I've stayed in three other mid-town Manhattan hotels in the last 6 weeks, and three outside the city, so I have a lot to compare to the Benjamin.
I needed a place for one night in the city since I extended a business trip, and I got my room from Priceline. The standout highlight of my visit was Rich, the Front Desk manager who checked me in and was able to get me in my room incredibly early, around 12:30pm. What I wouldn't realize until much later that night was that a 6th floor room above Lexington Ave is not conducive to getting a lot of sleep, even with earplugs in.
But let's go back to the amazing Rich. I literally felt like I was a long lost cousin or something. This guy was so friendly, so helpful. I grew up working in my dad's small restaurant, so I know about customer service, and what it feels like when someone actually wants to help you. When they actually enjoy taking care of a guest. Rich was like having a best friend on the inside.
First of all, what NY hotel lets you check in at lunchtime? Fuhgetaboutit. But Rich had a room and treated me exactly like I was paying full price, which at the Benjamin can easily run $500 or more. He made me feel like a regular who stayed there all the time.
After I got checked into my very comfortable double-queen room, he even called to see if everything was ok. Amazing.
Unfortunately, the rest of my experience couldn't quite match the high bar he set.
Partly this was because I'm not The Benjamin's target customer. Every other guest I ran into in the elevator looked like they owned small, private island in Nantucket. The room service I ordered (while delicious), was so much more expensive than what I'm used to paying.
Even small things like trying to get an unwrinkled ironing-board cover so I could iron my shirt were a pain. First off, is it that hard to train housekeeping to look for and replace an ironing board cover that's so wrinkled that it's impossible to iron a shirt on it? What do those things cost, $2? It took around 40 minutes to get that fixed, after a wasted visit from the hotel maintenance guy who'd been told that my iron board didn't have a base and showed up with his toolbox...
Having a long, dark hair on my room service tray was unwelcome, but not the biggest deal. It wasn't touching the food and it was more the lack of care this showed than any real concern about the food. My burger was actually delicious, but for $40, it would have been nice if the guy remembered the condiments so I could eat the fries with the burger, instead of having to wait 20 more minutes and re-heat them in the microwave afterward.
(And yes, having a big fridge and microwave in the little kitchenette were nice.)
The worst was the noise from Lexington Ave. On the 6th floor, they should have thicker windows. I was literally woken up a few times overnight, even with earplugs in.
Anyway, Rich comped me for my almost-hair-burger upon check-out, and overall I have to give him credit for salvaging the visit. But would I stay here again? Very unlikely. But then again, I imagine that on a higher floor, or if I were a budget where $500 a night hotel rooms were normal, I might be more the type of client they're after.
- 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