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“Great”
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #340 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Reviewed October 4, 2012

I was invited by a friend to attend a wedding in New York. She booked the room at the empire and we were never happier. We are from Texas and wanted to be tourist which we did. The staff was excellent and ever so helpful. Conceirge service, door men, desk check-in, let me name Frank, Gabe and Girrard...as outstanding employees if the year in our eyes. So helpful and friendly.
We will definitely be back to the Empire.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Debbie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph R, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 6, 2012

Dear Debbie B,

Thank you for reviewing your recent stay at The Empire Hotel. As Assistant General Manager, it is great to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and thank you for mentioning our staff members. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Empire in the near future.

Regards,

Joseph Rauer
Assistant General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,992 - 4,998 of 6,394 reviews

Reviewed October 4, 2012

I stayed at the Empire Hotel for work for a few days. Great location near Lincoln Center, 2 short blocks to lots of subway stops, lots of food and shops nearby. Beautiful rooftop bar with great views of NYC! The rooms were very quiet, I never heard anything from the hall or other rooms. The cons were that it was pretty pricey for what it was. I mean I know its NYC, but still. The rooms should've been bigger. Also, when I checked in, the only room they had to offer me was a "smoking optional" room. Really, people still do this? And in NYC, the land of anti smoking and sugary sodas?? The room stunk, bad, I can't believe the hotel even allows this. So they switched me to a handicap accessible room, which was larger, but had a weird shower. Not a big deal. Also, my biggest pet peeve with hotels is not enough plugs. I had to move furniture and unplug lamps in an already dark room to be able to plug in both my ipad and iphone. I know these are old hotels in the city, but a power strip is an easy solution.

Room Tip: Do not do the "smoking optional". Some rooms have internal (btn bulidings) views, so ask...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Thank travelreimagined_jen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Excellent friendly, attentive staff, Clean quiet room. We had a 3pm Check-in but arrived at 10 am. They said "no problem" and gave us a room. They put us in a room with 2 queen beds. We didn't ask for a change but probably would have prefered a king bed, but then again we did not specify. Paid $168 in October from Hotwire. Housekeeping was superb and very friendly asked us if we need anything to just call. They were propmpt with bringing up Ice and extra towels when we did call. Check out time was noon but they held our bags for our 9pm flight for free. Reception was very friendly as was the bar staff. We wil definitely use them again.

Pros; Clean room, Attentive service/staff, free use of computer to confirm and print flight tickets only (charge for internet use)
Cons: charged to use computers in business center other than print and confirm flights.

Room Tip: To get to the Empire Hotel from JFK for $7.25 a person by subway you can take the airtrain to Jamaic...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank sspitzfaden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph R, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 6, 2012

Dear, sspitzfaden,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback from your most recent stay at The Empire Hotel. I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed the service of our staff and cleanliness of your room. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Empire the next time your travels bring you to New York.

Regards,

Joseph Rauer
Assistant General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Chose this hotel to be near central park & all the main attractions but without the constant noise & light of being closer to Times Square. We also wanted a modern hotel with a pool & bar area so we could chill with a drink at the end of a busy day. The hotel location was as we expected, though in retrospect I probably would have liked to have been a tad closer to Broadway etc. The downstairs bar, lobby & bedrooms were very modern, but the rooms are small and can be extremely noisy if you are on the lower floors & therefore near the air conditioning units!! The pool is nice and has some fantastic views of the city, but is sometimes closed for private functions. Drinks in the pool bar are very expensive - even for NY!! Unfortunately we never managed a visit to the rooftop bar we wanted to chill in. Though it is advertised as a hotel bar, it is actually managed by a separate company who screen you to see if you are the right age/trendy enough to be allowed in. A combination of this & the bar also often closed for private functions put us off even trying to get in. All in all issues like that did detract from our enjoyment of what could otherwise have been a good hotel

Room Tip: Higher floors have less A/C noise as well as better views of the city
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Katrina66_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2012

