We stayed at the Benson over Christmas. We weren't sure whether to use the valet parking but the attendant promised it was the best option and we would be able to retrieve our car very quickly with in and out access. Unfortunately, this proved to be inaccurate. Often, we were not able to reach the valet by phone and no one was at the station. We even waited for 20 minutes on one ocassion and finally had the parking costs removed from our bill due to their inability to retrieve our car in a timely manner.
We were on the 12th floor overlooking Broadway, which meant looking out onto the roofs of other buildings (not attractive), and there was a lot of road noise. In addition, the windows let in a lot of cold air even when closed. The room as dark even with all of the lights turned on. On the plus side, the bed was extremely comfortable, and the shower was wonderful-hot and awesome water pressure.
The gym was adequate, though one of the elliptical machines is completely broken and there is any floor space if you intend to do anything other than exercise on a machine or bench weights.
What surprised me the most was how noisy the people cleaning the rooms were--at 8am, when some people like to sleep in while they're on vacation. I snuck out to the gym at 7:30am and when I came back to my room, a cleaning person yelled "good morning" to me from down the hall. I understand she was trying to be friendly, but I felt badly for anyone who was trying to sleep in.
I also have to say that it's a bit tacky having breakfast in the bar at a hotel as grand as the Benson. I understand that they have a dining room that is used for Sunday brunch: why not everyday? And, because breakfast is in the bar, which is a small space, it's crowded. On Christmas morning, we waited for about 15 minutes to be seated. In fact, it was about 10 minutes before any staff even checked with us to see how many were in our party, etc.
On Christmas Eve, when the entire lobby and bar were full with people celebrating, there was ONE waiter serving everyone.
Overall, this hotel seemed to be under-staffed. Mostly, it seemed to be a shadow of its former glory.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Classic Landmark Hotel located in heart of business & financial district. ... more less
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