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“Empire Strikes Back -- Shower Heads w/deadly aim” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   44 West 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10023 (Manhattan)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #314 of 459 Hotels in New York City
Washington, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Empire Strikes Back -- Shower Heads w/deadly aim”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2011

I stayed at the Empire Hotel for business. Terrific location & a hop-skip to the subway. Very key. The Empire Hotel was a bit of a flea bag the last time I was there. But that was over 10 years ago. The NEW Empire has had a makeover. The lobby is a little too dark for me. It felt more like the lobby of a nightclub -- not a hotel. But the staff was friendly & efficient.

The room was a good size. The mattress & the decor was above average. Overall, the room was solid. But beware of the bathroom. Besides being tiny (not a surprise), the sink isn't very deep & the faucet is just a few inches away. Not big deal right? Well, turn on the water & there's a good chance you'll create a little mess. But hey, it's just a lilttle water right? Well, how about if you're getting ready for an early morning shower...you turn on the water & the european shower head is strategically aimed at you! And you get blasted w/ice cold water! Not fun. The carpet in the room was soaked & I let out a pretty good scream until I finally turned off the water. The shower had a glass partition that reached half-way. So of course the water hit me. Ice Water at 7:00am. Rude awakening. Is it the hotel's fault? Of course not. But the bathroom design gets a minus from me. The hotel's hallways are very dark with real ugly wallpaper.

Sure I'm nitpicking. But that's why I review my hotel stays. Overall, the Empire has improved by leaps & bounds. You can't beat the location. But there are plenty of good hotels in NYC. Explore what's out there!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Empiregmanager, General Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, April 12, 2011
Dear 1896traveler,

As General Manager of The Empire Hotel I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on TripAdvisor. I am pleased to hear you found our staff to be friendly and our rooms well appointed. I do apologize for the inconveniences you experienced with our shower heads and have communicated your insight to our Director of Engineering to address. I know there are many lodging choices in NYC, but do hope you will consider returning to The Empire Hotel in the near future. Please do not hesitate to reach out me directly the next time your travels bring you into NYC as I will be more than happy to assist with your reservation request.

Sincerely,

David McManus
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2011

We visit NYC at least once a year, every year after moving from the city to Atlanta. We are quite familiar with the NYC/NJ area and always look for a prime hotel/location for our stay. We have found it!

The Empire Hotel is now at the top of our list. Special thanks to Sean, Mariana, Maggie and Ash for making the stay more memorable. We look forward to seeing them on our next trip [and will tell friends to book lodgings at The Empire Hotel and to say 'hello!'.]

Room Tip: Room facing west 63rd street.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empiregmanager, General Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, April 12, 2011
Dear NewtOn31,

My name is David McManus and I am the General Manager of The Empire Hotel. Thank you for your glowing review of The Empire Hotel! I look forward to sharing your feedback with Sean, Marianna, Maggie and Ash. We are proud of the levels of service each of our team members strive to provide our valuable guests. Hope to welcome you back to The Empire Hotel in the very near future!

Sincerely,

David McManus
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2011

We stayed over Christmas for our honeymoon. We travelled from the UK and I was very nervous about staying due to the previous reviews from other customers. However I was pleasantly surprised. The door staff are fabulous and very friendly, especially on our final day when we were trying to get to the airport via a shuttle bus, it never arrived due to snow and the door men went out of their way to organise a town car for us.
Our room was upgraded due to it being our honeymoon with a bottle of champagne which was unexpected. The snow over Christmas was was the most NYC has seen in a long time so we were confined to our room for an evening, and it was fine. As the room size was great. The bathroom toiletries were beautiful. Yes the shower does leak a little bit but if you put a towel down its fine..
The Christmas cocktails were brilliant and I will be trying to recreate them this Christmas, I would definitely recommend the Ho Ho Hot Toddy. We stayed for 7 nights and had no problem with the wifi access.
I would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San francisco
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2011

I have thought long and hard about this review, but based on the great advice I've received here from other users, I feel it's my duty to speak up about all that we endured ( yes ENDURED) at the Empire.
First things first. This was a business trip. I am journalist who travels to NYC for 10 days every September and February to cover fashion week. This makes my needs very specific. I don't worry about proximity to tourists sights, or a concierge whom can get me tickets to a Broadway show ( nothing wrong with either of those things, I just don't get to do them while on business in NYC) . What I do need is (a) wifi access so that I can work every day, and (b) a decent night's sleep at least every other day. (c) staff that isn't over the top hostile.

Empire failed horribly on all accounts.

Wifi, which is advertised on their site never worked they entire 10 days. The rooms were noisy and ridiculously hot even in FEB, and we were told by engineers that turning on the fanon was verboten ( it shorted out the entire room if you did so) and we simply had to sleep with all the windows open in order to get the temperature down. Later in the week I noticed we were not the only guests experiencing this issue as one morning when I took a walk up the street I noticed all the windows on the front of the building were open- it was 20 degrees outside and snowing that day. The bed itself was okay, but nothing special and the pillows very flat. I am not too concerned with things like décor, but for those that care it was pretty dismal with peeling wallpaper and ugly garish prints everywhere.

Now for the topper of all toppers! The hotel staff was over-the-top rude. This does not apply to anyone in housekeeping, all of whom seemed very nice. This does apply to the front desk people especially the female manager, the waitress in the bar, and whoever answers the room service line. Now, I have been to NYC many, many times, and been to many hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, etc the behavior at The Empire is NOT typical big city vs. small town attitude. We are talking over the top, rudeness such as the front desk person laughing, and then hanging up on me when I called to check on a request for repair an hour after the first request was made, a waitress that literally threw a drink menu at me, and room service person that told my colleague that "any order, even just a pot of coffee or a bottle of screw-top wine takes 45 minutes, no cancelations permitted." 35 minutes after the initial order had been placed, with of course no mention of this ridiculous policy at the time the first call was made. This also includes the ‘club bouncer types’ milling around out front who never moved to hail cabs (which is fine I can do it, but why are they out there) or open doors, instead stood around in cheap suits smoking cigarettes and trying way to hard to look important.