My husband and I stayed at The Empire to have early morning access to the city for a 100 mile bike ride called Escape from Manhattan. We got there around 5pm with a car and a roadbike. The Valets were one of the best experiences at the hotel. When I balked at the $60 valet fee, and asked if the self parking at Lincoln Center was overnight, they were helpful and cheery. One suggested we leave the vehicle right where it was (directly in front of the Hotel) as in 30 minutes it would be free overnight parking on the street. He assured me it would be safe as the valets are there 24/7 and that they would keep and eye on it. They offered to put a valet tag on it for the half hour till 6pm so it would not get ticketed and helped get the road bike out of the car cheerily.
I wasn't too upset when I realized I'd given him a 21 dollar tip by accident.
The room was smallish but stylish. The bed was very comfy, the HD tv was nice. Bathroom products were awesome.The aforementioned one sided shower was drafty and sloppy just like everyone else said, but we didn't have water everywhere.....
The in room internet did cost $13, per device- pretty steep.
Here's the bad part- Some patrons down the hall were having a "spill in to the hallway and be very loud" party. At midnight it was doable. At 1am it was really irritating, and at 3 am it was simply unacceptable. My husband had a 5:30 am wake up for a one hundred mile bike race and the whole reason we were in the city was a good night's sleep. When I called the front desk at 2am to ask that something be done- they simply did not answer the phone. I let it ring for 5 minutes... ring ring ring.... We booked the hotel on the hoteltonight app on our phones, so I couldn't really ask for my money back. And considering I only paid $199 for the room, I figured they wouldn't do anything anyway.
So they get a good review for the rooms, a GREAT review for location and a really poor review for the front desk staff.

Room Tip: Get a room that looks out onto Lincoln Center.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Suzy_Wasden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph R, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 29, 2012

Dear Susy_Wasden,

Thank you for sharing your experience from your most recent stay at The Empire. I am happy you enjoyed the room and service of our bell staff. As Assistant General Manager, I am concerned of your comments regarding your experience with noise and the response of our staff. We will share with our Executive Team and address appropriately. Please contact me directly at jrauer@empirehotelnyc.com if you would like to discuss your experience further. I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Joseph Rauer
Assistant General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

A great location and it looked promising. But the service falls far short for a hotel in this price class.

Arrived at 3 PM, but my room wasn't ready. It wasn't ready when they projected either. So they took my phone number ... and never called to tell me it was ready. Basically I had to keep checking.

My cell phone would not work in the lobby, and there is no phone they could let me use (speaking of phones, to use the landline phone in the room is absurdly expensive even for toll free calls). So I missed a conference call. Being out of my room also prevented me from practicing my upcoming evening speech.

When my room was finally ready, it took 10 minutes to get in an elevator. There are not enough elevators in the building. There was a similar problem when checking out, so I wound up missing my train by 2 minutes. And there is only wait on line in the lobby check out, which leads to further delays.

The room was nice enough, though the bathroom was very cramped and a bit worn.

Perhaps if you visit during a time when it's less crowded, you'll think it's fine.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank ValueTravelerMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joseph R, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 29, 2012

Dear ValueTravelerMD,

I would like to apologize for your experience at arrival during your stay at The Empire. If promised, our staff should have certainly called when your room was available. I have shared your comments with our Front Office team and will address accordingly. Thank you for sharing your feedback and I sincerely hope we have another opportunity to welcome you back to The Empire.

Sincerely,

Joseph Rauer
Assistant General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

I stayed as a solo traveller two nights at the empire hotel in late Sep and it was a very satisfying stay.

Cost - Conventional wisdom is that hotels are much cheaper outside Manhattan and to a certain extent this is true. If you are driving in, it might be cheaper staying outside and Newark airport area (EWR) probably serves well. However, if you are flying in and want to avoid the harrowing driving experience in city, staying in Manhattan is the best option. I did some investigation and hotels in Jersey City are not that much cheaper (at least the ones which provide easy access to the city). The subway is $2.25 per trip and is very in-expensive and you can travel anywhere in the city for this cost. I got this hotel for around $160 per night and that is a decent price for sep time frame. The  prices are obviously cheapest in jan-mar due to the weather and are more expensive in summer. I now realise that if you look hard enough you might land a decent hotel that is above 3 stars in the $125 price range in Sep too in Manhattan. If a price below $100 is required, i guess choices drop down to hostels and shared bath accommodations. The list price for the empire was $300 per night and that is way too much to pay and paying $500 per night mentioned in some comments for this hotel would be outrageous. 
TIP: With the high number of hotel rooms on sale in NYC, the best rates are usually available couple of days ahead of the stay. The booking made closer to the visit has a better chance of getting an attractive rate.

