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“Close quarters close to the cityto the city”
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #341 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Reviewed June 9, 2012

The rooms and bathrooms in this botique hotel are TINY. First off, the good stuff... The AC worked great. Although we did not take advantage of the honor bar, it had a number of non-food items that were "interesting". The linens and towels were clean and the lobby was pretty. The location is ideal and is right outside the Lincoln Center and about two blocks from Central Park.

The only parking at the hotel is a $60 per day valet. EEK! There a numerous parking garages nearby, but they run about $40 a night (plus tips). If you are patient, and start well before the Lincoln Center Crowd starts parking around 6:30, you can find an on-street spot if you are willing to walk quite a few blocks. Be careful though... Make sure that the street sweeper will not be cleaning in the morning where you park. If you park somewhere and do not move cars when there is a street sweeper coming, you will endup paying about $187 to get your car out of the impound lot... That's a pretty expensive night of parking.

The room was tiny. I think the bed was a queen and there was about 18 inches on either side. Across from the foot of the bed was a long shallow desk which is about half covered with the honor bar. The closet is behind a curtain and is about 2 feet wide. Inside the closet is the honor bar fridge and a safe. There is also a reasonably large flat screened TV. The decor in the room was nice... kind of trendy, but some of the decor was falling apart. For instance there is a brown border that runs around the room and it's molding. It was coming off a bit in some places. The lower walls were scuffed. The bed was quite firm.

The extra tiny bathroom had a frosted door which, when open, had a direct view of the rest of the room from a large mirror across from the bed. The toliet is squeezed in between a wall and the sink which hug you when you sit. The shower is half enclosed with a glass wall, but there was no door... The rain shower head was nice and there was also a hand held shower head. The soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner were a lovely plant-based lemon verbena.

The room was cleaned each day quickly. If you sleep in and they pass you by they will come in and clean if you call them. I had to call down to the desk for an iron and ironing board and it took them more than 30 minutes to have it brought up. We couldn't get to the pool or find the fitness center. We went to the floor where the fitness center was supposed to be, saw a sign for it in the middle of the wall, but couldn't find the entrance. We did discover a permanent residence when we were exploring.

We were told by some ladies in the elevator that they loved the seafood place and in the evenings there was always a line in front of the elevator for the upstairs restaurant/bar.

If you are looking for a cute place to stay and want to be near Central Park and the Lincoln Center, but don't mind a lack of space, this would be a good place to stay, IF you get a deal. We paid $120 something through hotwire. Any more and I would have felt seriously ripped off. If you like to spend time in your hotel room and appreciate room to walk around, this is not the place for you.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank erin b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2012

Dear erin b,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your valuable feedback on your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. Please be assured I will be sharing your posting with our Executive team to address accordingly. We look forward to 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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5,139 - 5,145 of 6,393 reviews

Reviewed June 9, 2012

I booked this hotel through "name your own price" on Priceline for $190/night and that may be the difference between an average room and a great room. The hotel is in a great location on Broadway, right across from Lincoln Center and near the subway. I'm sure there are beautiful views, especially from the rooftop bar and lounge, but we never got there. The hotel is beautifully decorated - nicely appointed lobby, but something things are showing need of a little maintenance - like the elevators and the moldings. When we got to our room on the 1st floor we got a room overlooking the interior and the kitchen (hence the cheap price - we were dumped in the worst room)! But I could deal with that as you're there for the sights, not to sit in your hotel room. The worst was the incredible stains on all the draperies! It was disgusting and made me think what else was not being cleaned in the room. I didn't want to look too hard as I was afraid what I'd might find. The bathroom was small - 1 person at a time and the shower needed an owners manual. Also, the room had some faulty electrical switches that kept tripping off the hair dryer. If I'd had paid full price for this room, I would have given this hotel a 1 start rating, but for one night at a good rate it was merely average. BTW - Because it is in the heart of the tourist district be aware of extremely high prices in the bar and restaurant. Me? I'll remain an uptown, East side girl!

