I just want to preface this by saying that this is a review written about a year overdue, and that the hotel has since compensated at some level for the experience. However, I didn't think it would be fair without writing essentially two reviews (thus averaging out), with an accurate depiction of our two separate experiences of our stay here. There will be a follow-up review of our second stays here.
I should also preface this by saying that all of us that stayed there are a super laid-back bunch, not usually ones to complain, and all very experienced travelers. This proved to be such an aggravating and shocking experience, that it belabors me to even write a review such as this.
About a year ago, I was planning a small, fun and intimate bridal shower for my best friend with seven of her closest girlfriends. I initially looked at The Surrey and The London for their classy reputation, and my bride-to-be is a Tiffany's girl. However, what attracted me to this property at the time was that it had just opened only a few months ago, so everything would be relatively new. I looked into the Loft Suites because of balcony access, spacious suites, as well as fully-stocked (stove, tableware, glassware and flatware) kitchenettes the site had advertised having, which accommodated plans I had for the bride. Also, with described pull-out couches, we were set for a lovely and grown-up slumber party. So I booked two of the Loft Suites and proceeded to make extensive plans to make the day a very special one.
In an effort to ensure that the bridal shower would go without a hitch, I called ahead several times in the weeks prior to make sure that specific requests could be accommodated, and confirm the physical arrangement of the Loft Suites. I made sure to tell them that it was a bridal shower, that adjoining or adjacent rooms would be necessary, and that the kitchenettes would be key to accommodate specific plans for the shower (I had custom-made frozen desserts planned for the event, as well as other perishables).
I also called ahead to make sure that they would be able to check us in prior to the standard check-in time of 3pm, so that we would have time to decorate the rooms for the occasion. The man ensured us that he would make a note of it, and said he was confident that the hotel would be able to accommodate this request.
The first indication of MANY issues that were to come, was that what the hotel advertised on their website as having was not in sync with what they actually have. I came to learn this only after confirming with them the third time. Apparently, the Loft Suites do not all have kitchenettes and I had to make a special request for one. We were also later to find out that the kitchenettes are NOT stocked at all, nor do their refrigerators have freezers. Since my complaint after our stay, their website has been updated to reflect this. However, you might imagine this certainly throws a wrench in the works when you're planning a special occasion around such details, as well as the fact that I chose this hotel and specific room-type was for this very reason.
So with one of the rooms now guaranteed to have a kitchenette (not both as I was initially led to believe), and an early check-in confirmed, we were set for the bridal shower.
Or so I thought.
On the day of the shower, one of the seven guests arrived at 11:30am to begin the arrangements, and was told that the room would not be ready for her until 3pm. When she called to inform me of this, I was surprised that the hotel did not seem to be aware of my previous communications regarding an earlier check-in. In fact, NO accommodations were made for an early check-in. Our rooms would not be ready until, indeed nearly 3pm. Our rooms were apparently 11th in line to be cleaned after being vacated. So much for decorating.
What made this an absolutely atrocious and offensive experience was the condescending and callous attitude of the director of the front desk, Michael [--], when presented with our predication. After politely relaying to him that we had called ahead several times to confirm an early check-in, and that our ability to plan around the bridal shower hinged on this, he proceeded to list the things we did wrong or should have done if we had wanted our requests to be fulfilled.
So what indeed did WE do wrong? Apparently, we did not speak to the right staff on the phone, and that we should've requested to speak to him or someone at his post. And if we had wanted to ensure that we would be able to check into the rooms earlier, we should have requested a pre-check-in.
So apparently, I'm supposed to know who I'm talking to on the phone at the Gansevoort, rather than being directed to the correct person that would be able to handle my request. Also, after multiple phone calls, you would think that someone would have suggested a pre-check in, which requires charging your credit card ahead of time.
I asked Michael why I was not made aware of this option, especially after having brought up the fact that this was a very special event on multiple occasions on multiple phone calls. He responded in a patronizing manner that this was standard at all hotels, that I should naturally be aware of this, and that he assumed that I would not have wanted to be charged in advanced. Wow. Should this not be a choice for me to make? Michael was certainly making a lot of assumptions.
In fact, I would have done all of that and more to make sure everything went smoothly. I thought I had.
Finally, the director of the front desk ended our interchange stating simply, "I don't care."
We were outraged. It was the ultimate affront to us as guests.
Their director of the front desk of this 4.5* hotel, which, last I checked, was in the hospitality business, apparently doesn't care.
