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“We will never stay here again.”

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Element New York Times Square West
Ranked #302 of 469 Hotels in New York City
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed April 27, 2011

This hotel presents well, but poor management ruins the entire experience. The rooms are small, but comparable to most in NYC, with the added bonus of a complete kitchen so you can make your own meals, a real money saver. The location is convenient to most subway lines via 42nd street. That is where the positive aspects of this property end.

The worst part of our stay was the poor housekeeping. The floors are porcelain tiles that look like dark wood. The maids are not provided with vacuum cleaners or brooms, just wet mops. This means whatever crumbs or debris that fall on the floor or are tracked in on your shoes are not removed, just pushed around with the mop. After 2 days, I had to brush off the bottoms of my feet before getting into bed at night. Yuck.

The elevators in this hotel are completely inadequate for the amount of rooms. The third elevator is supposedly reserved for staff use, but on several occasions, the staff entered the main elevators with large trash barrels or housekeeping carts. Plan on at least an additional 10-15 minutes to get down to the lobby if you need to be somewhere. One morning we gave up and walked down 18 flights of stairs to get to an appointment on time. I would not be surprised if management's decision to reserve one elevator for staff use goes against New York's building code.

The first two mornings of our stay, there was only tepid water in the shower. This problem was repaired by the third day, however.

The bed is advertised as Westin's Heavenly Bed, but it wasn't. The mattress was too hard and the pillows are not down filled.

After 5 nights at this property, I could not wait to check out. I cannot recommend this hotel to anyone and we will not return.......ever.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank justjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 26, 2011

My husband and I just got back from our fifth trip to New York a week ago. We've always stayed in different hotels but this is the first time I can say that I won't return to the same hotel.

Pros:
The rooms are small but typical for New York and I thought they made great use of the space. The kitchen was nice to have (and we did end up using it due to the fiasco of a free breakfast the hotel offers), the bed was comfortable and the bathroom was nicely appointed. The free wifi worked well and was definitely something I was looking for ain a hotel. We didn't have much interaction w/ the staff but they seemed friendly enough.

Cons:
I agree w/ other reviewers who have commented on the ridiculous wait times for elevators. We routinely waited 5-10 minutes for an elevator, only to discover it was full when it got to our floor so we had to start the whole process all over again or take the stairs...which is what we usually did.

The free breakfast was quite pathetic, in my opinion. The pre-packaged breakfast sandwiches ALL had some form of meat on them so you are outta luck if you don't eat meat. I did manage to find an english muffin w/ egg and cheese one day...stay far away from this as it's a disgusting, tasteless, rubbery excuse for food. The juice was warm (they also rarely had cups for the juice) and they were constantly running out of food. There were NEVER any clean plates or bowls (I am not exaggerating). I had heard that breakfast was busy if you went towards the end of the serving time but we went 1.5 hours before the end of breakfast and it was just as bad. If you like cereal (w/ no bowl to eat it in), muffins and mini scones, you'll be just fine because that's all I could ever manage to find (I also saw raisin bread once and there were sometimes oranges in a bowl but that's about it).

The green aspect of the hotel is a nice idea in theory but this seems to get ignored by the housekeeping staff. Guests are asked to put their towels on the floor when they want new ones - we NEVER put our towels on the floor yet they were ALL changed every day.

I suggest trying for a room at the back of the hotel. We were at the front and it was quite noisy (street noise). I've never had this issue at other NYC hotels I've stayed at but this one was quite bad.

In sum, I definitely won't stay here again. There are many other options that are similarly priced that offer the same features (minus the kitchen).

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank vwjetta2k1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2011

The hotel tries to do too many things and does few things well. Their biggest sin is insisting that that the employees come first, guests, second.

Evidence of this attitude is the hotel's treatment of its three very small elevators. They take one of the three out of service and reserve it for employees. That leaves 2 elevator cars for over 400 rooms. Do the math: It comes out to a 10 to 15 minute wait for an elevator...at off-peak times.

The free breakfast features a free for all grab for white flour and other carbs. Bon apetit.

