Let me say at the outset that this is a fine hotel. The location is fantastic, the rooms are large by Manhattan standards, it's clean and modern, and it seems to be a relatively good value at the higher end of the hotel range. The staff was pleasant and accommodating (although the hotel did seem a little understaffed over the weekend we stayed there).
While this is a nice hotel, it's trying too hard to be hip. One gets the sense that the executives at Hyatt commissioned some urban hipsters to design a hotel that would appeal to a certain demographic. The results sometime come across as a little forced. Take the hotel entrance. To begin with, it's not clear from the street where the entrance is -- the doors that turn out to be the main entrance look like they might be service doors. This makes it tricky to arrive in your own car, since it's not clear where to expect the valet. (Perhaps they figure that people who stay at this sort of hotel don't own cars.) Once you figure out how to get into the hotel, it's clear that they tried to design a lobby that looks like an Apple store. I like the designs of Apple stores as much as the next person, but it does make for some awkward moments when translated into the design of a hotel lobby. (Where, exactly, do I check in? What are those iPads for? Is there any place to actually sit while I'm enjoying my complimentary wine?)
We were staying with our two tween/teen children, so we booked a suite with a pull-out bed. The design of the room was clean and modern, but it took the minimalist design concept to some absurd lengths. The lighting controls were a case in point. The rooms have "touch" lighting controls that indicate their function ("Bath", "Entry", etc.). They look cool, but they're completely impractical and positioned in counterintuitive places. Not a single light in the room was capable of being dimmed, so all the options were binary (even the bedside reading lights). Honestly, in this day and age, why don't more hotels understand that we want to be able to control the mood of the room, and don't want to have to light up the entire room to find the toilet in the middle of the night? Wouldn't dimmable controls have been more iPad-like? Then there was the bathroom. Again, nice design, enormous shower, but why didn't the bathroom have doors that actually latch shut? Even hipsters want some privacy when doing the necessary. And the shower controls were completely inscrutable -- is it considered un-hip to indicate the essential feature of a handle, like which direction is hot and which direction is cold?
I guess I'm just annoyed by design that is minimalist to the point of impracticality. While I think Hyatt was trying to achieve a Jony Ive moment, I don't think Sir Jony would actually approve of this place -- it has a lot of little details that need to be rethought from the standpoint of functionality. The overall effect is forced and somewhat pretentious.
I'll close on some more positive notes. The Nespresso machine in the room was fabulous -- this should become an essential feature of any good hotel. The second floor event area is beautiful. (So beautiful that a photo shoot was taking place there when we arrived. My daughter was amused to see a naked female model changing her outfit out in the open.) The ground-floor restaurant was surprisingly good (although the service was a little slow on a Sunday morning), and the options for room service were better than usual.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on 5th avenue at 41st street, Andaz 5th Avenue is in the fashionable Bryant Park area of midtown Manhattan directly across the street from the New York Public Library. Guests will enjoy easy access to iconic New York attractions, like Times Square, Grand Central Station, Empire State Building, Herald Square and the Theater District. For a little retail therapy, we are within walking distance to endless shopping along 5th Avenue and are near subways to take you to other neighborhoods and the outer boroughs. The Andaz experience begins the moment you arrive and are greeted by one of our Hosts, who will check you in via handheld PC. Art work can be found throughout the hotel, whether it's 14-foot murals by Carlos Capelan, which glow like fire through the windows on 41st Street, or our ever-changing tbd Art series on the doors to the bar downstairs. But we don't just want you to look at beautiful things - we want to let you live the beautiful life as well. As part of that promise, we offer amenities like free Wi-Fi, a mini-bar stocked with complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, and 6,400 sq. Ft. Of event space. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Andaz 5th Avenue Hotel New York City