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Reviewed 29 December 2010

First, both my wife and I are Hilton Honors Diamond level and we used points to book the room and paid a nominal amount ($50 per night) for the upgrade. Our first room was horrible - small Jr Suite, very disjointed, view of a brick wall, and single sink in the bath. Went back downstairs and they moved us to a suite which was better, but have to admit I was expecting a higher level of quality from this hotel. That said, the staff was very attentive and polite. We visited to of the louge/bars during the stay and the service was good as were the drinks. The hotel provided vouchers for the Starbucks on the lower level. Went there one day and did not go back as the attitude of the staff was typical of NYC.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank caddoboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2010

As a Hilton Honors Diamond member, we have spent years staying loyal to the brand, spending tens of thousands of dollars on stays. We are used to upgrades, and being treated really well as loyal guests of the Hilton chain. This came to a halting stop at the Waldorf Astoria.

Yes, the lobby is grand, beautiful, festive, historic...etc. The staff, however, is incredibly rude, nonchalant, and cannot be bothered by the lowly like of those who would have the audacity to pay a *gasp* advanced purchase rate. You'd think a hotel would appreciate the fact that a guest would pay 100% up front, ensuring they will have that room sold, but instead, at check-in we were met with this exact phrase, "I see you are a diamond member, but since you paid the advanced purchase rate, you will have to use Starbucks coupons for breakfast." Now, I know that a Starbucks coupon is appealing to 99% of the population, but when you are used to full hot breakfast, and they are parading people past the most extravagant buffet you've ever seen, it is a slap in the face to offer someone a cup of coffee and a doughnut that I couldn't even use because of food allergies. The line alone at Starbucks (sometimes 45 minute wait) makes this more of a punishment that a perk.

We inquired about an upgrade, but were also informed that "Europeans are willing to pay for the suites around Christmas, so they wouldn't be available." Why even say that? Just state that they are unavailable. Why say you are "upgrading us to a nice superior room," when that is exactly what we paid for? The whole check-in process was condescending, rude, and was set up to make the guests feel defeated...guess I should have packed the fur coat.

Once we finished the check in, we went up to our room, which was nice enough. There was the weirdest plug-in fireplace thing from I would guess the 1960's. The wall paper is pealing everywhere, the room was musty, and there was dust...a lot of dust. The beds were great. The soaps and lotions smelled great. Housekeeping was fabulous. The honking and sirens 24/7 kept some of us awake at night. We were on the 15th floor, and it was very loud! Our room was cold...very cold, even when the heat was turned up to 75, the heater just blew cold air and the windows are not insulated. The room service charges are insane (a cheese pizza would cost $55 after all of the fees, service charges, and taxes), so we passed it up. We were here during the blizzard, everything was closed, and we were starving, and Peacock Alley wouldn't even let us order Creme Brulee and take it up to our room.

All in all, this hotel is a Hilton hotel in need up serious TLC. The historic feel is great, but I have been in many historic venues that weren't run down, and there is a huge difference between the two. The name is not worth the $350 a night, and we will more than likely stay elsewhere for the following Christmas'.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Echar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2010

Stayed there for a week and loved it. Beds were fantastic - and great pillows. Room was spacious with a big flat screen TV. I see many compaining about old bathrooms.... why? They were beautiful - graciously old - but everhthing functioned - clean and lovely soaps. I really dont mind some old cracks on the wall - come to Europe and you will find lots of them.. :-))) We could see the morning sun rising from our window witch was really nice as we drank great Starbucks coffee in bed. ( Starbucks in the lobby ). Safes were guarded by this fabolously nice lady and there was a possibility to checkin your flights and print boarding tickets next to the safes.
The ball rooms were something .... straight out of the movies! It was one of the nicest hotel stays Ive had. Will go again - I hope!

Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
1  Thank Sari G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2010

I do not write this review to compalin but rather express my experience as a Hilton Gold guest at this hotel.

The hotel itself is quite beautiful, you cannot dispute that. The lobby is festive and quite a place to take a picture. You almost might feel as though you are on the Titanic it is that nice.

The entire check-in process is a production but when I say this I am one would think it is like a bad broadway play. It took over 20 minutes to get situated valeting the car and giving the bell captain our bags. It was chaos and disorganized. After that, it took over 25 minutes to check in at the front desk. There is not really a section alerting guests where to form a line, the process is slow and reception is understaffed. Once checked in, it took an additional 40 minutes to get our bags, a far cry from the 15 minutes promised. Don't over promise and under deliver especially when on a schedule...

Our initial room was small (as can be expected) and had a nice bathroom. They do not use a/c in the winter but will open the window. Nobody ever came to open the window. When we called back, someone then brought us a fan. Our fan did not work. Our desk sparked electrical outlets sparked, shutting down power to that entire portion of the room which included the internet, lamp. This over plugged outlet was on top of a fancy drapery. Given the above all building up within the first 2 hours of our stay, aggrevation began to sit in and this resulted in a room change and upgrade.

We started to bring our bags up to the room ourselve rather then wait an additional 30 minutes for someone to come help. The upgraded room was much larger with a private changing room and larger bathroom with barrel ceiling on the corner. I could not complain about the room as it was beautiful and in line with expectations one would have for the Waldorf.

We did not utilize some of the hotel's features given we were sightseeing in NYC often.

The housekeeping staff refused to come into the room and was discourteous to us and just laughed in another language to our co-worker.

The hotel bar service was quite good and packed with interesting characters. The drinks were good.

My advice, do not use Hilton Honor points in conjunction with a paying stay. They cannot seem to link reservations properly, our cards did not work after the first night and we never received an itemized bill. On our check out date we actually received a blank bill which did not even provide charges from previous night or an overview of the charged incurred for items such as room service. I am dreading going back to reception to finalize my bill as a broadway show is amazing, just not at the Waldorf.

At this level and based on their boutique pricing, whether or not you get a deal or not, if your goal is to have a seamless hassle-free experience in a historic well known hotel, I'd recommend staying at the Plaza Hotel and or trying one of the many other boutique hotels in NYC.

Would I give the hotel a second chance? Perhaps but only if it were not on my dime or some amazing deal came around... But in NY, time is money and wasted time with extra headaches costs money. I would rather stay at a standard Hilton, take my chances and save money and at least get consistent service and less headaches. Overall, I have found service to be more delightful at Hilton's Anatole in Dallas, Hilton's Research Triangle "Mansion on the Hill" or even a random Hampton Inn on the side of an interstate.

You can always take your picture in the beautiful lobby. Some of the staff we encountered gave 110%, others however, you would think they hated their jobs and were giving 50% at best. Nonetheless, the average of the two and our experience is not worthy of 5 stars, perhaps something more in the neighborhood of 3.5 stars.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jason334
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2010

We enjoyed our three nights at the Waldorf in December of 2010. The lobby was elegant and beautifully decorated for the holidays. We also liked the location--close to most points of interest in the city. We thought the hot chocolate that we got in the bar area was overpriced and though the Sunday buffet looked enticing, the $95 price, not including tax and tip, was a little steep for us. Regardless, I would definitely stay there again during the Christmas season. Check on senior rates if you are eligible.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank goodwaterbetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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