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“Needs to be renovated”
Review of Roger Smith Hotel

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Roger Smith Hotel
Ranked #122 of 467 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Needs to be renovated”
Reviewed November 12, 2011

I stayed here for work in September and must say I was surprised by how poorly kept the hotel was. It was kind of a depressing interior which we reminded me of somebody's grandmas house. There were scratches on the doors etc, paint chipping and the bathroom looked like it really needed to be clean properly... I agree with another user that it is strange with the postcard of Roger Smith and Jane Goodall, but I suppose it was a nice thing, in context. Except you realise how old the place is and how out of touch they must be with the modern consumer, but I guess that is what makes it boutique.
The positive thing is that it was central and easy to get around. The bed was comfortable and the towels were good quality. But next time if I was going in my own spare time, I definitely wouldn't stay here.

Room Tip: Ask for a room high floor. I was on the 8th floor and it was noisy during the night.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mysig84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ekkarin, Manager at Roger Smith Hotel, responded to this review, November 30, 2011
Dear Mysig84,

Thank you for your hotel review and comments. We are pleased to hear that the location of the hotel was ideal for your trip and our pillow top mattresses were comfortable and to your liking. I have also read your comments on the interior décor. Our individually decorated rooms are a part of our unique charm, which our loyal guests find very appealing. We would like to conduct an inspection of the room you stayed, in order to rectify any inconsistent wear and tear. Please do contact me with your room number and we will follow up with our findings. We do encourage you to contact us so we may have a chance to demonstrate what the Roger Smith is all about, and I will personally look after your next stay We hope you take us up on our offer and return very soon.

Best regards,

Roger Smith Hotel Management
e-mail: reservations@rogersmith.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
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Signal Mountain, Tennessee
Level Contributor
51 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2011

I don't really know where to begin with this place. A friend booked us there for a meeting, rooms and meeting room and there were some decent reviews here on Tripadvisor. That is why you need to be careful in reading reviews. Look for we traveled people, i.e., business travelers. Let me start with my room. Room is larger than most. I discovered that after having to use most of my strength to open the door. The dirty green carpet and bottom of the door was so tight, you could barely get in. Could not open the closet door at all for the same reason. The room smelled musty with slight fragrance of reefer. Room was hot, being cooled with small Fedders window AC. Linens and towels were clean, but I took the towels and laid them on the floor to create a safe walk pass. Room decor was "early grandma's house". Very out dated. No desk to work from. Had to sit on my bed. Bathroom was clean, but had minimal water pressure in the shower. I had to get on my knees to wash the shampoo out of my hair. Let me know move to the meeting room. We arrived to meeting room level and had no sign for which meeting room was ours. When we found the General Manager (very nice guy) we got direction to our room. As we walked in, we noticed that all of the electrical work for turning lights on and off was being worked on. It was open, live wires. I requested that they clean it up. We got to spend an hour of a high level meeting with an electrician working on the lights..Lights on, lights off. Lights on, lights off. No water was on the table until I requested. Then it was served in a plastic cup. We asked for a flip chart, which was brought, but no marker to write. We had to take time to fine someone to get one. (This happened on day 2 as well) Meeting room was large and has great potential but the chairs were miserably uncomfortable and the height of the chair did not match the height of the table. Felt like a midget:) The one good thing about the hotel is the little Boston Terrier named Henry that roams the hall. I spent time throwing his ball for him on Day 1 but did not see him on Day 2. In closing, this place needs a lot of work. No ice machine on any floors, no where to get a soft drink, no gym. You have many other choices in the city to stay. Pay whatever you need, but skip this gem.

Room Tip: Read the review..there are none!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2011

Plus points

Large rooms
Free wifi
Comfy beds (quite firm, but I like that)
Friendly staff

Minus points

Faded glory personified - everything is 20+ years old, but it does have an endearing character...
Awful old TV with broken remote control
Ancient bathroom and plumbing (shower runs from cool to hot and back again)
Lily's restaurant is expensive and distinctly average (go elsewhere to eat)

Would I stay here again? Probably, because it's pretty good value and the basics are spot on.

You get a good nights sleep and it's well located. I can live with the old bathroom fittings, as I travel for business and it really doesn't matter for the small amount of time I'm in the room.

I love the fact that it is unpretentious. I hate hotels like the Intercontinental where you are made to feel like you're doing them a favour for booking in. I've stayed many times at the Intercontinental (6 times in the last year) and despite the hefty price tag their rooms are not much better than the Roger Smith. Old bathrooms abound at the Intercontinental too, likewise the Radisson on Lex.

