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“Identity crisis: hotel vs residential building”

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The Sherry-Netherland Hotel
Ranked #8 of 469 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 August 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Sherry for two weeks and I wanted this “hotel” to be excellent as per the ratings on TA. We had just come from two weeks at The Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca which was fantastic.

The ONLY reason this did not get a poorer rating is that the building is in a convenient location, this was a reason we choose not to move. You are right opposite Central Park with the horse and carriages and in short walking distance to all the main Fifth Avenue shops. Other positives were; spacious bedroom, heaps of wardrobe space, free wifi, free sodas that were refilled every day, comfy bed, plenty of bathroom amenities, choice of newspaper, heaps of TV channels and a coffee machine. Godiva chocolates were placed on our pillow at night, which you do not see often nowadays. There were a lot of old world touches.

Rather than give you two weeks of examples of the poor service we received, I will list just a few, remembering we are paying $700+ per night, it was $635 and then you add all the taxes. Before I start with the negatives, the reason for my heading is that Sherry lacks a lot of services that a hotel has, for example, there is no lounge to go sit in, read and watch the world go by. There is no casual area to have a coffee or snack, just a small lobby with a couple of chairs so if you are staying here for any length of time, you are stuck in your room. There is no pool to go sit by. A previous reviewer stated that their stay was “odd” and now I understand why. For two weeks I was able to watch how the staff treat the hotel guests versus the residents of the building and it is very different, in fact, we felt like we were imposing and intruding, we did not feel like hotel guests. The concierge’s were polite but they had this underlying tone and attitude.

So we arrive at the Sherry and are greeted by Alvin who collects our bags. We are checked in by the concierge and given a nice welcome until she looks at my passport photo and tells me how much I have aged. Now I just laughed it off, however upon reflection, this lady did not know me and is that appropriate behaviour from a five star hotel? Or maybe it is not a five star hotel, it is a residential building and she became too familiar with us?

Alvin takes us up to our room and we step out to renovations occurring on the second floor, which is where our room is. The concierge forgot to inform us of this when checking in. Alvin points out that the Business Centre is closed for renovation and lucky for us they have relocated it right next door to our room. Alvin shows us our room, we tip him and he stated that he is a native New Yorker and if we need anything he is around – we never saw Alvin again until check out two weeks later when he picked up our bags. There was a box of Godiva chocolates and flowers welcoming us. There were also two notes from the management. Both notes had different and incorrect spellings of my name. My booking was made by my travel agent so they had all the details – oh and my surname, only has four letters and my Christian name is also very easy.

I wondered about the renovations going on but at that time (it was about 3pm in the afternoon on a weekday) we could not hear any noise, so unpacked and settled in. We were happy. In fact, during the whole two week stay we did not actually hear much of the renovation going on, it is what woke us up each morning. As stated above, there was board on the floor in the hall way stuck together by masking tape. Each night it was removed and every morning (weekday) it was re-laid. So between 8.00 – 8.30am you would hear the ripping of masking tape and while doing this the person laying the board would have a very loud conversation with the housekeeping staff or other tradesmen, right near our room. So rather than wake up naturally, without fail we were woken by the staff of the “hotel”. There were mornings on the weekend when I woke up to the housekeeping staff calling out to bring more towels or for a staff member calling for security on her walkie talkie. My tip to the Sherry, if your guest has the “do not disturb” sign up and the paper is still outside their door it indicates they are still asleep.

The bathroom – it was small. However, we had a bath, great I thought! Then I looked at the bottom of it, the non-slip surface was fifty shades of grey, there was no way I was sitting on that. It needed to be replaced or given a damn good bleach.

This leads me into housekeeping, extremely inconsistent. If a hotel is renovating and it expects its guests to stay within the area during this phase then the housekeeping needs to be vigilant with keeping building dust to a minimum. After about four days I noticed the build up of dust. It is important to note here that there was a lot of drawers and wardrobe space so we did not leave a lot of personal items out on the side cabinets or tables. The housekeeping did not have to move any personal items to dust. By day five I was able to write words into the dust, I wrote “hello” on the TV stand and it still did not get cleaned. Day seven it did, only because I happened to be in the room at the time. I am not sure if the bathroom got cleaned, as there was a pubic hair on the daddo by the toilet and stayed there for the full two weeks with all the dust.