Had it not been a bridal shower with many things already in the works, including brunch in 30 minutes, I would have had a mind to check us into a different hotel last minute at that very moment.
Noticing our distress and interchange, another staff member, and a much more capable one at that, Teresa, took over taking care of us, after Mr. [--] no longer cared to care for us.
In the meantime, I had a van filled with perishables ready for the party, with no place to put them. They offered to put our perishables into the hotel's freezer facilities until we were checked-in after brunch.
When it was obvious that the hotel would not be able to accommodate us in any way regarding this early check-in issue, we were forced to make some preliminary preparations for the bride-to-be's arrival on the floor of their lobby while "guest services" looked on.
After we returned from brunch, we were informed that our rooms were ready.
Upon arrival, I found that all of my bags had been dropped off in the room, including the bag containing the frozen items, which were supposed to remain in the hotel's freezer facilities until I requested them. I checked on the contents of the custom-made desserts, and unfortunately they had already partially melted. In addition, none of the other guests' baggage were brought up into the room.
We called the front desk to have ice buckets brought in in an attempt to try to save the desserts. We waited nearly 30 minutes, and no one came. We made a second call to the front desk asking where the ice was. For the second time, no ice arrived for another 20 minutes. We made a third call to the front desk, and finally the ice came. By this time, the desserts had completely melted and were unsalvageable and inedible. So much time, investment and heart was poured in these desserts, and it literally went down the drain.
The kitchenette, as mentioned, was not stocked at all. When we called to request tableware, glassware and flatware to be sent to the room, and were told that we would be charged for the delivery of these items. Again, this was written in the description as being included in our room. There was another significant delay before our tableware was delivered.
Our two rooms were also a couple of rooms apart; not adjoining nor adjacent, which proved to be a bit of a challenge to create an intimate setting while we run between the two rooms.
Upon settling down for the night, we found that one of the pull-out couches was broken and completely unusable. It did not extend flat for sleeping purposes, and in the end, two of the guests in the party were forced to sleep on the floor. And it was not due to the lack ability to operate a pull-out couch because we had no issue with the pull-out couch in the other room. We also found out that the use of extra sheets for the pull-out couches would incur charges, despite the description on the site that the Loft Suites accommodate four guests per room, and we had already paid in advanced for extra guests.
On top of all of this, the neighboring guests created a ruckus in the hallway, playing music so loud that our walls were vibrating several hours late into the night, even after we had called to have a hotel staff member look into this. And this was not a night where we were settling down early. So not only were we personally insulted in every way by the "guest services" of Gansevoort, but we had an uncomfortable and fitful night of sleep for us all.
I have never felt so horrible, especially since this was my best friend's bridal shower! Despite the issues having been born out of Gansevoort's poor treatment of us as guests, and my dear friend (I love her) just went with the flow and reassured me that she had a great time despite it all, I felt this reflected poorly on me and my attempts to plan an unforgettable and wonderful night for her. Gansevoort certainly made it an unforgettable night, but in the worse way imaginable.
There aren't enough words to describe the sheer amount of stress, frustration, and waste of time, effort and money this experience has caused me and the other members of our party. I cannot, in good faith, ever recommend this hotel to potential future guests.
Our little laid-back group might overlooked many of these complaints had it not started with the arrogance and overt disregard for us as guests exhibited by Gansevoort's front desk manager, but the continued complete lack of respect and reprehensible service made it hard to ignore.
The one positive of our stay at the hotel was the incredible balcony view of New York City we had from our rooms. We were offered a late checkout by your hotel, but it was a little too little and a little too late.
It's shocking to say that our stay at the Gansevoort was the worse we have ever had at ANY class hotel. And, as I have mentioned, we are a well-traveled group.
Shortly after our horrendous stay at Gansevoort, many of us wrote letters of complaint to the General Manager at Gansevoort, who immediately responded and apologized profusely for our experience. We received as compensation a complimentary stay in two rooms at the Gansevoort.
Our experience made it difficult to step foot again at the Gansevoort; our awful memories there, especially mine as the planner, was etched in so deep, it took nearly the expiration date of the certificate a year later to consider returning. I decided to give Gansevoort the benefit of the doubt especially since the general manager had responded in such a way that made me feel she was listening, and was going to be actively making changes in the training their staff and guest services. Of this, I will write a separate review.
I hope this review and our experience, though extremely extensive, will help future potential guests, especially those planning a special occasion that are considering the Gansevoort.
I do, however, believe that the Gansevoort has listened and made some changes since. I cannot vouch for how this will affect future party planners, but the best I can do is relay our own experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC