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“Not XO - not even VSOP - Needs quite a lot of more refinement! Triumph of style over practicality” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Refinery Hotel

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Refinery Hotel
Ranked #29 of 467 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
LONDON
Level Contributor
78 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Not XO - not even VSOP - Needs quite a lot of more refinement! Triumph of style over practicality”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2013

The hotel is quite new - and it shows in so many ways.

1) We arrived at 2:45 pm and were hoping to get an early checkin (by 15 minutes) given the hotel's policy of 3 pm check in. Sadly it was closer to 4 when we finally got to our room. When I asked the front desk manager how they could justify such incompetence - I was told it was my fault because I had requested 2 rooms ont he same floor. I assume he was the front desk manager - he was wearing a suit and not the funky braces and denim shirt uniform everyone else was wearing.

2) The rooms are stylish - yes - but totally impractical. There is no stor\ge space - a large wooden cube is given over to the (eyewateringly expensive) minibar - and the bedside table is a waste of potential sotrage space - drawer looks big but is a lot smaller than you'd expect. Overall I get the impression that the tradeoff between style and practicality is totally wrong here.

3) minor niggles include room doors (both) which don't shut, ice machines which don;t work and an uncomfortable amount of light coming in through the bathroom window (and an iability to cut it out with the use of blinds)

The positives:

1) the staff are all really friendly and helpful

2) the cleaning service is good - thought at times quite late in the day -we've returned exhaustedat 3pm to find the room was still in the process of being cleaned.

Overall - I wish we had chosen a more anonymous chain hotel -- where at least we would have had space and a more competent experience.

Room Tip: Try to get a high floor and not right next to the lift - which has annoying bell whick pings all the...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank WJOSHUK
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, 31 July 2013
I am very sorry that you were disappointed in the room and that we were not able to accommodate your request in time of check in, WJOSHUK. Your recognition of our service means a lot to us and we hope you will visit us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (588)
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013

My Husband & I stayed at The Refinery Hotel this weekend. The hotel is beautiful...We were offered a glass of chilled wine at check-in...nice touch!!! The hotel bar is upscale but with a relaxed vibe! The doormen are great as are the front desk & lobby staff!! We reserved a table on the rooftop for drinks to celebrate my husband's birthday with friends...The staff were amazing & could not do enough to make sure we were being looked after. The room was spacious, clean & smelled amazing! The bathroom was very spacious & shower/water pressure excellent. We will definitely be back to the rooftop for drinks & stay & stay at the hotel. Overall, a great experience!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank StacieT2013
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, 30 July 2013
We will look forward to your return visit, StacieT2013—thank you for your review!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013

I have stayed in practically every type of hotel in New York City. High end, low end, B&Bs, boutique hotels, Sheratons and Marriotts. In 30 years I have never stayed at the same place twice but the next I go to New York I plan to stay the Refinery again. It's a great place to stay!

It's getting a "boutique" hotel label, which it is, but it's the most unpretentious boutique hotel I've ever stayed at. It's hip but it's also family friendly.

Pricing out rooms the king suite was the same price as a basic king at other hotels so we got the suite. Very nice large room. Can't comment on the size of a basic room but our room was great. The room had loft feel to it with high ceilings. The bed was extremely comfortable.

A few minor things with the room that could be improved on. All the lights in the room are on one switch, that is to say you can't turn off one light and keep another on. If there is a way to do this we didn't find it. You have three settings, bright and dim, and off. There are these cool LED bed lights that are separate from the main switch. Other than that everything is on one switch. Not major, but kind of annoying.

Personal thing I hate with new hotels are glass sliding bathroom doors, which they have here. Call me old fashioned but I like a solid wood door separating the bathroom from the bedroom. And the shower knob was extremely stiff and hard to turn. I had no problem with it but I could see an elderly person having trouble.

Even with these minor gripes, I really liked this hotel. It has an extremely accommodating and friendly staff. Attitude is common in NYC hotels, not here. The staff could not be nicer. They were great!

Kicking roof top bar that apparently is turning into a NYC hot spot. You have to be "let up" there's only one elevator to the roof. Access for all hotels guests, but it definitely attracts well dressed locals. When we went up it was very loud filled with 20 something singles, but a staff member told us it's like that only on the weekends. Hotel restaurant has a great breakfast menu. A little pricey but worth it if you include it with your room, which we did.

