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“The Empire is a Gem” 5 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 #320 of 457 Hotels in New York City
Nazareth, Pennsylvania
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The Empire is a Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

We visited the Empire during December of 2012 for the Holiday season in NYC. Upon arrival you will see a beautifully decorated lobby and bar area. The staff is very efficient and gets you settled in quickly. The rooms have the same decor as the public areas. When we returned back at night, there was a delicious cupcake with the Empire logo in our room. We both had a wonderful nights sleep, the beds and pillows are to die for! I truly appreciated the bath products they provide in their rooms. L'Occitane products are high quality and smell great! We had a nice corner suite that provided some great views of the upper west side and the Lincoln Center. This boutique hotel is in a great location whether you plan on going to the Lincoln Center or not. It's so close to Central Park, some really great restaurants, lots of shopping.. and it's NYC, you are supposed to be walking and exploring to other areas as well! I had an absolutely wonderful stay, I can't wait to stay here again. Great job to every one at the Empire. Thank you for making my holiday season in NYC special.. Keep up the wonderful services you provide!

Room Tip: The corner suites provide some extra nice views!
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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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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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Boston
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

This hotel's location is great if you're going to the Met, which is the reason we booked it. It's right across the street.

We only stayed one night, for which we ended up shelling out $270 total, although the website we booked it through advertised it as $100 bucks initially. The room was tiny, not at "user-friendly", due to some faux-European stylizations which make for an odd experience. For example, I'm 5'6"" and had to stand on my tiptoes to reach the hangers in the tall, narrow closet as well as the hook for bathrobes. The sink in the bathroom is completely flat and quite shallow, causing a splash-back issue. The shower has a steel baton attached to it by coil for no immediately apparent reason, except perhaps to make you think water is actually going to come out of it if you don't look at it closely. When you turn *on* the shower, it pours out of a ceiling fixture directly onto you, which is completely non-adjustable. Turning the lever to the other side simply prevents water from coming out, since there's not faucet. So, if you don't want to suffer the freezing water first coming out, you either have to squeeze against the wall near the fixtures or suffer the freezing water momentarily until you jump back out of the way, and then keep leaning into the falling water until you get it adjusted to the right temperature.

There's more. We were told by the web site (not the hotel) that our room had a view of the Met Plaza. It turns out the "view" was streamed through the tv, apparently so they could say "now every room has a view", as was happily announced on a placard next to the TV. What a con. The actual view was a brick wall.

Be careful of the hotel's restaurant, the Chowder something or other. It's amazingly expensive - we paid $80 for 2 with strictly an entree for each, plus one $8 glass of sparkling water. Oddly, we thought the prices would be much better, because Mon-Thurs they run a happy hour, which includes cheap food, from 4-6 pm. Although we were inside by 10 before six, they give us the regular (really expensive) menu rather than the much cheaper happy hour menu. I was confused and didn't realize until we left the restaurant that we should've been offered the happy hour menu, when we talked to a couple who were leaving the same time as us and who *had* gotten the happy hour menu, and were raving about how good deal it was. Ouch.

Also, as a heads up, there is a $100 "incidentals" charge added on your bill at checkout, which they don't tell you about - it just shows up on your charge card. I called the hotel just now and asked them what was up when my wife spotted it. They said it would be cleared in 72 HOURS!!!! I'm hope so!

FWIW, the performance of "Barber of Seville" at the Met was fantastic. And this is from someone who is decidedly not an Opera afficionado but who's married to one.

Next time, we'll book a Holiday inn and take the train. It's cheaper, everything's "normal", has WiFi, and the rooms are larger.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

The best part about this hotel is the location - close to Central Park, Columbus Circle, Subway, Museums etc... The lobby and the bar look great and you will be forced to spend time here because Wifi is only free here and not in the rooms. An that's the good news over. The first room into which we were sent was a disgrace by anybody's standards. Firstly, it was on a smoking floor. Secondly, a minature Yorkshire Terrier would be too big for this room and finally, the shower sprays water all over the bathroom and basically floods the place.
When I called to complain about these things, among others, I got the most frustrating responses from the Front Desk.
"It's not a smoking floor, it's a smoking optional floor" - what is that supposed to mean????
"it's a European style shower" - I'm European and I dont shower like that!
"we'll send somebody by to spray your room" - I didn't really expect my four star hotel room to require spraying!
We gave up complaining and went to the bar where we met other people who were equally unhappy with their rooms. Then we were all equally unhappy at the outrageous cost of a drink at the bar.
Eventually we got to speak to manager who was very helpful and we were moved to a normal hotel room the next day. The new room was adequate and had a view so we were satisfied.