Housekeeping was hit or miss. The rooms are very comfortable and quiet, and having a 'fridge and stove and microwave was great. But it's impossible to ignore the discomfort of waiting 10 minutes for an elevator and watching the employees sashay in and out of their private car.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank bach4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2011

We were pleasantly surprised at how nice this hotel was, also everything in the hotel is eco-friendly and new. The staff are really helpful and pleasant. The bed was the most comfortable hotel bed I've sleep in for a while and there was a little kitchenette in the room too which is convenient if you don't want to eat out all the time during your stay in New York. Breakfast is served in the lobby and there a mad rush when hot food is served but there is plenty of seating behind the elevators so take your coffee etc around there and eat at your leisure. All in all a great hotel

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Celibru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2011

I stayed at the hotel on a Thursday evening for business. Not the greatest neighborhood. They provided a happy hour upon check-in which included wine and beer. This was a nice touch - food did not look that appetizing though. The room was very nice for NYC. Modern style furniture with a small kitchen. I received a Handicap Accessible room which I found out the next morning is not very functional. The shower had a curtain but no other divider separating it from the bathroom floor. I pointed the shower head to the wall rather than the shower curtain as it was originally facing. I took a 10 minute shower and when I was finished the floor of the bathroom was completely covered in water and the water extended out in a stream into the room and around the corner into the kitchen area. There was no drain other than the one in the shower in the floor of the bathroom. I took all of the towels and paper towels in the room to clean up the water and it was not enough. I called the front desk and they said they would send someone up immediately and that it is a common problem - not my fault. Noone arrived for 30 minutes. I had to leave to go to work so I mentioned this again upon check out downstairs and said it's urgent to get this taken care of. No reaction from front desk staff at all - no apology. I will not stay at Element again.

Room Tip: Do not accept a handicapped accessible room
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank KJGator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2011

Extremely central location with easy access to key metro stations within a short walk. The room was clean, tidy and very comfortable. Everything about the room indicated quality including a seriously comfortable bed, linen etc. This has been the best hotel (within this budget range) that I have stayed at in New York. I would definitely recommend this hotel and would stay there again without hesitation.

Room Tip: catch the breakfast early or you will miss out!
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Phil_Central_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2011

Just stayed at the Element for 9 nights with my girlfriend, it was our first time in NY! In general we felt good about the hotel, but in terms of service it was far from flawless.
Positive: location, room and staff. The hotel is centrally located and the room was comfortable, which made it always a pleasure to return after a long day out in the Big Apple. The room’s size was good enough for the both of us, with free wifi, flat-screen tv, kitchenette, big shower, small sofa and soft bed. The doormen (!), cleaning and technical staff were very friendly and helpful. The evening reception on weekdays with some snacks and drinks was also very much appreciated.
Negative: breakfast (!), mistake in payment and some small annoying issues. Breakfast is served on the ground floor till 9:30 (10:00 during weekends), but often breakfast ran out much earlier, meaning you had to find breakfast elsewhere. When you actually did manage to get some breakfast, there is barely any room to sit down and enjoy it, as the ground floor is not big enough to manage this amount of people. Concerning payment, we booked the hotel through booking.com choosing not to be charged until our stay, but 650 dollars got charged to my credit card long before. Via e-mail, Alexander was incredibly helpful to get back the refund (so thanks Alex!) although it took a while before their accounting department actually made the payment. Some of the other issues: we had some problems with our TV and it took 3 visits by the technical staff (though very friendly and helpful) before the problem was permanently fixed; one morning the phone started to make noise cause the battery was running out (turned out the battery charger wasn’t plugged in); through booking.com we asked to be put on a lower floor, but our room was on the top floor (we did not complain about it as we actually enjoyed the view).
Tip: great and cheap pizza on the corner of 8th avenue and 38th street (less than 1 minute from hotel). Get some slices to your room as a great evening snack.

Room Tip: One of the top floors facing south for the view
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Wim_Belgium85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Element New York Times Square West

Address: 311 West 39th Street, Between 8th and 9th, New York City, NY 10018-1401
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Hell's Kitchen
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#46 Green Hotel in New York City
Price Range: $134 - $478 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Element New York Times Square West 3.5*
Number of rooms: 411
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Element New York times square west is an eco-friendly Manhattan boutique hotel near Times Square and Broadway. Our hotel has 2 meeting rooms, complimentary breakfast, free wifi, and a fitness center. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Element New York Times Square West Hotel New York City

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