Room Tip: Request a room higher up on the west side, so you can see Lincoln Center at night and the river! Or...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank wrldgrl22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2012

Dear wrldgrl22,

As the Assistant General Manager of the Empire Hotel I would like to thank you for providing us with your valuable feedback. Please be assured I will be communicating your feedback regarding the cleanliness of the room to our Executive Housekeeping to address accordingly. We do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the West Side in the very near future.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012

I recently stayed at The Empire Hotel with one of my friends for a girls weekend in New York. I won't lie primarily chose this hotel because of it's connection with Gossip Girl and I think that some of the other younger guests did too!

Upon arrival to the hotel, I was pleasantly surprised, after reading the reviews on here I did expect something else. Yes, in the public areas the lighting was moody and the decor dark - but intentionally so. It felt plush and luxurious. So far, so good.

We had a bit of a hiccup with the check in - the hotel had mixed our booking up and had us arriving on the day of our departure! We had the confirmation email with the correct dates, so after a few minutes it was all sorted out. The guy sorting our check in was efficient, friendly and helpful.

Our room was on the 11th floor (room 1133) and after seeing some comments on here I was concerned that it would be noisy with the rooftop bar being above us. Not so - we slept well every single night, the only disturbance was some a few rowdy guests one night... but that's not the hotel's fault.

At first glance our room was lovely, of course it was small but it's Manhattan so I expected nothing less. However, it did seem that a few corners had been cut which really let the room down. The AC unit was one of the oldest units I had ever seen - it appeared to be damaged, rusting and dirty. It worked, but we were unable to change the temperature.

The ceiling also needed a bit of patching up as there was some damage directly above my bed. However, the bed was comfy and the shower great.

We tried out both the lobby bar and the rooftop one, with very different results. We absolutely loved the Gossip Girl themed cocktails in the lobby bar - they were huge and to be honest, the drinks prices compared to the restaurants that we ate at so we didn't mind. The service was great in the lobby bar too.

At the Rooftop however, we found the staff to be rude and a little pretentious. Although there was no one else waiting to be served, we were left waiting over 10 minutes to order a drink. Not great service.

Overall, I felt that the hotel was good, but could be improved - those finishing touches really count in my opinion, as does great service. It's well located for sightseeing and shopping but slightly overpriced for what you get. I would definitely go back and have a cocktail in the lobby bar, but would give the Rooftop a miss.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank lady_kates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2012

Dear lady_kates,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. As the Assistant General Manager I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us. Please be assured I will share your posting with Management at the Rooftop Lounge to address accordingly. I do hope to have the opportunity to welcome 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.
Reviewed June 7, 2012

Check in was really good. Fast and efficient and friendly staff too.
First night really tired so room on the second floor was ok. small as advised on here before but didnt expect anything else as I had read all the previous reviews, however second night realised that the noise coming from the air conditioning units outside was unbearable and went to front desk at 04am to say we could not sleep there. Spoke to a male who was very understanding and apologetic. He advised us he would get our bags taken to a better room early next day. as we were celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary, I advised we would be back around 2pm as we had reservations that evening, he said this would not be a problem. came back around 2pm and spoke to a female at the desk who could not have been more rude if she had tried. She spoke down to me and did not seem to understand how important it was for us to be in our room on what was to be a very special evening for us. I walked away in disgust. I later went back to the desk and spoke to raphael who was fantastic. He organised another room , free upgrade and complimentary breakfast for the inconvenience. We then were on the 10th floor in room 1030 and it was perfect.
the room was very clean, housekeeping was superb, clean towels and bedding every day. toiletries replenished without having to ask. very little noise could be heard.
\with regards to the breakfast, if I had paid for it I would have been dissapointed. much better quality breakfasts can be found in the area for a far better price. we went up to the nightclub on the roof and it cost $22 plus tip for 1 bud and 1 vodka but maybe you would consider this as Bill Clinton was one of the people socialising there. A very popular place.
All in all I would would have considered rating the hotel as a 5* if it had not been for our experience in the first room allocated to us. My advise is if you go to this hotel and there is something you are not happy about, the majority of the staff will do all they can to sort out the problem.
One final word, The concierge staff and the doormen are first class. made us feel very welcome and gave us some great advice, so chat with them and get to know them as they will do all they can to assist you.

