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“Not quite as good as hoped”
Review of The Benjamin

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The Benjamin
Ranked #85 of 467 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
London
Level Contributor
63 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Not quite as good as hoped”
Reviewed 14 October 2012 via mobile

This was a funny mixture of excellent and not quite good enough. On the plus side the rooms are a good size and we really liked having the kitchenette facilty. The bathroom was also a good size, although the bath is a bit small. Definitely make sure your room isnt external facing. We had no problem with our room but our friends found it very noisy.The air conditioning unit sounds like a small generator so we switched it off most of the time.

The main concierge and the door staff were all excellent but at other times service was very hit and miss, items we'd requested had to be chased up and in general the front office staff could be a bit distracted. The two lifts is a definite problem, during our stay one was out of order for a day which was a real problem as one of our party had trouble going downstairs.

To compound matters my credit card was incorrectly deducted for the room even though it was prepaid. The error was corrected quickly but this was indicative of the overall stay. It advertises itself as boutique and business orientated and it isn't.

Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank ajb693
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (506)
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English first
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2012

We visited The Benjamin in NYC from Oct. 5 - 8, 2012. This hotel was offered as part of a package deal that included airfare, and oddly the only way we could secure the specific flights that we wanted was to purchase this specific package. That's relevant because we travel often enough to know that when you don't book a hotel room directly with the hotel or chain, you rarely receive the same level of service. The Benjamin proved to be true to that theory, unfortunately, as this was a special trip for us.

SERVICE
After reading every review we could find on this hotel (great on the booking site; not so agreeable on a site that is popular with frequent flyers), we noted that the Manager often comments on the reviews, implying a real care for customer service. We decided to reach out to him in advance of our stay and explained that we are celebrating a few special events, and that while we were aware (per above) that we hadn't booked directly with the hotel, that we hoped they might be able to offer anything to make the experience even more memorable (seriously, we didn't know what to expect: A slight room upgrade; a box of chocolates; a bottle of wine; a bottle of water....anything would have been a "story" to share). Instead my email directly to the Manager went COMPLETELY IGNORED. It certainly was transmitted as it didn't bounce back. And as I acknowledged within the email to him, we understood if they could offer nothing. But what I didn't expect was to receive absolutely NO REPLY whatsoever; a "gosh, sorry, wish we could do something" would have been better than nothing at all.

I'm sure people celebrate there all the time, but for us, as I mentioned this was particularly special because my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary in a different country annually and never repeat, so this was our sole US anniversary trip and we hoped to make it very special. In addition to this, our birthdays are five days apart and in the same week, and it was our first time ever travelling without our children since having them. So.....many people have many stories, and while this is probably low on the celebration scale, to go unresponded to was surprising. We have no grudges over no perks; just believe the ignorance was unjustified.

CHECK-IN
After checking in we were asked if we had a preference as to what floor we stayed on, and we said no preference at all, that our only request was to be far removed from the elevators. We had checked in quite early and rooms weren't ready yet, so we were told to return later, thus we couldn't immediately see our room assignment but were assured that it would be quiet. Imagine our surprise when we returned in the afternoon to find that we were booked into room 1806: The second room from the elevators.

THE ROOM
We assume that we had the most basic room possible, given that we weren't upgraded. The design was such that when you walk through the door, you are immediately in the bedroom area (no long corridor as some hotel rooms have). To the immediate right was a closet. When our bags were brought to the room the attendant noted that we did NOT have a luggage rack in the closet as we should. He then told us that this is okay because we can put our clothes in the dresser drawers. This was irritating because we prefer NOT to use dresser drawers when travelling to avoid whatever unseen uckies may have been left in the drawers. Again, unimpressed. Good service would have been to retrieve one for us.

The queen size bed was immediately in front of us, and immediately after the closet was a small kitchenette. This was a feature that had been very important to us so that we could eat cereal and milk in the morning, and keep cold bottled water in here. Caution here: They pack it so full of their own beverages for sale at a 300% markup, that the only available area fit a 1L jug of milk in the door, and then the small fruit bin in the bottom was available. We put two x 1L bottles of water in here and the fridge was full.

