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“Average property - needs an upgrade along with the service”

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Waldorf Astoria New York
Ranked #267 of 467 Hotels in New York City
Scotland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Average property - needs an upgrade along with the service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2014

I stayed here with a friend for three nights as a girls' weekend away. We come to New York fairly regularly and we have tried quite a few different hotels in Midtown Manhattan. We ended up at the Waldorf Astoria by accident - my friend said that she had always wanted to stay there, but it was only when we arrived and she commented that she thought the "Home Alone hotel was much closer to Central Park" that we figured out that she actually meant she had always wanted to stay at The Plaza.

Anyhow, knowing that The Waldorf has such a fantastic history and reputation as a luxury property we were still very excited to be staying there. The lobby is wonderful and very beautiful. I prefer more modern hotels but I enjoyed the charm of a grand and historic setting. Our check in was quick and easy (no problems with lengthy queues as noted by other reviewers), and the receptionist was very friendly and polite.

It went a little downhill when we reached the room. It was fine: it was clean and as far as New York City rooms go it was a decent size, but it was just really...average. There was nothing remarkable about the room at all. The bathroom was a tiny bit shabby and - I think due to the fact that shower/bathtub combo had a shower curtain and not a glass panel - smelled really badly of damp.

Over the next few days we found that the service wasn't up to our expectations either. Not once did any of the doormen acknowledge us when we came in or out - a real difference from the last time I stayed in New York when the doorman at the hotel welcomed everyone and even remembered their name! We had a drink in the lobby bar one evening and, again, were barely even acknowledged, and when we left our luggage after checking out the porter didn't say a single word - not even a good morning! Given that I rate New York as one of the friendliest, most customer-driven cities in the world, it was really disappointing. Perhaps the Waldorf instructs staff not to be intrusive with their service, but if it's the case then they should re-think as it comes across as being plain rude.

Overall, there was nothing remarkable about this hotel that would make me want to return, which is a shame as I really wanted to fall in love with it. I think it is living off a reputation which may have been well deserved in the past but it has certainly lost its sparkle now. If you want to take in the grandeur of The Waldorf, visit the lobby and go for a drink...you may even be lucky enough to be served with a smile!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AndynLea
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, January 27, 2014
Dear AndynLea,

Thank you very much for taking the time to tell me about you and your friends' experience at the Waldorf Astoria. I am devastated to hear that we did not exceed your expectations during your recent stay with us. I am discouraged to learn that our service was not up to par. This is certainly a training opportunity for us. I do hope that you and your friends opt to give the Waldorf Astoria another chance next time you are in New York City.

Thank you,
Dan Briks
Director of Rooms
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Rowlands Castle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2014

Having spent hours searching for the optimum hotel in NYC - we decided to stay at the Waldorf Astoria, chosen over the Plaza. It is supreme New York luxury with all of the vintage classic appointments you would expect. Feels very much like a Fairmont Luxury hotel similar to that of the Fairmont in San Francisco. Great service from hotel staff, room was spacious and we loved the marble bathroom. Our rate included breakfast at Oscars which was superb. Buffet style with all the choice of a Las Vegas brunch. You have to sip a cocktail whilst enjoying the piano lounge called Peacock inside the hotel. The location of this hotel is fantastic, so well placed and the ideal hub for a weekend break.

Room Tip: Book through Hilton Honours to add special room upgrades
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Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Jon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lawrence, Kansas
Level Contributor
116 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

We checked in on Christmas Day and it was quite crowded. The Hilton Honors desk was closed, so we waited in line for 15 minutes or so. This is a huge hotel and although it is lovely and clean and everything worked fine, it just didn't seem as spectacular as its reputation suggested it would be. Our room was very large, not only for New York, but for most hotel rooms we've occupied. There was plenty of room for a second armchair, but we had only one. There was a tiny flaw in the bathroom (the tip of a faucet was missing), but everything worked fine and the heat was o.k. once we figured it out. When we checked in we were told we had one of the few rooms with a view, which surprised us. The view was not spectacular, just up Park Avenue between two buildings. The breakfast was very expensive, even for a hotel, so we just walked up the street to one of the smaller coffee shops in the neighborhood. We like being able to say we stayed at the Waldorf, but that's the major benefit of the experience. It's a very good location, near Rockefeller Center, the theater district, and the Museum of Modern Art and with a subway and buses right there.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank OutofKansas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

