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“Fun rooftop bar but small rooms & tiny bathrooms. Rec 4 restaurants & bars”
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #311 of 468 Hotels in New York City
Sydney
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Fun rooftop bar but small rooms & tiny bathrooms. Rec 4 restaurants & bars”
Reviewed 29 March 2012

I stayed at the Empire hotel for 5 nights for work and then another 5 nights with my husband on holidays. Our room for the entire stay was the Superior King Room and work paid for breakfast during the first 5 days. I have been to NY before and know rooms are small but I was still disappointed that our upgraded superior king room was so small especially the bathroom was extremely tiny! Breakfast is not worth the cost at the hotel. I ate there for the first 5 days as work had already paid for it but on the 5 days while staying for pleasure there are plenty of alternative options close by.

Another couple joined us holidaying and they upgraded their room to a suite. The suite was fantastic and if you can afford the extra $s and are staying in NY for a week then the extra room is definitely recommended. The suite had a separate lounge/dining area and a lot more storage/cupboard space as well.

Location is great – close to Lincoln Centre and Central Park. Only 10min walk into busy Times Square. Only 5mins walk or so to Tiffanys and shopping district of Midtown.

The Empire upstairs bar/club is great and atmosphere good.

The pool on the website looks big but when we went to check it out we laughed at the size of it - well done to the photographer in snapping the pool from a great angle. During the day the pool/lounge/bar area is really cool and spent a long afternoon with cocktails and friends after shopping and it was a fantastic afternoon and the service was excellent.

Beware what items of clothing you get dry-cleaned as two items of mine were shrunk and no longer wearable. I complained at reception and they refunded my dry cleaning but the items were ruined and cost a lot. Dry cleaning is very expensive with the hotel and I’d recommend doing it yourself at a local Laundromat.

Recommendations of restaurants/roof top bars in NY:
- Macelleria Restaurant: Fabulous Italian restaurant, good prices, and the best angel hair pasta I’ve ever eaten! Close to Christian Louboutin: 59 Horatio Street, NY http://www.macelleria.com/
- Empellon Restaurant: Check out in the West Village: Empellon - v cool new wave Mexican. I went with my friend from NYC and it was amazing! 230 West 4th and cross street: W 10th St http://empellon.com/
- The Hurricane Club: Fabulous dining experience… Tahiti style…great food, potent rum cocktails, excellent service. Park Ave @ 26th St http://thehurricaneclub.com/media/photos
- Gansevoort Park Rooftop and Lounge: After dining @ the Hurricane Club… walk a few minutes up the road and catch the lifts to the rooftop. Nestled sky-high, twenty stories above Manhattan in the Gansevoort Park Rooftop. This expansive rooftop - unobstructed views of the Empire State Building 420 Park Ave South http://gansevoortpark.com/rooftop-loft/index.cfm
- Buddakan – best dining experience! Very cool décor, great service and fab food. Best to go with a group if you can to share dishes. Book ahead to reserve the long table made famous from Sex & the City. 75 9th Avenue, between West 15th & 16th Street. http://www.buddakannyc.com/
- After dinner @ Buddakan, walk to: Plunge Bar & Lounge – rooftop bar inside Gansevoort Hotel. Cool rooftop bar and fab views. 18 Ninth Ave at 13th, 14th fl in Hotel Gansevoort. http://www.hotelgansevoort.com/restaurants-bars-lounges/index.cfm

- If you’re buying your broadway shows while in NY: there are two half price ticket booths: TKTS. Times Square booth is the main one however you could be in the queue for hours. Second booth is just off the hop on hop off bus line near South Street Seaport. The queue there was only 30mins in the morning.

This time we went to the Brooklyn TKTS booth and got there20mins b4 it opened and were only the 3rd person in the queue!!! You could catch a cab or train from Manhattan. We caught a cab there on Saturday morning and it wasn’t expensive. Best of the three options and then catch a cab or walk to Grimaldis pizza!

