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“Lovely Facility” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #315 of 467 Hotels in New York City
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Lovely Facility”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2012

I work in New York, do a lot of travel in and out, and usually stay at the Four Seasons. Checking my calendar I saw that I'd forgotten to book a hotel for a month long stay and my hotel of choice was booked up for the first two nights. Happily, I found that the Empire had an amazing deal on a suite from Expedia for the two nights in question and I booked about three days ahead. The location is great--right next to Lincoln Center, close to the park, etc. The hotel is beautiful, my room was enormous and since I had a corner suite, I had amazing views of Columbus Circle. The lobby is chic and stylish and inviting. The facility itself is great.

My issue was with the staff of the hotel. Granted, it was the middle of Fashion Week. Granted, I'm just a lowly guest who paid for a room for two nights through a third party service. However, being reminded of these things by the staff of the front desk is really bizarre (including a really awkward moment when the man behind the counter said, "Well, you're obviously not a Fashion Week-er so...." before drifting off, and abruptly turning to a different customer who had also been waiting at the counter). Apparently appearing as if I was a country bumpkin I was condescendingly told, "It must be so fun for you to see what models and fashion people look like up close!" (Word for word.) I was kept waiting for my room for two hours after check-in time with the excuse of, "It's Fashion Week." The hotel was incredibly noisy because, "It's Fashion Week." Room service was slow because "There are VIP guests because it's Fashion Week." I get it--it's Fashion Week. However, if you're so busy because of Fashion Week, maybe don't have rooms still available on a moments notice (after Fashion Week had started, no less) or, perhaps, don't allow bookings from those who (you think) aren't attending Fashion Week? I knew it was Fashion Week before I arrived since (shock) I actually work for a fashion magazine and (double shock) wasn't just there to shop at the suggested Gap and Banana Republic. (Thanks, guy at the front desk, for the super duper awesome suggestions!)

Other random things: housekeeping doesn't care if the "do not disturb" sign is on the door and will enter anyways; housekeeping also closes the doors when they clean which seems like an enormous security issue to me; my neighbor's room service trays were left in the hallway over 24 hours; there was a chip bag in the toilet when I arrived; the french fries from room service were AMAZING even though the caesar salad was wilted; there's an "Intimacy Kit" available for $38 so don't let your kids rifle through the stuff available for purchase sitting on the desk; the windows actually open which might be really pleasant if the weather is nice; free copies of WWD out in the lounge was a really nice touch, though I'm going to assume it was just for Fashion Week; the TV (at least in my room) was whatever the equivelant of terrible definition is; the men working the door are quick, competant and friendly; if you have to wait two hours after check-in for your room, you'll be offered a drink in the lounge....which you will end up paying for yourself; possibly the attitude of the staff is kind of an ambiance thing for people who want that true nobody-cares-about-you city service--perhaps they're supposed to be acting that way!

The best part of the Empire is the hotel itself--beautiful and comfortable. I would absolutely suggest getting a suite if one is available and mine was far enough away from everything that it was incredibly quiet despite lots of noise down the hall. Judging from other reviews, I think this is one hotel where it really pays to upgrade if you can. I wouldn't suggest bringing children and I wouldn't suggest coming here if it's your first time to the city or if you're just planning to tourist it up during your stay. If you're uncomfortable with a condescending staff or if you need city guidance, this hotel is also probably not for you. Stay here if you love the area, are comfortable with New York already, need a romantic get away where you won't be leaving the room, or you know, if you're in town for Fashion Week.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank anijean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, February 27, 2012
Dear anijean,

As the Assistant General Manager of the Empire Hotel, I would like to apologize for the challenges you experienced during your most recent stay with us. While Fashion Week is a very busy time at the Empire Hotel, it should never be an "excuse" for not providing the highest levels of service to all our guests. If anything, it should enhance our team's ability to identify guest's needs and ensure that eveyone feels comfortable during their stay. From your posting, I get the sense that this was not the case, and for that I am truly sorry. Please be assured I will be sharing your feedback with our Executive team as a training tool so we can ensure this does not occur again. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you would like to discuss your experience in greater detail or if I may be of any further assistance. I do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Empire the next time your travels bring you to NYC.

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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5,591 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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English first
Miami Lakes, Florida, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2012

from the people to the room to the food and location was excellent. I would recommend to anyone visiting the big apple.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alex H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2012

This hotel was great! Miriam was so wonderful, she really took care of us and made sure that we were well taken care of.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Holly P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2012

We could enjoy all the fun of the city walking from the hotel: central park, theater, upper west side , Lincoln center.... Hotel felt classic and hip with a rooftop night club and pool . Both restaurants were excellent. Boutique feel. Very comfortable. Very satisfied.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank time2travelsiempre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, February 13, 2012
Dear timetotravelsiempre,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your valuable feedback on your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. As the Assistant General Manager of the Hotel, I am so pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay and had an opportunti to appreciate our amazing location. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Empire Hotel the next time your travels bring you to NYC.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
100 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2012

Older hotel in a good location right by Lincoln Center and a subway stop (Route 1 train). There are some nice restaurants within a block, as well as a movie theatre across the street. I booked via Priceline for 1 night and was alone, so the tiny room was adequate for me but certainly not for a couple. The room was clean with updated decor and a good heating system, but I did have to get the low water pressure fixed, and lighting is not good if you need to work at a desk.

