This was only maybe my sixth stay of the year at the Andaz 5th Avenue.
I’ve been trying out a variety of hotels this year in New York — sometimes due to location (like the Conrad New York when I was attending an event there, or the Renaissance Newark for the Freddie Awards), sometimes due to getting simply too good a deal to pass up (the couple of times I stayed at the Andaz Wall Street), and sometimes because the 5th Avenue Andaz was full and I don’t have deep enough pockets to cover a Diamond guaranteed availability stay (so I took refuge at the Grand Hyatt and the Parker Meridien).
Every time I stay in New York and it’s not at the Andaz 5th Avenue, I’m disappointed.
It’s not the single best hotel in New York. And it’s certainly not the cheapest acceptable hotel in New York, either.
But from an overall price-value standpoint, it’s really tough to beat.
The Andaz value proposition includes free wireless internet and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks from the minibar free for all guests.
This Andaz offers Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members the opportunity to take the complimentary breakfast from room service, and the food quality is really good. As long as you stay underneath the $75 cap or thereabouts for your room service order, they bring your food but don’t even bring you a bill to sign. It’s my favorite hotel breakfast outside of Asia, although breakfast at Hyatt Olive 8 in Seattle comes close.
You’ll see, of course, my beloved lemon poppyseed pancakes. Recently a journalist who interviewed a Hyatt exec reported back, “no one has ever had these pancakes.” My love of these is apparently famous enough that it was a topic of conversation in the interview. I believe all Hyatt executives should be required to eat them so that they can encourage other properties to make them. (While Hyatt execs may not all eat the pancakes, both Million Mile Secrets and One Mile at a Time have raved about them, referencing my recommendation.)
The Andaz Wall Street has a busy lobby, the lobby here is smaller which I like because once you walk inside the hotel it seems so much more peaceful — there aren’t as many people milling about, it isn’t as loud.
The rooms here are really large for Manhattan, even the standard rooms. And the bathrooms are probably my favorite of ay hotel, anywhere.
Plus I really like the location, in Midtown directly across from the New York Public Library. The lobby even has its own small library, in keeping with the theme.
Despite only half a dozen stays here this year, I’m a regular enough that many of the hotel staff know me. I walk through the door and the person welcoming me in knows my face well enough to say, “welcome back.” He acknowledges at the desk that he’s checked me in before.
I didn’t use a confirmed suite upgrade, but they do do a pretty good job with Diamond upgrades here, at least considering the constraints. The hotel is frequently completely full. When they first opened they weren’t especially good with elite upgrades. They would endeavor to offer the best available room at check-in, but they didn’t do any pre-blocking of elites. As I understand it, they still don’t pre-block rooms most of the time but instead they upgrade the room category that Diamonds are booked into — they try to upgrade two categories if possible, one if they’re completely booked solid, and then assign Diamond members to a room in that higher category at check-in.
On one night stays I tend to luck into suites, it probably helps the number of times I stayed here last year and it’s also one an additional reason I don’t want to stay elsewhere when I’m in town. I don’t want to lose that sort of frequent guest recognition.
This trip I had a “12” room on the 11th floor. I’ve had this same room before. It’s a suite with a balcony, and what distinguishes it from others is that it isn’t just a walkout terrace but an actual large balcony with a couple of chairs.
The room isn’t as big as a splash suite, but I find it exceedingly comfortable.
I’m so happy with this hotel that I was almost disappointed to be gone only for a day. Fortunately the next New York trip that I have set is booked here again.