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“Gorgeous Boutique Hotel - Very, very small rooms” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #318 of 464 Hotels in New York City
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Gorgeous Boutique Hotel - Very, very small rooms”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2011

The Empire Hotel is a GORGEOUS hotel. The Valet and front desk staff were super helpful and friendly. The first floor bar area and Mezzanine level were dark and sexy yet inviting. The rooms are clean and updated but as small as a closet.

I stayed with a girlfriend in a double and let's just say that if my husband had been with me, I still would have felt crowded!

The bathrooms are also small and have an open shower door that gets water all over the floor. We couldn't figure out that design snafu.

Other than that, the area is great (Upper West Side, right next to Lincoln Center) and the Columbus Circle subway station is about four blocks away. There is a Starbucks on the corner as well as several stores where you can get sandwiches, coffee, drinks, etc.

Since the rooms were small, and there was free Wifi in the lobby, I spent quite a few nights working on the Mezzanine level, and enjoyed it immensely. The bar area downstairs gets more crowded as the week goes on but it was never overcrowded. It was easy and relaxing to get work done any day of the week.

The "look" of this hotel is so beautiful and the furnishings are so modern that I ended up doing a photo shoot for a friend while I was there (until Management stopped me!)

They have a bar on their roof, which is a very popular place to hang out. I've seen episodes of The New York City Housewives where they filmed at that bar and apparently Kim Kardashian has also stayed at this hotel.

If you want a gorgeous, boutique hotel experience, and don't mind a super small room, then The Empire Hotel is the place for you!

Room Tip: All the rooms are small...
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mj W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,461 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Indianapolis
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2011

When we saw the hotel and the area. We were initially excited until we had to deal with the customer service. First of all, I would highly recommend not booking a room at Empire through one of the cheap hotel sites, or priceline.com, or hotels.com. First, after booking a room for 3 people, we were told that we were reserved for a Queen standard room, with one bed, we told them that we needed double beds and the worker informed us that we would have to pay an extra $100 for our room if we wanted a room with double beds, because they had nothing available. After realizing that we were not going to budge, she then said, we do have a double bed room in the smoking area. We suffer from some breathing issues, but in order to be comfortable, we had to take the room. We were told that we did not have Wifi because our hotel rate did not include free wifi. There was an evening I had an important event to attend and when I was going to take a shower, there were no wash clothes. We called 4 times and did not receive the towels. By this time it had been well over an hour and I had to wash up with my hands and soap. This was one of the worse hotel experiences I have ever had and I did not realize that booking a hotel through one of the discounted web sites would result in us not receiving all the amenities that we would have received if we had paid the regular price. The rooms are small and you can hear everything outside of the rooms.

Room Tip: Do not pay attention to the locations, pay attention to the quality of service.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Davena L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, December 23, 2011
Dear Davena L,

As the Asisstant General Manager of the Empire Hotel, I sincerely appreciate you providing us with your feedback on yoru most recent stay with us. I apologize for the inconveniences you experienced and would appreciate the opportuntiy to discuss your stay in great detail. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at the Hotel. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

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

Travelers are raving about these New York City hotels

Washington, District of Columbia, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2011

Stayed here on a one-night trip to NYC, 12/15/2011-12/16/2011. Basically this place has terrible climate and plumbing control, amounting to a huge hassle and disappointment.

1) Our first room was on the 11th (top) floor, and it didn't take long for us to realize it was SWELTERING in there! Despite pawing around for thermostat and other temperature controls, we could not find the control for the heating unit. Upon calling the front desk, we spoke with an engineer who came up to the room and explained that since we were on the top floor, we were getting all the radiant heat from "all the steam pipes" above us on the roof. He said there was nothing that could be done, except move us to another floor.

Our only other options were the 4th floor (designated "SMOKING" - really? in the 21st century?) and the 1st floor. At this point it was midnight and we said the 1st floor would be fine. Schlepping down to Room 107, we unloaded all of our bags and settled in a few hours later for the night...

2) Except, it was awfully hard to settle in with the CONSTANT CLANGING OF THE A/C (yes, A/C) unit throughout the night. It was a distinct metal sound that could be heard loudly throughout the room. It woke us up every hour on the hour throughout the night. Only after getting up and fiddling with the A/C and eventually unplugging the unit were we able to get some rest. (Later, when we mentioned this to the hotel staff, they curiously asked us if we were sure we hadn't been hearing the sound of the "elevator" down the hall... um, yes, we know what an elevator sounds like... and it's definitely not he sound of metal clanging inside an A/C unit located approximately 10 inches from your head, thanks to the small size of the rooms!)