I really wanted to like the Waldorf. You can read my other reviews, I really like Hiltons generally.
We stayed there for 4 nights, in July, I stay at Hiltons a LOT, so I used my HH points to pay for it.
The Diamond HH check in is great, separate desked room. First member of this executive spot, greeted us , sat us down and disappeared. Not a good start.
I had to asked what was going on
The service didn't get any better.
I honestly believe they treat guests using Hilton Honors points as almost second class citizens, when in fact you would need to have stayed I reckon in a Hilton for 40 nights to pay for my room at the Waldorf. One member of staff even commented I hadn't "paid"
The room though an upgrade and very nice, was or had been a smoking room and we aren't . i called to change, Basically NO,
I had to virtually fight with them for what as a diamond member I am entitled to. ie exec lounge access, free Breakfast etc.
They have a famous steak house. Don't bother. Over priced and poor quality of food and service
It was just so much hassle start to finish. Such a shame
The even tried to over charge me TWICE.
I wrote to the hotel general manager.
I'm still waiting on a reply.
The only good point was the main lobby bar. the bar staff are fantastic, the cocktails great.
There must be far better 5 star hotels in NY.
Avoid the Waldorf, especially if you are using Hilton points

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BCriagD
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, January 27, 2014
Dear BCriagD,

Thank you so much for your comments, and thank you for your loyalty to the Hilton brand. I am so discouraged to hear that you were dissatisfied with your recent experience, and that you felt that you did not get the quality service you certainly deserve. This is absolutely a training opportunity for us. I truly hope that we have the pleasure of welcoming you back to the Waldorf Astoria again in the future.

Thank you,
Dan Briks
Director of Rooms
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
66 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

This hotel is surviving on its name only. The lobby is beautiful, however, everything else is awful. First the check-in process was like being in a cattle car. The lobby was packed and we waited in line forever. Then the staff was extremely rude to us. They seemed dismissive because my girlfriend and I are both in our 20s, but we are also both lawyers who will now never stay there again. The room was extremely run down. There was a hole in the wall, no joke. And a large crack on the ceiling. The AC/heat was broken. There was no view whatsoever. Then despite staying 3 nights and being Hilton Honors they refused to activate the wireless internet in our room. The final straw has to be the hot water, though. I couldn't get any hot water in the shower or the sink. I called the front desk and they said "Oh, that happens all the time, you must run it for 15 to 20 minutes" I was astounded. Who plans on a 15 minute buffer to run the water before getting ready?

We at Oscar's and the food was average. No major complaints, but I find it interesting that a restaurant in the Waldorf gets a B food safety rating when little hole in the wall joints on the same block get A's.

The real kicker is the valet. Wow, $50 a night and they are absolutely awful. You not only have to call 30 minutes in advance but then you have to go wait in a long line to pay, come back outside, wait again, then finally get your car. They are extremely rude from the drivers to the cashiers. Just a terrible experience.

DO NOT STAY HERE. I have had way better service at Hyatts, Double Treet, and $20 a night casinos in AC.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Steve S
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, January 27, 2014
Dear Steve S,

Thank you for your feedback. I am so disappointed to hear that you were dissatisfied with your experience at the Waldorf Astoria. I am terribly sorry that you found our team to be rude and that you experienced difficulties with valet. This feedback is extremely valuable to us, as we are constantly working to better the guest experience. I truly hope that you both will choose the Waldorf Astoria again next time you are in New York city.

Thank you,
Dan Briks
Director of Rooms
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, FL
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

This is our experience of our stay at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC from 12/27/13 - 1/1/14.