Lobby looked great but there was a bad odor around the elevator bank on the Sunday I checked in. It was gone Monday when I checked out but I've not run into that issue before at a big hotel.

NET: I would not seek out this hotel but it's certainly adequate with a good price deal.

Room Tip: Room 101 is small and has a view of a wall.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RFJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, February 13, 2012
Dear RFJ,

As the Assistant General Manager of the Empire Hotel, I would like to thank you for your feedback on your most recent stay with us. I am pleased to hear that your enjoyed our location and all the Empire has to offer our guests. Please be assured we have several room types that I am confident would exceed your expectations during your next stay with us. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly 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.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2012

First, a week before we stayed at the Empire I had done a web search to research the cool things about the area around the hotel and the hotel itself. As I was reading I came upon a great deal that was 130.00 less than I paid through the hotel website. I called the hotel to discuss this and suggested I cancel my reservation with them and rebook through this other internet site. The lady I spoke to on the phone was very nice and said no need, she would adjust it. Very nice and I thanked her. Weeeellllll, when I arrived they charged me the original price and when I explained, the lady at the front desk looked me straight in the eye and said, "prove it". I had no proof on me because the lady on the phone had assured me it was no problem at all. She said I could be lying and unless I had proof the price was as is. I didn't want to get in an argument so left but it really bothered me. I was dumbfounded. I have never been talked to like that before in NYC. People are usually so nice.I finally did go back and when the same lady saw me she didn't even say anything and just pointed for me to talk to another guy. I did and explained again and he changed the price within 2 minutes. The whole thing was embarrassing and time consuming. I have stayed in NYC 6-8 times a year for the last 6 years and every other hotel has been really nice. The way the front desk talked to me really took me off guard.

Then we get to our tiny drab room. I am use to NY boutique hotels and don't expect a big room so was OK, but the heater was broken(I was relieved to see others mention this) and I know our room was 90 degrees. This was in January 2012. It snowed that night and it felt like it was a sweltering hot summer night. I couldn't find a thermostat so decided to deal with it when we got back from dinner. At 11:00 my husband and daughter went to Sleep No More and I went to relax in the room. It was soooo hot. I called the front desk and they told me to open the heater and turn it down from the inside and if that didn't work to find the extension cord under the unit and unplug it. Well the knob on the inside of the heater didn't work at all so I had to unplug it which sparked and believe it or not it still was putting out a tiny bit of heat. I called to see if I could get a fan and after 1/2 hour a maintenance man showed up looking embarrassed with a tiny plastic fan that was duct taped together. So I put the fan on the bedside table and slept on top of the bed(no top sheet on the bed...yuck). When my husband got in at 3am his first words were, "whoa it is hot in here!".

Also, if you plan on going to the rooftop bar check ahead of time. There was a private party the night we were there and we couldn't go up. The lobby bar was nice, though. I asked to go up the next morning to take a picture of the sign and was told it didn't open until 5pm no exceptions.

The lobby is nice and the location is beautiful but the rooms and service make me never want to go back. It is a hotel I am glad to forget. There are many other better hotels. For the price I like the Ace. No wonder Tablet Hotels doesn't feature them. I was sent a survey on my stay and explained this whole thing and never even heard back. Management probably doesn't really care unless there are good comments.

The reason we went to this hotel in the first place is a young film producer we know had worked on a film there and thought it was nice. Obviously he didn't spend the night.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank picozoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, February 13, 2012
Dear picozoz,

As the Assistant General Manager at the Empire Hotel, I would like to sincerely apologize for the challenges you experienced suring your most recent stay with us. Please be assured I have shared your feedback with our Executive Team to address within thier respective deprtments. This is certainly not the level of service we strive to provide our valuable guests and I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your experience in greater detail. Please feel free to contact me directly at the property. 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

Carlisle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2012

What more could you want with a NYC hotel? This hotel is clean,comfortable and charming!
The location is great-right opposite the Lincoln centre and subway with a starbucks on the corner (well there is a starbucks on every corner). Room was cleaned every day and didn't have a problem with the noise at all. The bathroom was adequate and spotless and big enough for the both of us. Staff were all pleasant but the CONCIERGE were outstanding and are a credit to this hotel. Yuri and Chris you were awesome and made our stay not only more enjoyable but helped us make the most of our time in New York with valuable information and a knowledge only true new yorkers have!!! These guys know their stuff people and i suggest one you've used them you leave them a "thank you" tip, as like everyone else in new york they provide a service and are more than worth it. The management should think about giving them bonuses for the effort they put in. We will definitely be staying here again when we come back in Summer.

Room Tip: Any! its only for sleeping in at the end of the day :-)
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank andrew i
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 #315 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. ... more   less 
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