Location is great. Within walking distance of Times Square,Empire State Building, and Macy's. Plenty of restaurants,delis and bars near by. Safe area.

If it's in your budget I would definitely recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TWM1961
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, 31 July 2013
Thank you for your review, TWM1961—we are proud to have your recommendation and look forward to your return.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
176 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013

My partner and i took advantage of a Groupon for a stay at the recently opened Refinery hotel over the last weekend in July on a Friday and Saturday night.

The Refinery Hotel is an old millinery (hat making) factory right near Bryant Park and NYC's famous Fashion District. If you are a "Project Runway" fan, you'll know that it's this season's hotel for the contestants (which had nothing to do with our booking -- we booked before this season premiered) -- and no, we didn't see anyone from the show, but we did go to Mood and "meet" Swatch).

HOTEL

First a note about the name: The hotel's PR folks say "The name is a play on the words refinery and refined," but a refinery refines oil - what's that got to do with hats? Anyway, despite the stretch on the name, I kind of love this hotel!

In summary: Stylish but comfortable with a superbly welcoming and helpful staff. The location, just a block or two from Bryant Park, and just a few blocks from Penn Station is great, and easy walking to 42nd street and the theater district, or 5th avenue and Rockefeller center.

The hotel has a small lobby bar, a quite good restaurant / bar, and a rooftop bar (we didn't visit), and overall a masculine minimalism-meets-industrial age design we really liked.

The checkin process was efficient and friendly, and though our room wasn't ready when we arrived at noon, they stored our bags for us and asked us to come back at 3pm checkin, which we did. (They also gave us the option of a lower floor room immediately, which we turned down.) We wanted to get lunch anyway, so it was fine.

ROOM

We stayed in room 1009, which had a great layout even though it was typically small as most boutique NYC hotels are, but the high ceilings and huge windows which made the space feel bigger than it was.

The bed was comfortable with nice linens, and built in reading lights that turn on when pulled out, wall mounted a sconces and built-in side tables. (One holds the honor bar, one was just an end table.)

Walnut floors and a grey fabric textured walls added a distinctly masculine feel, while the custom sewing table desk (with "Refinery" molded in the supports) were a nod to the hotels millinery factory origins. In the desk was a cute newspaper-style guest services guide, and there was ample room on it for your wallet, change, ipad, etc.

There was also the standard flat screen TV, iPod-compatible radio, and in-room safe. They also offer a mini fridge on request, which was good since the honor bar has sensors so you can't really use it for storage (i "bought" a small bottled water when checking the fridge out - they took it off with no questions at checkout.)

Other pluses are the free WiFi. Huge leaning mirror by the door, and customized dinner switches for "bright", "relax" and of course "off" in both the bedroom and bath.

The only downside was a lack of storage. The are no dressers, only only a small 12" wide tower with two small cubbies and 2 small drawers in the closet. It might be enough for one person, which is what the room was clearly geared for, it was really not enough storage for two, or for a longer than 2 night stay. (Even the non-honor bar side table could have had drawers in it to give a big more storage.)

BATHROOM

The bathroom is big, and gorgeous. With an inlaid marble "R" logo, lots of counter space, a nice big shower with an adjustable (messaging) shower head and dual-flush toilet. A big window lets in light and there's a full height reeded glass & steel pocket door. Nice and abundant towels, and big 3 oz bottles of Santal products (i LOVE not having to worry about running out of shampoo or body wash!)

The only big issue was really nowhere to hang towels, and a far lesser was thin cheap toilet tissue and a box of Kleenex would be nice. The last two are an easy fix, the towel bars more challenging. (Again, for one person, it would be fine.)

OTHER AMENITIES
Winnie's Lobby Bar (named after a speakeasy that once served cocktails in teacups) is small and fairly low key with interesting furnishings (hello big gold rock for a coffee table!), and warm mahogany paneling. The "prohibition style tea house," affectation aside, it's a nice space with drinks that are not quite up to the $14-18 Manhattan price, but i've had worse, and the server was friendly and unobtrusive and the overall feel very comfortable.

