This was hands down the worst ever experience at a hotel/motel/inn I had ever had.
I signed up for Trip Advisor for the sole purpose of writing about the nightmare experience that I had at this hotel.
I had been a Diamond Hilton Honors member (currently Silver as I no longer travel for work) and have had overall uneventful or relatively minor issues at various Hilton properties without any significant issues regarding hotel staff.
As an example, the previous stay I had was at the Hilton Garden Inn at 35th St. in NYC in May this year.One of the front desk staff offered and helped my family member ( who cannot lift heavy luggage) with unloading luggage into the room, as I had to return a rental car in another area of the city.It was not part of her job, Hilton Garden Inns do not have porters, but she went out of her way, voluntarily, to help.
This is the level of service I had and expected from Hilton.
And after the poor experience I had at the Conrad, I thought maybe I was the only one who had these complaints. But after reading some of the other reviews here, it seems that they have major issues to work on.
The nightmare begins...
The Conrad website states that the only parking available is valet parking.So, it seems expected that they would have staff onsite to valet park the cars as other similarly starred hotels.
When I drove up to the hotel, there were cars double parked in front of the hotel and a metal fence set-up of the other side of the loading zone.This prevents any car from even parallel parking near the curb and any car would be forced to double park next to the loading zone.
There were zero staff at the door when I drove up, so my family member went into the hotel to find staff to valet park the car.Meanwhile, a livery driver( who had the SUV in front of me and a taxi parked up next to him) yelled at me,and mortified me in the process, to move my car because he could not move his car.His customer's bags were not even loaded in the trunk and he was standing on the sidewalk at that time. He had not even bothered asking the 2 cars that were actually blocking him in to move- the 2 drivers of these other cars were actually chitchatting outside of their cars.
Hotel staff eventually came out, asked the other 2 drivers to move, and assisted with getting a valet and got my luggage out.
Still fuming from the valet experience, I went to check in.The front desk person who checked me in could see clearly that I was upset and I explained to her what happened.She immediately stated that she would get the manager on duty.I did not ask for one.
I explained to the female manager what occurred and that it was mainly due to the lack of valet parking/doorman staff that led to the unfortunate experience.
If they had adequately staffed the front of the hotel, the livery driver would not have verbally assaulted me.
And she gave me a non-apology, apology (one of many I would be treated to as the nightmare wore on). She stated that the doorman was busy and that the hotel do not staff their own valets and that they have to call one from one of the nearby garages.
I stated to her that if the hotel is stating on their website that valet parking is the only type of valet parking available, then they should staff valets.
Then she stated something along the lines of " if we did not have the valet parking available, then our guests would have no where to park, because there is limited parking in the area." Having no idea why she would interject this into the discussion and as all I was getting was a passive-aggressive stance, I told her I did not have anything else to say to her and that I had not asked for her, that the front desk staff offered to have the manager speak to me.
Nightmare gets worse...
After unloading luggage in the room, my family member immediately went to bed due to jet lag after a very long flight.
This was actually the sole purpose of booking the stay, to break-up a very long trip so it was not as tiring for an elderly family member.
I had stated to the front desk staff when I checked in that the fence that had blocked in the rear end of the loading zone appeared to be due to some type of movie shoot that was going on on the side street.
She did not correct me or give me any other information about this event at that time.
I went out for a 2-3 hours as my family member rested.As I left on the downward escalator there was a ball stuck on the end of the escalator.I let the doorman know that there as a ball stuck and it was promptly addressed.The way his station is placed on the ground floor, he is physically unable to see the escalators.
On my way back into the hotel, on the upward escalator, there was a huge chunk of plastic ripped on from the casing around the wires on the bottom of where the railings rotate.Exposed wires and loose plastic near rotating escalators is never OK.
I informed the front desk staff of this. Again, the doorman cannot see this from his station and the front desk also cannot see this from their position.
I'm thinking by this point that there is something very wrong about how this hotel has been planned out and designed.
From worse to worst...
After getting back into the room, I checked in on my family member.The curtains had been drawn for obvious reasons, but I noticed some loud noises, banging etc., from the street below the window.My family member was woken up due to the noise.
As I drew back the curtain,I could not believe that there was a rock band setting up to play on a stage set up only a few feet below the room window.
I called the front desk to ask what was going on and if they were going to be rehearsing.
She stated that the actual event was going to be the next NIGHT and that she was not aware of any rehearsals that they should not be rehearsing that night.
Literally, minutes after that phone call the band began rehearsing.
I called the front desk again and informed them that they are rehearsing.Eventually it came down to the manager was going to call me in 15 minutes because he was busy assisting someone else.
