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“Still Waiting For The Wow!”

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Waldorf Astoria New York
Ranked #259 of 466 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 541 helpful votes
“Still Waiting For The Wow!”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

My wife was attending a conference in New York, so we elected to go up a day early and make a fun trip of it. (See my review of Colicchios for an outstanding restaurant). I'd never stayed at the Waldorf before, so decided to burn up some Hilton points for a night of luxury. Alas!

We got off to a bad start when we arrived at the front entrance, jumped out of the cab with our one large bag, and .... no greeting, no bellman, no offer to take the bag. We proceeded to check-in, waited for 5 minutes, and we served by the charming Laura, we gave us two $20 drink coupons to celebrate a birthday. Our room, however, wasn't a reason to celebrate. For a "Superior King" it had a less than superior view of the building opposite, was in need of maintenance, and there was nothing special or superior about it. (It also bothered me there was no turn-down service)

Reading some other reviews there seems to be a general opinion that the grand old lady is showing her age and the tightwad finances of the owner. Our room had a leaky shower, a burnt-out bathroom lamp, one bedroom lamp totally missing a bulb and numerous chips and dings in the paint and woodwork. They also - and this may seem a weird comment - had the cheapest toilet paper I have ever seen in a hotel.

Nevertheless, we decided to make the best of it and went downstairs to the Peacock Alley bar to use our coupons and get a snack. The services was brusque, to say the least. We ordered a cheese plate, and it appeared on our table, no explanation of the cheeses and what the sides were. For a $24 plate you'd expect something better.

The setting itself is very affluent and the lobby and fittings around the ground floor look gorgeous - plenty of grandiose gold on display. That's the most positive thing I can say.

As far as advice, I'd say be very explicit in what you want in a room, and upon check-in ask exactly what view you have and the size of the room. (they are famous for having some "shoe-box" sized rooms. If you are looking for cab at night, be prepared to be "up-sold" to a limo/car for $40, as the staff don't seem to be amazingly good at snagging a cab for you.

Bottom line is that I doubt I will be returning here - compared to several other Waldorf-Astoria's I have stayed in, they are way behind in service, attitude and general upkeep.

Room Tip: Get a high-level room overlooking Lexington (East) or Park (West) . Views of St. Barts Church (North...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank John C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waldorf_Astoria_NY, Manager at Waldorf Astoria New York, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear John C,

Thank you very much for your comments, and thank you for choosing to spend your time in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria. We are so disappointed to learn that we left you dissatisfied. We are so thankful for your comments, as we truly believe that they will help us to become a better hotel. I would like my team to look into the issues you discussed a bit further. If you have a moment, please email me with the confirmation number from your stay, as well as your TripAdvisor username.

Thank you in advance,
Diarmuid Dwyer
Hotel Manager
diarmuid.dwyer@waldorfastoria.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria from 23rd to the 28th September 2013 and let me say- we had an amazing time!Through no fault of the hotel, the UN were staying at the hotel which meant there was added security at the front entrance of the hotel. We were searched and our luggage taken off us to be searched too. This annoyed us a bit as it's supposed to be a hotel, not a prison! We told the gentleman at reception who then upgraded our room and gave us coupons for drinks at any of the bars in the hotel. I forget his name but He was lovely and very helpful. We went to our room which was on the 16th floor- with amazing views of the city and the Chrysler Building! The room itself was basic but beautiful, the bed was the most comfortable bed i have ever slept in! The bathroom was all marble and it overall had a vintage comfy feel to it. The hotel is grand and historic, As for the people complaining about how old the hotel is- you clearly stayed in the wrong place if you were expecting modern! We ate dinner at The Bull & Bear restaurant located in the hotel which I will do a separate review for. It was gorgeous the food is AMAZING and the staff were so kind and helpful! The negative points- the breakfast buffet provided in Oscars was over priced- definately not worth the money charged as it was just basic. The location of the hotel is excellent- right next to Fifth Avenue, the Rockefeller centre and Times Square! Ideal for first time tourists! I would definately recommend this beautiful hotel, the staff are all so polite and friendly and I would definately stay there again!

