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“Loved it!”
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #345 of 469 Hotels in New York City
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Stayed here in May 2013, got upgraded on arrival to a Superior King which was a lovely big room with a big comfy bed. Very cool decor and the hotel has a funky feel to it. Was a shame the roof terrace wasnt open so didnt get to see that. Check in and Out was easy, leaving our bags on the last day not a problem and the location is really good. Would totally recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tezgeo
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 May 12, 2013

Dear Tezgeo,

Thank you for the great comments in your review on Trip Advisor. I am thrilled you enjoyed your stay and the location and "funky feel" of the hotel met your expectations. Although our standard rooms are comfortable and spacious compared to similar New York Hotels, it is always great to get upgraded. Our team is passionate about guest service and love to create memorable experiences for our guests. I will be sure to share your feedback with the team (as well as the great pictures posted in your review). Thank you for staying with us and I look forward to welcoming you back to The Empire Hotel.


Regards,


Joseph Rauer
Assistant General Manager

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4,496 - 4,502 of 6,188 reviews

Reviewed May 8, 2013

The location of this hotel is great, it is a few minutes walk from Central Park and close to the subway so you can get anywhere in the city.
We were in 717 which was a deluxe king room, a couple of upgrades up but still quite small.
There is a stylish bar and reception on the ground floor which would have been an interesting place to hang out had the staff not insisted on keeping the main doors open making the area very chilly at all hours.
The hotel is twelve floors with a roof terrace on top which has a retractable roof making it good for winter and summer. This area seemed to be taken over by trendy young types all evening with even a queue to get up on Saturday (residents get priority by the way).
Plenty of options are around for eating. Eds chowder house next door serves lovely meals and next to that is Starbucks which opens at 5.30 each day. The other way is an American restaurant called PJ Clarks which was also good.
The hotel looks over the Lincoln centre which is always full of life - we watched the celebs arriving for the premiere of The Great Gatsby one night as an example.
The room itself was a bit tired in places - the shower kept falling out of the holder, the lighting wasn't very good, the shower screen didn't keep the water from the rest of the bathroom and there was no bathroom mat.
We had a few occasions when we needed to talk to the staff and they were OK, neither amazing or downright rude, just somewhere in between
This is my second time in New York so it is difficult to compare with others but this hotel felt as though it was trying to be stylish but didn't actually make it.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank JanieU
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 May 12, 2013

Dear JanieU,

Thank you for the detailed review from your most recent stay at The Empire Hotel. I appreciate your candid comments which will help us address the room deficiencies you mention. I am pleased that overall you enjoyed your stay with us. We take our guests’ feedback seriously and use it to improve the product and service that we offer. We are planning an update of our rooms and product and should have more details soon. We have recently upgraded our fitness center to a larger space with brand new equipment. It is a fantastic space to maintain a healthy lifestyle while away from home. If you should ever need assistance at The Empire, please contact me directly at jrauer@empirehotelnyc.com. Thank you for staying with us and I look forward to welcoming you back to The Empire Hotel.


Regards,

Joseph Rauer
Assistant General Manager

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Reviewed May 7, 2013

My husband and I chose to stay at the Empire Hotel because of its superb location on the upper west side directly across the street from Lincoln Center. We chose an upgraded room to get a better view. What we didn't realize was there was not one drawer nor shelf in the room. There was a small closet and that was the extent of the storage area. We ended up moving to a standard room with a couple of drawers and not as good a view.

The gym was being renovated the sign read so it was closed. I went back the next day and found it had been moved to the basement which required going down to the lobby and taking a specific elevator to the basement. However, the elevator I had been on was actually the one that went all the way down to the gym. There is no coffee machine in the room and my husband's pet peeve is no free wifi. These are small aggravations, but ones that make the difference between a mediocre hotel and one where the interests of the guests are given priority. There should have been some kind of notice regarding the relocation of the gym, the opening date and the way to get there. Often the door into the lobby of the hotel is not overseen by a staff person so if one is carrying beverages from Starbucks due to the lack of coffee machines or luggage, one has a difficult time maneuvering. The staff is very nice and always tries to be helpful but they are hampered by the hotel's physical plant and its policies.

Room Tip: If you require a drawer or shelf, make sure to state that when booking a room as many do not have on...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank sailorsandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for a one night getaway. I'll start off with the positive. The location is prime. The decor & atmosphere are hip & trendy. The staff were welcoming & friendly. And contrary to other posts, we found it to be clean.
Sadly, upon check-in, we were sent to our room (superior king) only to find it occupied and sounded like someone was vomiting. We immediately returned to the front desk & told them what happened. The staff seemed baffled, but remedied the situation quickly by giving us an upgrade to another room. We could have done without the cigarette smell permeating throughout the floor; we actually were shocked that smoking was still allowed in hotels. Overall, not too shabby, but not sure if we would return.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank trip2trav
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 May 12, 2013

Dear trip2trav,

Thank you for sharing feedback from your most recent stay at The Empire Hotel. It is great to hear that you enjoyed our prime location and the service of our friendly staff. We had experienced intermittened internet outages due to Verizon on the day of your arrival which led to the error. I apologize for the issue but pleased our team immediately was able to find you a comfortable and clean room. Please contact me directly at jrauer@empirehotelnyc.com if you would like to discuss your experience or if you need any assistance. I hope we have an opportunity to welcome you back to The Empire Hotel the next time your travels bring you to New York.

