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“Swank hotel but tiny rooms”
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #338 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Reviewed 6 January 2012

I stayed here for 4 nights in August, before I signed up to tripadvisor, hence the late review. Guest rooms are well furnished but small. The bathroom was stocked with high end toiletries but it was really small. Forget 'showering with a friend', there was barely enough room for me (6' 180 lbs) to get in and out of the shower on my own!

In fact a friend of mine left her suitcases in the room after she checked out of her room and travelled upstate to Rochester. I agreed to store her 2 suitcases but had to perform some olympic grade gymnastic maneuvers that would make Mary Lou Retton proud just to get to the bed from the door as there's simply is no dedicated space for suitcases. Y'all remember Mary Lou, the West Virginian who won Olympic gold in LA in 1984.

I quizzed the front office staff - all uniformly polite and well groomed - about the shoebox sized room and was whispered that the ultra small rooms are given to folk who book through third party sites. Never do those who book with the hotel get such shoeboxes.

I thanked the pretty Englishwoman at the front desk for her candour. For all I know she was just regular front office staff or perhaps the Duty Manager or even several rungs higher up the corporate ladder. I have no idea, but she is certainly what I want in a hotel I sleep at. Very professional manner and very polished presentation.

Would I stay here again given the small room? Yes.
Is the location good? Pretty good. There is a lovely open air rooftop bar accessible through a separate elevator in the lobby, and being here is a nice (but not gruelling) 17 block walk to Zabar's on Broadway and West 80th, where I had b/fast. The coffee at Zabar's is also very good. Oh and there are plenty of grocers, cafes and diners nearby.

While wifi is pricey in the room, next door to the hotel is a Starbucks with free wifi (and they are open late).

And of course, if you love music, the joint is right opposite Lincoln Centre.

Room Tip: Book through the hotel to MINIMISE the chance you'll get a sardine can sized room.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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Thank JA-From-Sydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2012

Dear JA from Sydney,

Thank you for your feedback on your most recent stay at the Empire Hotel. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay and apologize that the size of your room did not meet your expectations. We do have several different room types at the Empire and I am confident that you would be comfortable in one of our larger accomodations. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Empire the next time your travels bring you to NYC.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
Hotel Manager

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5,327 - 5,331 of 6,393 reviews

Reviewed 5 January 2012

I stayed at this hotel with my fiance just before New Year's because of an accepted bid on Priceline and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. The rooms are a little small, particularly the bathroom. However, the staff fulfilled all of our requests. The furnishings in the rooms are very nice and are at least 4 star quality. The bed is comfortable and the room had a nice TV as well as a fully stocked mini fridge. The shower was one of the best hotel showers I've experienced and I loved the towels. The air conditioner wasn't so great, but we could open the windows all the way. The hotel is in one of my favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan and is convenient to so many things. The lobby turns into a lounge at night, which isn't so pleasant to return to, but it did not disturb our stay. I like the design of the hotel and would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Just try to get anything with a view.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mymanren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmpireManagement, General Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2012

Dear my manren,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your valuable feedback regarding your most recent visit to the Empire Hotel. As the General Manager of the Empire, I was so pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and had an opportunity to enjoy our amazing location. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Empire Hothe next time your travels bring you to NYC.

