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“Nice weekend getaway”
Review of The Benjamin

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The Benjamin
Ranked #94 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed May 22, 2008

Our first New York experience and The Benjamin helped us enjoy it immensely. We booked with Priceline and, despite what another reviewer said, did NOT get a Priceline room. However, they did book us in a room with one double bed which wasn't going to work for me, my wife, and eight-year-old daughter. A quick call to the front desk and they upgraded us to a room with a king-sized bed at no charge and offered us a cot for no charge.

The room was very comfortable and even my daughter commented that it was "better than the places we usually stay". Location was great for a shopping trip to New York. Close to Fifth Avenue, Central Park, and Broadway. Staff was always courteous and my wife enjoyed her massage.

Two nitpicks: the wait for the elevator can be excruciatingly long at times. Also, we laid out a card for breakfast at 10pm one night and it was still on the door the next morning. No worries there, though. They didn't charge us for it!

Thank you, Benjamin, for two very happy girls in my life.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank usherMocha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,401 - 2,407 of 2,827 reviews

Reviewed May 14, 2008

Having booked 3 rooms through Priceline I was not sure what to expect but we had a great stay with no complaints.
One of our rooms got upgraded to accomodate a roll away for my son and another was at the back of the hotel but this was greatly appreciated as no street noise!!
We had no problems with any of the staff unlike the previous reviewer. From Carter at check in through to the Doorman getting us those elusive cabs we found them all courteous and helpful.
The Pillow Menu went down a storm with all of our party and I think we went through every possible option during our 3 night stay.
We found the location excellent for our needs and walked up to Central Park, down to Times Square and of course, for me, the proximity to Bloomingdales.
We will be back one day!!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank chucknorman77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The_Benjamin, General Manager at The Benjamin, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 2008

Dear Betz 36:

I wanted to thank you for your feedback in regards to your stay at The Benjamin Hotel. My name is Andrew Labetti and I am the General Manager of the hotel. I am very pleased to hear you had an enjoyable stay. Our goal is to exceed all of our guest’s expectations and ensure that our guests have the most comfortable stay

I look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you back to The Benjamin in the near future.

Happy Anniversary!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2008

We've been to the Benjamin twice. For any other city it would be overpriced, but in NYC it's a "good" deal. The help is nice, friendly, and responsive. Our son loved the (free) hot chocolate that was almost always on offer in the lobby. The rooms are large and the beds are very comfortable. The only downsides are the bathrooms (uneven - ours were small but well appointed, but my mother's was large) and the restaurant prices.

We found the offer of many kinds of pillows amusing but gimmicky.

Stayed: February 2008
Thank poodledoop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2008

This is our second time at the Benjamin and our last. Our first time was perfect the room was great and all my requests were in the room when we opened the door.
This weekend we booked a room on a top floor with a terrace and champagne and food was to be placed in the room before we checked in!! I called many times before to make sure everthing was good to go. Upon check in the lady at the front desk said the had no room ready at this time this was at 3:30! she then asked if they could put me in a room without a terrace and I told the fron desk I planned this trip 3 weeks ahead of time so I didnt have to go through this . They put me in suite 1609 this room had a terrible view, very small terrace and very stained carpet.... I was very suprised since the last time we stayed was perfect. Plus the wine and food that was to be placed in the room was no where to be found... It came 45 minutes later. I will never return to this hotel again.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank StoneMasonFreehold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2008