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank XeniaGabriel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ohio
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2013

We stayed at the Waldorf last week, and were fairly disappointed. As a Hilton Honors Diamond member, we were instructed, when reservations made thru Hilton Honors, that we would be entitled to free breakfast. However, upon check in, were told the Waldorf no longer honors that., so, we were left to find breakfast daily, elsewhere.,,Also, beware, if you want coffee in the morning, in your room, unless you do room service, you have to request a pot in your room in advance, as there is no where else in this building, to get coffee, can go across the street!...Just overall disappointment

Room Tip: Go elsewhere
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank shopperlkg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waldorf_Astoria_NY, Manager at Waldorf Astoria New York, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear shopperlkg,

Thank you very much for your feedback, and thank you for your loyalty to the Hilton brand. I am so sorry to hear about the confusion regarding breakfast. Please accept my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this caused. We are also very sorry to hear that you had a difficult time finding coffee in the morning. These comments are extremely helpful to us. We would like to learn a bit more about your stay. If you have a moment, please email me with a confirmation number from your stay, as well as your TripAdvisor username.

Thank you,
Diarmuid Dwyer
Hotel Manager
diarmuid.dwyer@waldorfastoria.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, CA
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

I've never needed to stay anywhere else. This grand old beauty is quintessential New York City to me. She's grace defined. Her lobby is elegant. Her entrance is stately. Her staff is impeccable, professional, and wonderful. And yet...after all of these years, it's time to say goodbye. I couldn't be sadder.

I booked a suite for our two nights. Arrival was seamless. We were checked in by Buddy who was friendly, informative, helpful, and eager to please. What more could we ask for?

And then came the room. Tables were broken. Pieces literally hung, and other pieces were missing. At some point, someone had broken a panel out of our bathroom door. It was puttied back together. Could we not spring for a new door? A small repair is one thing. But it was literally rebuilt with spackle.

We had a view of St. Bart's. At least that's what I think that's what it was. The windows hadn't been cleaned in so many years, we couldn't see through them. Yes, that bad.

The outlets were random. In the center of the fireplace was...an outlet. They tried to outfit the desk with some extra plugs, but the basic power strip they used fell right through the hole and just hung there.

To say it's outdated is an understatement. Carpet was filthy and maybe the original. The couch and chair were nice, and were down or synthetic down-filled. The coffee table legs were so unstable, to move it would be to break it.

I simply didn't understand. $600 a night...and I had better the night before at a university Sheraton.

There was no turn-down service. Our bathroom essentials weren't replaced, so we called for new ones that never arrived. The walls were filthy. The bathroom had a new toilet, new sink, new-ish bathtub and new curtain/rod. But the underneath vanity was a warped, broken old plasterboard thing that might well have been there since the 70s.

Room service on our last day...the price was SO high we shared among the three of us. We had ONE continental breakfast (small bread basket, coffee, juice, and I added a cranberry juice.) It was just under $80.

I can handle the price. As absurd as it was, I chose to pay it. But the room. It needs to be brought into this century. Even into the last century could work. The drapes were once beautiful. They hung half draped, partially pulled down and broken.

And as we left, we looked back sadly and knew it was time to move on. We don't want shiny new, we just want a place that will take pride in itself and not do what this once-grande-dame seems to be doing now: existing simply off of the history of what once was.

We'll be the first ones back if someone cleans her up and loves her again. Until then...we'll have to find a new place to put our money.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank MsSea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waldorf_Astoria_NY, Manager at Waldorf Astoria New York, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear MsSea,

Thank you so very much for the detailed description of your stay, and thank you for having been loyal to the Waldorf Astoria over the years. I am disheartened to read about your unsatisfactory stay with us. The issues you described about your guestroom will be examined immediately by our housekeeping team. I would really like to learn more about your stay. If you have a moment, please email me with the confirmation number from your stay, as well as your TripAdvisor username.

