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“Best front desk guy ever, but downhill from there”
Review of The Benjamin

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The Benjamin
Ranked #92 of 467 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Boulder, Colorado, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best front desk guy ever, but downhill from there”
Reviewed 8 March 2013

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.

Room Tip: Go for a high floor away from Lexington Avenue's loud trucks and whistle-blowing hotel doormen.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank ajjpape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2013

Loved this hotel. I came on a business trip, when I checked in, they upgraded me to a 1 bdrm corner suite. They have a PILLOW menu where you can choose from 15+ types of pillows. They are delivered to your room with white gloves. (you can order more than one type of pillow)
Staff is very friendly, service is great. Around the corner from the green line which makes it very easy to get around. Short walk to central park, I was there in Feb and it snowed, so it was beautiful when I woke up.

There was a kitchenette, very comfortable living room, bed was one of the best beds I have slept in. Only drawback is the bathroom and tub are small, but other than that, very roomy for a NYC hotel. Always as for their specials - found this gem for low $200 (depending on when you go) Have seen it close to $500 a night.

Room Tip: When you check in, ask if corner suite is available. Stayed here 2 nights, very quiet neighborhood
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank tjv967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK Business Traveller
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2013

I am writing this before my stay however I have comment on the service received before I even got there! I have booked a "special" holiday for my wife and I in April. I have just had a conversation with Paul on the reservations desk and this is how customer service should be. Superbly helpful and offered lots of useful info. Accomadated all my requests with no problem. If my stay next month is as good as this experience I shall be very happy. (I work in a service based industry in the uk and unfortunately have got used to low standards from suppliers and providers )

  • Stayed March 2013
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Helpful?
Thank Bilbos_Dad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 February 2013

We have just come back from a mini-break in New York, where we stayed at The Benjamin. What a fantastic hotel! As it was our 25th anniversary, we were presented with a bottle of champagne and strawberries which were a lovely surprise. The staff couldn't do enough for us and the suite was spotless and well laid out. The kitchen area was compact but had everything you could possibly need; the lounge area was spacious with its own tv which is great when you and your partner are working on different time zones! and the bedroom had another tv with the biggest bed we have ever seen. It is really well located, being just a short walk from the subway, the open top bus pick-up and lots of restaurants. The breakfast bagels at the cafe two doors away were great and the little mini-mart next door stocked plenty of wine and nibbles. We had friends who stayed at the Waldorf but they thought our hotel was much better and are already planning a trip back to New York....at The Benjamin. I wouldn't hesitate in booking this hotel again.

Room Tip: We had a corner suite which is great to see all of the views.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Whites_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Monica, California
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2013

Okay I admit I can be a tough customer. I'm in hospitality and worked in hotel management for both Four Seasons and Fairmont Hotels for a number of years, so I can be a bit picky, but I’m also realistic for what I’m paying for. I also find that treating the staff with a little respect back doesn’t hurt either.

For me this has all the makings of a great hotel experience without the sky high rates. First of all the location is great, you can walk to Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue etc. Check in was warm and courteous without being stiff. Sarah, the concierge, made it a truly memorable weekend for me and my family, upgrading my two sister’s room and sending me an amenity for my birthday. Again, charming without pretention (if you are looking for pretention, look somewhere else as this hotel is not for you).

The rooms have an old style New York feel with modern amenities and they range in sizes. Ours was a corner with a great street view and my sisters were higher up with an unobstructed city view. Other than cleanliness and service the most important thing to me is the bed....and these are amazingly comfortable!

Equally impressive was their restaurant, The National. Robin, our server was top notch and the food was outstanding! The oysters, sea bass and short rib were fantastic and the dessert was delicious. A big thumbs up to the chef and culinary team. If a good restaurant is a reflection of the management then Nobel deserves a promotion. He was attentive, gracious and went above and beyond to ensure that we have a great experience. Being in hospitality I couldn’t help but notice how attentive he was for all the guests around us.

I also want to give a shout out to housekeeping and front desk staff. Extra sheets….no problem, extra pillow…no problem, late checkout…no problem. Bottom line, this is a great little hotel with outstanding service, comfortable rooms and amazing food. Since my partners new business is around the corner we will no doubt be regulars during business and pleasure trips.

My hat is off to the General Manager and his staff…..well done!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ScotTravler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington, West Virginia, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2013

This hotel did not meet any of our expectations. The hotel was understaffed, told us we could have a roll away but then could not provide for us. Our room smelled of smoke. In the middle of the night there was a party going on the floor above us until 4 in the morning even with our phone call security did not get it under controlled.

Room Tip: Do not go HERE!!
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Katherine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fayetteville, AR
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2013

Just returned from 3 nights at the Benjamin. My daughter just turned 21 so it was a shopping trip in her honor - I booked the one-bedroom suite so we would have some space and a second bed and 2 tvs - it was one of the few well-located hotels with a reasonably priced one-bedroom (if you are looking for one-bedroom suites, also try the Fitzpatrick Manhattan and the other Affinia hotels). The pros: both the living room and bedroom were a good size; clean and nicely furnished; sofa bed comfortable; neat little kitchenette with a nicely stocked fridge (watch the prices); bed very comfy, white crisp linens; bath small - I've seen smaller in NY though- but marble and was nice enough; the windows open, which I like; good walls - didn't hear a peep from next door; front desk staff consistently nice and helpful; concierge very nice; restaurant downstairs very good - we ate there for breakfast (home made pastries wonderful) - there was a small band playing in the restaurant one evening - a few people dancing - we just peeked in on our way back to the room (the restaurant has a door access right next to the elevators) and the band was terrific. Was fun to hear live music filter through the hotel lobby. Also, an excellent location for many things. Easy walk to 5th ave shops and the park. My daughter had her nails done at the spa on the 3rd floor - so convenient - she said they were friendly and nice - not snooty. Only a couple of cons - the first card we were given did not open the door, so we had to go back downstairs and correct that. No biggie though - she took care of it promptly and with a smile. Also the sofa bed was not made up and we had to call down for linens - none in the closets (cost a tip); when we ordered a movie it would not work so we had to call for help - but they were there promptly and it was fixed. (of course I felt obligated to tip the technician so it cost me another $5). Free internet would have been nice; and maybe affordable bottles of water. In spite of these minor problems, we enjoyed the hotel and I would stay again at the Benjamin. I've stayed at many NY hotels - I am not a big fan of chains - when I'm in NY I like my room to feel like NY - the Benjamin does that. I will add this to my list of other recommendations (I also like the Warwick, the Blakely...and if you are looking for budget prices but still quite nice rooms, try the Stanford). Thank you Benjamin staff for a very nice stay. I look forward to a future visit.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tbevis
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:
#25 Green Hotel in New York City
#53 Romantic Hotel in New York City
#64 Family Hotel in New York City
#73 Business Hotel in New York City
#75 Luxury 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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