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“Suited our needs in every way”
Review of Refinery Hotel

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Refinery Hotel
Ranked #28 of 467 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Jersey, Channel Islands
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Suited our needs in every way”
Reviewed 1 July 2013

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.

Room Tip: We were in 1011 which was cool as we could see some of sixth ave but were high enough to not hear th...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank snaiyull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this review, 9 July 2013
Thank you so much for your feedback, snaiyull—we deeply appreciate all suggestions and reviews and will be sure to follow up on your comments. We hope to see you again soon!
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NJ
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2013

I just came home from enjoying a wonderful 2 night stay at the Refinery Hotel.
The outfits of the staff are very cute and relaxed.
The staff has a wonderful attitude and every staff member I came in contact with had a smile!
The hotel's decor is very different from what I have seen before. The fixtures in the lobby, hallways, and rooms are very well appointed.
I didn't get to enjoy the rooftop bar, but I overheard other guests talking very positively about it so I'll pay a visit later on this summer, even if not a guest at the hotel.

I reserved the King Studio room under a special (for being a new hotel) they were running at the moment. About 10 minutes after I got into the room I did my bathroom and bed inspection which I do everywhere I stay. Unfortunately, the bed on one side had stains on the sheets and a pillowcase. Also, the remote was missing. Clearly, the sheets had been washed, but the stains did not come out completely. I called the front desk right away. The manager called me back within 5 minutes and offered to have someone bring up a remote and housekeeping change my linens, OR I could get moved to another room.
I chose to move to another room.
They upgraded me to a King Suite on the same floor (3rd floor) which was really nice b/c it was so much bigger! The next day they gave me a bottle of wine and a hand written note to apologize again for the inconvenience of the first room.

The pros:
1) Great staff
2) Quick to please
3) Rooftop bar (although this if from secondhand reviews)
4) Decor
5) High ceilings in the two rooms I was in (I'm assuming all rooms)

The "cons":
1) The ice machine in the hallways are not functional so you have to call the front desk to have someone bring up ice
2) The robes, although lovely, give off TOO much lint which gets EVERYWHERE. I would suggest to the hotel to change their robes as the lint makes it more difficult for housekeeping to clean the rooms -- again, the lint gets EVERYWHERE
3) My first night I had a bit of a scare and concern. While we were sleeping we heard someone try to come into our room. Thankfully, they were unsuccessful. I originally thought it was a drunk guest who got confused (not the hotel's fault), but later, when I checked the door, the safety latch was in the "open" position as far as one could open the door before it stops you completely. After I saw that then I wondered it a staff member (with a key) tried to get into the room. OR, if anyone with a key could potentially open any room which is a concern. Again, thankfully, I had the safety latch on so regardless, it will stop someone from opening the door (unless of course they very very forcefully and violently try to get in). Everything worked out okay b/c no one got in, but it did keep me from a completely peaceful night's sleep the next night.
I told a staff member about it when they called about bringing up my bottle of wine and she apologized.

I was fortunate enough to speak with the guest relations manager when I checked out. I was in a bit of a rush to catch a bus so I only got to thank him for the bottle of wine and not relay the security issue.

Tips:
**If you are not used to NY noise then please ask for a room on a higher floor and/or for a room that does NOT face 38th Street. This is NOT the hotel's "fault" as NYC noise is just what it is. After all, it is the city that never sleeps
**If you enjoy space then please get at least the King Studio which I believe is bigger than the Queen Studio
**Do not wear the robe over ANY clothes if you are concerned about lint (see "Cons")
**Do not waste your money on the Voss water in the room (although Voss is a very fine water). I did not have it myself, but I do know that the hotel charges a hefty fee. Tap water is fine enough (NYC tap is rated very very well) or just get bottled water from outside.


Would I stay here again? Yes.
The only reason my rating is not a perfect 5 stars is mainly because of the security issue. However, I do give a full 5 stars for the hotel's efforts to right a wrong.
I hope to stay here again in the next year to see if their effort will be kept as high after it's no longer considered a "new" hotel.

Visit the Refinery Hotel, it's a great find! And always remember to tip housekeeping as they are the ones who keep your room clean and livable!!!!