The armoire that housed the dresser drawers was quite substantial in depth, and stood against the wall between the kitchenette and bathroom, immediately across from the bed. The TV was also in here (more on it later). Because the armoire had the substantial depth of dresser drawers, it left little space between it and the bed...meaning that to get to the bathroom only about an 18" wide path existed - if one of you was entering the bathroom and the other leaving, you would have to wait at the side of the bed for the other person to pass because of this lack of space.

BATHROOM
The bathroom was a decent size, and what did impress us was that the shower was also a bath tub, which is not a given in NYC. What did NOT impress us was that the recessed plug for the tub would not contain the bath water and thus drained at a fast pace, and therefore the only way to enjoy a bath was to keep your hand or foot on it so that the pressure was firm.

TV
The television operates via wifi with service that lost reception every few minutes or so. Yes, we had the audacity to come to NYC and watch tv at night a few times, but it was so annoying that we couldn't watch many of the channels we wanted to because "no signal" was consistently received.

PILLOW CONCIERGE
We read about the pillow concierge service on the Benjamin's site, and noted that it is substantially hyped. Upon our check-in there was no mention of it. Our pillows were standard hotel fare, and never did we have a visit or hear mention of any pillow concierge the entire stay.

THE LITTLE THINGS
After a 6am flight, walking all day, and collapsing into bed after a late night in Times Square, we were awoken on our vacation (where we now craved sleep) to a 6am ALARM that the cleaning staff had failed to reset or remove when making the room. Note that the alarm clock is near the door and not on the night table, necessitating that you get out of bed. And play the "swat at every recessed button game" to hope that you found the right one. Only to go back to bed and have it go off again ten minutes later. GRRRRRRRR.

ELEVATOR
When reading other reviews prior to our trip, we noticed that many people commented on the slow elevator service, and thought this would be no big deal; we were wrong. Being on the 18th floor, this service was a little more important to us than had we been located on the 4th floor for example (so if you're given a choice, go low). On Saturday morning, we spent over ten minutes watching the two elevators go by us in both directions over and over again, never stopping. Eventually, we discovered, that if you head into the stairwell there is a service elevator there for staff use. We started using this because it was the only way to not waste precious vacation time. We were caught a few times, but those employees who happened upon us were great about it, and joked about how slow the elevator service is, especially on weekends.

LOCATION
The hotel is very close to the #6 subway line, and about three blocks from the E line. We agreed though that if we returned our preference would be to have a hotel that is a little closer to Rockefellar Centre/Fifth Avenue area. We walked back from a Broadway Theatre on Saturday night and the walk was nice, although I wouldn't have wanted to do it in high heels. There's just not much going on in the immediate vicinity.

OVERALL IMPRESSION
There was no "wow" factor here. No one went out of their way to impress us; management couldn't be bothered to respond to a prepaid patron in advance of the stay; the over-hyped pillow concierge was never offered; the in-room amenities of the kitchenette, tv, radio and bath all failed us. It's a nice enough hotel, but had we not purchased a great package, we would have been upset. There is absolutely no way, even for a hotel in NYC, that you should ever agree to pay the full rate. There are better hotels to be found in the price range, offering either a better location or enhanced services.

Room Tip: Elevator service is difficult to get - ask for a room on a lower floor Check the radio to be sure t...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PetitSacconex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
105 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2012

Stayed for a long weekend with my family. We had two rooms. Service was good. Did not use many of the services -- restaurant, spa or business center -- but it was a nice hotel with pretty good service.

Really close to subway, restaurants, shopping.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank familyinnh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quebec City, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 October 2012

We stayed at The Benjamin in late September 2012. The staff was nice (actually the doorman ran to the middle of the street to greet us!), the room had a small "kitchenette" (sink, microwave, fridge) and was clean. I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank beaulem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago
Level Contributor
117 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2012

