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“Closest hotel to Lincoln Center”
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #332 of 466 Hotels in New York City
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Closest hotel to Lincoln Center”
Reviewed January 20, 2012

Stayed at the Empire due to its close proximity (across the street!) to Lincoln Center as we had opera tickets. Took #1 train from NY Penn to 66th street station and walked to the hotel. We arrived at 3:30 on Saturday to a check-in line, and upon reaching the reception desk, we learned our room would not be ready for another hour unless we wanted a smoking room. No thanks. Other people also waiting in the lobby who must have had the same circumstances. Note to hotel: maybe reduce the # of smoking rooms and convert to non-smoking rooms? While waiting I enjoyed an $18 (with tax/tip) cocktail; would have been nice for Empire to pick up the tab on that one since check in time is supposed to be 3pm.

Room was finally ready and we had a room with 2 doubles though we reserved one queen. I was told this was an upgraded room. I like the soap in the bathroom and the rain shower is cool too. The 1/2 shower door is bizarre and must cost the hotel a lot in water repairs due to the damage it causes on the floor, which is clearly visible. Nice very white fluffy towels. Bathroom very small. The room's heater made odd clanking sounds all through the night, and there was a plentiful cold air supply from the draft coming from under the heater unit.

We had a tripadvisor rate which included continental breakfast for two. Breads, yogurt, oj, coffee, fruit which was sufficient for us. This is an $18 per person value. The do offer omelets and eggs, bacon, etc. in the restaurant as well.

I hope the hotel's management reads the reviews on here and sees a theme, and does something about the things that are repeatedly mentioned as issues. This place has potential to be rated as Excellent consistently.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank mizlori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2012
Dear mizlori,

On behalf of the Empire Team, I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your most recent stay with us. I do apologize for the delay you experienced in accessing your room after check in time. Please be assured I will be sharing your insight with our Director of Housekeeping to review and address accordingly. We do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Empire again in the near future.

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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English first
Reston, VA
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2012

A friend and I stayed at the Empire for 1 night. If you are going to NYC to see something at Lincoln Center you are right across the street which is great. But the room was tiny, the view was of an inner courtyard with nothing but brick walls and windows of other rooms, and the bed was hard as a rock. It was clean, the hallways were clean, but I cracked up when I saw that the bathroom was tiled in Pergo and the shower did not have a full door and the sink was really shallow and water splashed everywhere. NYC hotel rooms can be very small and this one definitely fit that category. I didn't see how this could be rated a 4 star hotel, it did not strike me as luxurious as I would expect. The staff were not exactly warm and fuzzy but I was only there for a night so it was no big deal. It's not bad overall but I have been in other 4 star hotels that were a lot better. The lobby was nice, but this is a very old building, one of the old style hotels like in the Bogart movies. I got a deal online but I would never pay full price to stay there. The room was also a hot box and the A/C was turned on the the room, which was kind of stuffy.

Room Tip: If you want a view be sure to ask in advance. Also, if you get hotel rooms off Hotwire you end up wi...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Zors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2012
Dear Zors,

As the Assistant General Manager of the Empire Hotel, I would like to sincerely apologize for the challenges you experienced during your most recent stay with us. Please be assured that I will be sharing your feedack with our Executive team to review and address with their respective departments. We do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back as our guest in the near future. I am confident we can do a better job providing you with the levels of service and accomodations that you deserve as our valuable guest.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Jersey
2 reviews
Reviewed January 19, 2012

Very hip & funky modern updates to this modern hotel. We absolutely could not have asked for a better location, and the employees very pleasant and unobtrusive. The bathrooms are tiny, but workable, and our room had a great view of Lincoln center, which is right across the street. We went to NY to see a play, and I almost booked a hotel closer to the theater, but I am glad we didn't - we were so close to Central Park, and had a great time exploring it while we were there. The theater was less than a mile, and it was an easy walk, with plenty to look at along the way. Our room was quiet and comfortable, but as other reviewers stated, the rooftop bar is very loud on the weekends. The rooftop is a real draw for 20 somethings - we went up to get a drink, and came right back down. My only complaint is that we thought we were getting a free breakfast (turned out I did not book that option), and it was very expensive and just okay, nothing special. My husband could not believe they used lunchmeat ham in his ham & cheese omelette. Plenty of cheaper options nearby.

