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“A mixed bag, but overall ok”
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #339 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Reviewed October 9, 2011

I traveled to NYC for business, and stayed here for one night. I selected this hotel solely based on proximity to my business meeting, figuring I could manage just about anything for one night.

First, the good. I was greeted upon check-in by Helena, who was very friendly and helpful. I was upgraded to a junior suite (I had a king room reserved; the jr suite adds a couch, chair, and coffee table), which I'm glad for, as I can't imagine what the size of a regular room would be given how small the junior suite was - but of course, small room size isn't a big surprise given the nature of the hotel. (The bathroom was also on the small size but very managable.) More plusses: the bed was very comfortable, and the shower had an overhead rain shower head with handheld attachment and great water pressure.

Now the bad. Now, I'm a self-admitted hotel snob, but generally if a place is clean, upkept, and modern, I'm fine with it. My room - well, it was literally worn around the edges, which I found somewhat offputting. The dressers, night tables, a side table, and cabinetry in the bathroom were laminated particleboard (not a problem in and of itself) but the laminate was worn down around ALL the edges and made the furniture, etc. look pretty shabby. The caulking in the bathroom was in desperate need of replacement - no mold or the like (thank goodness) but just plain worn and ugly. One of the floor lamps was missing the knob to turn it on - it had just the small post the knob goes on, making it tricky to turn on. Also, there was no bathmat in my bathroom - I had to use a hand towel. Sure I could have called about the last two items, but I was there working and really did not wish to be disturbed.

One final point - others have commented on the lack of a coffee maker in the room. This is indeed the case, but there is a Starbucks literally next door to the hotel, so no in-room coffee wasn't so bad.

Overall, my experience was ok. I would stay there again if it was conveniently located to where I needed to be in NYC as it was this past trip. Otherwise, I don't think I'd go out of my way to stay here.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled on business
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2  Thank SLO_Reviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empiregmanager, General Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2011

Dear SLO Reviewer,

Thank you for your review of your recent stay at the Empire Hotel. As the General Manager of the Hotel,
I am pleased to hear that Helena provided you with an upgrade and a high level of service upon arrival. I appreciate your feedback regarding the condition of the furniture in your suite and will be sharing your feedback with my Executive Team to address accordingly. I look forward to welcoming you back to the Empire Hotel in the near future.

Regards,

David McManus

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,434 - 5,440 of 6,398 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2011

I stayed here at end of Sept not out of choice. The hotel is only two star quality.
Firstly they put me in a room on the top floor that smells of chlorine coming from the pool on the roof.
Then I get moved to another room - paint chiped etc. Towels, bath mat never replaced during week long stay. I had only one bath mat once during a full week's stay. Wardrobe only hung mens shirts eg not long enough to hang a dress.
I put dry cleaning out twice early and called to advise in the AM. TWICE I returned to find the dry cleaning still in my room and they hadn't collected.. and they still CHARGED by bill for this.
Front desk not helpful and I asked for an umbrella one day and was happy for it to be charged to my room - they just said they don't have any period. What type of hotel has such poor level of service???
I would never recommend anyone staying here.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled on business
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4  Thank LDNNYC11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empiregmanager, General Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2011

Dear LDNNYC11;

Thank you for your feedback on your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. As the General Manager of the Hotel, I would like to personally apologize for the challenges you experienced. Please be assured that I have shared your feedback with our Executive Team to address your concerns within their respective Departments. Please contact me at the Hotel to discuss your experience in greater detail. I look forward to hearing from you and hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Empire in the near future.

Regards,

David McManus

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Reviewed October 6, 2011

I was most surprised at the size of our rom. It was quite spacious especially by New York standards. My only real complaint was that there was not a coffeemaker in the room. Otherwise the bed was quite comfortable. The personal products were upscale and plentiful. Zackat the front desk could not have been more accommodating. A very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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Thank kelsbeth60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2011

Being fortunate enough to travel to the city for business about every seven weeks, I'm so glad that I've found The Empire Hotel. In a time when PERSONAL relationships with customer and businesses has gone away, it's just not the case at this hotel. Upon arrival I'm alway greeted with a warm smile and "Welcome Back". Zuli at the front desk ALWAYS recognizes me and shows her appreciation for my continued loyalty to the hotel and does her best to always ensure that my stay is as wonderful as possible! The location is perfection, clearly!!! Room service menu is always delicious and the staff very friendly and courteous. I'm looking forward to my next visit already
DM Louden

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Loudenclr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2011

