The General Manager of the Andaz Wall Street stopped by to comment on yesterday’s post about the hotel which noted declining service offerings there.
For a New York hotel frequently pricing substantially under $300 it seems a spectacular value provided the location on Wall Street can work for you.
But it isn’t offering as much as it used to, there have clearly been cutbacks, and my expectations had been set based on previous stays and the overall Andaz brand.
The gist of the issues I shared:
- Elimination of evening wine reception and 24 hour coffee in the lobby
- Hotel no longer offering a restaurant with dinner service
- There were cutbacks in the restaurant breakfast offerings (which as a Hyatt Diamond member for whom breakfast is complimentary, this is disappointing — though perhaps I shouldn’t complain too much over what I get for free!)
- Minor room servicing items – like no minibar snacks on my first day, toileteries never refreshed during the stay, no newspaper provided.
- Room maintenance – flooring bubbling up so that steps can be felt and make noise.
I’ll share the hotel General Manager’s post from the comments first, and then some notes on my conversation with him.
I’m disappointed to hear about your most recent experience at Andaz Wall Street. Please know that anything that falls short of great service is unacceptable in our book. Rest assured that we are looking into your most recent booking to identify and address any possible gaps in service.
Despite it all, I’m glad you are still able to acknowledge that Andaz Wall Street provides great value to its guests, or as you put it “more than my money’s worth.”
As General Manager, I guarantee you that not a single day goes by when we do not try to both exceed guest expectations and successfully run a business to the very best of our ability. While sometimes we have to make some changes in order to address the ever-evolving nature of this business, it is never an option to compromise on service or our guests’ experiences.
We work diligently each day to maintain a high level of excellence, so I appreciate your thoughts and feedback. It helps keep us on track. In fact, I will give you a call shortly to discuss further.
With kind regards,
Andaz Wall Street
Here’s what I learned in speaking with him:
- When the hotel opened they expected to draw $500 room rates. The economy and location have not supported that, and they’ve had to manage their costs.
- Right now the bar is on one level of the hotel and the restaurant is on a level above. They plan to use the ground floor for food and beverage, recreating a restaurant concept in the lounge, and offering a proper dinner service. The restaurant will become catering space.
- They’re working to bring back the evening beverages, and expect to have that done in the coming three weeks. They also plan to bring back morning coffee as well, and are considering in-room coffee makers.
- The floating floors have been challenging, with maintenance in each room being different. He didn’t offer any current plans to address them systematically.
I had dinner during the stay with an executive from another hotel chain whom I’ve known for years, and who told me stories about the city’s union cost structure for hotels.
I certainly understand work rules that may require dedicated employees for offerings like a wine reception, and how much those employees cost (and that hotels often have to eliminate services in order to reduce those costs, and then negotiate to bring services back in modified form).
Ultimately the Andaz Wall Street isn’t likely to offer a product equal to the Andaz 5th Avenue, given the latter hotel’s room rates that are often $150+ higher. But the Wall Street property is working to bring back many of the features like complimentary wine in the evenings that guests love, and to satisfy core needs like restaurant dinner service.
To be clear, I did not complain to the hotel. I did not ask for compensation. That wasn’t the direction of our conversation, the GM just wanted me to know the reasons for some of the changes and how they were planning to bring back some of the services guests have come to expect. He did not offer me anything (and I was not disappointed by that).