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“Never look a gift horse in the Mouth” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection

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The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   59 W 44th St, Between Fifth & Sixth Ave, New York City, NY 10036 (Manhattan)   |  
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Ranked #146 of 459 Hotels in New York City
GreenLeadersBronze level
Nyc
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Never look a gift horse in the Mouth”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

We're exManhattanites and spend frequent nights in the city--an Amazon deal for two nights at this newly renovated historic, famed hotel with breakfast, drinks and a queen sized room, something too good to be true, was--our first room may have been the smallest room in the hotel, the window opened onto the airshaft, the door directly onto the stairs--the queen bed looked very small, I called and asked, is this really a queen or has it shrunk. It's really a queen I was assured. Outside the window was a loud compressor noise. I went to look Opps. It wasn't outside, it was inside. Our radiator. We became acquainted with the handyman. One of the nicest I've encountered. You have to change rooms, he muttered. The helpful desk assured us, we have a nice king. It was the handicapped room. Too bad for anyone handicapped. This time we had time to measure--Marriott's standard for a king is actually a queen--60 inches. the distance between the wall and the bed, 36 1/2 inches, handicapped standard 36 inches. And it would be almost impossible to maneuover a wheel chair for the sharp left turn into the bathroom and to add insult to injury the quote on the door (all the doors have quotes from the famed denizens of the round table) is one from Robert Benchley about patients in hospitals who leave his books behind. The handyman returned because those high tech overhead lights MacWilder writes about in his review didn't work nor could we get channel 5 on our t.v.--not a problem for us but it could be next week for super bowl fans. And the heat didn't work once it was lowered to 72. At 76, it was a sauna. At 72 the airconditioner roared. Outside temp, 18 degree. I would repeat MacWilder's review, he captures most of the problems of this unfortunate hotel. I discovered the trick about the one bar of soap that everyone mentions-- you can't ask for another one but if you unwrap it and put it in the shower--a second one appeared the next morning. There's no real maid service, don't expect luxury amenties like turn downs, extra towels, robes, and don't order the continental breakfast--our vouchers were worth $24, the price of a continental breakfast--for packaged croissants and muffins and some kind of off the shelf danish. Our waiter who told us he had worked there for 36 years seems to have been relegated to Saturday a.m. service--if you can't get rid of a union waiter--give him a bad shift--too bad, full of personality and he knew what he was doing--the weekday waiter was clueless. Ditto MacWilder's comments about the doormen, bellstaff that seem to spend most of their time hanging out around the desk--there's rarely anyone at the door to get luggage, hail a cab, or watch who is coming in or out. There's a sense that everyone is really nice and nobody is in charge. Security is non existent. Anyone can walk in, wander through the lobby-bar, get on the elevator and roam freely through the halls. There's a notice in the rooms about not responding to calls from someone claiming to be the desk asking for credit card info. And the lighting in the public areas downstairs is terrible. They either need younger guests or better lighting especially in those elevators where you can't see the floor buttons.

There's no indication it's a Marriott. The sign outside says Autograph Collection. Are they too embarassed to put their name on it? This is not a luxury hotel. But neither was the old Algonquin. It made its reputation by being rakish, off beat, shabby and affordable. The Time Square area has always had its share of tourist hotels. Why try to raise expectations about the Algonquin? The renovation, the rooms, the furnishings, the amenities (two bottles of water and an ice bucket) the services, the restaurant don't meet the standard for a luxury hotel. Why the misleading marketing? I think it was Dorothy Parker who put in many years at that famed round table (where did it go by the way? it was no longer in evidence) who said "you can't make a pig's purse out of a sow's ear." Or whatever happened to truth in advertising?

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
GJBudge, General Manager at The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Greetings and thank you for taking time to express your candid opinion about The Algonquin Hotel, thank you too for your business.

The Algonquin is always open to feedback and The Algonquin takes great pride in the hotel, its team of associates and the service style offered to the many guests who have visited the hotel over the past number of years.

While it likely will not change your opinion of The Algonquin, it is worth noting:

The Algonquin was the tallest building on the street when it opened in 1902, as time progressed other buildings were built around the hotel and views did become limited.
When a mechanical error is identified, the hotel does move a guest to a different location whenever possible. In your case to an accessible room, which was built to Americans with Disability Act standards, including clearances. All ADA guest rooms have king size beds in the room, 72” wide, queen size mattresses do measure 60” wide. The Algonquin rooms are not large and are well appointed with ample receptacles for recharging personal devices found at convenient heights, there are a number of other features and amenities as well.
Algonquin ADA rooms have had high praise from guests with disabilities for not looking like an institutional space, rather one that incorporates the necessities with a sense of style.
Guests who desire a second bar of soap usually call guest service to make the request and a second bar is delivered.
Guest rooms are serviced daily and turn-down or twice daily housekeeping is not part of the hotel’s standards.
The Algonquin is a part of Autograph Collection, one of the brands of Marriott International. You are correct, there is no visible Marriott signage in the hotel, and instead Autograph Collection marking is used.
The hotel does have the benefit of the Marriott Reward loyalty program at its disposal for qualified guest use.
The hotel does not bake its own pastry for breakfast, breakfast product such as Danish and croissant are delivered daily by Balthazar Bakery located in the Soho area of the city, a well respected member of the city’s culinary scene.
The waiter to whom you refer is a long term associate who has received compliments and accolades from around the world during his storied career.

