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“Excellent location” 4 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 (Upper West Side)   |  
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Ranked #279 of 461 Hotels in New York City
Austin, Texas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Excellent location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

We chose to stay in the Upper West Side because we thought it would be easier on our children (ages 9 and 6) who would need some "down time" after their senses were overstimulated from a day in the city. We chose wisely. The Excelsior's location makes this an excellent hotel for families.

The hotel is across the street from the American Museum of Natural History. It is one block from Central Park with the nearest playground being the Diana Ross playground right at the intersection to cross over to Central Park. There are coffee shops, bagel and deli shops, a small grocer, restaurants, drug store, shops all within a 3 block radius of the hotel. As far as location goes, I have to say this was a far more pleasant and relaxing experience than our previous NYC trips where we stayed closer to midtown and less snooty than the Upper East Side. Our room (#804) had a gorgeous view of the museum's park and of the New York skyline. Our relatives were in the suite (#1010), and they had obstructed views of building tops and another building. Where our room was on the smaller side (two doubles with just a small table and two chairs as extra seating), they had a spacious living room with two doubles in the sleeping room that could be closed off.

There must be a large younger and family demographic that live in this area because there are several children's boutiques in the area. Every morning we saw parents walking children to school, children walking to school together, young professionals walking their dogs at all hours of the day. We felt very safe.

The cons: The hotel facade is currently getting a facelift so we could hear clanging from that sometimes. There was no refrigerator in the room. There's space where one used to be, but we found a telephone book in there instead. The room is on the small side, and though it was clean, the decor is a little dated. I didn't mind so much since so much of the hotel had an art deco feel, so I just chalked this up to being part of its historic charm. We had three kids playing, and not even too loudly at that, and the walls must be paper thin. There was an elderly man staying in an adjacent room who asked the kids to quiet down.

Biggest con (and why I took 1 star away) - With wifi so ubiquitous today, who still charges for wifi access? The Excelsior! You only have complimentary wifi if you go down to the lounge on the 2nd floor or sit in the lobby on the 1st floor. Every day we would see people haul their laptops, tablets, whatever down to squat for space on the first two floors for wifi. I think the 10th floor suite has complimentary wifi because our kids could access wifi in their cousin's room instead of our room (8th floor).

The doormen were always friendly. The hotel staff was neither overtly friendly, but nor were they rude. We had an issue with a non-flushing toilet which maintenance fixed within a matter of minutes. Housekeeping was excellent.

I appreciated that after a very long day of walking and not wanting to travel out to buy bottled drinking water, there was always a choice of a large bottled spring water, Fiji water, and sparkling water at reasonable prices available in the room. By reasonable price, I don't mean what I would pay for bottled water here in Texas, but the price was off by maybe a few cents from the corner shop on the Upper West Side.

Don't bother to rent a car. There is no parking anywhere, ever around here. Just use the public transportation system. The subway is very easily accessible, especially if you need to get to a larger station like Times Square.

We didn't get a chance to try the hotel restaurant Calle Ocho though it looked busy on most nights. We did try Ocean Grill (excellent, $$$$), Lenny's Deli (great, $-$$), Amsterdam Deli (ok, $), Andy's Deli (good, $), Uno's Chicago Grill (ok, free kid's night on Tuesday, $$), Gazala's (interesting, $$), Cafe Frida (delicious, great spot to watch World Cup Soccer fyi, $$).

In all -- this was a great place to stay other than the annoying wifi issue.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that faces the museum.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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Linlithgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014 via mobile

Spent 3 nights here & found it very clean & comfortable with fairly spacious rooms for a city like New York. Location superb, close to Central Park. Nice safe area. Breakfast buffet was slightly disappointing, as was lack of free Wifi in room & absence of coffee maker. Overall though, would recommend it. Staff very friendly & helpful

Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, Nebraska
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

For what we paid, we got only a small room. The bathroom is old and claustrophobic. We can barely find enough room to store luggage. You may be better off staying at more familiar name hotels. However, the location of this hotel is very convenient. The restaurant is pricey.

Room Tip: Corner rooms may be better
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jenkintown
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

This is our second stay here . The price was right and we love the location. Overall the room was large and clean. Beautiful tile bathrooms but the shower system really needs updating as well as the chairs and love seat. I would not recommend the hotel breakfast. Overpriced for the quality of the food.

Stayed June 2014
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Falkirk, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

Hotel was under construction while we were there. The room was lovely and clean, however, there wasn't much space to store suitcases. The bathroom could have done with an extractor fan. The views from the window were amazing. We were just down the street from Central Park and the Natural History Museum. It states on their website there was free wifi, but this was only available on floor two and in the lobby, otherwise you had to pay for it. There are many great coffee houses and places to eat within walking distance, and these are far cheaper than eating in the hotel.

Room Tip: Our room had great views.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

We visited the City in June on business and chose the Excelsior because of its great location to the museums and Central Park. Rooms were spacious for the City but we found the breakfast a bit pricey even for NYC. A continental breakfast "on the house" would be appreciated.

Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

We were high up facing the museum looking out over the city in what felt like a little apartment- we loved it. Windows both north and south for air and light. There's no free wifi and had to go to Starbucks for morning coffee and tea, but the neighborhood has everything! And the east side is an easy ride or walk across the park. All the restaurants and shops of Columbus and Amsterdam right there. Zabars a walk away. We were quite happy with our stay!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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 > Upper West Side , Manhattan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#219 Family Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Excelsior Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Excelsior Upper West Side NYC Hotel Located in the fashionable Upper West Side neighborhood between Central Park and Columbus Avenue, the Excelsior Hotel is a beautifully renovated hotel with an abundance of old world charm and comfort. This landmark hotel is characteristic of Manhattan's architectural beauty among the dramatic Central Park setting; thoroughly complimented by modern conveniences and luxuries. The Excelsior Hotel is located in one of New York City's trendiest neighborhoods, overlooking the American Museum of Natural History and the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Popular attractions such as Lincoln Center, the Beacon Theatre, and Columbia University are within walking distance to the Excelsior. A leisurely stroll across Central Park to the Upper East Side leads to the luxurious boutiques of Madison Avenue, an endless selection of restaurants, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim and Whitney Museums. If your plans include an evening at the theatre or site seeing among the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, famous attractions such as Times Square, the Empire State Building, and Rockefeller Center are a quick ride from the Excelsior Hotel by New York Taxi, Subway, or bus. Manhattan's Excelsior Hotel features an elegantly and comfortably appointed Lobby; inviting guests to feel at home upon their arrival. Its New York City hotel room accommodations are inspired with an Art Deco contemporary motif with countless amenities and services to make a stay at the Excelsior Hotel an experience for guests desiring more than a typical New York "tourist" hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Excelsior New York City
Excelsior Hotel New York City

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