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“Unacceptable Security Breach and Poor Service”
Review of Refinery Hotel

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Refinery Hotel
Ranked #29 of 469 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 24, 2013

My husband and I recently stayed at the Refinery Hotel in New York (September 21-23) and the experience was horrible. I'll start with the worst of it...
The morning after we arrived, we went out early for coffee and shopping. When we returned to our room, our door was propped open. We walked into our room expecting housekeeping, but there was NOBODY in the room. We were dumbfounded, wondering if we had been robbed. We looked around the room for at least five minutes. As we were leaving the room to go to the front desk, a mini-bar attendant walked into our room. Apparently, she was restocking our mini-bar and just left our room open. At that point, she didn't even check our keys/ID's to make sure that we were even the legitimate occupants of the room!!! Fortunately, most of our valuables were in the safe and nothing was stolen. When we reported this incident to the front desk, we were told that the incident would be reported to a manager. We heard nothing further about it. I'm furious.
So, assuming this was a one time security faux pas made by a really stupid employee I would still give the hotel a very poor rating. When we checked in, the bellman took us to our room, I gave him a $10 tip, he asked if I needed anything else, I said "yes, ice please" and he said "there are ice machines on every floor" and then left. OMG! Then, the next day, after the security incident, our room was not serviced by housekeeping until after 4:00 pm when we finally asked why it had not been serviced. We had been out of the room most of the day, beginning at 9:00 am, giving them ample opportunity to have serviced the room.
Room service was another very bad joke. Our meal was delivered in take out cartons in a paper sack with plastic utensils. THIS ROOM WAS $400 (FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS) PER NIGHT!!!! The room was minuscule (even for New York). There was a king bed with less than two feet between the bed and the surrounding walls. The only good thing about the room was the comfortable bed and bed linens and a nicely tiled bathroom.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank Michelle C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2013

Thank you for your feedback, Michelle C. We apologize for this breach of your privacy and feeling of personal safety and can assure you it will never happen again. I apologize for any indifference you may have felt from our management team, but I know that they addressed this serious issue and continue to follow up on the improved protocol. We will certainly be taking your experience into account as we enhance our services.

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3,620 - 3,626 of 4,216 reviews

Reviewed September 23, 2013

My friends and I just stayed that this hotel. It was amazing. The hotel had an impressive interior. The staff was amazing. Ronaldo at the front desk made us feel like we were staying with family. Basha, another staff member, made sure we knew how to get to our destinations within the city.

This hotel is definitely a place I would return.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Katherine F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2013

Thank you, Katherine F. We deeply appreciate your taking the time to post and are so glad you had a pleasant and comfortable stay. We hope that you will be visiting us again soon.

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Reviewed September 23, 2013

This hotel has a unique atmosphere, which we loved as soon as we arrived. It's classy, friendly and ideally located. The roof top terrace is a lovely bonus for catching the sun, evening drinks or admiring the view.We will definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: Our room was at the back with a little traffic noise. Not sure if the front would have been better?
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank smcs_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2013

Thank you for your post, smcs_12. We look forward to your next stay with us.

