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“Tramping around NYC” 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 #277 of 464 Hotels in New York City
Ripon, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Tramping around NYC”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Hi we stayed here for 5 nights in early July, in general it does everything it says on the tin...ideal for those looking for a base to then head out and explore the city. 2 mins walk to the metro (underground) which is great for getting around and plenty of local food & coffee houses at a reasonable rate.
Rooms clean & tidy with good bathrooms, televisions with air con that is a bit noisy but essential this time of the year.
free wi-fi is only available around reception & the dinning room on level 2 which serves breakfast ($17.00 all you can eat) which is ok if you want to load up before heading out for the day.
definitely a no frills hotel but who wants to sit in a hotel when in NYC.
2 mins from the natural history museum & central park.
There is a restaurant which is attached but separate owned & is open from around 6-11pm .
There is also a tourist info desk in reception open from around 9am...

Room Tip: 13 floors we were on the 7th with a view onto the museum park. so higher the better view i would thi...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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1,348 reviews from our community

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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 (249)
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English first
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

Very friendly staff. A bit far from the most highlights but public transport services are very close. Near Central Park. Next time we go here again. Big clean room with very nice beds. Restaurant and bar available. Opposite American museum of natural history and strawberry fields.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

We had booked this motel through our travel agent, 12 months prior, it was not cheap either. When we arrived, the desk clerk was a stuffy rude person, his assistant was pleasant.Off to our room, we booked for a queen bed and was given a room with 2 single beds, it was so small there was nowhere we could unpack our suitcases, they had to go on the bed. When I went down to sort our room out, the stuffy male told me first in on the day gets first choice of the room, so more or less too bad, as there were no other rooms left. When I tried to book a tour with the concierge, she was suppose to be there at 8am, she was late and told me to wait as she was not ready, Did not book through her. The motel was clean and great location.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camarillo, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

My fiance and I stayed here for 7 days. Awesome location. Right across from Central Park and The Museum of Natural History. The hotel offers discounted parking for their guests at the museum for $30/day. Great Deal for NY! Room was spacious, clean and quite. Staff was friendly and accommodating. Never used the rental car we had except to visit my sister upstate 1 day. Took taxis everywhere. Worked out cheaper that way! My fiance is a Cali boy and me being a native New Yorker, I did not partake in the buffet. I went across the street to the Deli. Can't beat a NY bagel...yummy!!! Will definitely stay at the Excelsior the next time we are in NY. Far enough away from the hustle and bustle but close enough to all the major attractions!!!

Room Tip: Room on higher floor facing the museum. Great view and queiter at night!
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into what I though would be a pretty boring property. It was pretty well furnished and tastefully at that. The property was under renovation and so had a lot of associated issues. But we were given a room on the 12th floor which still had a view outside.

The room was quite large despite being only 270 sqft on paper. It was clean and had no visible issues despite the age of the hotel building itself. There were some issues though. The minibar was empty on arrival and the bathroom window wouldn't close. But not too bad though.

The best part was it's location. While it was not exactly walkable to most of the tourist-y parts, it was very close to central park (Just a minute away) and the subway too. Accessibility was never an issue.Being an Indian Vegan, food was of concern to me. But there were quite a few indian restaurants nearby. But it does get lonely at night and it does get shady to say the least.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

We stayed at this hotel for two nights. The hotel is in a good location, next to Central Park and across the road from the Natural History Museum. Our room was very small (queen bed) but it was clean and comfortable with a great view towards the museum. The air conditioning worked very well and the shower was good.

There are construction works ongoing at the front of the hotel and drilling noise started around 8.30am on both mornings. This did not affect us as we were up early but it would have caused disruption if we had wanted to sleep late.

I went to the bar and asked for a sandwich at 7.30pm and I was told they did not do them. I was informed I could get one a block down the street, which was disappointing.

Although the staff on the front desk were responsive to requests they were cold, never smiled and appeared largely disinterested, which was off putting. On the contrary, the bell man was extremely polite, helpful and an
asset to the hotel.

Stayed July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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
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:
#214 Family Hotel in New York City
#226 Business Hotel in New York City
#248 Romantic 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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