotel has maintained its standards. You can read elsewhere how their rooms are numbered according to the Dewey Decimal system with themed books in each room. Their location is most convenient to dining and shows. For example, we walked to 2nd Avenue for dinner and had a plethora of choices. The rooms are small but well laid out and well equipped. The included continental breakfast and wine happy hour are held in a comfortable book-lined room. We recommend a room on a higher floor since street noises can be intrusive. Our only complaint is that we did not receive a bed turn-down and chocolates on our pillows as we remembered from before and had been advertised.

Room Tip: Avoid lower floors due to street noise.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LibraryHotel, Director of Sales at Library Hotel, responded to this review, August 19, 2011
Dear CarpeNox,

Thank you for taking the time for posting your thoughts and for returning to stay with us while in NYC!

We wanted to advise you that we still provide our evening turndown service, so we are unsure as to why this was not offered to you during your stay. At times, we find that some of our guests place their Do Not Disturb signs on the outside door knob and as a result our housekeeping team are unable to enter. Could this have been the case, by any chance? We would love to hear your thoughts so that we can understand what may have happened and do our best to prevent this in the future. We look forward to hearing back!

_ Yogini Patel, Honorary Librarian, and the staff at the Library Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

We booked the "petite double" at an excellent price and had a wonderful stay. The room was not terribly crowded even had a small chair and a desk and the bathroom was good size. We heard no noise and slept very well. Our room was on the 7th floor right across from the elevator-I believe it was 704.
All the staff are very pleasant and genuinely wanting to help make your stay a wonderful one.
The breakfast (free) is a good continental breakfast including fresh fruit, bagels, hardboiled eggs, yogurt, various pastries as well as juices, tea and coffee and the wine"social" from 5-7 PM includes cheeses, bread, veggies & dip crackers, olives etc. (free!).

The room where all this is served is lovely and quiet with a view of the hustle and bustle of on the city streets below. It has the feel of a library in a British castle complete with a baby grand piano. Tea, coffee fruit, pastries/cookies are available there all day. It makes for a nice place to relax at any time during the day.

The hotel locatiion was very convenient for us as we got off the train at Grand Central and it was an easy 2 minute walk. We also walked to 2 different theaters to see the 2 shows we had booked.

The roof top bar was very busy, but we managed to find two wing-back chairs and had a drink and we enjoyed "people watching" up there.

We highly recommend the Library Hotel and we hope to return next summer!

Carol in South Carolina.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

We stayed at the Library Hotel whilst on our honeymoon. Our stay was fantastic. The library theme is inspired. The room was lovely, the bedding exceptional. The staff were helpful- they went out of their way on a number of occasions to provide directions and quirky locations in Manhattan that we otherwise would have overlooked. The complimentary wine and cheese afternoons became a regular appointment. it was the perfect break between sight seeing during the day and preparing for dinner and partying in the evening. The breakfasts were great. The staff were great they waled the fine line between being on hand and helpful but not intrusive. We look forward to returning to the Library Hotel.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Library Hotel

Address: 299 Madison Ave., at 41st St., Entrance on 41st Street, New York City, NY 10017
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in New York City
#2 Family Hotel in New York City
#4 Romantic Hotel in New York City
#6 Business Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Library Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Library Hotel boasts over 6000 hand-selected books organized by the Dewey Decimal System. With a very central midtown Manhattan location, the hotel is within walking distance of The New York Public Library, Grand Central Terminal, The Empire State Building and Times Square, to name just a few. Take advantage of The Library Hotel Collection’s signature Continental Breakfast Buffet and evening wine and cheese reception in our Reading Room. Cappuccino, water, fruit, cookies and pastries are available in this space for our guests 24 hours a day. Also included with your reservation is complimentary WiFi and passes to the nearby New York Sports Club. Visit our indoor and outdoor rooftop, Bookmark’s Lounge, for literary themed cocktails and small plates. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Library Hotel New York City
The Library Hotel

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