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Reviewed September 22, 2013

We spent a week here in mid-September. My partner and I had been a planning an NY trip for ages, and The Refinery was a spur of the moment booking thanks to some pretty reasonable rates and generally positive reviews on here.
The location can't be faulted - just off 6th Avenue at 38th Street, with most major attractions all within a short walk, and the subway at 42nd Street/Bryant Park handily about 2 minutes away. We took the train to Penn Station from Newark and with bags fought through the evening rush hour on foot which wasn't all that pleasant! Our welcome was by friendly, if somewhat robotic, reception staff, and there didn't seem to be any forthcoming offer of having our bags taken up to the room for us, but this wasn't a big deal. The doormen were always friendly and helpful throughout our stay.
The room itself (the standard Queen room) was lovely - extremely comfy bed, gorgeous big bathroom/huge shower and of course the obligatory widescreen. Size-wise, a very decent square footage for NY, but a distinct lack of hanging/drawer space but we managed! Our safe was broken, and following a call to reception a new one was duly delivered and installed by some extremely chirpy staff with no fuss at all. It was always spotlessly clean and the maids do a sterling job.
The reason we'd come to New York (it turns out) was for my other half to propose to me, so there had actually been some email traffic going between them unbeknown to me! On reflection, the hotel didn't exactly exude the 'can-do' attitude you'd expect from a 5* property - nothing major but enough to notice...some confusion over whether we could get candles (you can't, it's an NYFD rule); point blank refusal to chill our champagne we'd brought (you had to buy their champagne); no follow up on the outcome of the proposal (but I suppose some would find that an intrusion). All understandable, and certainly nothing more than minor gripes.
We only visited the roof terrace a few times, and experienced similar issues to other guests which were all really to do with their staff (e.g. being met by a steely glare for daring to ask for my change). But it's a lovely spot and the views of the Empire State Building, especially at night, are worth the effort.
The onsite restaurant, Parker and Quinn, is extremely good and serves up slightly less than reasonably priced fare (although it is worth checking whether your rate includes breakfast or not).
Overall, this hotel is lovely, and I wouldn't hesitate to stay in it again. But it needs to make sure it doesn't completely out-cool itself at the expense of doing the basics properly - exceptional customer service has to be more than a plastic smile...and it's the truly personal touch that would take this hotel from very good to stratospheric.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank BA279
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2013

Thank you for your post, BA279--and congratulations! We will look forward to your next stay with us.

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Reviewed September 22, 2013

My mom and I stayed here for two nights in August 2013 to celebrate her birthday. We stayed in a studio room with two queen beds. The hotel is very nicely decorated - it is not decorated in the typical generic style of many chain hotels. My mom is an artist and she really appreciated the attention to detail in the design. When you enter the room, you have a variety of lighting options. The writing desk is very unique and has a little tray with full-size liquor bottles. They had glass cups rather than plastic. The beds were very comfortable and so were the bathrobes. On the first night, I had made a reservation at the rooftop terrace, but it was closed at the last minute, because a street festival had caused a disruption to business. We were a bit disappointed because we had seen the reviews and pictures of the rooftop and it was a selling point for us. However, when we came back that afternoon, they had placed a bottle of wine in our room, along with an apology note, and they had also turned on some jazz music. We really appreciated this gesture - and my mom was delighted. Also, I was not familiar with the garment district and was somewhat apprehensive about the location, but it turned out to be convenient to everything. Although we had breakfast there one day and it was very good, it was expensive, so the next morning we ate at Pret a Manger which is right next door - it is cheap, healthy, and great for people watching. Overall, a great place to stay for a special occasion.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LisaLisa354
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2013

We are happy that you had a pleasant stay with us, Lisa E. Thank you for your review, we hope you both will be returning to us soon.

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Reviewed September 22, 2013

I stayed at the Refinery with my daughters for 2 nights. Have been to NY several time and this is by far my favorite hotel. Rooms are clean and comfortable; the staff is amazing from the minute we arrived until it was time to go. We ate dinner at the restaurant; again great staff that made us very comfortable and the food was fantastic. I highly recommend this hotel. Thanks to everyone at the Refinery for making us feel so welcome and at home.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank lou67-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2013

We are always proud to be considered a favorite, lou67-7, and we look forward to your return visit.

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Reviewed September 20, 2013

My friend and I stayed for 4 nights 8/29-9/2. Our room was lovely and the bed extremely comfortable. The staff was attentive and helpful. The location was perfect. We walked everywhere because it was so convenient, but when we needed a cab, the doorman had it for us within seconds. The rooftop bar has a spectacular view and we had wonderful service and a great flat bread pizza during our visit there. The food and service in the restaurant was also excellent. Also loved the coffee bar in the lobby in the mornings. Thank you to everyone at the Refinery Hotel for a wonderful stay. This is our 6th year coming to NYC for The US Open and The Refinery Hotel really contributed to the wonderful time that we had.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Stacey P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2013

Your enthusiastic review is much appreciated, Stacey P--thank you for posting. We hope you will make a return trip soon.

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Additional Information about Refinery Hotel

Address: 63 West 38th Street, New York City, NY 10018-3818
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Garment District , Manhattan
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 469 Hotels in New York City
Price Range: $251 - $695 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Refinery Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 197
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