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“Not Impressed”
Review of Roger Smith Hotel

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Roger Smith Hotel
Ranked #104 of 470 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed May 21, 2013

At first glance this hotel has charm. And I really want to be positive but, upon a closer look and more time spent in the room, it's simply in need of a real update. Stains on the chairs, stains on the tile. The upholstery and wall paper and tiles all seem very dingy. In the bathrooms there is little space for toiletries. The pillows (all feather and no support) smell like oily hair and the furniture makes you feel like you're in an outdated home not a NYC boutique hotel. If they are going for a homey/quaint look they could do it in a much better/cleaner way. The rooms - and closets! - are a great size though, and the mirrors are huge - many nyc hotels are tiny, but you actually have some space in this room which is great. The AC is a little noisy and has sharpie marker writing on it to indicate what to turn the dial to but it works well. The wall paper is peeling on one wall of the room. I don't know if it's just the guests or if the rooms aren't built to block noise, but it's easy to hear people in the hall, coming and going from their rooms, and being right on Lexington, you hear a lot of traffic especially at peak hours. The internet is spotty and you have to repeatedly sign onto their network - ironically it keeps timing out when I go to post this review. Not great for trying to get emails and updates. The lighting is very low. This hotel was booked for me by someone else, I will be telling them to take it off their list of options. The staff at the front desk if very nice. I really hope this hotel gets the update it needs. It has a lot of potential.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
2  Thank Lizzie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 21, 2013

The only good thing about this hotel is the location. Some of the staff members were very nice as well, but others acted as if you were bothering them when you asked a question. When we walked into our double double room #309, we saw that the carpet in the tiny hall is threadbare. I accidentally rubbed up against the slats of the closet as I came in the door. My white jacket was black where it touched the slats. Ran a towel along these slats which showed heavy grime and dirt. Entered the room where the beds were and saw several white paint patches in the walls over the wallpaper.

Went into the bathroom and saw that the tile floor grout was supposed to be white but it was black in some locations. The tiles closest to the walls were gray instead of white so I ran a towel along this area and it came up black w/dirt. A little scrubbing would clean these tiles. Closed the bathroom door and couldn't get out because the doorknob spins and spins (needs repair). The door itself has peeling paint and since there is no fan in the room, the ceiling was also warped. There was a steel plumbing fixture on the floor next to the shower which leaked when we used the shower making for a slippery bathroom floor.

The ac unit was extremely loud so we used it only once. The unit was too small for the the window where it was installed so they put some plastic to fill in the areas around it. This plastic let in the cold at night and the noise from outside. We were facing Lexington Ave. which has traffic at all hours of the day and night making for sleepless nights.

I took photos of all these flaws but can't figure out how to download them to attach to this review. I can e-mail them to you if you ask. This particular room definitely needs some serious deep cleaning.

The hotel also tried to charge us each twice. I complained so they have credited by charge card and they said they would credit my roommate's also, but instead they charged my roommate a third time when they credited me. She is still trying to get it straightened out and will probably have to notify her credit card company instead of just dealing w/the hotel.

The reason we did not switch hotels is because all the affordable locations in this area (close to Grand Central) were sold out and we figured that since the bedding and towels were clean, we would tolerate it since we were only in the room to sleep. We were at this hotel mid-May 2013. Hopefully when you go, you will not get room 309 and if you do, it will have had some serious professional deep cleaning.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank gdecoste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marlenny P, Manager at Roger Smith Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2013

Dear Gdecoste,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at the Roger Smith Hotel. I was disheartened to read about the challenges you described, and I personally want to address them. We do value each of our guests’ reviews as it gives us a measurable gauge of our product and performance and learn about what it takes to provide our guests with a unique experience.

When you and I spoke on the phone regarding the billing errors, I committed to fixing them and I believe as of this review, everything has been resolved. I thank you for your patience. I later received a call from the other accompanying guest about another discrepancy and followed through with the Front Office Manager, who expeditiously returned her call the same evening. There was indeed a glitch with the billing and for this we truly apologize for the inconvenience it surely caused.

Ms Gdecoste, I wish you had mentioned to me, when we spoke, the issues related to your guest room as I could have had the opportunity to address them at the time. (changing your room, perhaps and upgrade) regardless, I appreciate the feedback. After your departure I called a meeting with the Director of Housekeeping and Director of Operations to conduct a walk-through of the room you stayed in. The room will undergo a series of upkeep and I will personally be in touch with you on the progress.