Parker & Quinn is the hotels excellent if a bit hipster restaurant. My partner said it looked like a "high-end Fridays," and i does have that slightly cluttery feel, but with much nicer wall paper. (But newspaper boy type get ups for the male waiters. Really?) The food was quite good, and the service friendly. The space has a DJ so it's got a buzzy, somewhat loud vibe, which is ok, but it's not by any means quiet.

There is a 24-hour fitness center and a rooftop bar we didn't visit, so i can't comment on it.

There is free open WiFi thorough the property which worked perfectly (NICE to see a boutique properly with free WiFi!)

STAFF
The staff could not have been nicer or more helpful from check-in to checkout, always there to open doors with a friendly "hello, sir, how as your day." The only issue i really needed help with is the ice machines were not installed yet, but they brought me a bucket of ice quickly. There are nightly room turn-downs, a nice touch. The night before our departure, they left a voice mail message asking us if we needed help with transportation. Finally at checkout, the bellman literally ran down the street to get us a cab, earning that expected tip by going beyond the call of duty. Very nice service all around.

As I told the bellman, "I'll be back for sure."

Room Tip: 1007 was fine, but with limited storage.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sluggo65
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, 30 July 2013
We greatly appreciate your taking the time to write this review, Sluggo65 and thank you for your attention to detail and service. We look forward to welcoming you back to Refinery Hotel soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devonshire Parish, Bermuda
Level Contributor
70 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013

This hotel only recently opened in May 2013 I REALLY LIKED IT!!!

I travel to NY city quite often and I have tried out various boutique hotels lately and this is by far the best hotel that I have stayed at in NY city. The reason that I say is because it is not old and dated and niether does it have cramped rooms like the rest of the hotels where I have stayed. Plus the cost was reasonable at $238 per night (before taxes)

There were lots of attentive staff around ie. at the front door, the reception area and conceierge area. The first morning that I was leaving for a walkabout, one of the doormen asked me did I need any help with directions which I thought was nice little gesture. Another nice touch was that I received a call at check time to ask if I needed any help bringing my luggage downstairs.

The room was big in size by New York Standards and the room had a cool modern decor (dark wooden floors in bedroom and nicely decorated bathroom). My room only had shower but it was a large brightly tiled shower with a nice large shower head.

This hotel has a very Nice Roof top bar - decorated really classy with modern bench type pieces and 2 seaters which looked like they had an overhead pergola. You can see the Empire State building from the roof deck so it is great for taking pictures. Plus the inside area of the bar is quite sizable.

The only issue that I had with this hotel was that there was some serious construction going on. Believe it or not I had a scaffodling positioned right outside my room so I had to keep my curtains tightly shut during my entire stay. Also because my room was located on the 2nd floor and with this being NY city I heard noises from heavy vehicles and the constuction which disturbed my sleep.

This hotel is in the Perfect Location 63W 38th (ie. 38th and 6th Ave) - you can walk easily to 34th Street where Macy's is or to 42nd Street were Times Square is located (say a 5 to 10 minute to either of these areas)

Room Tip: Choose a room on a upper floor so that you can avoid hearing noises from the traffic or from the con...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa 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, 30 July 2013
I am sorry to hear that the external construction caused you inconvenience, Lisa B, but we are very happy that you had a wonderful stay otherwise. We hope to see you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013 via mobile

Travelled alone for business found the staff friendly accommodating and knowledgeable about NYC excellent location for fashion industry as it right in the middle of the garment distinct the roof top lounge was a great place to meet people and unwind after a day at the office will definitely be recommending the refinery to all my associates
Special thanks to Martin , Alice and Felix for their professional assistance
See you all next year

Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank TheoDora 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, 30 July 2013
Your recommendation means a lot to us, TheoDora B—thank you and we will look forward to your return next year!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013

Location: you can almost see Macy's from the corner, shopping on 34th or 42nd and 5th avenue, subway close by. 10 minutes walk with suitcases to Grand Central
Service: outstanding staff, really can't fault anything
Rooms: spacious, great amenities, boutique style decor - simple and stylish. Reminds me of All Saints stores.
Restaurant Parker & Quinn you simply have to eat here to understand how amazing the food, decor and atmosphere all combine to create a great meal.
Gym: has everything you need, great top of the range machines
Bars: spoilt for choice, lobby or Rooftop

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tas747
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, 30 July 2013
Thanks for a great summary, Tas747—we look forward to your return trip.
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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 #29 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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