In general, midtown New York hotels are not great when it comes to modernity. I've stayed in a fair few and they all - to a greater or lesser extent - could do with updating.

Spending more doesn't guarantee anything better apart from a fancy reception and a guy to hold the door open. The Roger Smith is a pretty good place to lay your head and the price is reasonable.

I would argue though that classifying it as a luxury hotel is pushing the boundaries a little too far. Luxury it ain't! But it's a good place nonetheless.

Recommended :-)

Room Tip: Rooms on Lex Ave are a bit noisy - maybe take some ear plugs if you are a light sleeper. Note that...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ejt77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 7, 2011

The Roger Smith Hotel was weird and dingy. The postcard with the hotel’s CEO and Dr. Jane Goodall (Chimpanzee expert) holding stuffed animals, that were monkeys of course, was the weird part. The furniture though antique, was better suited for a college fraternity house. I couldn’t tell if the flower patterned chair had mold in the fabric or if it was once a green color that had now faded...I think it was a combination of both. Spattered paint on the carpet, exposed concrete in the doorways, very dusty vanity bulbs, chipped and scratched furniture, mediocre customer service, and a couple of hairs in the tub rounded out my underwhelming experience. I guess I could have kept my mind off the fact that I had to sleep there by reading one of the used paperbacks on the antique bookshelf, but I refrained to avoid getting my hands dirty. Their central location was the saving grace.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chris P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ekkarin, Manager at Roger Smith Hotel, responded to this review, November 14, 2011
Dear 69ChrisP---

Thank you for taking the time to review our property. Hearing from guests in both their praise and criticisms is a critical part of how we improve ourselves as a business every day.

There was one particular element to your comment which I would like the opportunity to respond to however. The "weird" part of your experience... the Hotel's association with Dr. Jane Goodall and our efforts to operate our property in as '"green" and ecologically responsible way as possible is something we are quite proud of. Dr Goodall's remarkable contribution --beyond her work in the preservation of the chimpanzee and their habitat-- to the global dialogue on ecological best practices and the "green initiative" has defined and redefined the parameters and benchmarks of how to behave more responsibly towards our planet's limited resources. The "linen recycling" initiative which Dr. Goodall has collaborated with us on saves tens of thousands of gallons of water each year by avoiding unnecessary wash cycles in the laundry room; let alone incalculable wattage and natural gas that would be used drying each of those unnecessary loads.

In regard to your other concerns, we have done a full inspection of the room you stayed in and are implementing the necessary steps to address you comments. I personally thank you for them. We were sorry to hear that your stay was less than satisfactory, however, I believe given the opportunity to redeem ourselves you would find us to be extremely friendly, cozy, comfortable and quiet; an almost Goodallian-like sanctuary from the "concrete jungle" outside.

Please do let me know if you will be returning to NYC anytime soon, as we would all love the opportunity to change your mind about us.

Kind Regards,

Management
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El Cajon
2 reviews
Reviewed October 31, 2011

This is my first real mini vacation to New York, my stay at the a roger Smith Hotel was very pleasant the price cpmetitive the location I'd perfect, the hotel is a bit old but very well kept, the beds are comfortable, the staff are very polite, helpfully and friendly. I wish that they had breakfast too.
The rooms well decorated nice colors, my room was by the street so it was a bit noisy, but if you need a great location you have to accept the noise. It was walking distance from every main attraction.
I highly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: If you need a quite night ask for rooms not by the main street
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank smikhailElCajon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kennebunk, Maine
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2011

We had a family suite with a large living room and kitchenette. The kids stayed on the pull out couch in the living room and the second room had a king bed. The hotel staff was very friendly, the housekeeping was prompt. Great location in mid-town. Will definitely return.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pman383838
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2011

Old and warn out. Not sure what I was thinking when a friend suggested I stay there. More to the room, Well, old. Large rooms, old thin carpet. Large bathroom filled with pink fixtures. the Shower had mold in the light fixture. Free internet. This place is perfect for a family on a small budget with low expectations on accomdations. Not for the business traveler.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank xolo90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Roger Smith Hotel

Property: Roger Smith Hotel
Address: 501 Lexington Avenue, New York City, NY 10017-2008
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#44 Best Value Hotel in New York City
#53 Green Hotel in New York City
#183 Family Hotel in New York City
#183 Business Hotel in New York City
#188 Romantic Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Roger Smith Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 130
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Classic 1930's New York skyscraper - Midtown location on east side, 3 blocks to Grand Central Station. Home away from home. People. Art. Stories. Ideas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Roger Smith
Roger Smith Hotel New York
Roger Smith New York City

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