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“Not special” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Excelsior Hotel

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Excelsior Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   45 West 81st Street, New York City, NY 10024 (Manhattan)   |  
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Ranked #272 of 451 hotels in New York City
London
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
78 hotel reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Not special”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

I stayed here for a week because I was signed up for a conference nearby. My small room was clean, but there was no comfortable chair and the hot water in the bathroom was not hot. There was no fresh air and I woke up each morning with a headache. The public rooms are poor. Don't even think of using anything on the first floor. There is a gym on the second floor with new machines and no-one using them. There is a deserted business centre, with internet access. The breakfast room on level 2 is the most stylish room in the hotel and the breakfast is high quality - it includes fresh fruit salad, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs - what a pity the breakfast is served without any service - the operating staff are more interested in charging you and noisily chatting among themselves (in Russian?) than in what they are offering. The multitude of other staff and friends that visit for a freebie coffee and pastries to take out explain why the buffet is expensive for what it is - you're paying for their meal. And the library in the breakfast room - well you get a book that is put in your room once a week but don't try to sit here and chose one to read in the afternoon!

This is the Upper West Side so the attractions in the area are not abundant. The American Museum of Natural History is great and across the street. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is even greater and a ten minutes walk across Central Park, and the Frick Collection is a few minutes beyond. They're really good. The Sunday market on Columbus Ave nearby is interesting, the New York Historical Society likewise. That's it. For everything else, you travel.

There is a bar in the hotel which is unfriendly and noisy but good for people watching. Hours are limiting. There are some saving graces in this hotel: the food in the bar and the restaurant is great, with imaginative South American cuisine and flavours that I had not tried before. Stay somewhere else better (if there is somewhere nearby) and come here for dinner.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (158)
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Tucson, Arizona
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Since we needed to be in that area of Manhattan we searched for nearby lodging and found a really nice hotel.
Located near the Museum of Natural History in the upper west side of Manhattan, it proved to be a well run, clean , neat and quiet hotel which met virtually all our needs.We would not hesitate to return.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Brisbane, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

We stayed in this hotel for a week. It was quiet,clean and comfortable. We had 2 double beds and a small lounge. There was no view from our room which didn't worry us but we missed not having a fridge. Free wi fi was availiable in the foyer and business centre.
There were plenty of places to eat handy as well as a bank, market and cleaners. The subway entrance was on the same block and there was a bus stop across the road. Central Park was 200 feet away and the museum of Natural History was across the road. Bus stop for the hop on hop off bus was opposite the museum.
It was a great hotel to stay at and the surrounding area was very pleasant with every thing you needed within walking distance. Next time we are in New York we will be staying there again.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
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Cambridge, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

If you like the West Side (restaurants, shops, parks, residences, quiet neighborhoods), this is one of the best hotels in the area. Friendly staff, clean and comfortable rooms, bright-white bathrooms, Old World ambience, great restaurant (Calle Ocho) right off the lobby. Small but decent gym; lovely breakfast room with good food. A pleasant walk down Columbus, Amsterdam, or Broadway to Lincoln Center and the theaters around Times Square. Also a nice walk across Central Park to the Met, the Whitney, the Neue Galerie, and the Guggenheim. Drawbacks: no free wi-fi; pillows way too big and too firm (beware of neck-aches) -- the hotel should offer a choice of sizes. Best rooms are the junior suites facing south.

Room Tip: Request a room that's on an upper floor -- five or higher -- and that faces south (faces the Mus...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

We arrived on a hot and sunny New York day, June 30th, 2013. Stayed for one week.
Two bedrooms, each with two double beds - just like we were promised.

Located in the Upper East Side. Across the street from the Natural History Museum and about a 4 minute walk from the main subway, which took us everywhere! Tons, and I mean TONS of restaurants in walking distance all of great value. And a coffee shop at every turn. This is the best location in my view, as it lends to a nice quiet evening after being enthralled in the busy downtown all day. Super safe, no issues in the neighborhood. Went for midnight walks!

Upon checkin, we were greeted by a friendly front desk staff person, and there were no issues checking in. Received our keys and a pass for a free sangria in the lounge!

The rooms were amazing. 6th floor. Bright and clean. White starchy sheets and the pillows were to die for! TV, amazingly clean bathroom, lots of hair and body products and fresh towels each day.

Free internet on the 2nd floor, which is a nice space with a sofa/chairs, lego table for the kids, the business centre, and the restaurant.

Air conditioned rooms, which was a joy to arrive back to at the end of walking for 11 hours in the city - very hot days!

We had drinks at the Calle Ocho (Hotel Restaurant and Bar), which was amazing. Best Sangria I've ever had!

Pleasant and attentive service the entire time we were there.

I recommend this hotel without hesitation! I stayed with a family of six.....four adults and two small children (ages 5 and 8). We had no issues and the kids had a great time. They loved it!

Room Tip: No issues with our rooms on the 6th floor at all. One suite had a view of the park across the street...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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Herndon, Virginia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

I just stayed for a week in a room with 2 queen beds. The room was small, but not cramped. Small bathroom also, but again, not cramped for 2 people to share. The staff is not overflowing with smiles, and might seem unfriendly at first, but I found them to be very responsive and helpful. At one point the vending machine which accepted credit cards was broken. I was merely inquiring if there was another machine in the building that accepted cards, and the bellman hustled away and came back with a free soda for me. My reservation had been made in a confusing way, but the clerk was on my side in resolving the situation, and it was all cleared up quickly. The hotel is directly across the street from the Museum of Natural History. Our rooms were on the opposite side, so no view, but very quiet, and the lights at night made it lovely. The beds were very comfortable, even with my two herniated discs. I slept well every night. This may seem an odd thing to note, but I notice, so maybe you'll care too - the bathroom noise didn't carry into the room. I actually felt I had more privacy than in most hotel rooms. My biggest complaint was no refrigerator. I kept my drinks cold on the air conditioning vent, but what I would have given to store some leftovers of the wonderful food we were getting all around! Some of the best was from the restaurant on site - Calle Ocho. Delicious! Central Park is just a 1/2 block east of the hotel. If you walk in "straight" line across the park you'll see the Swedish cottage, the castle, Turtle Pond, and end up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the east side of the park. (Which is now open on Mondays - YAY!) The subway is close by as well. I would definitely stay in this hotel again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

The staff at this hotel, particularly the bell staff, are down right rude. The front desk staff are not that much better. Would it kill them to be polite??? The bellman could not be bothered to help you whatsoever -- at checkin, departure or any other time. We stayed on the top floor, the 16th floor, and had a double room overlooking the museum. The room was clean but small and dated, and we were shocked to find the room had a window A/C. (I've never stayed at a hotel in Manhattan that did before!) The bathroom was tiny but clean (well, other than a toilet seat that should have been replaced long ago and gross shower controls). The only thing that made the room worthwhile was it's view. We stayed here over 4th of July weekend and were pleasantly surprised to find that we had a partial view of the Macy's fireworks display over the Hudson. We didn't have an issue with noise, as mentioned in other reviews. The hotel is in a great location but there are other more recently renovated hotels at similar price points that I'd rather stay at in future. The location alone does not make this hotel worth the stay.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room with a museum view -- it's worth the extra $$$
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.

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Additional Information about Excelsior Hotel

Address: 45 West 81st Street, New York City, NY 10024
Phone Number:
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 ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#226 Family Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Excelsior Hotel 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
High-rise hotel located on the Upper West Side. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Excelsior New York City
Excelsior Hotel New York City

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