Now there are plenty more examples to provide but the piece de resistance was room service. We had been eating in a lot of restaurants and decided to stay in one night. I said to my husband all I feel like is a toasted cheese sandwich. He rings room service and orders one each. We get our order – two plates with covers. First thing we notice, only one glass of water, we laugh. Then we lift the lid and were shocked. The toasted sandwich was that, a cheese toasted sandwich. Not what you expect from a five star kitchen: there was no parsley for decoration, no fries, no salad just plain crappy white bread with plastic cheese and the crusts cut off and it was very dry (took a photo of it). Now you are probably saying, yeah, that is what you wanted. Yes but guess what we paid when I asked my husband what the amount was on the bill - $41.00 for two toasted sandwiches and one glass of water. I would not have minded if we got some fries and salad with that. In all my travels and I have been travelling most of my life that would go down as the worst hotel dish I have seen and the biggest RIP OFF! By the way, based on this dish we did not even want to waste our time and money going to the restaurant.

My tip if you are staying at the Sherry, go around corner to the deli we got beautiful sushi (spicy crab) for $5.75. Also for the international visitors who may not know, you can take your washing to a dry cleaner and they do it for you, usually one pound of clothing costs about $1.00. We had 44 items of clothing washed and it cost $20.

BY the way I was happy to put all of this into a customer satisfaction feedback form but there was not one in our room. So with this experience in mind, go to a proper hotel, a place that provides the amenities a hotel of five star standard should. We certainly noticed the difference when we checked in at the Peninsula in Beverly Hills after staying at the Sherry – now there is a hotel! Oh and I checked what they charged for a toasted cheese sandwich - $12 but you got ham with that and tomato soup plus a bread basket and two glasses of water.

I will say that Fernando, the doorman was extremely polite and very helpful.

Room Tip: Do not get courtyard room, have exterior room view of city. Make sure they are not renovating on th...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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20  Thank Aussiefoodlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kkinet, Manager at The Sherry-Netherland Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2012

I am so sorry that you were disappointed in your stay with us last month, and wish you had mentioned the problems both in the location of your accommodations, and in the quality of service you received prior to your departure, to give us an opportunity to redeem ourselves. Please be sure that we will follow up with the staff members involved, in Housekeeping, the Front Desk, and the Service staff, to ensure that this does not happen again. We will also follow up with the restaurant’s management team, and make them aware of the issues you have presented. It is our goal to exceed our guests expectations, and we clearly did not meet yours. I hope you will accept our apologies.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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528 - 534 of 717 reviews

Reviewed 27 July 2012

Location, genteel ambience, comfort, staffing of all services, quality of dining, room quality and cleanliness are exceptional. Have stayed four times and will always return. Cabs are hailed upon request and elevator operators add a sense of bygone times.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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Thank IOBond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2012

Location, attention to detail, size of room, cleanliness, staff professionalism, Harry's Bar. Just excellent and will return.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank beckysharper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2012

Stayed there in May'12 for 2 nights, doing business in NYC.
The hotel is good, centrally located, well maintained and very clean. Bedrooms is classicly decorated, with good bed, well kept toilet... there is free water and soda inside rooms.
The gym downstairs has good equipment, but is a little claustrophobic...
Had breakfast in the attached restaurant: good service but expensive (~20 dollars).
Overall the hotel is very good but for 400-500 dollars it is way too expensive, even considering that it's NYC.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank gutohs-br
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2012

The S/N is at the perfect location in the city, everything is walkable or the subway is around the corner if you want to go that way. This is a not a large corporately run property, it is a relatively small building with the unit owners directing the hotel management company. As such the staff is small and they know who you are. They charge the usual NYC prices, but watch for specials and you will do OK. The accomodations are great - overall a most pleasant experience.

Room Tip: Less street noise the higher up in the building, but even the lowest floors are acceptable.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Leonard A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2012

From the moment you check in you realize that this hotel is no "cookie cutter" property. The front desk is small and the reception is friendly and personal. Human elevator operators, imagine that, and they are polite. One ride and they remember your floor. The rooms are lovely, clean, and charming. The location is perfect. Parking is a bit pricey, but that is NY.

Room Tip: We had a court yard view. It is actually a piece of cement surrounded by other buildings, but it wa...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SFMMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2012

An oasis in the midst of central Manhattan. Excellent location, elegan spacious rooms, discrete security, warm friendly and efficient staff. Will use this as my residence whenever I visit New York in future.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Marie242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Sherry-Netherland Hotel

Address: 781 Fifth Avenue, At 59th Street, New York City, NY 10022-1092
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 Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in New York City
#6 Business Hotel in New York City
#7 Luxury Hotel in New York City
#7 Romantic Hotel in New York City
Price Range: £347 - £904 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Sherry-Netherland Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A sanctuary of excellence and impeccable service in New York's most exclusive neighborhood. Majestically overlooking Fifth Avenue and Central Park, The Sherry-Netherland is recognized as one of New York's most important hotels.. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sherry Netherland Hotel
The Sherry Netherland Hotel

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