Location - This is one of the most important points while visiting NYC and it is a quite different experience staying in Manhattan, comparing and contrasting it to commuting from a suburb like NJ. You can go on a late night visit to say Top of the rock at Rock-feller centre that is open till midnight. Commuting to a safe place on subway provides so many more options for visiting attractions. The crime in the big apple is quite low now, but i would not like to stay in a rough neighbourhood and a walk from subway at 2am in the morning would not be prudent and staying in good neighbourhood is worth its price. The empire hotel is right outside Lincoln centre (beginning of the upper west side) which is a wonderful set of buildings housing opera, ballet etc and is an excellent area. The hotel is 50 feet away from the lincoln centre and you cross the Columbus ave to get into the hotel. This is also one stop away from Columbus circle, a stone's throw away from central park etc. There is a Starbucks in the building and a 24 convenience store. I made good use of both. Times square is 15 mins away by walk or couple of mins on subway.

Travel in. I took the subway from JFK and it was super fast and convenient. You may want to leave the heavy baggage at JFK luggage storage facility and that makes it very convenient for commuting. The metro card works at all transit points (air tran at airport and also connecting to subway) and is the way to travel. The subway trains 1,2,3 connect to Lincoln centre while a number of others like A,C connect to Columbus circle. Having subway map on the mobile is the easiest to navigate the city.

Check in. I landed in at around 1 pm and the room was available early. That was helpful and the check in staff were courteous and responsive. I was on the 11th floor.

Room. The rooms in NYC are usually small and the room was on the smaller side. The bed was super comfortable and there was a nice LCD tv. I had to pay for Internet for one day and it was an additional $13. There were couple of closets for storing clothes etc. The hotel went through renovation and remodelling recently and it does show and every thing looks new. The decor of the hotel is a bit on the trendier side, where the colours of the interior furnishings have the zebra stripes. I was not exactly enamoured of this design but was neither put off by it. It did have a fridge with drinks and packaged food and as discussed in the other comments it is better to keep away from these, as they can easily add up to $100. Another surprise is a bouquet of articles from international power adapter, candles, lubricant, vibrators and condoms in the room welcome kit (not complimentary) which seemed to be a bit strange mix. There was a nice combination safe box which was complimentary and I found it very useful. As I was travelling in from abroad, I stored my papers along with money and iPad in here.

Bathroom. If the room was smaller, the bathroom was tinier. However, that being said, the furnishings from the sink to the soap were all top notch. The towels were excellent and so were the bathing accessories. There is no bath tub, but the shower was wonderful. As mentioned by other folks, the design of the bath is perplexing. There is a glass door that only covers half of the bath area and the rest is open. Unless you are careful, water overflows onto the wooden flooring. It was not a big deal for me, but with so much investment made on the hotel, I do not understand the purpose of this design and what is being achieved with this partial glass door.

Decor and roof top lounge. The hotel does have a distinctive look and there is a bar in the reception area. Also the top floor has a roof top pool and a night club area. There were large lines of youngsters waiting to enter on week-end nights, and the hotel guests have priority pass and can walk in. The line to enter some times wraps around almost one block. You can see the beefy bouncers at the separate elevator that goes to the night club. I did not go around into this area as I was bushed, running around the city, but some thing to consider for the younger folks. The elevators have a strange decor too and made strange rattling noise but worked fine.

Service. The turn down service was prompt and I was happy with the service. My needs are simple and hence this might be a factor too in not encountering any surprises. I did not consume any in-house refreshments nor visit the in house restaurant. The Internet speed was excellent and the WI-FI signal strength was super. 

Checkout. The checkout staff offered to hold my bags when I was checking out. The laptop is stored by security and goes to a different storage area, but the normal bags can dropped off for storage to be picked up later. That was very convenient too as I had a late evening flight and had additional places to visit and did not have to lug around my laptop and bag.

Clientele - In general, I did not see too many young children and I guess that goes with the young trendy outlook sported by this hotel. I booked on Hotwire and hence only learned of the hotel name after I paid for the stay. I do not see an issue for a family staying here with young children, but this demographic might be uncommon here.

NYC hotels - I also looked at a number of other hotels and the Trump tower and Mandarin Oriental are right across this area. These are 5 star hotels offering rooms above $500 per night. In general, with the cost of the real estate in NYC being as high as the Manhattan Skyline, most of the hotels do not sport very large common areas etc and pools are rare. Keeping this in mind might probably help and could avoid disappointment. There are so many things to do in NYC and hence planning to lounge near a large pool is not exactly practical while staying here. The empire is rated 4 star by travel sites and I probably agree with that rating. However, as mentioned above, the hotels in NYC will not have the same real estate space as other similarly rated hotels in other cities.

Summary - I was quite satisfied with the empire hotel and it was super convenient for visiting the NYC attractions.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank bramgopal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 #340 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Price Range: $132 - $429 (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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