Thank you in advance,
Diarmuid Dwyer
Hotel Manager
diarmuid.dwyer@waldorfastoria.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colleyville, TX
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

I read the TripAdvisor reviews prior to booking and was prepared for everything from ‘Fabulous’ to ‘bed bugs’, but our stay was not on either extreme. The hotel is historic and interesting. The entrance was being prepared for what looked like a grand wedding with white orchids everywhere. It was lovely and contrasted with the somewhat darker lobby area, but still elegant in every way. Registration was quick and easy, we were not able to get a room on a higher floor because it was a little before check-in time and none were available yet. We were there for a 4:00 wedding in Central Park so we didn’t have time to wait for a room with a potential view. We took what we could get and hurried to get into our wedding attire, interrupted by housekeeping unlocking our room and coming in (not knowing it was occupied). Considering the age of the hotel, the conveniences of new hotels with the latest technology is not there so housekeeping doesn’t carry around anything similar to an iPad showing which rooms are occupied. In our haste, we didn’t think of putting a Do-not-disturb sign on the door. The room didn’t have modern sound proofing (or if it did it didn’t work) so we could hear our neighbors, but they didn’t stay up all night. The TV/cable wasn’t great considering the high room rates, the bed was okay (not like the Ritz Carlton), street noise came through the windows, there were robes, but no slippers available and the bathroom door swing missed the potty by very little which seems to be a common problem in older hotels. I would not have paid $300+ for the room so I’m not disappointed since I used points. It’s the kind of hotel that’s fun to stay there once just to be a part of history . . . walk down the halls looking at photos of Dean Martin, Lucy, Red Skelton, Liz Taylor, etc. and what it must have been like during those glory years. The hotel does have check-out options other than going to the desk which we used and were glad when we saw the big crowd in the lobby checking out. All in all we’re glad we stayed at the Waldorf Astoria. Also, we loved the soap in the shower and the body lotion was pretty good too.

Room Tip: It's probably not as noisy if you stay in a room on a floor higher than where we were (9th floor...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RockyTop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waldorf_Astoria_NY, Manager at Waldorf Astoria New York, responded to this review, October 22, 2013
Dear RockyTop,

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your stay. While I'm glad to know that you are happy you stayed with us, I do apologize that we did not exceed your expectations. We strive to provide each and every guest with an unforgettable experience, and we are terribly sorry that we were unable to do this for you. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the housekeeper incident. This is certainly something we need to discuss with our team. If you have a moment, please email me with the confirmation number from your stay, as well as your TripAdvisor username. I do hope we can research the issues you mentioned further to produce positive results.

Thank you in advance,
Diarmuid Dwyer
Hotel Manager
diarmuid.dwyer@waldorfastoria.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

Located in a great area. Enjoyed my stay at the Waldorf Astoria, staff was wonderful especially Sarah. I loved the decor every inch of it! I would definitely stay there again on my next trip to New York. Only thing is that it is going through renovation during our stay so I really couldn't take great pics of the hotel outside. It was lovely to see a wedding happening while on our stay oh and a movie was being filmed in front of the hotel. Overall a great experience and enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Citlali-Texas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

Myself and my husband stayed for 4 nights in October for my 40th birthday, the check in was quick even with a long queue, my husband informed reception we were there for my birthday and we were given 40$ worth of cocktail vouchers and a room with a view, our Room was on the 13 th floor overlooking Lexington ave it was lovely and quiet, the hotel is beautiful with lots of Art Deco features, within walking distance of many attractions, would definitely recommend and stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Waldorf Astoria New York

Property: Waldorf Astoria New York
Address: 301 Park Avenue, New York City, NY 10022-6844
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#36 Spa Hotel in New York City
#172 Luxury Hotel in New York City
#194 Romantic Hotel in New York City
#221 Family Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Waldorf Astoria New York 4.5*
Number of rooms: 1235
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Waldorf Astoria New York is temporarily closed while undergoing a complete renovation and restoration. It is planned to reopen in 2019/2020. Waldorf Astoria New York will feature restored historic public and event spaces along with luxury condominiums and guest rooms and suites that will set a new standard for luxury and service in New York. ---- New York’s grandest landmark hotel, the city's first sky-scraper hotel opened on October 31, 1931, and is still delighting visitors with its elegant Art Deco accommodations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Astoria Waldorf
New York Waldorf
Waldorf Historia
Waldorf New York
Hotel Waldorf New York
Waldorf Astoria Hotel New York
Astoria New Waldorf York

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