My First Time Missing a Suite Upgrade at the Andaz 5th Avenue in Seven Years

I spent the weekend at the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York. I used to stay here all the time but haven’t been in quite awhile, not since Cornelia Samara left as General Manager to open the new 1Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.

Most of the time in New York I’ll try to stay as close as possible to my meetings. That’s meant that I’ve even stayed at the Hyatt Herald Square semi-regularly despite rooms better suited for elves than people.

It was nice to be back, though. I was in town to visit with family up from Sydney. I was out of pocket myself for the stay and there was cash and points available at the property (which I don’t see often) and a rate low enough that I wasn’t going to spring for cash and points even.

With low rates I figured an upgrade to a suite was something of a gimme for the weekend. On the way over to the hotel I checked and a suite came up for sale. I wasn’t pre-assigned to one though which surprised me, because I’ve consistently gotten suites here over the past six years. The hotel is about a quarter suites, and as a frequent guest of the hotel I generally received one.

It turns out just as I was checking in another guest was asking about a suite upgrade. He’s a reader, which we connected about, and I’m glad that he got the one and only suite that was ready to be occupied since he was staying four nights and I was only staying for two.

In fact after he got assigned the suite the hotel website was no longer selling any. So it was totally fair when the hotel offered that they could put me in a suite but it would be an hour since the only unassigned suite in the hotel had just been checked out of and hadn’t been serviced yet.

I chose the XL view king to which I’d been pre-assigned rather than waiting for a suite. It’s the same room I had on my first stay here seven years ago which is coincidentally the last time I didn’t receive a suite at the hotel.

As with any Andaz non-alcoholic drinks and snacks from the minibar are complimentary.

And the gorgeous (if somewhat underlit) bathroom is the same as in the suites. I like the suite layout better because it brings in light through the bedroom window but here the bathroom is adjacent to the door and blocked from the window by a wall.

Suite or no, breakfast is still offered here in the restaurant or via room service for Hyatt’s top tier elites. (I still refuse to refer to the tier as Globalist even if it’s no longer correct to say Diamond.) And of course the lemon poppyseed pancakes – now called a lemon souffle pancake – remains excellent.

Here’s the breakfast menu:

Not on the beverage menu, but they made me a flat white even though latte and cappuccino were the standard choices.

It was great to catch up at the Gramercy Tavern’s cafe over dinner. Sometimes readers think I get a better experience from airlines and hotels as a blogger but that’s almost never true (I flag pretty clearly when I’m treated any differently). I can’t offer a fair review of Gramercy Tavern because we had drinks with the chef before heading over to the restaurant, he’s a family friend (for that reason I should probably say you should go – hah – but I’ve also been critical of the restaurant group).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The “M” word you use above is a fairly offensive word to members of the dwarfism community. Think twice before you write.

  2. Echoing John’s sentiment.

    The line left such a bad taste in my mouth that I couldn’t keep reading. Glad you corrected it.

  3. I’ve stayed at the Andaz 5th almost every week for the past 4 months. They have been great, and the new GM Dena Roady has been very accommodating to me when I have issues or requests.

  4. Hi Gary;

    A little overstated, no? Declining a suite upgrade because the room wasn’t clean isn’t the same as missing a suite. Youl could have a rack rate reservation confirmed in a suite and still have to wait. Often true with suites because those often get let checkouts.

  5. @beachfan I wasn’t complaining about lack of a suite upgrade, I was sharing my first experience in a non-suite at this hotel in a long time

  6. Gary, no need to publish this, but it’s not “elves” on the front page before clicking the link.

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