SO MUCH FOR A GOOD NIGHT'S REST.

3) The next morning, I woke up and hopped into the shower, hoping to stay on schedule to catch our departure at 9:30AM. Strangely, the hot water didn't seem to be coming on in the shower. Fiddled with the dial, changing it at 15-20 degree (out of 360 degree) intervals, but the water only seemed to be cold and colder. After **12** minutes, warm water and eventually hot came out of the spigot... by this time, I was ready to resort to a sponge bath in order to make it out of there on time.

Bottom line, if you're looking for a hassle-free accommodation, Empire's not going to make the cut. Having lived in New York for a number of years, I can attest that this place does not live up to the competitive pace and standards expected of a four-star hotel in a world-class city.

Room Tip: Anywhere but the top floor. Fourth floor is smoking.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2011

My husband and I stayed here in early November. The location is across from Lincoln Center, a subway stop and a bus line. Couldn't be better for getting around town. Liked the fact that we weren't in the mix/near Times Square and could escape to a real neighborhood. Lots of really good restaurants. Cafe Ronda on Columbus Ave ROCKS! Didn't have much interaction with the staff except check in and check out, but they were competent and friendly enough.

The shower is CRAZY! Be sure to check to see which way the hand held is facing before turning it on. Our last day nearly flooded the bathroom.

One thing that I found annoying, was that ice could only be gotten through room service. Silly if you ask me!

The hotel stay was a gift from a friend and they Pricelined it so I don't know the final bid. If I could get a decent rate, would probably stay again, just for the location.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank munchkins7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, England
Level Contributor
125 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2011

Stayed four nights. Was allocated a room on first floor. Air con units right outside window. Romeo gave us complimentary breakfasts so it felt churlish to complain.

Superb location.

One little tip. We required tranport to the Cruise port at Bayonne, New Jersey. The concierge quoted $124. We asked the bell boys and they got us a limo for $80 including tolls and tip.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TrickyTree14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
169 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2011

Dark,dank, not kept up, tiny rooms, needs overhaul, 2 star at best, never return

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Harris14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, December 23, 2011
Dear Harris 14,

Thank you for providing us with your feedback on your recent stay at the Empire Hotel. I sincerely apologize for any inconveniences you experienced during your time as our guest. As your post does not provide me with specific details regarding your concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at the Hotel to discuss in greater detail. I look forward to having the opportunity to speak to you regarding your experience.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2011

Not really, but apparently it could happen at the Empire Hotel. You see, they were filming Gossip Girl in the lobby and in front of the hotel today. I had called down early for a 1pm checkout (rather than noon), and Don told me that that would be fine -- 1pm was the latest I could check out without additional payment -- I thanked him. At 5 minutes after 12 noon, the housekeeper ignored my "Do Not Disturb" sign and knocked -- I told her I had a 1pm checkout. I was rushing now, having to go to the post office to mail a box, pause and be quiet on the first floor while filming was going on, then rush back to meet the 1pm deadline. At 12:30pm, my key would not let me back into my room. I hurried down to get a new key, paused outside the elevator again with others until we heard "Cut," got a new key, then raced upstairs to pack up. At 12:45pm, the housekeeping supervisor ignored my "Do Not Disturb" sign and knocked to see if I was ready to leave -- I told her that I had a 1pm checkout and asked whether housekeeping was advised of late checkouts -- she said 'No" and apologized. I finished up, and was waiting for the elevator at 5 minutes to 1pm when I heard a knock at the end of the hall, followed by the now familiar "Housekeeping," followed by the comment "We just need a couple of minutes more." I'm Platinum Marriott and Gold Radisson and am away from home over 100 nights a year -- Does the Empire Hotel really believe this is the way to attract repeat business?

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank screenwriter2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, December 23, 2011
Dear screenwriter 20116,

Thank you for providing us with your feedback regarding yoru most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. From your post, it sounds as though you were our guest during our latest taping of the Gossip Girl television show. I sincerely apologize for the challenges you experienced upon departure but do hope to welcome you back to the Empire the nxt time your travels bring you to NYC. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at the property if I may be of any assistance in the future.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
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
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 #318 of 464 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. ... more   less 
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