I checked in Friday 9/30/2011 and was pleasantly surprised that the room was ready. When I went to take a shower at 4, no toiletries or towels and a leaking shower. Called the front desk, explained the problem, was transferred to housekeeping with a promise that engineering would be notified. Housekeeping arrived in 15 minutes. I left the room and returned at 11:00pm to a leaking shower that annoyed me all night long. When I left on Saturday around 1:00pm - still leaking. And when I returned at 5 it had been fixed BUT my window was open!!! Why? Well apparently engineering or housekeeping needed to smoke as their was a match and a cigarette on the sill outside my window(see photos). Appalling!!! No I didn't write the Empire as they totally ignored the email I sent prior to arriving. Customer service is not a priority in this hotel. Very very disappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank lizzycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2011

We were staying on business and needed a room with 2 beds, for 3 people. Reservations was very helpful and told us a few rooms had 2 queen beds, but most had two doubles. Later, in requesting a room from the front desk we found out the double bed rooms had a much better view, so we requested that.
Upon arrival, we were checked into one, which was dirty. We said we would wait for it to be cleaned, but were put in another room - on the 11th floor. This had 2 doubles, but faced the interior space - an awful view. Not wanting to make a 3rd trip to the desk, we kept the room. The room ended up being REALLY LOUD - right next to the elevator. I now believe it is probably the last room they sell, as it really is almost unbearable.
Also, the elevators did not work very well. They were never all operating, and often stopped on random floors.
We requested a late check-out. We were told we could have 12:30pm - a half hour later than normal check-out time. Shortly after noon, we returned to the room and our key card would not work. Not wanting to take the long trip to the front desk, I called the front desk from my cell phone for help. I was told the bellmen were busy, and would have to go to the desk. On our way down, we shared the elevator with another guest who was experiencing the same situation. The desk had no record of our late check-out, and as with our other interactions, could not have cared less.
As for the rooms, they did not have enough lights, but were nicely decorated and clean. The tiny bathroom had a shower stall with a partial glass wall, but the door was missing, so water got all over the floor.

Room Tip: don't stay in 1111
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled on business
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3  Thank jbwheat4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2011

Dear jbwheat4,

As the Assistant General Manager of the Empire I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your most recent stay with us. I sincerely apologize for the inconveniences you experienced while a guest at our Hotel and you can be assured I will be sharing your posting with our Executive Team to address within their individual departments. I do hope you will reconsider and return to the Empire as our guest in the near future. Your experience is not representative of the levels of service we strive to provide our guests and we are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin

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Reviewed October 2, 2011

We really, really wanted to believe the nice and positive reviews on this hotel; we were going to be stuck staying there because we booked on Hotwire.
Turns out the bad ones are accurate. And we will never use Hotwire again.
The hotel is at best a two star; it has too many deficiencies to be ranked any higher.
It seems to be - from the remnants of its previous life (an old AC unit, painted door jams) - to be a cheap slap some paint and put up some wallpaper reno of a dump.
We were the victim of their bait and switch program - get a room through Hotwire, get put into a closet that overlooks the dumpster, complain and agree to an upgrade for $50 to $100 / nite, We saw the list when we changed rooms - there were a dozen others who got taken by this (and they screwed up the room move).
The list is long. No towels, wet comforter and pillows when we arrived back in the room at 4 pm, no sheet under the comforter, no coffee maker, a rusted filthy AC unit, no breakfast restaurant.
Maybe worst was the subject of the most apologies from hotel staff - the hotel rents the roof top bar to other people who employ rude thugs as doormen. These morons seem to enjoy bothering every hotel guest they can every chance they get. And coming home from dinner every night, the front lobby area was blocked by patrons of the roof top bar.
Horrible experience.

Room Tip: Not worth the quoted price - chisel them down to about 250 or go elsewhere.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank BrianLFrench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2011

Dear brianl,

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback on TripAdvisor regarding your most recent stay at the Empire. I sincerely apologize for any miscommunication you may have received regarding the room type you booked. We have several different room types and configurations at the Empire which provides us with an opportunity to offer our guests that book thru a third party the option to upgrade their room if they wish. With that being said, I have to respectfully disagree with your assessement of any "bait and switch" tactics being conducted by any member of our team. Please be assured I will communicate your challeneges with the Rooftop Security Team to the GM of the rooftop lounge to address accordingly. I do hope you will consider returning to the Empire Hotel as our guest in the future. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at the property if I may be any assistance or if you would like to discuss your stay in greater detail. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Empire Hotel

Address: 44 West 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10023-7029
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 #339 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Price Range: $132 - $432 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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