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5,562 - 5,567 of 6,635 reviews
Reviewed 18 December 2011

The Empire Hotel is a GORGEOUS hotel. The Valet and front desk staff were super helpful and friendly. The first floor bar area and Mezzanine level were dark and sexy yet inviting. The rooms are clean and updated but as small as a closet.

I stayed with a girlfriend in a double and let's just say that if my husband had been with me, I still would have felt crowded!

The bathrooms are also small and have an open shower door that gets water all over the floor. We couldn't figure out that design snafu.

Other than that, the area is great (Upper West Side, right next to Lincoln Center) and the Columbus Circle subway station is about four blocks away. There is a Starbucks on the corner as well as several stores where you can get sandwiches, coffee, drinks, etc.

Since the rooms were small, and there was free Wifi in the lobby, I spent quite a few nights working on the Mezzanine level, and enjoyed it immensely. The bar area downstairs gets more crowded as the week goes on but it was never overcrowded. It was easy and relaxing to get work done any day of the week.

The "look" of this hotel is so beautiful and the furnishings are so modern that I ended up doing a photo shoot for a friend while I was there (until Management stopped me!)

They have a bar on their roof, which is a very popular place to hang out. I've seen episodes of The New York City Housewives where they filmed at that bar and apparently Kim Kardashian has also stayed at this hotel.

If you want a gorgeous, boutique hotel experience, and don't mind a super small room, then The Empire Hotel is the place for you!

Room Tip: All the rooms are small...
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Mj W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2011

When we saw the hotel and the area. We were initially excited until we had to deal with the customer service. First of all, I would highly recommend not booking a room at Empire through one of the cheap hotel sites, or priceline.com, or hotels.com. First, after booking a room for 3 people, we were told that we were reserved for a Queen standard room, with one bed, we told them that we needed double beds and the worker informed us that we would have to pay an extra $100 for our room if we wanted a room with double beds, because they had nothing available. After realizing that we were not going to budge, she then said, we do have a double bed room in the smoking area. We suffer from some breathing issues, but in order to be comfortable, we had to take the room. We were told that we did not have Wifi because our hotel rate did not include free wifi. There was an evening I had an important event to attend and when I was going to take a shower, there were no wash clothes. We called 4 times and did not receive the towels. By this time it had been well over an hour and I had to wash up with my hands and soap. This was one of the worse hotel experiences I have ever had and I did not realize that booking a hotel through one of the discounted web sites would result in us not receiving all the amenities that we would have received if we had paid the regular price. The rooms are small and you can hear everything outside of the rooms.

Room Tip: Do not pay attention to the locations, pay attention to the quality of service.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Davena L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmpireManagement, Manager at Empire Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2011

Dear Davena L,

As the Asisstant General Manager of the Empire Hotel, I sincerely appreciate you providing us with your feedback on yoru most recent stay with us. I apologize for the inconveniences you experienced and would appreciate the opportuntiy to discuss your stay in great detail. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at the Hotel. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Jennifer Baldwin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2011

Stayed here on a one-night trip to NYC, 12/15/2011-12/16/2011. Basically this place has terrible climate and plumbing control, amounting to a huge hassle and disappointment.

1) Our first room was on the 11th (top) floor, and it didn't take long for us to realize it was SWELTERING in there! Despite pawing around for thermostat and other temperature controls, we could not find the control for the heating unit. Upon calling the front desk, we spoke with an engineer who came up to the room and explained that since we were on the top floor, we were getting all the radiant heat from "all the steam pipes" above us on the roof. He said there was nothing that could be done, except move us to another floor.

Our only other options were the 4th floor (designated "SMOKING" - really? in the 21st century?) and the 1st floor. At this point it was midnight and we said the 1st floor would be fine. Schlepping down to Room 107, we unloaded all of our bags and settled in a few hours later for the night...

2) Except, it was awfully hard to settle in with the CONSTANT CLANGING OF THE A/C (yes, A/C) unit throughout the night. It was a distinct metal sound that could be heard loudly throughout the room. It woke us up every hour on the hour throughout the night. Only after getting up and fiddling with the A/C and eventually unplugging the unit were we able to get some rest. (Later, when we mentioned this to the hotel staff, they curiously asked us if we were sure we hadn't been hearing the sound of the "elevator" down the hall... um, yes, we know what an elevator sounds like... and it's definitely not he sound of metal clanging inside an A/C unit located approximately 10 inches from your head, thanks to the small size of the rooms!)

SO MUCH FOR A GOOD NIGHT'S REST.

3) The next morning, I woke up and hopped into the shower, hoping to stay on schedule to catch our departure at 9:30AM. Strangely, the hot water didn't seem to be coming on in the shower. Fiddled with the dial, changing it at 15-20 degree (out of 360 degree) intervals, but the water only seemed to be cold and colder. After **12** minutes, warm water and eventually hot came out of the spigot... by this time, I was ready to resort to a sponge bath in order to make it out of there on time.

Bottom line, if you're looking for a hassle-free accommodation, Empire's not going to make the cut. Having lived in New York for a number of years, I can attest that this place does not live up to the competitive pace and standards expected of a four-star hotel in a world-class city.

Room Tip: Anywhere but the top floor. Fourth floor is smoking.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jennifer W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2011

My husband and I stayed here in early November. The location is across from Lincoln Center, a subway stop and a bus line. Couldn't be better for getting around town. Liked the fact that we weren't in the mix/near Times Square and could escape to a real neighborhood. Lots of really good restaurants. Cafe Ronda on Columbus Ave ROCKS! Didn't have much interaction with the staff except check in and check out, but they were competent and friendly enough.

The shower is CRAZY! Be sure to check to see which way the hand held is facing before turning it on. Our last day nearly flooded the bathroom.

One thing that I found annoying, was that ice could only be gotten through room service. Silly if you ask me!

The hotel stay was a gift from a friend and they Pricelined it so I don't know the final bid. If I could get a decent rate, would probably stay again, just for the location.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank munchkins7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2011

Stayed four nights. Was allocated a room on first floor. Air con units right outside window. Romeo gave us complimentary breakfasts so it felt churlish to complain.

Superb location.

One little tip. We required tranport to the Cruise port at Bayonne, New Jersey. The concierge quoted $124. We asked the bell boys and they got us a limo for $80 including tolls and tip.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TrickyTree14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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