We stayed here last weekend for a post-holiday NYC weekend, and our stay was pleasant for the most part. If you are interested in staying here you probably know that this is a vintage 1920s hotel that played an important role in NYC literary history at that time. The hotel does not disappoint on vintage charm, though of course cramped, creaky, slow elevators and smaller rooms go along with that kind of charm; rooms here are completely refurbished however, and are very stylish, modern, and comfortable while still paying tribute to the past. Amenities include a really nice business center, free coffee all day, and a small fitness room on the second floor, and Starbuck coffee in the lobby during business hours. If you are in town to see a show, the pre-show $39 three-course dinner at the restaurant is a pretty good deal--decent food in a cozy environment, though nothing too astounding. I really wanted to see Matilda, the hotel cat, but I missed her--maybe some other time.
The most unpleasant feature of the hotel is unfortunately its staff. While the Concierge was extremely friendly and welcoming when we arrived, the bell staff and the clerk were distant, unhelpful, and uncommunicative in a manner and to a degree that I've never experienced before in a hotel at any star level. After we checked in, we went up to our room to take a short nap before dinner, but not twenty minutes later, there was a strange tentative knock on the door, which we first tried to ignore, but it was insistent. Finally we answered it--it was a hotel maid, and we asked her what we could do for her. She said "just checking, just checking" and walked off with no further explanation, leaving us baffled! The next morning, we received a phone call from a person who identified herself as the operator and who knew my name; she asked me if the Engineer happened to be in my room? When I said no, she simply said thank you and hung up, leaving me to wonder why she thought an Engineer WOULD be in my room, and if we could expect one at any time in the near future (no Engineer showed). These experiences made us a bit suspicious, since I have never had any similar experiences at a hotel before. Were they checking to see if we were out so they could use their passkey and rifle through our belongings? Or was something else going on with our room that they didn't want to explain to us (there was a strange wet spot on the floor the whole time we were there, so maybe there were plumbing problems?)? We didn't lose anything, but the rooms have safes so I would definitely use them if I stayed here again, just to be sure.
All in all I would recommend this hotel for Algonquin Round Table and New Yorker fans--it was very charming and the location was great. Just be a bit wary of the staff!