I had told this front desk staff, that if someone is already upset and felt inconvenienced by your hotel, why, WHY would you put them in a room that was only a few feet away from a live band that they were aware of?She also could not tell me how long this rehearsal was going to be.
As I was waiting for the manager to call me, room service called asking why I had my privacy light on when they were trying to deliver something to my room. I told them that they must have the wrong room because I did not order room service.She then told me, that she knew I did not order anything because the front desk staff ordered up a "surprise" to my room.
I'm thinking, OK, then why are you calling me and asking me why my privacy light is on???
Did I miss something? Was I supposed to me some type of psychic?
Did I somehow acquire superhuman senses and no one bothered to tell my brain?
Eventually the manager called and I told him I would be coming to speak to him in person as we were going to get dinner anyway.And there was no way for anyone to be comfortable sitting up above a live band trying to get some sleep.
I spoke to a male manager and told him of the above events.I played him a recording of the loud music and asked if he could sleep next to such loud noise.
I again asked him why would the hotel put a guest who is already upset with the hotel, in a room that is only a few feet from a live band?
I was told that there were no other rooms available to move to and basically received another non-apology, apology.
He cited that the hotel tried to compensate for the inconvenience by sending up wine.I asked why no one informed me that this was being done.He stated because they wanted it to be a surprise.I informed him that it would have made no difference and actually would have made things worse as I cannot drink wine due to allergy.His response was,"well there was no way we would have known that."
All of this in again, passive-aggressive manner.
Which is actually the point I was trying to make him understand.That, why are you not asking me what would make my stay easier and compensate for the inconveniences?
Why do you not care about what my priorities are of what would make a satisfactory stay?
Why are you assuming that I would be happy with a bottle of wine?
At this point in the night, I would have been satisfied with free breakfast.
I thought, well if they were going to offer me a free bottle of wine, it would not be a stretch for them to offer free breakfast? Or hey, something else from room service ( I had told the other front desk staff that I was hungry and was planning to go to dinner).
Since I was getting nowhere with the conversation and I could see that talking to this staff was a dead end, I asked if he could find a room at another Hilton property.He first called the Millenium Hilton which is literally across the street from the new World Trade Center construction site.Of course I said no.I have no idea why he thought it would be a great trade off to go from blaring noise to blaring lights.
He then asked me what hotel I would like to move to.
I'm thinking, So you are now asking me to perform a search to figure out what Hilton Hotels are available?Shouldn't it be the hotel staff performing this to minimize inconvenience to the guest?
I'm guessing that if you really do not care for the guest in question, then you would not care what inconveniences you put them through.
And it showed, pretty blatantly.
Incredulous at the question asked of me, I responded by stating that since he is the one that works for Hilton, that maybe he should pick the best one.
He responded by a laugh and a smirk and stated "the best one,OK" and called the Waldorf.
There was a room available, I went to ask my family member but they did not want to move hotels because he was tired and it was getting late.
I went back to inform the manager that my family member did not want to move.
I then asked both him and the front desk staff, you guys are trained for this,
is there something that you can do to show me that you understand the inconvenience that I am going through? Do I have to spell it out to you? Can you get creative,think of something?
The manager's response, was giving me back 25,000 points as it was a rewards stay.
I'm thinking, well ok, obviously the manager looks at me and sees only one thing, someone trying to freeload.At that point his prejudice shined through loud and clear.
You cannot get creative enough to think hey,she can't drink wine, why don't I ask her if she would like something else from room service?? or free breakfast?? or free internet ( I had signed in already)??
WHY DO YOU ASSUME THAT I WANT ONLY POINTS which cost a lot more if you do the math, than free breakfast vouchers.
Since your hotel had no other rooms available, why don't you offer me something that would give me some other level of satisfaction DURING the stay at your hotel? Not points that I do not really need since I have more than enough points already.And if you had looked at my Hilton Honors account at any point, you would know.
And points that I would have to wait to use later?
As it seemed futile, so I gave up and accepted the points.
The never ending nightmare...
After returning to the room and in the midst of getting ready for bed, I felt a scratch as I stepped onto the bedroom carpet with bare feet.I thought maybe it was a hard bread crumb that was missed.Instead it was the SHARP END OF A METAL NAIL sticking out of the carpet.
I called the front desk, or at least I tried.The in-room phone no longer worked or at best spotty.This was an issue that another reviewer brought up as well.
I eventually had to call on my cellphone. I got a lot more pleasant greeting on my cellphone than when I had called from the in house phone earlier to ask a question about street closures due to the event--- I guess they are selective who they are pleasant to.And if you had brought about issues/complaints, I guess they figure they do no longer need to be pleasant to you.
