We only stay at 5 star hotels all over the world for business and pleasure, and this hotel had the worst service we have ever experienced.
First, the good points: Location is right across Central Park and walking distance to shopping. Bathrooms have been remodelled and are clean though small. Bell hops and elevator attendants were always friendly, professional and helpful.
Now on to the negative aspects.
We were on a short business trip and stayed only one night. We had informed the hotel ahead of time that we would be arriving in the morning and would appreciate it if they had a room available for us to freshen up before going into the office. Upon arrival, we were told that the room was not ready, but if we had breakfast first, something would be available soon after. We had breakfast at Le Caprice which was fabulous. Service was friendly, yet unobtrusive, and the food was good. We had a leisurely breakfast while we waited for the room.
Upon returning to the front desk about an hour and 15 minutes later, we were told that our room was still not ready and would need to wait another hour. My husband explained again that we were here for the day on business and just needed a place to wash up so we could get to the office and that they could move our luggage to the proper room later. In the meantime, another couple had just been shown to their room. The lady at the front desk then said to us, “Well, we can give you a room now, but we will have to downgrade your reservation.” Downgrade our reservation? How ridiculous. We’ve travelled on business numerous times and up til then, this type of request had been accommodated by every hotel we’ve visited as there is usually a room available for such circumstances. Moreover, no other five star hotel has ever mentioned downgrading a reservation.
We were in a hurry and said that would be fine and they could move our luggage to our room when it became available.
When we returned later that evening, we obtained the key to our new room. What a joke! It was the smallest and dingiest room I’ve ever seen in a 5 star hotel (and that includes five star hotels in London and Paris). The room had a king size bed which was about a person’s width away from the wall on one side and a person’s width away from the door to the bathroom. The foot of the bed was about two person’s width away from the door to the room. The carpet was dingy, and the paint on the door to the tiny walk-in closet and the baseboards were chipped. The room was a “city view” room which in reality was a very tiny window near the head of the bed with a tunnel view of some buildings through the walls of the adjacent buildings. All this was ours for the low price of $600.
My husband went down to the front desk and said this was unacceptable and the guy on duty showed him another room which was equally disappointing. Not wanting to spend the entire evening arguing with staff, my husband consented to take the downgraded room we used in the morning which at least was more spacious than the other rooms we had supposedly booked.
Unfortunately, although we stayed in a “downgraded” room, they certainly did not downgrade the price.
Other things to note:
1) The elevators are small and quite busy during peak hours, like dinner time. You may have to wait awhile before catching an elevator with space. Because most did not want to wait, many people would pack themselves into the tiny elevator in which everyone was packed in shoulder to shoulder, back to front.
2) Bathrooms were remodelled but extremely tiny – the toilet was right next to the wall, the sink was right next to the toilet, and the shower was right next to the sink.
3) Managers seemed indifferent to the issues of quests staying there on business, so perhaps this is just a hotel for tourists.
4) Upon checkout, they were unable to print a proper invoice. They did say they would mail one out as soon as possible. We will see.
Ironically, at both check in and check out, we overheard other guests complaining to the managers about other things. Not sure what their issues were, but the managers just kept repeating, “I understand, and I do apologize” so many times that it really seemed automatic and insincere.
Having just enjoyed a wonderful stay at the Ritz in San Francisco prior to flying to New York , we can only say that the Pierre was a HUGE disappointment. Price is not an issue for us if the service is great and the rooms are decent, but that was definitely not the case at the Pierre. We will not recommend this hotel to friends or colleagues nor will we be back.
Perhaps the Pierre works best for those who have low expectations or very little to no experience with five star hotels.
If you’re looking for a great hotel near Central Park, try the Ritz Carlton: pricey, but definitely worth it. If location is not an issue, then the Mandarin Oriental is also fabulous.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Landmark hotel on Fifth Avenue in New York City. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Pierre Hotel New York City
- Pierre New York City
- Pierre Hotel New York City