Review: Andaz 5th Avenue
Review: Park Hyatt New York
Review: Andaz Wall Street
As a Hyatt loyalist, Manhattan offers quite a few options for Hyatt stays, but since it's Manhattan, you'll usually end up paying an arm and a leg. We've accepted this fact and since we are usually traveling over the weekend and only have one night in a hotel, it's a bit easier to deal with the hotel prices. Our favorite Hyatt brands are Andaz and Park Hyatt and New York City offers two Andaz properties and a Park Hyatt, all of which we've stayed at on different visits.
First up is the Andaz 5th Avenue. The Andaz 5th offers one of the best locations out of the three and it's usually a bit more affordable than the Park Hyatt. The Andaz 5th is located across the street from the New York Public Library, right by Bryant Park and is on the corner of 5th and E 41st St.
We visited in 2015 and arrived on a Saturday morning around 9AM as we usually do when we take a Friday night red-eye. We certainly don't expect for rooms to always be ready when arriving early in the morning, but I find that they usually are, which I believe is in large part due to my Hyatt Diamond status. For this stay, I had applied a Diamond Suite Upgrade, because why not? So we were looking forward to spending some time relaxing in the room during the stay. On this particular morning, we were told that our suite was not yet available, but we were promised that it should be ready very shortly and they would give us a call when it was. This was no problem, so we stored our luggage and headed out to find breakfast and wander around Central Park.
About two hours later, around 11AM, we got a call from the hotel manager saying that the previous guest was also a Diamond guest who had requested late check out, which meant the room wouldn't be available until well after 4PM. This really ticked me off, since it would mean we would have to spend the entire day without a shower or the chance to freshen up in the room. I was also quite upset because the person who checked us in had no clue this was the case and had told us our room would be ready shortly. At this point, there was nothing I could do, so we spent the day seeing friends, etc.
We headed back to the hotel around 4:30, figuring that the room should be available and hoping it was so that we could get ready to meet friends for dinner. By 5:30, the room still wasn't ready and I was extremely upset. Finally, we were offered another room to use to shower while our suite was still being prepared, since we were going to be late for dinner. This was nice, but honestly, it should have been offered WAY earlier than it was. By now, not one single person had apologized for the inconvenience or even seemed remotely apologetic for the shitty situation, which was disappointing. I was nearly ready to give up on the suite upgrade, but each time I brought it up, someone kept saying the suite was "nearly ready". We had confirmed the upgrade two months before our stay, so there was really no excuse for how badly the situation went. Our room was finally ready around 6:15, which was completely ridiculous. I'm not sure why it took so long to clean a room at 4PM when they knew guests were waiting, but after the service we had seen so far in the hotel, we weren't shocked.
The first room we were given to use while our suite was being prepared was an Andaz King room. There was an odd glass "closet" and minibar immediately when you walked into the room and as at all Andaz properties, the minibar offered complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. The bed was comfortable and clean looking and there was a desk at the far end of the room with a love seat sort of chair in the other corner of the room. I really liked the high ceilings and the minimal neutral decor. The aesthetic actually seemed more like a Park Hyatt than an Andaz, which I really liked.
The bathroom vanity was open to the room and had a unique series of circles for a mirror. To the left was the shower with a clear glass door, which I hated because anyone else in the room could see you showering. The toilet was to the right and thankfully offered a normal door. The Andaz 5th offers Beekman toiletries, which are nice enough and a bit more stylish than I've seen at other Andaz properties.
Once our suite was finally ready, we unfortunately had to rush to finish getting ready on time and make it to our dinner reservation, so we didn't get to spend much time in it at all. The standard Diamond Suite Upgrade will get you in to the Andaz Splash Suite, which offered quite a unique layout. Again, there was the glass closet and minibar when you walked in the door and this time, the room opened up to a large living room with desk and full-sized couch and chair.
After passing through the living room, you'll find yourself in the bathroom area, which could be fully closed off from the living room on one side and the bedroom beyond. There was a large beautiful standalone bathtub in the middle of the room and the vanity was to the right. The layout for the vanity, shower and toilet was exactly the same as in the previous room only this one had doors that could be closed on the vanity area making the shower more private. There was also some closet space to be found in the bathroom area near the tub.
Beyond the bathroom was the bedroom, which was small but cozy. It had a king sized bed and another love seat next to the television. We also had a nice view of the New York Public Library from the window. All of the lights and window coverings could be controlled by buttons throughout the suite, which was a nice touch. Again, this room had a Park Hyatt-esque aesthetic with Asian accents and reminded me a lot of the Park Hyatt Shanghai. I really loved the minimal decor.
The next morning, we headed downstairs for breakfast at the hotel's restaurant, The Shop. Once again, we were privy to the disappointing service offered by the hotel staff. We stood in the restaurant doorway for a good 15 minutes and were blatantly ignored by everyone who walked by. Eventually, I walked in further and flagged someone down to ask how we were supposed to be seated and she sighed loudly and went to find someone to seat us. When this person arrived, they explained that the restaurant was very busy and that there would be a long wait. I looked around and saw several open tables and nothing that suggested they were running ragged (other than the fact that we had been pointedly ignored for a quarter of an hour). I told them that we were guests at the hotel and had Hyatt Diamond status (I was getting angry) and they suggested we order room service instead. I'm not a big fan of room service, so we told them we'd just wait. Eventually we received a table and our menus. As a Diamond guest, I received a $75 breakfast credit, which is enough to order anything we wanted from the menu. I ordered the basil and parmesan scrambled eggs, which had excellent flavor and Chris ordered the fried eggs with mini bratwurst, etc. The food was nicely presented and the restaurant was beautiful, but the service left a very bad taste in our mouths. Fun fact: I was a server all through college, so I totally understand that things get difficult when the restaurant is slammed, but despite the staff playing that card, I really didn't observe that to be the case, so I wasn't willing to give them a pass.
At checkout, the General Manager proactively apologized for the inconvenience of our room not being ready and the fact that it was handled poorly. Unfortunately, at this point, it was too little too late, but I guess I appreciated the gesture.
I'm not sure if the service was a one-off failure or not, but I'll admit it probably wasn't bad enough to keep us from staying here again in the future. The location is exceptional and we frequent New York several times a year, so the nice rooms and solid breakfast make it a good option when staying in Manhattan.
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.