This hotel's location is great if you're going to the Met, which is the reason we booked it. It's right across the street.
We only stayed one night, for which we ended up shelling out $270 total, although the website we booked it through advertised it as $100 bucks initially. The room was tiny, not at "user-friendly", due to some faux-European stylizations which make for an odd experience. For example, I'm 5'6"" and had to stand on my tiptoes to reach the hangers in the tall, narrow closet as well as the hook for bathrobes. The sink in the bathroom is completely flat and quite shallow, causing a splash-back issue. The shower has a steel baton attached to it by coil for no immediately apparent reason, except perhaps to make you think water is actually going to come out of it if you don't look at it closely. When you turn *on* the shower, it pours out of a ceiling fixture directly onto you, which is completely non-adjustable. Turning the lever to the other side simply prevents water from coming out, since there's not faucet. So, if you don't want to suffer the freezing water first coming out, you either have to squeeze against the wall near the fixtures or suffer the freezing water momentarily until you jump back out of the way, and then keep leaning into the falling water until you get it adjusted to the right temperature.
There's more. We were told by the web site (not the hotel) that our room had a view of the Met Plaza. It turns out the "view" was streamed through the tv, apparently so they could say "now every room has a view", as was happily announced on a placard next to the TV. What a con. The actual view was a brick wall.
Be careful of the hotel's restaurant, the Chowder something or other. It's amazingly expensive - we paid $80 for 2 with strictly an entree for each, plus one $8 glass of sparkling water. Oddly, we thought the prices would be much better, because Mon-Thurs they run a happy hour, which includes cheap food, from 4-6 pm. Although we were inside by 10 before six, they give us the regular (really expensive) menu rather than the much cheaper happy hour menu. I was confused and didn't realize until we left the restaurant that we should've been offered the happy hour menu, when we talked to a couple who were leaving the same time as us and who *had* gotten the happy hour menu, and were raving about how good deal it was. Ouch.
Also, as a heads up, there is a $100 "incidentals" charge added on your bill at checkout, which they don't tell you about - it just shows up on your charge card. I called the hotel just now and asked them what was up when my wife spotted it. They said it would be cleared in 72 HOURS!!!! I'm hope so!
FWIW, the performance of "Barber of Seville" at the Met was fantastic. And this is from someone who is decidedly not an Opera afficionado but who's married to one.
Next time, we'll book a Holiday inn and take the train. It's cheaper, everything's "normal", has WiFi, and the rooms are larger.
- 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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