Regards,

David McManus

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Reviewed 3 January 2012

We so love this area, if we could live here we would move to NYC. The next best thing to moving is the Empire Hotel. It used to be a dump and has been transformed into a trendy boutique hotel. Being an old hotel, the rooms are small. We take a Jr. suite for the extra space. Standouts, for me, are the clever way they transformed long narrow hallways into a walk in the forrest. Biggest joke-the shower. Design-wise the hotel is gorgeous, including the rooms. But the shower is a challenge. I want to strangle the designer every time I take a shower. You see, it's all about style w/o substance although there is nice storage in this bathroom. Teak floors in the shower, nice. Rain shower head on the ceiling that drips on my hair, not nice. Men love it. It has a hand held shower wand, dangerous. You have to think in this shower. Positioning yourself is key. My husband the klutz, was taking a shower. I opened the bathroom door and got a blast of water that went all the way into the room. You guessed it, wet hair. They've since installed glass panels which keeps the bathroom somewhat drier. Once you get the hang of the showers, you can enjoy the best neighborhood in NYC. don't eat in the hotel. The food is mediocre and expensive. Walk out the door and you are surrounded with restaurants and food shops anywhere from $-$$$. But best of all, You Are Right Next Door To Lincoln Center, across the street from Central Park, down the street from a wonderful art cinema. Around the corner to Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Ave and the Plaza Hotel. Any direction you choose to walk is right. Only one downside; this hotel is a destination place for clubbing. They have a wonderful roof top lounge. The young and badly dressed line up, for hours, waiting their turn to get up to the roof. It really isn't difficult to get into the hotel if you're staying there but the lobby and bar sees a lot of action. Fun thing is, performers that are playing Lincoln Center stay at the hotel. I met Sting in the lobby. We actually got tickets on the Lincoln Plaza at the last minute for the Sting concert with the London Philharmonics Orchestra. Same for NYC Ballet. We were walking in the park and I decided at the last minute to see if I could get a seat. Got the best one! My husband walked to our favorite Grey's Papaya Hot Dog Shop for a hotdog. He was happy not to go to the ballet. It was a win-win.

Room Tip: Try not to stay on the top floors because of the noise from the rooftop. Rooms tend to be small. I...
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank CarolynandBurton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2012

We stayed in this hotel for 4 nights in November 2011.

We arrived at the hotel and were pleased to be greeted by a friendly and helpful Receptionist who checked us in quickly & smoothly.

Our room was clean and small but spacious - you couldn't swing a cat in there, but there was enough storage for two people. The only problem we had was that the room was absolutely boiling, like a sauna. As we found out later on, the top two floors are the hottest in the hotel and if we had known at checkin, would have moved rooms. We complained about the temperature and an engineer came to open the window which reduced the temperature, but it was still too hot to sleep in and spend more than five minutes in.

Make sure you visit the hotel bar, the sofas are amazing! Make sure you have a taste of the cocktails, they are worth exploring. We ate in the bar a couple of times and were pleased with the standard of food and price which was reasonable. As a tip, don't go to the bar on a Friday or Saturday night as it is very noisy and full of teenagers.

The location is perfect for all sightseeing and shopping trips - within a 5 minute walk is Central Park and a large shopping mall.

I'd definitely recommend a visit to this hotel as it's in a perfect location and reasonably priced.

Room Tip: Don't stay on the top two floors!
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Reading_Traveller06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2012

The Empire is always my "go to" hotel in Manhattan. A fresh boutique experience, great rooms ingeniously designed to seem larger even though they are typically small as in most NYC hotels. The building is one of the oldest NYC original hotels, artfully renovated, with a rooftop bar, pool with cabannas, and set in the lovely Lincoln Ctr area, just a few blocks from Central Park, and 1,2,3 subway line. Cool lobby bar and hopping nightclub in rooftop bar round out the scene...Some of the rooms might be noisy depending on location, but this is New York, not a cabin in the woods!!!

Room Tip: Ask for room facing Lincoln Ctr, as opposed to Broadway...if they have upgrades available, it is wor...
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tfuller52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Empire Hotel

Address: 44 West 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10023-7029
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Upper West Side , Manhattan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #338 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Price Range: RM 513 - RM 1,674 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Empire Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 426
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on our own private corner of West 63rd Street between two legendary New York City landmarks - Lincoln Center and Central Park - this boutique NYC hotel provides luxury accommodations overlooking the Broadway / Columbus Avenue - the gateway to the Upper West Side. Location is essential to the spirit of the Empire Hotel and the interior motif and design is inspired by the earth tones of Central Park and the stately modernism of Lincoln Center. 426 Deluxe guest rooms and suites, WiFi, Pool Deck open seasonally, Ed's Chowder House Restaurant, Rooftop Lounge, Lobby bar. Fun fact, The Empire Hotel was featured in Gossip Girl. Join us for a Chuck Bass cocktail in the Lobby Bar. ... more   less 
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