Room Tip: Rooms that face 38th Street are noisy
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank LOVE2travel33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this review, 4 July 2013
We are so happy you enjoyed your stay, LOVE2travel33, and thank you for posting. We will be sure to follow up on all of your comments and look forward to your next visit!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2013

Just a few paces away from the corner of W38th and Pret a Manger, it would be easy to miss the entrance to this cracking hotel with its own doormen. Smart entrance and corridor lead to the spacious bar and reception with friendly, helpful staff.

Main hotel corridors and my room were predominantly black. You either like or dislike the décor or simply don't care. I found it fine. Someone else called the entrance and reception area funky.

The bedroom was surprisingly spacious with great air con and free wifi. There was a one-control shower that did not require safe-cracker precision to get the right temperature and flow of water (see, it is possible!). There was a large screen TV - but since there is nothing on in the USA I helped save the planet and left it off most often. Push-button variable lighting in the bedroom and shower room as well as the two-flush option toilet will be noted by the environmentally friendly traveller. Breakfasts were a treat with the chef making his own granola.

A comfy bed in a well-maintained, clean room made for a restful sleep. The blinking movement detector might disturb the light-sensitive sleeper and the inevitable city noises might need ignoring at times but I slept well.

The location is great - a cheque book away from Macy's and the easiest stroll to Bryant Park (check out the activities). Subway very close too.

Definitely one to chose if you're looking for decent quality and great value for money.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank CWScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2013
Thank you so much for your review, CWScotland, and for noticing a few of our environmentally friendly efforts. We look forward to your return!
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2013

The room was clean, spacious (relatively to NYC), well equipped and nicely decorated; shower is also great, even if the mirror is a bit furtehr for you to acutally see yourself in details. The staff is also very helpful and attentive. However, the staff keeps recommending visiting their rooftop bar, and when I actually wanted to go up I was greeted by a "reservations first, hotel guests later", and a not so friendly attitdue by the "bouncer" who took over one of the lobby elevators, per hotel request I presume. Other elevators dont run to the rooftop. And this a bummer. IF you recommend the bar - at least let the hotel guests visit it, and dont' "occupy" lobby space (which to begin with is rather small).

However, at it's current price - it is a great hotel. They are going to ramp up the prices by a whooping 100$ (!) in Sep, but if it stays around 300$ it's worth the stay and I will definitely return.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms facing 39st. I asked for a "quiet" room and received a 7th floor facing ro...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Eyal B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2013
Thank you for posting, Eyal B. We are so glad that you found our staff attentive and apologize for the confusion with the rooftop—we will certainly take your comment into consideration as we continue to improve! We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2013

We had the pleasure of staying at this very new hotel. The service was absolutely impeccable. The room was very clean and had high-end decor. The staff was extremely attentive. I was celebrating my birthday. In our room, I found a handwritten card wishing me a Happy Birthday and a gift. They made me feel very special. The rooftop lounge was stunning, a view of the Empire State building. Cocktails were delicious. I recommend this hotel to everyone.

Room Tip: We did not have any unusual issues with noise in our room. Remember, you will be staying in NYC, a...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RoseLady692
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2013
We greatly appreciate your comments regarding our staff and service. Thank you for posting, RoseLady692, we can’t wait to have you back.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsinki, Finland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2013

We stayed here 8 nights from late May and they were still finishing the facilities (no gym, no lobby bar, breakfast from the complimentary to a limited selection, empty mini bar, etc).

Couple of issues one should be aware of; the rooms tend to be noisy, the windows do not block much sound (it's the frames, double glass are useless if the frames leak -- I wonder how the rooms will feel with the winter weather). Our first room was towards the 39th street and there was simply too much construction and other noise, and we asked for a new room. The new room was towards 6th Ave and better, not quiet by any means but acceptable.

Check the size of the room you're booking. We had a booking for 8 nights and the first room was small, really Small. Considering that we were staying there for 8 nights and the soft opening price wasn't really that great, it was almost like an insult. Luckily the new room was bigger, not huge by any means but acceptable. We never had any view worth mentioning. Each time the door to the room next door was closed the wall shake so don't be surprised if you can hear or feel your neighbors.