Beware also of the neverending wait for elevators on a Saturday evening. If you do have to stay here then it might be worthwhile asking for a lower floor so you can at least use the stairs. I am not exaggerating - I waited 20 minutes on one occasion before locating the first escape!

The hotel has a rooftop nightclub (which has great views) which attracts a very young crowd. I think this hotel is more suitable for twentysomethings on a group vacation than couples or anyone over 25!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph R, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, December 29, 2012
Dear JQ_1a,

Thank you for posting a review from your most recent stay at The Empire. As Assistant General Manager, I am pleased our team was able to find a room more comfortable than your initial experience. I have shared your comments with the Executive Team at the hotel and we will act accordingly. We take our guests’ feedback seriously and use it to make improvements in an effort to enhance the guest experience at The Empire. Thank you for your patience and understanding and I sincerely hope we have an another opportunity to welcome you back to The Empire.

Regards,

Joseph Rauer
Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington, New York
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

We got a great deal at this hotel,of 200.00 dollars per night and it was well worth it. The location is great, close to subway and restaurants. I was traveling. With two children and my husband and the room was very small, but who cares when you in NY you spend very little time in the room. The hotel bar was CRAZY expensive and the breakfast was too....all in all I would recommend this hotel for sure...

Room Tip: We were in room 222 which had a lovey view of Lincoln Center
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

The location of this hotel is fabulous; with easy walking to museums, great restaurants, and a perfect entrance to a fun area of Central Park. The rooms themselves, small even by NY standards, are nice with comfortable beds and great water pressure. The Empire needs to address the leaking shower, which I see from other reviews, is an obvious issue. No matter how we tried to jerry-rig it, we still ended up with a giant puddle on the floor after every shower. The hotel lobby and bar feel more like Jersey Shore, than Manhattan. The animal prints are cringe worthy and the couches and curtains are an attempt at swanky but miss the mark and are just cheesy. We came to NY on this trip with a large group of friends, so we spent quite a bit of time in the lobby and lobby bar area as a place to meet. It was not a comfortable location as the chairs are all too low and deep & oversized just enough that one person sitting in it looks silly and two feel awkward. The rooftop bar presents as a "place to be" with the ropes and bouncers, but has that women-with-glittery-purses atmosphere. Again, more cheesy than the upscale atmosphere I think they are trying to go for. There are 4 elevators in the lobby and they are agonizingly slow. We did very much like the Chowder House, which has a crisp feel and a friendly bartender. Although the location of this hotel is nice - we will be staying somewhere else on our next trip.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Leavenworth, Kansas
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

My husband and I just stayed here in September for our 10th anniversary. The hotel manager upgraded our room and gave us a bottle of champagne. Besides that special perk, the staff was amazing the hotel was clean and beautifully decorated. It has a great lobby bar with great Next to the hotel are two great restaurants and an awesome rooftop bar. The location can't be beat, close to Central Park and the Subway Station. There is a Starbucks around the corner that is always packed. Hint... go a couple blocks you'll find another one that isn't as crowded. We will stay at this hotel again. I did not have one complaint.

Room Tip: We asked not to be in an inside room since I'm claustrophobic. We had a great view of Lincoln C...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Joseph R, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Dear Jennifer W,

Thank you for taking the time to review your most recent stay at The Empire. Thank you as well for choosing to spend your anniversary with us. I am delighted you had a great experience and appreciate all of the great tips shared in your comments. If you should ever need a contact at The Empire, please do not hesitate to reach me at jrauer@empirehotelnyc.com. On behalf of management and staff, I wish you a continued happy and successful marriage.

Regards,

Joseph Rauer
Assistant General Manager
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Newtownards, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

Hotel itself is lovely however do not book the lead in category rooms. They are the size of a cupboard. No joke. Area lovely and walk able to times square however next time I will check sizes of rooms. This hotel is the new kid on the block with the young and beautiful heading for the hip roof top bar. guest list only and flanked by bouncers. If that''s thing great but was not for me. I would stay again but would 100% upgrade room type to ensure bigger. My 6 ft husband had trouble getting in and out of the bathroom it was so cramped.

Room Tip: As above DO NOT book the lead in rooms - they are so tiny. Upgrade all the way.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph R, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, December 29, 2012
Dear 24karen,

Thank you for sharing feedback from your May visit at The Empire. I am glad you found the hotel to be “lovely”. I do apologize that you felt the room was small. I hope we have a chance to welcome you back so that you may experience a different room category that we offer. Please contact me directly at jrauer@empirehotelnyc.com if you need any assistance with a future stay. Thank you for staying with us and I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Regards,

Joseph Rauer
Assistant General Manager
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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 #320 of 457 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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