Improved Diamond Recognition at Hyatt 48 Lex, and Continued Excellent Recognition at Andaz 5th Avenue

Back in December I stayed at the new Hyatt 48 Lex in New York, it’s a pretty good new hotel and an excellent award redemption value as a Gold Passport category 4 (15,000 points per night vs. 22,000 at the Andaz hotels and Grand Hyatt). The only downside was the elite treatment, I felt like they really didn’t want me there, an intrusion in the restaurant where breakfast was very strictly defined and internet was limited to a single device, using two devices would incur extra charges.

Points, Miles, and Martinis visited and reported back that they’ve addressed their deficiencies. Instead of being limited to a single (the least expensive) breakfast item and having to choose coffee or juice, the hotel now gives Diamond members a $25 hotel gift card (two registered guests would mean two $25 cards) per night which can be used in the restaurant for breakfast but also for appetizers or drinks at other times of day. He also reports that the welcome letter no longer specifies internet for one so I’ll be interested in future reports whether it’s possible to use internet with more than a single device at a time (eg iPad and laptop) and have charges waived on both.

It seems like they’re taking feedback seriously, and with the improvements I’d feel welcome enough that on a points stay I would return, and rates depending I would consider the property.

Rates and Gold Passport point requirements aside I still prefer that Andaz 5th Avenue as my choice in New York, however. I had another great stay there just a few days ago, albeit a short one. I’ve had terribly bad service over time in New York, most of the time, I chalk it up to just “being New York” (and I say that having grown up there). But I find the service at the Andaz 5th Avenue to be pretty darned good, the staff are uniformly helpful, friendly, and responsive. The rooms are excellent and certainly large for New York. The Diamond recognition is very good — I understand that they’ve managed to significantly improve their ability to manage upgrades for Diamonds (who have not confirmed their upgrades in advance using suite upgrade certificates) and while they’ve cut back a bit from the unlimited room service breakfast they used to offer, they still provide a very generous $75 credit and as long as you don’t exceed that allotment they don’t even bring a bill to your room at breakfast.

Mostly what the 5th Avenue Andaz represents to me is an exceptional value, it’s expensive but not expensive for New York, I find it simply to be a place where you get as much or more than you pay for. Sure, rates may be in the high $300s most of the time. But so are the rates at most lesser hotels there. It’s not the Peninsula and isn’t meant to be, but it’s spacious rooms with lovely design elements, they have one of my favorite bathrooms, it’s friendly service and without paying $600+ per night on average.

Because of this I’d choose the property whenever I could, though I might still conserve points and stay at the 48 Lex when rates are through the roof. Glad to see the 48 Lex property improving its elite recognition, but equally glad to be back at the Andaz 5th Avenue.

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. Thanks for the very helpful update
    I had been avoiding the Lexington property for the very reasons you stated
    It sounded like a greedy non hospitable franchise property.Great to know there is another option worth considering

  2. Friends… I stayed at Hyatt 48 Lex Dec 26-29 with a wonderful outcome. I was upgraded to the same room Gary had (suite with corner Lex view from the bedroom… my pix are exactly like Gary’s) but I was on the 22nd floor. Excellant service. I loved that it wasn’t a large hotel. The previous month, I stayed at the W one block down on Lex. I paid for a room at the W (used GP points at Hyatt 48 Lex) and they gave me a room that smelled like urine… as a Platinum guest!! Even after that experience, they refused to upgrde me to a better room when the websire clearly showed rooms available. Sometimes I wonder.. is it because I trave by myself. Back to the Hyatt 48 Lex… I was there 3 nights and I received 3 gift cards for $25 each to use in the attached restaurant. I don’t eat breakfast so used these for lunch. It could not have been more perfect. All.. I think this is a better value that the Andaz Wall Strret (have not stayed at Andaz 5th Ave yet). Plus I emailed the staff before my stay at the Hyatt 48 Lax and they were waiting for me to arrive. Maybe that is the key to any hotel visit… email the staff and ask a question before you arrive. They will be waiting. PS… In Paris at the moment a Hyatt Madeleine and again being treated wonderfully!!!

  3. I also had a stay at the 48 Lex about three weeks ago. I had read your review and decided to give it a go. Many of the things that you didn’t like, didn’t pertain to me. For instance, I travel by myself, so I only need one Internet connection. If I recall, you didn’t like they really don’t have a doorman, per se – certainly not someone who might hail you a cab. I tend to walk, or if I wanted a cab, there were plenty available on the busy hotel-district streets. As for breakfast, I figured I was practically around the corner from Ess-a-Bagel, which is one of my favorite spots in midtown, so I figured there wasn’t much that could make me unhappy.

    As it turned out, I loved the hotel. Rather than compare it to the Andaz, I think it compares exceptionally favorably to the Grand Hyatt, and is nearly within the same proximity to Grand Central Terminal. They had already changed the breakfast policy to the $25/pp/day gift card. I ate breakfast at Ess-a-Bagel the first day and then had $50 to spend on breakfast the second day. I ate well…and my server got an excellent tip (the remainder of the card), too. In the future, if I were staying at this property, I might make sure that I always had someone staying with me when I booked the room. 😉

    I thought the service was well-executed – from front desk to housekeeping. I would happily stay at this hotel again – especially for as long as they keep the redemption rates for points very reasonable.

  4. @Dan I would — internet and non-alcpholic minibar beverages are still free for everyone. rooms are still large for new york standards. and the bathrooms stylish. Diamond gets you free breakfast and a somewhat better rpom unless you’ve confirmed a suite, I still think it’s one of the best all-around value propositions in Mnahattan.

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