I told her that the phone was not working, may be it was a network issue? and that there was a nail sticking out of the carpet.She sounded incredulous but stated she would send up an engineer.The engineer (who was very pleasant and helpful) took off the tip of the nail, also cut a second one off.In the midst of the repair, he lost track of the first tip he cut off.
I also looked for it with him and could not locate it.
He said it was probably stuck on his magnetic tools and said he would show the male manager ( the same one from before) the nail tip.The engineer APOLOGIZED for the nail, even though he had no fault in it at all whatsoever, because he recognized the inconvenience it caused. This was the first GENUINE apology I received from the hotel.
1-2 minutes after he left, I located the first nail tip. I called the front desk to have someone come up to collect it as the engineer was planning to show the manager.The in-room phone was not working and now even calling on the cellphone was not working.So I went down myself and gave the nail tip to the manager.He then apologized, but then promptly began blaming the housekeeping staff for it.I explained to him that you cannot see the nail tip as it is the same height as the carpet.And you need to put pressure/weight onto the surrounding carpet in order to see or feel the nail.I told him that the housekeeping staff would not being able to see it from their vantage point while cleaning and would not be able to feel it through shoes.It is not housekeeping's fault. It's poor construction.
Again, not taking responsibility yourself and trying to shift blame on someone else??
And we are not done yet...
And I thought I was going to get some rest.But no, the Conrad Hotel has other surprises in store.
I had turned on the desk lamp for the first time sometime around 11PM-Midnight.
I tried to turned it off...and it went spastic, like a strobe light. No, it turned into a strobe light.
I tried the switch again as anyone would and IT WOULD NOT TURN OFF.In a panic ( I was worried it would spark and start a fire) I removed the wooden panel underneath the desk to look for a plug to pull.As the set-up behind the panel was complex and I did not want to screw up something else, I didn't touch anything.The master light off switch did not turn it off either.
I picked up the trusty in-room phone to call the front desk yet again.
Yet again, the in-room phone WAS NOT WORKING.
I called the front desk on my cellphone and told them about the issue.
AGAIN, the INCREDULOUS tone of voice from the front desk.
She was going to send someone up to fix it.
While I was waiting, I began to feel nauseous due to the strobe effect and left the room and stood outside in the hallway .My family member was fast asleep in the bedroom and did not to disturb and I had to wait to open the door for the engineer as well.
I had someone on video chat monitor the light and I checked in the room every few seconds to make sure there was no spark.
After about 6-7 minutes and no engineer yet, I called the front desk again.
I assumed that based on what I told her that naturally there would be an immediate response due to fire hazard.
There was different female front desk staff to whom I relayed the issue, the concerns about fire hazard, and that I was actually standing outside in the hallway due to the ill effect of the strobe light.
Her response in a rude tone,verbatim: "Well, if YOU are UNCOMFORTABLE in the room, do you want us to move you to a different room?" Her emphasis, not mine.
I'm thinking,SERIOUSLY!! Tell me what human being or even an animal would be comfortable staying in a room that had a strobe light?It's not a nightclub and last time I checked, I was not blind.
And move to a different room? This, after your manager told me there were no rooms available?
I was so beaten down and could not believe the utter incompetency of this person to ask such a question in that situation, that I just told her that I was informed by the manager earlier that there was no other rooms available and to send the engineer quick.
The engineer came up 12 minutes after my initial call.
He walked in and he also could not believe what he saw.He tried the switch, didn't work of course.He eventually had to unplug it from the wall and said he would return the next day to fix it.
I called the front desk staff and I asked her to relay this additional issue to the male manager.
It's the gift that keeps on giving...
So the live band event that the front desk staff stated would start the next evening actually began at 9:30AM. Well, that was a pleasant surprise...
At check out, the front desk staff ( male this time, all the other front desk staff I spoke to from the day before were female) asked as per routine how my stay was.And I told him it was horrible and that they should put any other guest in the room I was in until the issue with the lamp and other physical issues were fixed.Without being prompted, he said he would not charge me the fee for internet or valet parking.
We had to store the luggage as the event closed down the streets until mid afternoon.
The staff I had spoken to earlier had said that I would be able to get out OK even with the street closures, but you know, somehow, I didn't really trust that she knew what she was talking about.
I returned to the hotel around 2:40- 2:45 PM. The event was just being finished up- not 1 PM as the front desk staff told me.
I had my elderly family member wait below on the ground floor as I went to retrieve the luggage from storage from the mezzanine level.
The porter retrieved the 4 heavy bags without a dolly.I assumed given the number of bags and the weight of the bags that a dolly would be used.