Hopefully the housekeeping has improved since, as a new hotel there was some obvious dust, we got housekeeping coming in despite the do not disturb light, one day we got no housekeeping at all (despite the room being empty most of the day), and often the housekeeping was there around 6pm when we just arrived from the city to prepare for dinner.

I have to stay that from this experience I'm quite reluctant to stay in a soft opening hotel in the future unless the price is really good. As our price was about the same we got from other hotels of similar quality and the list prices for Refinery were higher, my expectations were much higher.

We didn't like the toiletries, not a biggie but the consistency was "interesting" and "Made in China" didn't help either.

And to the pros; the location is excellent if you want to be in this part of the city. All the shopping, sights, Bryant Park, etc.

The design of the hotel is nice, not the finest design hotel I've seen but nothing to complain about. The lobby bar wasn't open yet, nor was the rooftop bar, the complimentary wine by the lifts was a nice touch and made the soft opening easier to bear. The breakfast needed some work at the time but the small plates in the restaurant were fine (we only ate there once as we had had a late lunch and didn't fancy a full dinner).

Decoration, linens, room, etc. everything was fine.

The absolute best part of the hotel was the staff. Everyone was friendly, helpful and made your day or stay excellent. Full five star staff, in fact I'd probably give the property just two or three stars without the staff due to the price/value during the soft opening. I'm bad to remember names but from the door to the lifts, everyone deserves a plusplus for their efforts.


PS. The hotel WiFi has an issue I noticed in the first room. The WiFi is available on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies and the latter deteriorates easier due to the walls and other obstacles. When both frequencies use the same WiFi name (SSID), you cannot control which frequency you will be using and may get connected at 5 GHz, looks good but it barely works. This is a known issue and often people use different SSID for the different frequencies.

Room Tip: Get the largest room you can afford and/or ask for an upgrade
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank petriojala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2013
Thank you for posting, petriojala, your review of our staff means so much to us and we look forward to when you return.
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Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2013

We just finished a six-night stay at the Refinery, so we got very familiar with the place. The good, the bad, and the fixable.
First off, in real estate and hotels location is everything and this one is superb. Walking distance to Broadway, Rockefeller Center, close to subway lines. Cabbie had trouble finding it because there's no real sign yet, but that is a minor issue.
We got one of the corner rooms with a view of the Empire State Building the first night. Good size, very hip and modern. Unfortunately the only sitting area was two small and very uncomfortable chairs, which works for a night but not for a long stay.
Apparently other guests had complained about the chairs, but the day manager was great in giving us a double bed room that had a couch. She also provided a water heater for coffee, a microwave and a small fridge.
Room was really nice size for New York, bathroom was nice, and shower was great. But the ice machines don't work yet so we had to order it from downstairs and when they brought it it was in such a small container it barely made two drinks.
Rooftop bar opened during our stay and it was spectacular. I highly recommend it, but one issue is they dedicate one of the three elevators to it, making for long elevator waits at times for people staying there.
Staff is fantastic here, everyone trying to be very helpful. Beware of mini bar charges, though, they tried to charge us 10 bucks for a bottle of water that the bellhop told us was free when we checked in. They did take it off the bill.
This property tries a bit too hard to be hip but we liked it a lot. Even had a woman pouring complimentary wine by the elevator each evening, though one day when my wife and I came back from walking in the heat and were a bit disheveled the woman pouring asked my wife first if she was a hotel guest which I thought was quite disrespectful.
Again, this hotel has some early opening issues and some quirks. But we ended up with a great room in a great location and would definitely stay there again

Room Tip: Ask for a double with a couch!
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tmthyp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
R_Taormina, General Manager at Refinery Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2013
Thank you for your post, tmthyp. We are so pleased that we were able to provide a satisfactory solution of an upgraded double room for the remainder of your stay. We look forward to welcoming you back in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Refinery Hotel

Property: Refinery Hotel
Address: 63 West 38th Street, New York City, NY 10018-3818
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Garment District , Manhattan
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 467 Hotels in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Refinery Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 197
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