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.
The Andaz Wall Street is the third Hyatt property we've tried out in New York and the last of the more aspirational Hyatt properties for us to check out in the city. Admittedly, the Wall Street location puts it quite far out of the way for most non-business travelers, but we were visiting over Fashion Week and Valentine's Day weekend in February, so most hotels were booked out. Incredibly, the weekend we visited happened to be one of the coldest in the past 100+ years, so being really far from anything we needed to see that weekend was extra fun! ;)
You'll find the Andaz at the corner of Wall and Water and since you're surrounded by forgettable looking high-rises, it can be tricky to spot from the street.
After entering through the revolving door, you'll find yourself in the lobby with the "front desk" to your left. Andaz has a more non-traditional front desk arrangement and employees can often check you in using an iPad rather than needing to be behind a computer.
Per usual with Andaz properties, the hotel offers coffee and tea 24/7 in the lobby and there was a large table set up in the rear left side of the lobby where you could help yourself. Since it was so unbelievably cold outside while we were visiting, I definitely had a few cups of tea and hot chocolate throughout our stay.
We decided to apply a Diamond Suite Upgrade that was due to expire soon, and when we arrived around 8 AM, we were lucky enough to find that our suite was available.
The associate explained that the breakfast hours were from 7 AM to 12 PM at the hotel's restaurant, Dina Rata. Dina Rata can be accessed by taking the stairs from the lobby or from the elevator.
Since our room was ready, we made our way up to the 15th floor.
The halls were fairly dark and had some unique touches when it came to displaying the room numbers next to each door, which I thought was cool, but there was a humungous stain all over the carpet directly outside of the elevator. In general, the hotel was nice, but you could tell that it's been around for a while.
Despite being assigned a "suite", I found that the room layout was very similar to the Andaz San Diego in which the "bedroom" wasn't fully separated from the "living room", but rather there was just a divider placed in the middle of the room. This was fine for us, since it was just the two of us in the room, but it's definitely a bit misleading to classify the room as a one bedroom suite.
That being said, the most major problem I had with the room layout, however, was the bathroom. The bathroom had a similar look to the Andaz 5th Avenue, but unlike the 5th Avenue suite we stayed in, the bathroom was not able to be enclosed at all. There was a shower on the left, a toilet on the right, and the vanity was in the middle. To add insult to injury, the glass door on the shower wasn't even frosted, so anyone else in the room would have a full view into the shower with zero privacy whatsoever. I'm a person who really cares about my privacy in the bathroom and this bathroom was really just not acceptable for me. The entire time, I was very uncomfortable.
Other than these issues, the room was quite nice. As usual, I enjoyed the minimalist style and loved that the room was so large, which is hard to come by in Manhattan. The living room had a couch and chairs with a view of the television on the room divider and then there was a desk/console with another television that could be seen from the bed. On the "bedroom" side of the room divider, there was a closet. The views from the room were unmemorable - you're looking at other Wall Street skyscrapers with nothing particularly interesting to catch your eye.
In addition to the lack of privacy the room layout offered, the heater was extremely confusing and nearly impossible to work. I find that I'm generally pretty adept at working things like thermostats, but I could only ever make the room either stiflingly hot or freezing cold - there was no middle ground. Similarly, the shower also was quite a problem to operate and the water was either too hot or too cold. The temperature control was nonexistent, so I could turn the dial ever so slightly in either direction and the water would be scalding or freezing.
Per usual with Andaz properties, the room offered a minibar with complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. There were also a couple of large bottles of liquor on display as well.
Overall, the rooms were nice, but the hotel itself is definitely showing it's age a bit. From stains on the carpet to things like heaters and showers not working as expected, it was a bit of a disappointment to see these things in such an expensive hotel.
On Sunday morning, I was looking forward to breakfast. As I mentioned, we were told when checking in that breakfast was available from 7 AM to 12 PM, so we purposely didn't rush to get ready in the morning. By the time we made it downstairs to Dina Rata, it was about 11 AM. We had been told that Dina Rata offered a buffet selection or had a menu with plated options to choose from. As a Diamond guest, either option would be included. I always plan to have the plated option for breakfast if it's available, because I find that buffet food is not usually something I enjoy and I end up eating mostly empty carbs rather than something more healthy and warm. Well, when we sat down at 11:15, my hopes for breakfast were completely dashed. We were told that plated breakfast options were only available until 10:30, so our only option is the buffet, which, by the way, closes at 11:30, which is in 15 minutes. We had been given completely false information by the front desk and I was fairly angry. Had I known this fact, I would have made sure I was downstairs with plenty of time to order the food that I had wanted.
To make matters worse, the buffet was awful. I assume since there was only 15 minutes of service left, the few pastries they offered were mostly gone. There were some cereal options, a little bit of not very good fruit and yogurt, bread (which included some truly awful excuses for NYC bagels), overcooked eggs, bacon, potatoes and some small sad French toast slices.
It should be noted that the hotel used to serve breakfast in a restaurant called Wall and Water, which I believe is now closed. Wall and Water's buffet had a huge selection and even included items like shrimp, oysters and salmon. Apparently, Wall and Water also used to include alcoholic drinks for Diamond breakfasts as well as the full buffet and one item from the menu. To say I was disappointed in what we saw at Dina Rata after expecting that would be an understatement.
The buffet at Dina Rata was probably one of the worst breakfasts I have seen at a Hyatt property with the exception of Andaz Savannah. Maybe things would have been better if we had arrived prior to 10:30, but the buffet was just sad. The really hilarious part of all of this was that a buffet for two people came to $60, which included a 17% "service fee". I think this is hilarious on many levels. Not only was the food not even remotely worth $60, but the idea of a buffet is that you serve yourself, so a 17% tip is insane for servers who do nothing more than bring you a check (I used to be a server and I fully understand how tipping works). Luckily, the cost was included due to my Diamond status, but had it not been, I would have been even more completely outraged. I get that we were in Manhattan, but you could get a breakfast 10x better elsewhere for literally half the price without even trying.
I later found a copy of the Dina Rata menu in our room that said breakfast was served until 11 AM on Saturdays and Sundays, so I'm still not sure what exactly the situation is there.
In case it wasn't clear enough above, the breakfast at the Andaz Wall Street was very disappointing. Add that to the inconvenient location (unless you're a banker) and the disrepair found throughout the property and this hotel definitely ranked as my least favorite option in New York. I did like the decor of the rooms and the rooms themselves were comfortable enough (with the exception of the exhibitionist-style bathrooms and heater/shower temperature problems), so I can't say that you absolutely should not stay here. I'd just try to stay at the Andaz 5th Avenue or the Park Hyatt over the Andaz Wall Street. That being said, I still don't think there's one "perfect" Hyatt property in New York City that really makes it the stand-out best option. Depending on what you're looking for (location, price, amenities, etc.) you will have to decide what works best for you.
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.