Instead of asking me if I needed assistance with my luggage, he asked me if "there was someone else" with me. I had come up alone to get the bags as the elderly family member is not someone I want to be moving heavy bags.
I said no and asked if we could use a dolly.He said there was none and in an exasperated tone, stated he would help me with the bags.Now, I am not comfortable with someone breaking their back moving my luggage.
A few seconds after this, another porter came by with an EMPTY dolly and no guest with him.
I pointed it out to the porter who had my bags and asked if we could use it.
He asked the other porter and was told NO.
At this point I completely had it, I asked for my bags from the porter.I was able to grab one of the bags and was yelling at him to give me my other bags because HE WOULD NOT GIVE ME MY BAGS.I told him I was done with this hotel and that I wanted to leave immediately.
I WAS SICK AND TIRED OF BEING TREATED LIKE A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN THROUGH OUT THE STAY. Why couldn't the hotel do anything right?!?!
I do not cause scenes. I do not yell in public spaces. I use the lowest possible voice if someone calls me on my cellphone while on a train or waiting for a plane because I do not want to draw attention to myself.
But the utter incompetency, the unbelievable physical issues with the room, the fact that they could not even give me the courtesy of using a dolly??????????? that was EMPTY?????????? drove me to lose it, completely.
I felt like I was being tortured and being repeatedly kicked while I was already down.
All I was trying to do was FINALLY be free of the torture and nightmare I been through and you aren't going to give me my bags?Because your ego and pride in your job is worth more to you than the fact that I wanted leave immediately?
If it had been ONLY the luggage issue, it would not have been a big deal, or any deal.
But it was the last straw.
Eventually the front desk staff came over to get me out of view of other guests, got a dolly to move my bags. The front desk person then left.I think it was a security person who pressed the elevator button for "up." I informed him that I'm trying to LEAVE the hotel.
The front desk staff returned.He had at some point tried to justify the situation by stating that there was a misunderstanding and that some guests like to take their luggage by themselves.
At this point I began to cry out of utter frustration and the indignity of the hotel trying to justify their actions until the very end instead assuming responsibility for their mistakes.
I asked for 5 minutes alone.The front desk person eventually came downstairs to the front door with me.
He offered another 25,000 points. I told him that I do not care for points, I don't care about monetary compensation. That there was NOTHING they could do because the damage had been done and that the hotel had treated me like cr**, at every turn, every issue. He apologized repeatedly but it was too late.
I told him that the porter asked me if someone else was with me because I could tell by his body language, the fact that there was no dolly available, the weight and number of bags, that he did not want to carry the bags for me. WHY else would he ask me that specific question??Why did he not ask me the standard question that I got from any other porter I've encountered "Do you need assistance with your bags?" If he had, I would have said yes and asked if there was a dolly available.
But he did not ask that very standard question.
I called Hilton customer service later that day because I was still fuming from the experience and have requested a letter of apology from the general manager and an explanation of why I was treated so badly at every turn.
Judging from this experience, I doubt I would ever get such a letter.
As I told the last front desk staff I encountered there, I will never be returning to this hotel, never.
And as another reviewer put it, they do not manage issues well when issues come up.
They are very,very poor that this.
Being a newer hotel is in no a way justifiable excuse.
As long as you do not complain, do not want a quiet room,and do not mind being treated like a second class citizen, then go ahead and book this hotel.
If you do want a quiet room, do want to be treated with respect and dignity, want good/exceptional customer service, and will actually (god forbid) notify the front desk staff regarding noise, poor valet service, hazards on the escalators,a fire hazard, phones that do not work, or want to use a dolly, then this is not the hotel for you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of lower Manhattan's Battery Park City, the Conrad New York is a new contemporary all-suite luxury hotel. With magnificent views of the Hudson River, this exceptional hotel is adjacent to Hudson River Park, in close proximity to many of the city's important and historic landmarks and prominent neighborhoods, including TriBeCa and SoHo. The Conrad New York offers a new standard of luxury, featuring 463 spacious guest suites that average over 430 square feet, each outfitted with integrated technology, complimentary WiFi, two flat-screen HD televisions and individual climate control, as well other unparalleled in-room amenities. Sixteen stories above street level, the hotel features a striking seasonal rooftop bar providing stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. The hotel boasts over 30,000 square feet of adaptable meeting space, including the 6,200 square-foot Gallery Ballroom; Danny Meyer's Union Square Events will be the exclusive food and beverage partner of the hotel's onsite conference and event facilities. The Conrad New York is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Conrad New York Hotel New York City
- Suites Nyc