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The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection
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Reviews (2,099)
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Reviewed 23 March 2007

My husband and I had a getaway to New York just after Christmas. We booked a room at the Algonquin by calling them directly. I felt uncomfortable doing it over the internet. I told the agent I spoke with about the special internet price I had seen, and he honored this price. We had absolutely no trouble checking in and getting up to our room, with excellent service. The rooms are small, but this is New York, and all the rooms are small. It was just really cozy, and all that we needed. We had comfortable beds with down comforters
and plenty of soft and fluffy pillows. We had a lovely stand in shower, with plenty of wonderful hot water. Just being at the Algonquin was very exciting, with all the dinner shows that go on, and the lounge is always buzzing with activity. The location couldn't be better, walking distance to just about everything, very close to shows, Times Square, and the New York Public Library, of historical fame. The breakfast served in the lobby was truly delicious, but ws $60 with tip, just for two people. During the rest of our trip, we at breakfast at the cute diner next door, the Red Flame, which was pefect for us. Each morning we got up before dawn to start our day of sight seeing, and the fresh food and hot coffee next door really hit the spot. If you go to New York, stay at the Algonquin by all means!!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank carlaroseberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2007

A stay at the Algonquin was something I had always dreamed of, being a Dorothy Parker fan, and I love the fact that the hotel has a resident cat (Matilda).

We arrived at the hotel mid afternoon, after an 8 hour flight from the UK (so were pretty jetlagged, and our bodies thought it was late evening). There was an awful noise and vibrating as there was construction work on a building behind the hotel. The receptionist assured us that it would stop at 6pm (but then confessed it started at 7am). The following day was my birthday so it was disheartening to think I would be woken up in such an unpleasant way!

The noise was not the fault of the hotel, so we decided to try and make the best of it. Our room was small and very noisy. We went down to the bar around 5pm to have some tea (it was way too noisy to have room service). The bar manager was sniffy and said "we aren't serving tea". We actually brought our own tea bags, so all we wanted was hot water and milk. I explained we were guests and that it was impossible to relax upstairs in the room. He begrudgingly let us sit in the dining area (but said "I have to charge you for tea even if you use your own tea bags..." GEE THANKS..) The noise stopped at 6pm which was bliss.

The next morning, it started up again at 7am so we ordered tea and toast from room service. This ended up costing nearly $40 which is outrageous. We had a booking to stay at the Algonquin again 2 days later, which we cancelled when we checked out, due to the noise. If the hotel had offered us a discount as compensation for the disturbance, perhaps we would have decided to stay there for the 2nd night, but they weren't interested. This experience has spoiled the whole concept of the Algonquin for me.

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled with friends
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6  Thank leopard.pants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2007

I also took advantage of the Winter/2007 $179 TravelZoo promotion and wish I hadn't. I switched to another hotel that charges over twice nightly what I paid for one night at the Algonquin, and was glad I did.

All that the Algonquin has going for it comes from the hotel's historical legacies -- the renovated architecture, the legends of the Round Table and the wonderful gentlemen who run their bell service. This is a unique and special hotel offering unmatched by other hotels in NYC and indeed the U.S.

Unfortunately, the current owners have packaged this incredible American historical venue with a theme park mentality instead of with the subtlety and taste that their previous literary clientele enjoyed at the hotel in its earlier years.

Thanks to the historical sensitivity of new owners in the 1980's who did the hotel’s first major renovations, much of the hotel's architecture and style has been restored to period and remains intact and beautiful. However the current owners have reduced the cosmetic decor to a caricature of the history by putting up wallpaper with "New Yorker" cartoons. Also the white paint in the rooms, instead of the former richly colored Edwardian wallpaper, mars any sense of the period of the hotel's glory days. The rooms are so small and dated that their charm and appeal only comes from their history, so this aspect has been damaged -- although it could be reversed with new wallpaper.

The life of the hotel emanates from the legendary bellstaff, some who have been with the hotel for decades. They are the best in NYC because of their personalities.

Outside of the friendly and wonderful doorman (wonderful, authentic smile), the accomodating bellstaff, the courteous front desk, and excellent housekeeping, the rest of the service is dicey. The hostesses and waitstaff in the lobby area were inattentive and patronizing.

