I stayed at the Empire for a week in February with my parents, who were both first-time visitors to New York. I love the city myself -- I go twice a year on business -- and I've been trying to get mum and dad to go with me for years, so of course I wanted their first visit to be memorable and positive. I generally stay at the Waldorf or the Essex House when in NY, but the Essex was full, and all the bedbug talk surrounding the Waldorf in recent months had me spooked. I initially booked The Empire through Jetsetter, a trusted hotel source, but was alarmed when I started reading some of the negative reviews on TripAdvisor regarding the noise level and service at the hotel. I emailed Don Chatham in Guest Relations and explained my concerns. He promptly emailed me back with the assurance that our stay would be comfortable and pleasant in every way.
And it absolutely was!
The location of the hotel is perfect -- right beside Lincoln Centre, and short walking distance to Columbus Circle, Central Park, and the Metro -- it was a cinch to get anywhere we needed to go in the city. (And the very personable doormen were always quick to hail a cab if needed.)
The recent renovations at the hotel are well done; it has a chic and trendy vibe, but retains a feeling of comfort and warmth. I never noticed that the atmosphere was too "clubby", as some reviewers have mentioned, and at no point were we able to hear any noise from the nightclub in our room. And, speaking of the room, I have to say that it was one of the most spacious I've seen in New York, with comfy beds, Frette sheets, and L'Occitane toiletries. The housekeeping staff were exemplary, and our room was kept clean, tidy, and restocked the entire week. All in all, a very good value for the money.
In the end, my parents loved every minute of their first New York experience (they're already talking about a second visit), and the hotel played a big part in making the trip such a success! I would definitely recommend a stay at the Empire.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled on our own private corner of West 63rd Street between two legendary New York City landmarks - Lincoln Center and Central Park - this boutique NYC hotel provides luxury accommodations overlooking the Broadway / Columbus Avenue - the gateway to the Upper West Side. Location is essential to the spirit of the Empire Hotel and the interior motif and design is inspired by the earth tones of Central Park and the stately modernism of Lincoln Center. 426 Deluxe guest rooms and suites, WiFi, Pool Deck open seasonally, Ed's Chowder House Restaurant, Rooftop Lounge, Lobby bar. ... more less
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