- Must go to Grimaldi Pizza: be warned it is very popular and you may have to line up. It’s worth it though! If you’re going on the weekend…well worth getting there 40mins b4 it opens. We went to the TKS half price booth in Brooklyn and then walked to Grimaldi’s and lined up for a short time b4 it opened. http://www.grimaldis.com/
- Brooklyn Bridge – walk over the bridge. After Grimaldi’s walk straight down the street 100m and you’re at the waters edge looking at the amazing Manhattan skyline… Then walk over the Brooklyn Bridge back into Manhattan!
- Bateaux dinner cruise – glass boat, elegant, 3 course dinner, live band. Great night out and amazing night time views over NYC. Chelsea Piers, Pier 61 along Westside Hwy at West 23rd Street. http://www.bateauxnewyork.com/New-York/dinner
- Salon De Ning - The Peninsula Hotel New York – roof top bar – great location and views but expensice cocktails… 700 Fifth Ave @ 55th Street http://www.peninsula.com/Peninsula_Hotels/en/default.aspx#/New_York/en/Dining/Salon_de_Ning/

Room Tip: If you can afford to spend a extra $s and staying a while I'd rec upgrading to a suite like my f...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 26Lucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, 30 March 2012
Dear 26Lucky,

Wow! What an amazing review of the Empire Hotel and what to do/see while you are in NYC! Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. I apologize that you found your room to be on the small side. I can tell you we have several different room types and configurations (like your friend's suite!) that I am confident will exceed your expectations the next time you visit. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly if I can assist you in the future. I look forward to welcoming you back to the Empire the next time your travels bring you to NYC.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Geneva
Level Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

First a few positives: The location is excellent -- minutes from two subway stops and directly across from Lincoln Center. Also, we had a great room overlooking the front entrance on the second floor -- it was quiet (as long as the window was closed), but with a lovely view. But, really, this is the cougar of NYC hotels. The decor is a bit garish with extensive use of gilt and leopard prints -- I knew this going in and was fine with it. But when you look a bit closer you notice that it's got some wrinkles beneath the surface. Our bathroom was clean -- but kind of gross in that paint was chipping, there were some permanent stains on the door frame and the caulking was tearing apart. It could use a little TLC, not a smothering of fabrics and bright colors. Overall, a fine place to stay if you get a good price and don't look too closely once you get there.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BinGeneva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, 30 March 2012
Dear BinGeneva,

As the Assistant General Manager of the Empire Hotel, I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your most recent stay with us. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed our incredible location and your room exceeded your expectations. In regards to the decor I can tell you we are always looking for new and different ways to update our product and offerings and will take your feedback into consideration moving forward. Thank you for staying at the Empire Hotel and we hope to welcome you back soon!

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warren, R.I.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

I just returned from a weekend in NYC with 3 teenagers to celebrate my daughter's 16th birthday and stayed at the Empire. The lobby is beautiful and the location is great. We had been upgraded to a deluxe double and were told it had a beautiful view of Lincoln Center. When we got to our room we had no view and the set up of the room was very strange with a column in the middle of the room. I called down and was told that we could switch rooms tomorrow but nothing was available that night. I was fine with that until I saw how small the bathroom was. I think it is quite possibly the smallest bathroom I have ever seen in a hotel. This was a little bit of a problem with three teens. Also the showers do not have a door so the water tends to spray out of the shower and all over the floor of the bathroom. Our heater's nob was broken so the air in the room was pretty bad, luckily I was able to crack a window. The icing on the cake for this room was that one of the girls found a yamika in the bed. I tried to not make too big of a deal about it to the girls but did mention it the next day and was able to get a much nicer room as a result. The staff was friendly. The conceirge was great the first night and led us to a great restaurant down by Time Square. The following night we were going to a play and wanted to go to little Italy for dinner. The conceirge told us to take the #1 train down and get off at Canal St. The only thing he forgot to tell us was that we would have to walk all the way through Canal St. and the stop was about a mile from little Italy. Needless to say there was a closer stop if he had directed us correctly and had us switch trains at Time Square. Also it was quite scary to walk through Canal St with 3 teenagers who were dressed to go to the theater. And we ended up only having an hour for dinner because he did not tell us that it would take us an hour to get there. Overall it was a great weekend and my daughter and friends had a great time in NYC.