As other reviewers have noted, there's age discrimination at play in this hotel. The restaurant staff seemed to focus on the late middle-aged men. I don't know if the management is intentionally marketing this hotel to an ultraconservative 55/60+crowd who like to drink a lot of alcohol.

ANYC friend who came by to see the lobby for nolstagic reasons (his last visit had been when his father brought him to the Algonquin 20 years ago when he was 16) confirmed this sense I had about the odd political atmosphere of the hotel. We're both traditional and politically moderate ourselves. A mainstream media executive very familiar with the NYC media scene, my friend confirmed that the free neo-conservative, rightist newspaper offered in the Algonquin lobby "The Sun" indeed takes a well-known adversarial stance to the paper that he used to work for, "The New York Times." We thought the discrepancy between touting the hotel's legacy of its association with the liberal "New Yorker,' which the hotel provides, but hides in a drawer in the room, was rather creepy.

Also, if you're in your thirties or even forties,health-conscious, and family-values oriented, you might feel out-of-place. Much of the lobby crowd were later middle-aged people who were intoxicated. A man and woman at the table next to us made very loud and drunken in off-color remarks that were not witty like those of the Round Table Literary group, but instead vulgar and offensive. We concluded that this is not a place to have dinner with children or teenagers, or for those who prefer proper decorum.

The concierge I encountered in March 2007 was rude, incompetent, and coarse. She represented the opposite of the legendary Algonquin service and manners. She obviously did not want to help with directions.

The rooms and bathrooms are miniscule compared to other hotels of comparable price in NYC. All that this hotel has to offer on a competitive basis is its history and aspirations to the legendary service it touts. The management really needs to rethink its full utilization of the hotel's history -- changing its approach from exploitation to respect. And they need to retrain the hotel's waitstaff and find a new concierge.

This is a three-star hotel that is best suited to an older neo-con crowd that likes to drink; writers who are drawn to the history and don't mind the chasm between the hotel's past liberal literary glory days and its present; and people who don't mind the well-worn rooms and problems because they got a promotional "bargain." The rooms are not worth the full price -- there's much better in the vicinity.

Although I was drawn to the hotel's literary history, in the end the cons outweighed the pros. I switched to a hotel in the area that was in the same (non-promotional) price range but was truly luxurious (4-diamond), with a staff with consistent good manners.

There's a reason for the wildly varying opinions at Trip Advisor. Recommend reading them carefully to see if you fall into the kind of category that fits with this hotel. It's NOT for everyone.

At the same time, I hope the management gets their act together, removes "The Sun" from their lobby, and revives some of the past consistent greatness of the Algonquin, which is still alive there, in the friendly and wonderful personalities of the gentlemen at the door and bellservice. I wish them the best because they deserve it. They make the hotel along with the architecture and history.

I'll return if the management acquires the consistent chops and clear and apolitical (politics don't belong in a hotel that markets to the general public) tone like the hotel lounge's great jazz singers demonstrate.

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7  Thank Sara088
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2007

This is a very nice, expensive hotel in a great location. However, when we checked in, the person at the front desk told us there would be a 'chiseling' noise from construction outside until 6 PM. What he didn't tell us is that this would be very, very loud noise from a jackhammer that made staying in the room intolerable until 6 PM. Furthermore, he didn't tell us that the noise would begin again at 7 AM! For $380 a night this is totally not acceptable. I complained to the booking agent at the hotel and sent an email to the manager through the hotel website, but received no response.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled on business
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5  Thank Richard039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2007

Thanks to a special on travelzoo.com, I decided to head up to NYC for a weekend in march and stay at the Algonquin. It's not hip or fashionable, but it has a familiar, old charm and cosiness that I have not found anywhere else in Manhattan. I love the comfy lobby and bar area, and the rooms, though not large, have all the amenities I need. They are also quiet, even thought the location is in midtown Manhattan, easy walking distance from scores of restaurants and popular tourist detinations. I never eat at this hotel, by the way -- as noted by many other travelers the food is nothing special-- but with so many great options within a few blocks radius, that doesn't bother me. I would prefer a coffee machine to the martini shaker in my room, but it's all part of the ambience. The New Yorker themed wall paper and ancient resident cat -- Matilda -- also add to the experience.

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2  Thank KarenfromDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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