Thank you again for sharing your opinion and for visiting The Algonquin.

Gary J. Budge
General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Sunfish Lake, MN
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
79 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

When compared to other cities, New York City hotels are bad. All travelers know or should know that. (I was born in NYC , lived there much of my life--as did my father and grandfather--and have just bought a Manhattan apartment there, so don't tell me that I am biased against the City.) But this hotel, which asserts it is a four-star facility, is bad even by that lowly standards. It's run by Marriott, which normally does a good job. Perhaps it just gave up this time.
Let's start off with the good. The location, between Times Square and Grand Central Terminal is convenient. An examination revealed no B-Bugs. The TV, although its picture is dark, offers many channels in high definition. It's rooms are clean enough, although the halls and many public spaces are dingy.The operator answers the phone promptly, and the wake-up service rings on time.The exercise room, although spartan, does exist.The internet is free, and, as noted below, not awful. The water was hot and didn't fluctuate in temperature.
Now, let's get to the bad. The cleaning staff didn't know how to make the bed, so that the comforter was installed backwards half the time. Cheap wines in the lounge started at $15 for a small glass and escalated sharply thereafter. The room was hot at night, and lowering the temperature triggered the air conditioner (on some of the coldest nights in NYC's history), which loudly buzzed every time the unit turned on.
The first room they put us in was unbelievably small. One could hardly make it by the bed on either side. It had a musty smell, perhaps signaling mold. The replacement room was adequate in size, although by no means large. Its bathroom though was tiny, and clearly construction was never finished as the pipes to the upper flowers were right next to the toilet, which when flushed made an unbelievably loud sound.
The staff was never able to understand that there were two of us, thereby providing only one very small kimona, one washcloth, one hand towel, and only one soap.
The hotel features that it provides to each guest a copy of The New Yorker. We didn't get one, and when we requested it, they gave one that was not the current edition.
They provide coffee, but only in the lobby in the morning, requiring one to dress up to get one's morning coffee.
Although 12 or so stories, the facility has only two elevators. Those elevators are shared by guests and staff. The staff is located above the top customer floor, so that the elevator has to travel frequently between the basement and the very top to access the staff facility. Some of the indicator lights on the call buttons don't work. The floor selection panels were not cleaned adequately and were therefore difficult to read. To characterize the elevator service as lousy is to downplay the required waits. Sometimes it was full when it eventually arrived, not necessarily with passengers, but with luggage on transportation carts...and of course all this was made worse by guests trudging down to the first floor for their cup of coffee and back up after getting it.
There really is no place near the entrance for the doorman and concierge (or whatever they are since there is no identification), so they stand there clogging up the entrance as they chat with people to no obvious purpose in most cases. Although guests are not supposed to seat themselves in the dinning area, nobody acknowledged our presence when we were planning to eat breakfast. (Fortunately, there is an excellent, reasonably priced informal restaurant right next door to the west, i.e., towards Broadway). Highly recommended.
The internet was slow, throttled to 2 megs up and 1 meg down. The ping was an acceptable 28 ms. That's not good, but it's also not terrible. However, it needs to renewed once each day, which means it disconnects sometime around midnight. So, each morning, one has to go through the nonsense of reconnecting.
Guests are clearly not expected to sleep at night. Our room (#508) looked out onto an air shaft, so one would expect the room to be dark at night. No so. The shaft was well illuminated. The shades are, unbelievably, translucent, so light comes right through them. Also they don't cover the whole window, so light comes in as well around the edges of the shades. The result is that it's almost (but isn't) possible to read at night without turning on any lights. Adding insult to injury, there are two little switches over the bed, one on each side, that are enclosed in a bright ring of light. These switches turns on internal illumination for the pattern over the bed, Each switch lights one-half of the pattern. Why? There really is no explanation given that they obviously unprepared for two people in a room.
For about 10 years starting in 1919 the Algonquin was frequented by literary stars in a group called "The Roundtable". Clearly, the fact they survived 10 years there proves they never stayed in its rooms.

Room Tip: Complain to the desk when they give you an unacceptable facility. Might help.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
GJBudge, General Manager at The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Greetings, thank you for your business and for taking time to detail your thoughts and observations about your recent visit to The Algonquin. On behalf of the team thank you for your positive remarks about the hotel and we sincerely apologize for the shortcomings which you describe in detail.