Room Tip: If you are allocated a room on a lower floor at the rear of the building check out the noise level f...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Cathar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 8, 2012

Dear Cathar,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. As the Assistant General Manager of the Hotel, I am pleased to hear that our team rectified the initial challenges you had with your room. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Empire in the near future.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2012

We stayed at this hotel for 3 nights at begining of June. Had booked superior double room - don't know what other rooms where like but I wouldn't class the room as 'superior' (room 122). We had requested two beds, which we were given. The room was small (made smaller by 2 beds!). Was dissappointed with the lack of space in bathroom - if someone was in the room another person couldn't get it!! However it was functional and shower was good. Housekeeping did a good job and the room was kept clean. The beds were comfortable and room was nice and warm (despite the changes in temperatures outside!).
From our room we could see the Opera House and although we were on 1st Floor the noise was bearable considering we were in New York!
The situation is close to Central Park which was nice and easy walking distance to Times Square. Anything else was a taxi ride away unless you feel fit and have good pair of shoes!
We had breakfast in the Chowder House on our last morning and was disappointed. Service was bit slow and wasn't really value for money. My husband had 'cold buffet' which consisted of croissant, bagel, toast (half toasted as toaster wasn't working properly) margernine and jam/cheese spread! No fresh fruit, cheese, ham and little yoghurt selection! I had pancakes which were wholemeal cinamon - not what was expected. There are plenty of other places to eat near the hotel which are better value for money.
We didn't use the hotel bar facilities - went down one evening but it was so busy after 20 mins we changed our mind.
Was bit disappointed with the 'pool'. Definately not a pool for swimming in - too small, more like just to dip in!! My daughter was expecting better!! Fortunately the weather changed after day one so she wouldn't of used it anyway!!
Overall, although the staff were very friendly and helpful, the facilities and room let the hotel down but as we weren't in the hotel for long (just to sleep really!) it served its purpose.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank tim064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 8, 2012

Dear tim064,

Thank you for your feedback on your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. Please be assured I will be sharing your feedback with our Executive Team so they may address accordingly. We 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

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2012

We stayed at the Empire hotel between the 16 - 19 March 2012.

On our last night we ate a meal at the Ed's restraunt which is located within the hotel. When it came to settling the bill we split the bill between ourselves and another couple. Half the bill was paid in cash and we requested $80 be charged to our room.

When we checked out the following morning we noticed on our invoice that we had in fact been charged for the entire bill of $153. We attempted to rectify this with recption upon checking out only to be told that their systems were down and there was nothing the could do to amend this at the time and we should send an email to them. Immediately upon returning home we sent an email as directed. This was never acknowledged in anyway. We send follow up emails and made several calls only to be repeatedly told to email the accounts team. All emails went completely unanswered.
Avoid staying at the hotel at all costs, they take your money without authority and refuse to return it. Shoddly customer service doesnt even cover it.

Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
1  Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 8, 2012

Dear David K,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. Please contact me directly at the property so I can work with you on rectifying your billing challenge immediately. I apologize for the inconvenience and 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.
Reviewed June 7, 2012

We were here in Apr 2012 for 4 nigths and had a great stay! The room was small, but comfortable, very clean and modern. They had a pretty good gym and I believe there is a rooftop pool, but was closed given the timing.

Location was great for us - walkable to Timesquare (but a bit of walk). You would need to subway to all the major attractions.

All in all - would stay there again!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank macaroni_sa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 8, 2012

Dear macaroni_sa,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your valuable feedback on your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. We are so pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Regards,

Jennifer

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

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 #341 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Price Range: $130 - $426 (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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