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“Injured in the room by faulty hardware, ignored by staff”
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #340 of 467 Hotels in New York City
Glenview
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Injured in the room by faulty hardware, ignored by staff”
Reviewed June 9, 2011

I have stayed in the Empire many times over the past several years and have recommended it to many other people (parents of other Juilliard Students). Unfortunately, due to the very poor design of the bathrooms and some faulty hardware I left the second morning of my stay(and had to manage walking all day)with a black eye and a very sore (possibly broken) and swollen toe. Every contact I had with managerial staff, including general manager David McManus, was ignored. This was extremely frustrating and discouraging. I can no longer recommend this hotel. If you have any difficulties they will ignore you........

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JShinbrood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2011

This hotel is one of my top faves in the city. The staff was so pleasant and accommodating during our stay there. The rooms were amazing and loved the rooftop bar. You also cannot beat the location......AMAZING! Will be returning very soon! :)

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JenCasselli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, June 9, 2011
Dear JenCasselli,

On behalf of the entire Empire Team, I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on yoour most recent stay with us. We are so pleased to hear our staff and location exceeded your expectations. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Empire in the near future!

Sincerely,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston-Salem, NC
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2011

This hotel does have a few nice features - great location, nice lobby/2nd floor lounge area, and lovely L'Occitane bath products. Unfortunately, the negatives outweighed the positives during my stay.

The very narrow hallways with dark wallpaper were off-putting from the start. I was not expecting a large room, but was suprised to find such a small room with such minimal space surrounding the bed. Although the TV was nice, I would've preferred a desk upon which I could do my work. A leisure traveler might not have any problems with this, but between the lamp, TV, and tray of items for purchase on the small desk, I had no room to work on my small laptop. The brick wall view only emphasized the small, dark, cramped feeling of the room. In addition, the bathroom was not well cleaned upon my arrival and towels and bath products were not replenished. I am not a light sleeper, but the loud, outdated A/C woke me up every time it kicked on.

I found the front desk and conceirge staff to be quite rude on my first night. I had spoke with the staff on another night, and found these ladies to be very warm and friendly. It seems the service is inconsistent.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank heidib13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, June 8, 2011
Dear heidib13,

As the Assistant General Manager of the Empire Hotel, I would like to thank you for taking the time to providue us with feedback on your most recent stay with us. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed our location, beautiful lobby space and our our amenities but disappointed to read of your challenges with the room layout and a few members of our team. Please be assured I will be addressing your concerns with our staff. I would like to sincerely apologize for any inconvenience these issues may have caused you during your time with us. I do hope you will consider returning to the Empire in the near future. I know we can do a much better job of exceeding your expectations.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these New York City hotels

Austria
1 review
Reviewed June 6, 2011

First of all: We've been a bit concerned because of some negative reviews here, but all we can say now: We cannot confirm them at all.

We've been in New York City from 05/28 until 04/06 to celebrate our 10th anniversary and we are so happy to chose Empire Hotel for our stay. The location is perfect - Central Park almost in front of the door, two subway stations nearby and not to forget Lincoln Center directly aside. The staff is very kind and helpful. Our room was available immediately and clean & definitely big enough (we've also got a "real" closet !?). The view was'nt stunning (backyard :-)) but HELLO? You're in New York!! Who needs a perfect view from the room with so many things to see & do outside? You also won't hear the sound of the air conditioner in the backyard after the second day.

Summarized: We'll come back damn sure!!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Isa_0908
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, June 8, 2011
Dear Isa_0908,

Thank you for providing us with your review on TripAdvisor. As the Assistant General Manager of the Empire Hotel, I believe the ultimate compliment is referring to our property as "Home"! We are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your 10th anniversary and look forward to having you back for your 11th!

Warm regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poughkeepsie, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2011

Summary: A few things about this hotel were acceptable, but most of our stay was nightmarish. Tiny room, dirty, broken bathroom, treated like a criminal at check-in for using Priceline. I've never received service this bad, even from the DMV or homeland security. If they promise you something (like a room) over the phone, make sure you keep a recording.

Background ( Summary: we got the hotel room for a few hours on a Saturday morning. The booking was for the night before. I called them to ensure that this would be acceptable. I should have recorded the call.)
We had a rough red-eye coming into JFK at 6AM on a Saturday (the weekend before memorial day weekend), and I wanted to give my in-laws a chance to take a nap. Our hotel didn't have check-in until 4pm, so I went on priceline to get a hotel room for a couple of hours. I got the Empire Hotel, with a reservation for the day before (which would, of course, include that Saturday morning, until checkout). I called upon receiving the reservation to confirm that we could check-in 12 hours late, on Saturday morning, and was told that of course I could, though the person I spoke to seemed to think my couple-of-hour stay was a little weird. I also confirmed that we would have non-smoking rooms (I have an allergy). I thought I was all set, and had assured a few hours of rest...