Please consider contacting the hotel directly should you require further assistance.

Thank you again for your feedback.

Gary J. Budge

General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

I stayed here prior to a NASDAQ event and loved the property. The lobby feels like old NYC and I would recommend making time to find a seat have a drink or read the paper. It's an easy walk to Times Square, Rock Center and surrounding areas.

My room was very comfortable and well decorated. The standard room I had was small (to be expected in NYC), but had a large TV, workstation and plenty of places to plug-in my gadgets. Perfect for a business trip or romantic weekend in the city. Would not recommend if traveling with a family.

I highly recommend Gregory's Coffee across the street for your coffee - great way to start the day.

Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GJBudge, General Manager at The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Greetings and thank you for taking time to comment on a recent visit to The Algonquin, your business and comments are appreciated. The Algonquin feels like New York as you say because we are New York and have been a part of the local scene since 1902 when the hotel opened. The millwork and detail in the ceiling is all original to the 1902 design. We appreciate how you describe our guest rooms and couldn’t do a better job if we were writing our own brochure. For families, The Algonquin has 25 suites that are well suited for 4 persons, and also has suites with connecting guest rooms for the expanded family.

Thank you for taking the time to comment on the hotel, we appreciate your feedback.

Gary J. Budge
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

i have just returned from our stay at the "Algon" as my cab driver called it. Tucked away from the hustle of 6th Ave yet within walking distance to Broadway, Rockefella and many other NY attractions within easy reach by cab. Unlike the rest of NY surly service industry staff,the Algonquin staff were very attentive to making our stay a memorable one without the feeling they were just after a good tip! Our room was furnished and decorated to a very high unassuming chic standard with undoubtedly one of the most comfortable beds i have ever experienced in a hotel. The Blue Bar is a great venue to unwind with a nice cocktail after a hard days sightseeing though my wife was disappointed at me not ordering her the $10,000 Martini cocktail! The Algon is without doubt in one of the top 3 of my hotels i have stayed, a very special place esteemed in history and elegance. Thank you and look forward to our return soon.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GJBudge, General Manager at The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Thank you for taking time to comment on your recent stay at The Algonquin and thank you for your business, too. The hotel is special in many ways: location, land marked façade, rich literary history, the Blue Bar and the design and décor among them. The most significant way is how the team at the Algonquin has the ability to connect with guests and create experiences that are long remembered. There is great pride in this hotel and it shows in how people feel when they stay at The Algonquin. Thank you again for taking time to comment on your visit
Gary J. Budge
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthGa
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

My first stay at the historic Algonquin Hotel - not my last. This gem is located near 6th Avenue and W. 44th Street, a quick and easy walk to Times Square, Rockeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Grand Central... yet not in the crush and chaos of Times Square. The lobby is impressive and grand (and yet small and intimate - a restaurant and seating area take up most of it) and the people (from doormen to front desk to restaurant staff) are friendly, helpful and welcoming. Like many old (and newer) hotels in Manhattan, the rooms are small but very comfortable, and recent refurbishment has led to plush and chic but comfortable modern decor. The bathroom was nicely sized and, again, seemed very newly renovated - the modern glass and tile shower stall was very roomy, and the bath products and soaps are spa-style (L'Occitane en Provence). A warning about "the city that never sleeps" and complimentary earplugs had me worried, but my room was on the interior, and the a/c-heat unit could be set to keep the fan going (on medium it provided nice white noise) so we didn't hear a thing. This is a Marriott property so my rewards membership got me a complimentary continental breakfast for two (croissant, muffin and pastry with coffee, juice, jams and a nice fresh fruit bowl), And there's a full menu available if that's not sufficient. Internet wifi is free but not super strong (at least on 10th floor) but at least it was free and it worked. A nice find in the city!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Surprize AZ
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014 via mobile

Ok this place is right out the movies. Sit in the lobby have a drink and you just go back in time. The service is the best and breakfast wonderful. Location is good without all the noise of the bigger places

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

Ok, not that one spends a ton of time in the hotel when in New York. Charming hotel with all its 'New Yorker Magazine' history. Getting old a bit, but hey.If the walls could talk, I would listen. Value for money; price a bit too high, but ok, I am willing to subsudize heritage. Food I can not rate; always ate outside.

Room Tip: Not a room/suite with connecting door; one can hear the neighbors talking quite well
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection

Address: 59 W 44th St, Between Fifth & Sixth Ave, New York City, NY 10036
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Manhattan , Midtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#38 Green Hotel in New York City
#95 Family Hotel in New York City
#98 Luxury Hotel in New York City
#127 Romantic Hotel in New York City
#164 Business Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 174
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The ultimate in civilized Manhattan accommodations, the Algonquin was the site of the legendary Round Table literary gatherings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Algonquin Hotel New York City
Algonquin New York City

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