Me and my boyfriend Ross stayed here for just under a week at the end of June. Our first impressions were great; the hotel was clean, crisp, stylish with that boutique style that I particularly enjoy. A tall blonde girl checked us in and she was lovely - really friendly and helpful. Our room we found was slightly bigger than most in New York city and was really nice with the high ceilings (the bed by the way was sooooo comfy!).
Located on 38th at 6th Ave the location was spot on - you didn't feel caught up in the hustle and bustle but Times Square was just a couple of minutes walk away. We also walked to Central Park from the hotel which wasn't too long either (although we struggled in the heat but we're only used to British weather) The Refinery Hotel was one of the major factors in making our getaway together so special. Every day after a tiring (albeit exciting) exploration of Manhattan there were guys on the door of the hotel to greet us. I don't know if it's an American thing or even just a New York thing but we were blown away by the majority of the staff at the Refinery. We would always be asked how our day was and if we had any questions the staff were more than helpful with their response. We didn't catch his name but one of the security guys in the black suits (he was a particularly tall black guy) made a great impression on us, always making us smile when we returned to the hotel and asking us how the city was treating us.
One of the staff members, Patrick, also had a lasting impression on us, chatting to us about what movies to go and see, asked us how we enjoyed watching the Yankees game and just generally making us feel at home. We came back from watching a DJ on Governors Island and after a few beers were more than keen for a bit of room service! We were disappointed to find that the hotel does not offfer such a service as yet but Patrick ordered a pizza for us from a local takeaway with no trouble at all. And by the way the Americans don't half know how to make a decent pizza!
We were lucky enough to see the Rooftop Bar on its first official night of opening, we were told it was at its full capacity but as we were hotel guests the security guys manning the lift in the foyer that led to the entrance of the Rooftop Bar were great in letting us pop up for a drink. The Bar up there is beautiful; pretty lights everywhere, exposed brick walls, rustic furniture all topped off with a great view of the Empire State Building. The only criticism we had was that whilst we were greeted when we came out of the lift and into the bar once in the bar we were pretty much ignored. We waited at the bar for a while but no one asked us if we wanted a drink so we went and sat at a table for two outside but felt ignored there too. Whilst there were quite a few people up there its not like it was absolutely packed so we couldn't really understand it even if it was the first official night of opening. Eventually we managed to grab a waitress who took our cocktail order. I didn't really like that hotel guests didn't have more priority up there, most people were in groups and wearing business styled attire which almost made it feel a bit too exclusive for us. Similar to this was the restaurant on the ground floor. We asked at reception to see a menu but they didn't have one. A guy who we presumed to be the manager directed us into the restaurant to ask there but once in there we were just stood like lemons being totally ignored despite the fact there was hardly any customers in there. I don't like to complain at all and I understand this is a new hotel but the consistency of the service I feel needs to be improved. In one area you have like five people going out of their way for you and then in another no one bothers. Its a shame we didn't manage to experience the restaurant at the Refinery.
Overall though the Refinery really excelled itself, with the staff being it's biggest asset we felt. Although the staff who were there when we arrived/during our stay (June 21st - 25th) were a lot nicer than the staff who were on when we left on the 26th. It sounds a bit petty to say that but we definitely felt a difference. No one said bye when we left or thank you which felt a bit odd really in comparison to the service we had received previously during our stay.
Anyway regardless of any minor hiccups we would definitely recommend the Refinery to everyone and will be staying here again if we return to New York city.
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