We arrived, totally exhausted, around 9 AM that Saturday (flight delay + traffic). Upon arrival, we were informed that our rooms were no longer available, since we hadn't checked in the day before. When I told them that I had called and made arrangements, the front desk worker asked who I spoke to. I told her that I didn't have the person's name, and from that point forward, was treated like I was trying to pull one over on them, although they had our reservation in their systems. After being told that the worker would have to check with her manager, I asked to speak with that manager. The manager was even less respectful than the clerk, demanding that I produce my priceline confirmation email (again, they had our original reservation still in their system), and proceeding to read through the 3-page terms and conditions on my phone, as though looking for a way out of their committment. Failing that, they put us in a converted broom closet whose floor plan had no more than half a foot between the wall and the bed at any point, save a desk and the bathroom (for reference, the JFK Airport LaQuinta inn's cheapest room was easily double the space). This was after an hour (or 1/3 of our stay, by the time we got there) spend arguing at the front desk.

It's acceptable for them to use Priceline to assure occupancy. It's also acceptable for them to treat Priceline customers as second-class citizens. It's totally unacceptable for them to do both at the same time.

As for the room itself:

I've already mentioned the size. The furnishing were about what you'd expect at this price point, and had clearly been updated within the last decade. My room didn't have a dresser / drawers, but yours probably will. My room had a comibnation half-closet and mini-bar, hopefully yours would have a full closet.

The bathroom was pretty dirty (tip to the maids: Sometimes you have to actually scrub the toilet to remove excrement - it didn't take us very long (though it was pretty gross)). The shower was done up to look like a sauna, which was a little weird. The shower apparatus itself was basically broken (It had a lot of sliding parts designed to allow you to adjust it, but it had been broken to the point where it only worked if you turned it away from the person being showered, and held it up in one hand. Combined with low water pressure, this was a tricky manuever (watch out for sharp edges on broken shower parts, too!). The poor bathroom, wooden floor, and sleep deprivation reminded me of the morning after the last night of summer camp, although the bed was nicer (and we didn't have a minibar at camp).

We used their valet service, and kept our car there until the next morning. It was pretty efficient and convenient, although if you've got the time, you can some money by just going to a parking garage.

Our next hotel had a 30-person check-in line when we arrived, and it still took less than half the time to check in, and no one even implied that I was scamming them.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rmessing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empiregmanager, General Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, June 8, 2011
Dear rmessing,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. As the General Manager, I am disappointed to hear of your experience and would like to apologize for any inconvenience this caused you and your family. I can assure you that we value and appreciate all our guests no matter how their reservation was booked. I do hope you will consider returning to the Empire the next time your travels bring you to NYC so we may provide you with the levels of service you deserve as our valuable guest.

Sincerely,

David McManus
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merzig, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 3, 2011

Nice tiny rooms with an excellent service at the counter. The rooms were equiped with HD TV. The service was excellent but the air condition was very loud but necessary in this building. The hotel is in a very good spot only 2 minutes from the subway Columbus Ave. Only 2 stations away from the times square and directly at the central park. So therefore this hotel is an ideal location for jogging in the central park

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank simon-pske
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empiregmanager, General Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, June 8, 2011
Dear simon - pske,

Thank you for your glowing review of the Empire Hotel on TripAdvisor. As the General Manager, I couldn't agree more that our team provides incredible service and our location is ideal. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Empire in the neaar future.

Sincerely,

David McManus
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2011

We discovered The Empire Hotel online, accidentally ... it's wonderful! I was so impressed that this beautiful building is right at Lincoln Center (great location) and beautifully maintained. The sleeping rooms were a model of "everything thought out -- and well" -- it's not a lot of space (this is NYC, after all), but EVERYTHING is there, and it's comfortable and pretty. We loved the fresh flowers, the beautiful design of the lobby, the great food in The Chowder House restaurant. But the strongest thing about this hotel is the people who work there. They are, in our experience, to a person, kind, thoughtful, friendly and helpful. I travel for a living, so I experience a lot of hotels all over the world. This one is truly impressive. And the price we paid was MUCH less than I would have expected to pay for all this. Here's hoping The Empire is able to stay just the way it is!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lenann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empiregmanager, General Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, June 8, 2011
Dear Lenann,

WOW!!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to provide us with your incredible feedback on your most recent stay with us. We are very proud of our Team here at the Empire and their ability to exceed our guest's expectations! We look forward to welcoming you back to the Empire the next time your travels bring you to NYC.

Warm regards,

David McManus
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Empire Hotel

Property: Empire Hotel
Address: 44 West 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10023-7029
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Upper West Side , Manhattan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #340 of 467 Hotels in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Empire Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 426
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on our own private corner of West 63rd Street between two legendary New York City landmarks - Lincoln Center and Central Park - this boutique NYC hotel provides luxury accommodations overlooking the Broadway / Columbus Avenue - the gateway to the Upper West Side. Location is essential to the spirit of the Empire Hotel and the interior motif and design is inspired by the earth tones of Central Park and the stately modernism of Lincoln Center. 426 Deluxe guest rooms and suites, WiFi, Pool Deck open seasonally, Ed's Chowder House Restaurant, Rooftop Lounge, Lobby bar. Fun fact, The Empire Hotel was featured in Gossip Girl. Join us for a Chuck Bass cocktail in the Lobby Bar. ... more   less 
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