Room Tip: Don't stay on the top floors unless noise doesn't bother you.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ICAPlane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2012
Dear ICAPlane,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your most recent stay with us. I am pleased to hear that our location and staff exceeded your expectations. Please be assured I will share your insight regarding brekafast with the General Manager of our restaurant to review. We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back to the Empire in the near future.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2012

First of all, I was super annoyed that they don't have a front door that automatically opens or even a door man! It was very annoying trying to prop open the door with luggage. Also, to the hotel employee who was cleaning the glass doors and who I thought was going to open the door for us, you suck for walking away!

Check-in was smooth but I was a little annoyed that we had to wait 5 minutes for the other check-in clerk to call us over even though he wasn't helping anyone. The lobby is really nice and a great place to hang-out. The elevators were also very fast. We ended up getting drinks at the bar and taken back by the automatic 20% gratuity! Our 5 drinks for two people ended up costing $160. The pouring of my $25/glass scotch doesn't warrant a $5 tip! Didn't get to check-out the roof top bar but heard dress code was pretty strict even for hotel guests.

Our room (#702) was tiny! Booked the room for $160 (including tax) through a promo so I wasn't much but the size disappointed. Also, TV reception was poor (there was static). Our room was nicely decorated and the "rain fall" open shower was nice. On TV check-out didn't work so we called the front desk and check-out was smooth.

The hotel is right next to central park and there's a Shake Shack about 5 blocks away. Also, wifi is like $13.

Before staying here we stayed at the Hampton Inn near the Empire State building which offered free breakfast, free wifi, and larger room for less money. I don't mind paying more for better service and amenities but this hotel is lacking in both categories.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2012
Dear Michael K,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback regarding your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. I am so disappointed to hear that we did not meet your expectations. I do hope you provide us with another opportunity to provide you with the enhanced levels of service you can come to expect from the Empire Hotel. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly if I may be of any assistance in the future.

Regards,

Jennifer Bald win
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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

Charleston, SC
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2012

After reading other's reviews I learned a great deal. First, it is wise to try and get this room for around $115 on Priceline.com (I stayed from 1/2- 1/6/2012).

The top floor is very warm, but the windows do open.

The bottom floor is cooler, but the "quiet" side away from the street is very noisy due to the HVAC units (ac/heat).

The showers do flood, the design is awful! The prices on food/drinks/other accoutrements are a bit pricey, even for NYC standards.

I requested a king size bed each day and received it; which made me really happy. The staff was very friendly. The roof top bar was a lot of fun. The location is very close to great shopping and Central Park.
My only major complaint was when the roof top bar closed, I had just bought an expensive liquor drink and was wanting to take it to my hotel room (bar is in the hotel, well on top of it) and the "guard" at the elevator in the lobby told me I could not take my drink. He refused to let me even finish it. I still have no clue why I could not take a drink I paid for in the hotel bar to my hotel room, this really annoyed me!! I chose not to stay there another night b/c of this and will look elsewhere in the future.

Room Tip: Higher floors are quieter, but warmer. Priceline.com offers great rates (when negotiating), we asked...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FreeSpiritAdventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2012
Dear Free Spirit Adventurer,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your most recent stay with us. Please be assured I will share your feedback regarding your experience at the Rooftop Lounge with their General Manager for review. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your king bed and do hope you will return to the Empire Hotel the next tiem your travels bring you to NYC.

Rgeards,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2012

My wife and I stayed for two nights in mid-January at the Empire Hotel. The check-in process took a while (as echoed by other reviews) and the staff was not particularly friendly, but not rude either. The room was small, but what I expected in NY. The bathroom, however, was impractical, especially the shower, with only half the enclosure. The heater was very noisy at night, prompting us to turn it off (in 19 degree weather) so we could get some sleep. Tried to call the concierge one evening probably a dozen times, and no one ever answered. On the plus side, awesome location and very comfortable beds.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jtashley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed January 17, 2012

My husband booked this hotel for my 30th birthday and we stayed here for 4 nights in January 2011. On arrival I was very impressed with the hotel and the reception staff who were very friendly checking us in quickly and offering great tips about visiting the city. I was pleasantly surprised to find our room more spacious than I had expected and I loved the decor. The queen sized bed was very comfortable. Although the bathroom was small it was clean and we had plenty of clean towels. The room was cleaned daily. This hotel is in a great location, we walked everywhere! Central Park is just minutes away. We ate at P.J.Clarke's on our last day, which is on the corner at this hotel and would recommend it. Overall we loved this hotel, would definitely return and would recommend without hesitation.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank LouB3009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 #332 of 466 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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