We stayed at the Benjamin after reading the great reviews on TA and also after my amazing win on Priceline. I was so looking forward to this leg of my trip (did Washington DC prior to coming to NYC), and could not wait to get checked into this top class hotel.
On checking in - after getting assurance via email from Arcenia Olson (one of The Benjamin's managers) that we would NOT get a "priceline" room i.e by an elevator shaft, faulty equipment or facing a brick wall with no light...guess what. We were told "oh we have a wonderful room set aside for you" by the smiling man at the front desk. After being told this, I decided check out the room he allocated. "I have to ask, it is not by the elevator shaft is it?" To which my reply was "Well, yes it is". I then explained that there most probably would be a noise issue. I asked if there was an alternative. He said there was another room which we could have, ...facing a brick wall. Lovely service guys. Exactly the sort of room that I am sure Priceline/Hotwire people will not want to read about.
So after this initial disappointment, we checked in to the room by the elevator shaft. There was not noise all the time, but we could hear the elevator on and off and loud thumping footsteps above our room. The footsteps cannot be helped I am sure as this is part and parcel of hotels. I am annoyed that the Benjamin did obviously NOT take into account my preferences and I believe did assign the room that they cant charge full price for - that being the Priceline room. They should not email people with promises that they have no intention of keeping.
The room was a good size, despite my initial issues and the bed was comfortable. Although after picking out his pillow (the anti snore pillow) and the street noise and the air conditioning unit bellowing out a loud noise - I can assure you my boyfriend did NOT get a guarenteed good nights sleep every night. The anti snore pillow is rubbish, it did not work in the slightest and my boyfriend in the end used the normal feather pillows left on the bed to sleep.
As stated before - the air conditioning unit was obviously broke or something. I have never experienced such a loud unit as the one we had in the room. I could not be bothered to complain so we just turned it off in the night. But then you had the whirring of the fridge going...
Guarenteed good nights sleep or your money back they say here..ok then.. I wil have my 6 nights worth back!!
The area itself has its drawbacks, and I would think about this if you are planning to stay at this hotel and you read this review. There is a metro station at the top of the street. BUT...only the 6 runs there. The 6 runs up and downtown but most attractions are towards the West. This hotel is on the East. you have to go cross town to get to these attractions..not too easy if you havent been to New York City before. I found it a pain in the rear trying to navigate which metro train actually went to the east side. You have to be on the 6 line to make use of the stop by the hotel or transfer lines downtown a bit.
If you go up a few blocks there is another metro and some lines run through that station that go cross town or again, you will have to change trains. Why NYC never thought of this is beyond me.
Maybe some experienced local experts on TA will correct me but most of the time we walked from West to East as there wasnt much choice. Bear this in mind if you stay on this side. Yes, its very nice but near TS or ESB - it AINT!
My main thing that I had a problem with was this and I believe the previous reviewer from Toronto said this. I hope the Benjamin Manager, Mr Labetti takes note of this - its the STAFF!!
Whilst we were there you could not help but notice that it was an upscale hotel and very much geared to the businessman. There were alot of suits coming and going and also very dressed up couples - everyone looked very important. Then there was my partner and I on vacation - in our jeans and t shirts. We felt totally out of place and the staff we feel somewhat looked down on us, you got the feeling that you werent good enough to stay there. That we got our room , at a bargain sale and did not pay top dollar for it so we dont get the same treatment. Sometimes, the door man didnt get the door, even though he was there. When wanting to change up money, room number, passport, did I have a credit card - I felt intimidated and as though they (Front Desk) were quizzing me every time not withstanding the fact I was stared at coldly by a black lady with long braids at the same time the other guy was quizzing me. Eventually I went to Macys and changed up my money. Or paid using my Travellers Cheques.
I did have a Spa massage here, it was good and the masseur was friendly but why wouldnt he be for the cash it cost! But he did a good job. Why I was charged $78 I dont know as I thought it was advertised in their leaflet as $65 for a head/shoulders massage for 30minutes. but still it didnt bother me too much.
A couple of exceptions to this are: Katherine the Concierge - one of the only people who treated us with respect and not as though we were beneath them. She was very helpful through out and if she is reading this - a big hello to you Katherine and thanks for all your help during our stay. 2ndly - the housekeeping. They did a great job with our room, we were a bit untidy as we had somuch stuff unpacked and presents bought from DC all over the place, they tidied up very well and it really looked wonderful when we came back from sightseeing. They were all very friendly and courteous and we chatted to them a few times and they always had a smile. I dont think this hotel appreciates how hard they work and the exceptional job they do.
I recommend theNew York Luncheonette for good breakfast nosh at a very cheap price. There are loads of good restaurants in the area if you want to walk out onto Lexington Avenue.
All in all, I would not come back to this hotel. My partner feels the same as me and despite the room being nice, they didnt take any notice of my requests. Despite what I have posted on TA, I think I did get the "priceline" room. This is a shame but I feel other priceline winners of this hotel should bear this in mind. You may not get "the best" room here. Its wrong totally if this is what they did and treat people differently but I do feel this is what happened and I looked forward so much to coming here.
I would not come back here and for 2009 not even sure I want to come back to NYC as a few times was questioned on whether my travellers cheques were genuine and not forgerys - even with a passport! Not really encouraging people to spend is it really.
Anyway, overall I did have quite a nice time but just will not stay on this side of town again, nor this hotel....(that is when I do come back to NYC).