I have previously stayed at The Benjamin because of it's convenience to the theater district, no cab necessary, a nice walk to the shows. And it is located close to shopping. A bit far from the Met but still walkable. But this visit convinced me to look elsewhere for a hotel. The employees were all friendly and helpful. The problems lies in the accommodations. The rooms are poorly decorated with boring beige older style heavy furniture. The carpets have dirty spots on them, and have not been spot cleaned so not enough attention to detail. The kitchen area in the suites had a dirty cup left in the clean cup area. The rooms are dim, not enough light. And if you stay in an exterior suite or a room facing Lexington Ave or 50th Street, you won't sleep all night. They kept saying that the windows are soundproofed but no one who works there has obviously tried to spend a night sleeping there. On the 6th floor you can hear laughter from the street below in the middle of the night as well as sirens, honking horns and construction noise. It was terrible. They changed our suite the next day to one on an interior facing area on the 14th floor and that one was quieter. The bathrooms are a big problem. They are tiny, one sink with very little space for toiletries. If you have the toilet seat lid up, something from the small area above it can easily fall into the toilet. The tub is small and incredibly slippery. BE WARNED--THERE ARE NO GRAB BARS IN THE TUB/SHOWER! Anyone of any age will have a terrible time getting in and out of the tub. The best lighting in the suite however was in the bathroom. But there isn't a vent in the bathroom so the room gets all steamed up. The National Restaurant downstairs is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and was popular.

Room Tip: Do not get a room facing Lex or 50th.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank durgaChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Benjamin, Director of Front Office Operations at The Benjamin, responded to this review, 6 October 2012
Dear DurgaChicago,
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback on The Benjamin. I am so very sorry that we did not exceed your expectations during your visit. I would love to the opportunity to speak with you further and also offer my personal attention during any future visits as I can assure you all or any issues face can and will be addressed and as you mentioned you can't beat the location of The Benjamin. I very much look forward to speaking with you and welcoming you back and showing you that we can and will exceed your expectations.
Sincerely,
Jay Helms
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
63 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2012

I have stayed at the Benjamin before. It's a small hotel conveniently located. For a while I avoided it whilst it went through a much needed renovation. My issue though is that it needs to upgrade it's service to remain to be qualified as a boutique. I travel a lot and stay at many other hotels for business. What I look for is comfort, not overly crowded, a good fitness, sauna and a personal touch. It's in the details, there's no fresh food (apple) in the fitness; the sauna which was not working this morning; no free internet for guests etc. It has become too complacent.

Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank Jacques B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Benjamin, Director of Front Office at The Benjamin, responded to this review, 4 October 2012
Dear Jacques B,

We are delighted that you choose The Benjamin and thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. Your comfort is truly our goal and I would love to offer my personal attention durnig you next stay to ensure that we not only meet your expectations but exceed them.

Again, thank you so much for sharing your feedback and I very much look forward to welcoming you back to The Benjamin.

Sincerely
Jay Helms
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2012

To the Bellman , mohammed for his kind & diligent service with sincerity . This hotel was off the beaten path and above average in service and comfort . The staff was attentive and mohammed helped me out the most duringy stay

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shungdaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Benjamin

Property: The Benjamin
Address: 125 East 50th Street, at Lexington Avenue, New York City, NY 10022-9501
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#24 Green Hotel in New York City
#53 Romantic Hotel in New York City
#64 Family Hotel in New York City
#67 Luxury Hotel in New York City
#73 Business Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Benjamin 4.5*
Number of rooms: 209
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Midtown, The Benjamin offers 209 newly re-designed terrace suites, one-bedroom suites and guest rooms by Rottet Studio featuring kitchenettes and signature Benjamin Beds. Housed within the hotel is The National Bar & Dining Rooms with a menu of modern bistro dishes by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. Known best for its world-renowned Sleep Program Rest & Renew, The Benjamin features a Pillow Menu and bedtime snacks. Families enjoy Winks' Kidzzz Club with pint-sized amenities for kids to use during their stay. A private guest lounge on the second floor offers two business stations and lounge seating. The Benjamin affords quick access to Fifth Avenue's high-end boutiques, Rockefeller Center, MoMA and Central Park. Hotel Services Fee is $30 plus tax per room, per night and provides you with the following amenities: •$10 daily credit toward Geoffrey Zakarian's The National Bar & Dining Rooms* •Wireless Internet on all of your devices throughout your stay •24/7 access to our state-of-the-art fitness center outfitted by Technogym •In-room artisanal coffee and tea offerings •Unlimited business services including printing •24/7 access to our private Residence Lounge •Unlimited local and domestic long distance calls •Access to our Clef D' Or Concierge services •Package handling and storage prior to and during your stay *Must be redeemed daily. Cannot roll over. **Fee is exclusive of service gratuities ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Benjamin Hotel New York City
Benjamin New York City
Benjamin Hotel New York City

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