I truly hope you give us another chance to provide you with a memorable experience and rest assure that I will look after your reservation to ensure that we meet your expectations.

Please contact me should you have any questions.

Best regards,

Marlenny Paredes
wecare@rogersmith.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2013

Whenever we come to New York City we always stay at the Roger Smith. The friendly staff and excellent location make it a perfect place to stay. When we travel we like to stay in boutique hotels and this hotel offers much of the same ambience. The beds are very comfortable and the bathrooms provides all of the necessary toiletries. .There are even CDs available to borrow for free. We appreciated the complimentary yogurt and granola available in the lobby.

Room Tip: we like a front facing room but others may find it a bit noisy
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank foxtrot101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Can’t really complain about the location. Midtown. Near Grand Central and subway. But then there are many hotels in midtown. This is obviously an old hotel that is trying to keep hold of some character , history and old idiosyncrasies of NYC . I’m taking it was a family owned and they are not going to sell to the likes of the Hilton group. The reception is small and only caters for one thing only. Checking in and out. There is nothing else on the ground floor except for the front desk and a small bar ( very small and open until 10pm…I never went ) . Can’t complain about the food as there weren’t any facilities for food. So no breakfast here ( aside from a bowl of apples and granola bars at reception ) So don’t stop here if you need catering facilities. The fact I stayed in a suite assisted my view and rating of the Roger Smith. The suite was big. Cupboard to the right as you walk in has a safe , big fridge ( empty ) , iron , ironing board and microwave ???. To the right a wardrobe. Very comfy 4 poster bed. Plenty of storage space , draws etc. Desk with Ipod speaker/charger , coffee maker. Sofa , a large coffee table and TV …2 armchairs , so you didn’t have to lie on the bed all the time. The room was as clean as you can keep an old room with old fashion facilities i.e. old central heating pipes. Possibly the smallest bathroom in the world. Hardly room to swing a cat ..one person at a time please folks ! Authentic with old fashioned sink, taps , shower.etc…but clean. It was ok as I was on my own. But it's not for families. I have to say you may not get the ‘space’ in a modern hotel, but you will get modern facilities for cheaper or the same price give or take. The Intercontinental across the street you can get for $10 more a night. I get the feeling they get business by some who are followers and the rest that ‘’need a hotel in midtown and all the rest are booked’’ Was my stay ok?...yes… Would I return if I had the choice? … no ! But only because for $10 - $20 more a night I could get the Intercontinental and all the facilities that go with it !

Room Tip: Go high..Lexington Ave is noisy
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank TheGeez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2013 via mobile

This is where the great artists all stay. It's a gem. Close to trains and the United Nations, the Roger Smith Hotel is my favorite place to stay. Great value, friendly staff, comfortable rooms. I would highly recommend to all friends.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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2  Thank Clausewitzhorse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

This hotel though located in a nice area but all fixtures and furnitures are old. It also appeared to be not taken care of simple things, which every hotel should look for. For example in my room one of the lamps were not wrorking due to bulb was burnt out or fuse, but no house keeping person took care of that. The bathroom door could not be locked from inside due to pin in the knob which locks from inside was broken. The airconditioner was very noisy and looked like from 1960s. Outside in the hallway when the house keeping lady was asked for an extra sache of coffee, she gave a rude look first and then as if she is doing a great favor to me. She never smiled or asked for any need. There are lot of better hotels in the same area with similar or lesser price. I would never stay in this hotel again.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Jafferany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

we arrived to this hotel in the end of April - on Thursday afternoon- we got our room imminently - it was double double room- the bed was super comfortable for both of us- the location was great (5 ave from Times squaer) the elevator worked fast, the staff were really nice, it was clean- a very big shower !! hot water all the time! No restaurant while we were there (renovations ) but we had a nice place just a cross the road.
Free wi-fi also in the rooms, that worked great. lots of restaurants around the hotel and their transportation service good as well ,
The only thing i would change is the A/C - didn't affect us cause the weather was great but it seems very lame and old ... so im not sure how it's working.
Also not much light in the room so I would change it either.
Would definitely recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: i prefer to take the lower floors - that way you are not spending much time on waiting the elevator...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Tomlevsa
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

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:
#38 Best Value Hotel in New York City
#52 Green Hotel in New York City
#179 Business Hotel in New York City
#184 Romantic Hotel in New York City
Price Range: $144 - $444 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Roger Smith Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 132
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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