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank yuna1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2008

Overall, my boyfriend and I loved The Benjamin. We picked this property because of its great reviews on Trip Advisor and its location. The location turned out to be excellent as it is close enough to everything, yet set off just enough to the side that it's less noisy and congested. Check in was a breeze and they left us a bottle of wine and strawberries in our room as it was our anniversary. Staff were very friendly and the concierge very helpful. We stayed in a Deluxe Studio Suite which was the perfect size and even had a small kitchen. Room decor was nice and the flat screen tv was a great touch. The bed was AMAZING! The best sheets ever. I had no problem sleeping with the street noise, but my bf did find it a little annoying and used earplugs. We got a free breakfast thru the package we booked, but otherwise breakfast in the hotel restaurant is ridiculously expensive. Who pays $7 for half a grapefruit?! Good news is there's a great cafe, Cafe Metro, just around the corner that serves really tasty, affordable breakfasts.

The only two downsides to the hotel...The elevators are super slow and quite frustrating. The hotel doesn't provide free internet, not even in the lobby or business centre. But, I believe they are changing this in the near future.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank NYC1stTime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2008

There are things I liked about this hotel, but the service issues really left me unimpressed with the property in general. My biggest problem was the inefficiency of the concierge.(just one lady in particular). I was travelling with my husband and 2 boys (6 and 9) for a vacation. I had e-mailed the concierge a week prior to our arrival to get details about top tourist attractions. I had asked about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tours. I was told to get tickets at Battery Park early in the morning. I also asked again about this tour when we arrived at the hotel. Well, we got to battery Park before 9 am (on a weekday) and were told that since we didn't have advanced reservations we would have to wait in line to get on a ferry. The line was unbelievably long and it turned out to be nearly a 2 hour wait. Why didn't the concierge tell me I could have purchased tickets in advance and not have to wait in any line!! This was really upsetting. When I asked at the desk upon our return that day, they said we don't sell the tickets! All they had to do was tell me via e-mail (when I inquired a week prior to my arrival) or when I arrived and asked that day!

The concierge also gave us incorrect directions via subway to get to the Museum of Natural History. She obviously had no clue that the B train doesn't run on Saturday. We waited quite a while until someone in the station told us it was never coming! Again, more wasted time! Not impressed!

I also called down to the concierge the night prior to our museum outing to find out what time it opened. She told me 10:30. Guess what, it opens at 10.

So, I called the hotel manager the day prior to our departure to express our displeasure. He never returned our call. Upon checkout, I told the clerk that I had left a message for the manager but was leaving New york. He assured me he would contact me at home. Well, I have been home nearly 2 weeks and nobody bothered to call.

Housekeeping also some issues. We came back to our room, around 5 pm after being out all day and it had been turned down. We still had to shower etc. before going out. I called and asked for fresh towels for the morning and the clock to be fixed, but it never happened.

The hotel itself is fine. The carpet in our room was dirty, but the bed was comfy. Water pressure was excellent. TV's also nice. Having the little kitchen was handy as well. I am not sure if I would stay there again, it wasn't cheap (400ish per night) given the level of service.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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Thank boyzrus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Benjamin

Address: 125 East 50th Street, at Lexington Avenue, New York City, NY 10022-9501
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#25 Green Hotel in New York City
#44 Family Hotel in New York City
#53 Romantic Hotel in New York City
#72 Business Hotel in New York City
#78 Luxury Hotel in New York City
Price Range: $218 - $564 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Benjamin 4.5*
Number of rooms: 209
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Midtown, The Benjamin offers 209 newly re-designed terrace suites, one-bedroom suites and guest rooms featuring kitchenettes and Signature Benjamin Beds. Originally designed as a residential-style hotel with wind-swept terraces to entertain, the Neo-Romanesque style edifice, a New York City Landmark, exudes the ambiance of a private club. The Benjamin was fully redesigned by Interior Designer Lauren Rottet and restyled in partnership with Benjamin Sleep Expert, Dr. Rebbeca Robbins, to bolster the residential appeal and create an ambiance of relaxed sophistication. Housed within the hotel is The National Bar & Dining Rooms with a menu of modern bistro dishes by Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. The Benjamin features a Pillow Menu and bedtime snacks. Families enjoy Winks' Kidzzz Club during their stay. Hotel Services Fee is $30 plus tax per room per night and provides you with $10 daily credit toward The National, Wireless Internet, 24/7 access to our Fitness Center. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Benjamin Hotel New York City
Benjamin New York City
Benjamin Hotel New York City

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