To be fair, my stay did take place, as I said during Fashion Week, and the hotel did have a number of events on site due to its proximity to Lincoln Center- so maybe staff was just overwhelmed, and way out of their league as far as ability to handle a booked house, who knows. Regardless, I would encourage everyone whether you are going to NYC for Fashion Week, a vacation, or any other reason to find another hotel to stay at.

Room Tip: find another hotel, any other hotel
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, April 11, 2011
Dear haikusue,

As the Assistant General Manager of The Empire Hotel, I would like to sincerely apologize for the inconveniences you experienced while a guest at our Hotel. I am disappointed in your feedback and will be sharing your inisight with our Executive Team. As your stay with us took place in February, I would like the opportunity to share with you some of the recent enhancements we have made over the past few months as we are continuously looking at new and different ways of upgrading both our product and service. Most recently, we have upgraded our wi-fi service and are confident that it has had a significant impact on the challenges you identified in your posting. We have also placed a concentrated effort on the levels of service being provided at the Front Desk and are know that the training and support being provided to the Team has had a huge impact on our overall service levels. You may have seen some recent TripAdvisor postings that speak positively to our service and staff especially over the past few months.

With these recent changes in mind, I would welcome the opportunity to have you return to The Empire to experience all we have to our offer our valuable guest. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly to assist in making your reservation. I look forward to welcoming you back to The Empire in the near future as I know we can exceed your expectations the next time your travels bring you to NYC.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Baldwin
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Halifax, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2011

We bought the hotel room through Priceline. After many Priceline stays at hotels over the years, we know to expect minimal service and a room next to the elevator. We therefore were delighted to find ourselves in a comfortable room with an amazing view of the fountain at Lincoln Center. The second night of our stay we had to move because our current room was part of a pre-booked block of rooms. The manager, Vana, upgraded us to a corner suite and she made us feel like we were the most important guests in the hotel. Super experience, super staff, super location.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the fountain
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, April 12, 2011
Dear gogogone33,

Thank you so much for posting such a positive review of The Empire on TripAdvisor! As the Assistant General Manager, I am so pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us. I will be sharing your incredible feedback with our Director of Front Office, Vana, as she will be so happy to hear of the impact she had on your trip. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Empire the next time your travels bring you to NYC!

Sincerely,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2011

First, the location is fabulous. Second, all the things that went wrong-- the heat would not go off in the room and the window that looked out on an alley didn't open, they sent someone immediately. That was great. The hallways and rooms were so cramped it was like being on a ship. No bathtub, just this shower thing with no door so the water sprays all over the tiny bathroom. The check in staff was really nice, the check out, Oh my gosh, terrible! Didn't want to give me a receipt because her printer was broken, and she'd have to use the other one exactly 3 feet away!!! Then I discovered they kept a $400 dollar hold on my credit card, even though I paid cash, 4 days later when I went to try to pay for groceries and my card was denied. Fun. They were very very very rude handling this when I called. No apology, shifted to front desk, snippy-- and it cost me $56 in bank overdraft fees so far. oh and lines of Jersey shore-dressed kids outside trying to get into the hotel's roof-top bar for Saturday night partying. It was very clean despite the foot traffic. Room spotless. Just super uncomfortable.

Room Tip: Go elsewhere.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, April 12, 2011
Dear separateaccount2,

As the Assistant General Manager of The Empire Hotel, I wanted to reach out to you personally to thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. I would like to sincerely apologize for the inconveniences you experienced while a guest at our Hotel. Please be assured I will be sharing your feedback with our Executive team to address. Please feel free to contact me directly at the property if I may be of any assistance. I hope to welcome you back to The Empire in the near future.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2011

This is my de facto hotel when I travel for business to NYC. Great lobby, great location. But I noticed that the room quality is slipping a bit. The user experience got to the point of, "not this too". Here is a sampling:

1) the button on the desk lamp came right off- cheap lamp
2) no bath mat for the shower
3) loud air unit in room
4) the hanging "do not disturb" sign falls off the outside handle, the magnet ones are better
5) the phone wasn't operational- I had spend 15 minutes plugging and unplugging until it turned on with power

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, April 11, 2011
Dear Vonkramer,

Thank you for being such a loyal guest of the Empire Hotel and for providing us with your valuable feedback. As the Assistant General Manager of the Hotel, I make a concentrated effort to utilize and act upon the information being provided to us by our guests. WIth that in mind, I can assure you that we are continuously looking at upgrading both our product and levels of service and apologize for any inconveniences you experienced during your most recent stay with us. Please do not hesitate to reach out me directly the next time your travels bring you to NYC to ensure we do everything we can to exceed your expectations.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Baldwin
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Empire Hotel

Address: 44 West 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10023
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Manhattan , Upper West Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #314 of 459 Hotels in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Empire Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 426
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on our own private corner of West 63rd Street between two legendary New York City landmarks - Lincoln Center and Central Park - this boutique NYC hotel provides luxury accommodations overlooking the Broadway / Columbus Avenue - the gateway to the Upper West Side. Location is essential to the spirit of the Empire Hotel and the interior motif and design is inspired by the earth tones of Central Park and the stately modernism of Lincoln Center. 426 Deluxe guest rooms and suites, WiFi, Pool Deck open seasonally, Ed's Chowder House Restaurant, Rooftop Lounge, Lobby bar. ... more   less 
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