Sincerely,

Joseph Rauer
Assistant General Manager

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Reviewed May 7, 2013

I returned to the Empire Hotel for 3 nights in early May, thinking that the odd circumstances I encountered while stayng there at the beginning of April were just anomalies. That was not the case. First the good news, this is a great location, at the entrance to the Upper West Side, excellent subway connections, a block from the Lincoln Centre, easy access on the west side highway from GW bridge. The staff are genuinely friendly, enagaging and helpful. The beds are are great, among the best I have found in any hotel anywhere.
When I checked in was the first hint that all was not well. Although I arrived at the hotel at 7:00 in the evening, my room was not ready. I was offered a smoking room, but my wife is hypersensitive, so that was not an option. I was told that it would take an hour to clean my room, and if I left my mobile number they would call me when it was ready. I checked my bags and left. No-one ever called. I returned to the hotal at 1000, to find that my room was ready but the bell desk was locked and unattended, so I had to hunt someone down to retrieve my bags.

If you scroll through the reviews, you will see that there are a couple of consistencies. One is that management always responds with enthusiasm to the favorable comments, but never offers a solution or even a proposed solution to the constructive criticism.

Most of the peculiar situations that I identify are repeated again and again by other reviewers, but it is clear that nothing ever gets done about them.

When I first came into the room, I was delighted to see that there was a washcloth provided in the bathroom. I never got one on my previous stay, despite even leaving a note for housekeeping requesting one. One might think that in a double room there would be two, but I was thrilled to get one. The excitement was short lived, never saw even one for the rest of the stay. The rooms have one of the most complete offerings of minbar wines, beers, liquors and various treats you will ever see. It's hard to take advantage of, however, as there are no glasses of any kind anywhere in the room. On my previous stay I left a note for housekeeping asking for geasses, and got a single one, once, and never again. I didn't bother this time. One day two paper cups with the hotel logo appeared in the bathroom. We failed to save them, and no more appeared. It's hard to understand how hard it must be to instruct the staff to put washclothes in the bathroom and galsses on the table beside the minbar.
There are no bathmats provided. This becomes both a safety and comfort issue; because for some reason there is no door of any kind on the shower, the water winds up all over the bathroom.
The concept of hot water on demand has yet to reach the bathroom. If you let the shower run long enough, after about 10 minutes you will get hot water. That does not work for the sink. It's kind of like urban camping, washing your hands and shaving in cold water. The first night I called down to the desk to enquire as to why there was no hot water at the sink. The response was that they could send an engineer up to let the water run until it got hot, I replied that I could do that myself. ( without success )
If you need relative quiet to sleep, the Empire may not be for you. The primitive AC unit is just a little quieter than standing at the end of an active runway at JFK. It does, however, somewhat mask the street noise that penetrates the windows as though there were none, the banging pipes above and below, the loud late night party in the hall and the barking dogs ( I presume this must be a pet-friendly hotel ).
I appreciate that taken on their own, each of these issues is minor. That said, I can't understand why the hotel won't respond to small shortcomings like this, easily fixed and noted by many.

I'm wrestling with whether I will stay at the Empire again, or have had enough of the accumulated weight of all of the minor irritants.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank David355
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maurizio b, General Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 8, 2013

Dear David335,
Thank you for coming back and for taking the time to share your experience on line. I do agree with you about our perfect location. The hotel is located 2 steps away from Central Park, next to the Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle.
I am pleased to hear you found our team genuinely friendly, helpful and engaging. At the Empire we are simple people trying our best to give a unique and memorable experience to our loyal guests. We are very passionate for what we do and this is reflected on all our answers.
I am sorry about the lack of supplies you have experienced during your recent stay. I did personally review your comments with the management team and took all the necessary actions to prevent similar situation to happen again in the future. We do not have hot water on demand. We had a boiler failure one night that created some shortage in the building. The problem has been corrected and we haven’t experienced similar issue anymore.
I agree about our beds. They are really fantastic and comfortable!
We have just upgraded our gym, with brand new equipment. It is really something to try in our hotel.
We are planning to open our pool deck by the end of May. It will be really the perfect spot for a morning breakfast or a sunset cocktail.
I hope you will consider giving us another chance in the future.
If you would like to contact me directly and discuss your last stay more in detail, you can reach me at the GM@empirehotelnyc.com.
All the best,
Maurizio Bonivento
General Manager
GM@empirehotelnyc.com

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Reviewed May 7, 2013

If you go to NYC, stay at this hotel. I called to book the hotel for my boyfriends birthday, they were amazing. We loved the hotel. The front desk helped me with everything, the manager was helpful on arrival. It was close to central park and the subway system. The pictures are true to what this place looks like, very clean. I travel all over the US and by far, this is the best place I have ever stayed.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Clare J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

The hotel itself was clean, very nice looking in the lobby, and the staff was friendly and helpful.

Our biggest issue is that they had us stay in the smallest room of all time. It was hard to walk around since it was so small. You couldn't close the bathroom door without standing in the shower. And then we found out it was about 1/3 the size of a normal room, but they didn't charge any less for it!

I won't ever come back.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank AngusMcCloud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maurizio b, General Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 10, 2013

Dear AgnusMcloud,
Thank you for staying with us and for sharing your experience on trip advisor.
I am sorry to hear you did not enjoy your stay because of the size of our room. Our Standard rooms are approx. 191 square feet. We have however larger rooms in our hotel. If the space is really very important I would recommend booking a Superior or a DeLuxe room.
I really hope you will give us another chance in the future. I will personally assist you with the reservation and I will definitely upgrade you to a larger room. We are opening in few weeks our pool deck. I hope this is a good incentive to come back to our hotel.
All the best,
Maurizio Bonivento
General Manager
GM@empirehotelnyc.com

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 #345 of 469 Hotels in New York City
Price Range: $168 - $470 (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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