Unfortunately, I have to say that unless I was using HH points again, I do not think we would be returning to this hotel. The lobby was beautiful and grand. However, it lost its charm as we dodged strollers and consistently walked around the huge line waiting to check in. As far as check in goes, we arrived at the hotel at about 10:30 am, and I assumed correctly our room wouldn't be available since it was so early. Not a problem. We gave our contact cell phone number to be notified when it was ready, and proceeded to spend some time in the vicinity, enjoying the city. We were told the room would be ready by normal check in time, 3:00. When 3:30 rolled around, my husband decided to wait in the massive line to see what was going on. He was informed that the staff "missed" a number of his cell phone number and thus couldn't reach us to notify us our room was ready. Seriously? We found that hard to believe especially since my cell phone is stored in my HH account.

We finally made it to our room. Despite my request of being far from the elevator that is on my HH profile, we were a few doors down from it. For the following 5 nights we were consistently awakened by the dinging of the doors, and voices. It was slightly more spacious since it was a handicapped room, however that didn't mean it was free of issues. Far from it. The wallpaper was peeling, the tile was cracked in the shower, half the outlets didn't work, and one phone didn't work. You would think these things would be taken care of at a 5-star property, especially with it being the NYC world renowned Waldorf. On top of that, our "king size" bed was in no way king size. That bed was a queen at BEST, but every employee I said something to assured me it was a king room. No way, no how. We sleep in a king bed at home, and are well aware of the size. I didn't know if it was an honest mistake, or listed in the computer incorrectly, or we were merely being pacified. We also had to consistently call (on the one working phone) for the complimentary water that was supposed be in the room daily. We were placated with free drink coupons, which was nice, but quickly turned into a joke that the staff was wanting us to be drunk so we didn't notice all the things that were making the stay less than our dream honeymoon. Yes, it was our honeymoon. Which the staff knew. And resulted in 2 extra drink tickets. Sigh.

The only conclusion I had to draw was that because it was high season being the holidays, and because we were using HH points instead of cash, we were by far less priority than other guests. I would hope that being a loyal Hilton customer, I wouldn't have to come to that conclusion since customer service with Hilton is supposed to be such top priority. It should also be noted I am in fact, a Gold member. But there you have it.

One highlight by far was the concierge - Graham. He was warm, polite, helpful, and willing to spend a few minutes with us each time we had questions about restaurants. He hit the ball out of the park with his restaurant recommendations, and it was so nice having a staff member that actually did not have the snooty you're-at-the-Waldorf attitude.

I did mention my dissatisfaction to the desk at one point - I was offered a move. To a smaller room. I don't think so.

With that being said, I think we will find it incredibly challenging to return to this property.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kimberly1017
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, January 27, 2014
Dear Kimberly1017,

Thank you for your detailed comments. I am terribly sorry to learn that you were dissatisfied with your guestroom and with the service you received at the Waldorf Astoria. 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. We certainly hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to the Waldorf Astoria next time you are in New York City!

Thank you,
Dan Briks
Director of Rooms
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

In its heyday, the Waldorf Astoria must have been some hotel and it is relatively easy to gain glimpses of its glory days. However that heyday is a long, long time ago and my sense of excitement at having the opportunity to stay at a world famous property quickly dulled into a sense of "oh well I have stayed at worse places".

Rooms are small, internet is flaky, powerpoints rattled in the desk, I could hear the people upstairs using their toilet. Time moves on, our expectations move on but the Waldorf Astoria hasn't.

One positive to note though was the attitude of the staff who were pleasant and helpful.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chrisklopper
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, January 27, 2014
Dear chrisklopper,

Thank you very much for taking the time to tell us about your stay. I am so sorry to hear that your expectations were not exceeded during your recent stay with us. Your comments about your guestroom and the PowerPoint at the front desk are extremely valuable, as we are constantly working to better the guest experience. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to the Waldorf Astoria again soon.

Thank you,
Dan Briks
Director of Rooms
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 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:
#37 Spa Hotel in New York City
#175 Luxury Hotel in New York City
#196 Romantic Hotel in New York City
#224 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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