Room Tip: Try and get upgraded or book a deluxe room. Otherwise you will end up with a small room and really s...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank jillmurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

There's a huge clustering of hotels in NYC in Times Square. While that's inarguably an exciting place to be, it's also maddeningly mobbed, noisy all night, and overwhelmingly touristy. The Empire is only about 10 minutes' walk north of Times Square, but its Upper West Side location is worlds away. One (long crosstown) block to Central Park; across the street from Lincoln Center. A few blocks from the Whole Foods on Columbus Circle, the Apple Store at 66th & Broadway. The subway cluster at Columbus Circle (59th Street) isn't as extensive as the Times Square cluster, but it will get you most places you want to go. Best of all, though, this is a neighborhood: there are plenty of visitors in the streets, of course, but most of the skyscrapers are full of residents, people who walk their dogs, get a bagel at the deli, and so forth.

The hotel itself has been recently refurbished in a stylishly comfy boutique hotel manner. In my room, the showerhead was positioned so that it wasn't possible not to get the bathroom floor wet, but that was the only example of a stylish element not quite completely coordinated. Cushy towels and bathrobe. The usual overabundance of pretty pillows and throws on the bed, but at least the room was large enough to stash them in a corner.

The building is in an E-shape, such that a lot of the rooms look into courtyards (the rest look at the street). These courtyards are classic New York: not much sunlight or air, not especially clean, with white-noise-creating mechanical equipment at the bottom. But quiet, I found.

The fitness center is pretty standard-issue, with some treadmills, stairmasters, and other machines. The standout feature is the view: it looks north to a small triangular park & Broadway (which at that point has a lovely landscaped median), with Lincoln Center to the left (west) and a slot view of Central Park to the right (east). Compared to the more standard windowless fitness center, this was outstanding, especially for a guest staying in a room that looks into the grey twilight of the courtyards.

The hotel has a spectacular-looking roof deck and pool. I say "looking" because it was still closed for the winter when I stayed.

Service seemed good. We weren't disturbed when we had the Do Not Disturb sign up; an error in the bill was quickly corrected; a problem with the Business Center was quickly attended to.

Room Tip: You face a bit of a Hobson's choice: Street-facing rooms have great views and light, but street...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Skidrowe3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, 28 March 2012
Dear Skidrowe3,

As the Assistant General Manager of the Empire Hotel, I can't tell you how pleased I am to read your review and hear how much you enjoyed your recent stay with us! We look forward to welcoming you back as our guest in the near future.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

We wanted to see the show "War Horse" and stay overnight in New York City. There were six of us and we were driving up. We were meeting relatives for dinner. Once we parked, we wanted everthing to be convenient. The Empire Hotel was perfect!

The vallet parked our car (our package included parking) and we were able to check in at noon (one room was ready even though check-in is 3:00PM). The corner suite was newly decorated and lovely. We had a king sized bed and our grandson had a sofa bed in the living room. We had two bathrooms.

We ate a wonderful lunch at Cafe Fiorello just across the street from the hotel, went to the 2:00 PM show. We came back and the others checked into their rooms which were lovely also. One junior suite with two double beds and one regular queen room which was upgraded to a king delux made for comfortable accomodations. The area was upscale and we found a very nice mall within walking distance. That night we had dinner at PJ Clark's next to the hotel. My husband and I went to sleep early but the others enjoyed being together in the lovely loby or lounge. We had an American breakfast buttet in the hotel restaurant (juices, coffee,eggs, potatoes, breads, pastery, cereal, yougert etc.) which was also included in our package.

The hotel was clean, newly redecorated, had fine linens and toiletries and was in an excellent location. Chris at the front desk gave us excellent information during our visit and when I had originally called for reservations.

The pricing for NY City was fair and we were pleased with our stay!

Room Tip: We were on a high floor and it was a bit noisy from the night club. The other rooms were lower and q...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BFW10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this review, 28 March 2012
Dear BFW10,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your incredible feedback on yoru most recent stay at the Empire Hotel! We are so pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us. I have to agree that our location is amazing and a perfect place to stay when you are in NYC to see a show at Lincoln Center! We look forward to welcoming you back the next time your travels bring you to NYC.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin
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 Empire Hotel

Property: Empire Hotel
Address: 44 West 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10023-7029
Phone Number:
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 #311 of 468 Hotels in New York City
Price range (per night): RM760 - RM1,841
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. ... more   less 
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