Park Hyatt New York: Consistently Inconsistent

12

The Park Hyatt New York Hotel Review is part of the Trip Report: TPOL in NYC, a series of posts highlighting TPOL’s move to the Big Apple.


Getting There: From within the city, take one of the many subway trains that run to the center of the world known as NYC. Per the website, Park Hyatt New York is conveniently located near several subway stops the N, R, Q Lines are located at 57th Street and 7th Avenue; the F Line is located at 57th and 6th Avenue; with the A, C, B, D, and 1 lines located at Columbus Circle at Broadway and 58th Street.


New York is the home to real talk, the idea that people should speak their minds directly without pussyfooting around. TPOL also adheres to this ideology leaving him in situations when keeping it real goes wrong. In reviewing the Park Hyatt NY, I’m going to be brutally honest even if this upsets the blog community which, for the most part, holds this hotel in the highest regard.

2015-12-26 10.26.08
Park Hyatt New York
2015-12-26 10.26.03
The entrance
2015-12-26 13.19.06
The Park Hyatt is directly across the street from Carnegie Hall in the posh area of 57th Street and 7th Ave.

The Flagship Luxury Hotel 

The Park Hyatt New York is the Hyatt brand’s flagship hotel. It is supposed to be the standard-bearer of what all Hyatt’s strive to be. It is difficult to argue that the Park Hyatt New York is anything but luxurious. There are ornate decorations throughout the hotel and the building itself, one of the tallest in New York making it impossible to miss. (unless you’re the pizza guy who couldn’t figure out where the hotel was.)

2015-12-26 10.21.49
Hard to miss

My issue is with the style of luxury. Spoiled by the unassuming Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, the colonial Park Hyatt Saigon, the elegant Park Hyatt Istanbul, and the incomparable Park Hyatt Sydney, I wasn’t impressed with the crude chromed-out modern decor of the Park Hyatt NY. It was too much flash for no discernible purpose. A hotel doesn’t have to be necessarily subtle to be luxurious. It can be big and bold while simultaneously remaining unassuming. (see Park Hyatt Shanghai)

2015-12-26 10.27.11-1
The lower lobby
2015-12-26 10.27.20
Am I on the film set of Terminator 2?
2015-12-26 10.27.34
Not sure what this is
2015-12-26 10.30.58
Some decor
2015-12-26 10.31.23
The lobby bar with chrome
2015-12-26 10.31.55
More chrome

The Service 

Take away the luxurious distractions and guests would still choose the Park Hyatt brand for its great service. This is why my stay at the Park Hyatt NY was disappointing. The service was inconsistent. Upon arriving, the doorman, Chris, was helpful and engaging. He set the tone for what I thought I would encounter from the rest of the staff. Entering the lower lobby, I was warmly greeted by an employee who quickly checked me in but then abruptly directed me to take the elevator to the lobby where I was supposed to go “right then right and sit in the waiting room until my room was ready.”

The clumsy, two-step check in process was inefficient. After taking the elevator to the actual lobby, I sat in the waiting area which due to the rectangular shape and vast amounts of chrome resembled a jail cell. I sat there for more than a half hour unsure if I was supposed to follow-up to see if my room was ready or if they would come to me.

2015-12-26 10.34.38
I want this couch
2015-12-26 10.38.16
Surrounded by chrome bars

In the mean time, I had a drink of lemon water which I quickly put down because the setup of this refreshment stand made it unclear if the cups next to the water were clean or used. Eventually, an employee took away all the cups but curiously never returned with new ones.

I assumed the fresh cups were on the tray till I saw guests putting their cups there
I assumed the fresh cups were on the tray till I saw guests putting their cups there.

The Front Desk 

Feeling lost in the shuffle, I approached the front desk and asked if my room was ready. “What’s the reservation under?” she asked. At this point I had been asked my name by Chris, the doorman, who introduced me to the employee at the first checkpoint, who still asked me for my name, and I was, once again, asked by the employee at the front desk. I gave her my name and she said, “You’re room just became ready.” This coincidence is like going to a restaurant and asking the waiter for your appetizer a half hour after ordering and it magically reappearing seconds later. Clearly, something was missed by someone.

After saying the number of my room aloud followed by my last name, a terrible breach of security procedure, I showed myself to my room. At the other Park Hyatts, either the bellman or the front desk employee personally escorts me to the room and gives me a tour which amusingly includes how to work the television. It’s a nice touch and something that I expected from this flagship hotel. Later on, I did see a different employee escorting other guests to the elevator while elaborating on features of the hotel. I’m not sure why there wasn’t uniformity.

The Room 

As a diamond member, I used a suite upgrade and received a junior suite. GoldPassport said that suite upgrades are not allowed on Chase free night awards but the hotel graciously made an exception. The junior suite was an oversized single room, not two separate rooms, a point of contention for many travel enthusiasts. While a proper suite would have been nice, I was more than pleased with the room itself.

2015-12-26 11.05.36
The entryway
2015-12-26 11.09.39
Small details
2015-12-26 11.09.27
The closet
2015-12-26 11.06.40
Carnegie Hall
2015-12-26 11.12.28
The Famous Russian Tea Room
2015-12-26 11.06.33
The living room area with surround sound
2015-12-26 11.08.52
Infotainment
2015-12-26 11.11.44
The rest of the living room area with surround sound
2015-12-26 11.16.28
Art
2015-12-26 11.16.38
Junior Suite
2015-12-26 11.16.53
Huge by NY standards
2015-12-26 11.15.14
From the bedroom
2015-12-26 11.06.19
Junior suite
2015-12-26 11.06.51
Junior suite
2015-12-26 11.07.19
The bed
2015-12-26 11.12.47
Bedroom TV
2015-12-26 11.07.35
View of bedroom and bath from living area
2015-12-26 11.11.19
View of the suite
2015-12-26 11.18.28
The TV could’ve been a bit bigger
2015-12-26 11.05.44
The bathroom
2015-12-26 11.10.44
Double sinks
2015-12-26 11.14.23
The bathroom
2015-12-26 11.14.31
Le Labo
2015-12-26 11.19.16
Best pic
2015-12-26 11.05.54
The tub
2015-12-26 11.24.42
The tub
2015-12-26 11.13.25
Shower on right, toilet on left
2015-12-26 11.13.41
Shower stool
2015-12-26 11.13.52
Fogless mirror in shower
2015-12-26 11.14.01
First shower head
2015-12-26 11.14.14
Rain shower
2015-12-26 11.39.42
Rain shower art
2015-12-27 09.19.12
The heated toilet
2015-12-27 09.19.20
Auto rise when approached
2015-12-26 11.08.07
The minibar
2015-12-26 11.09.01
The minibar leading to hallway
2015-12-26 11.09.16
Free espresso and 2 small water bottles
2015-12-26 11.10.08
$150 Krug
2015-12-26 11.51.54
Gummies

My only complaint about the room relates back to the inconsistent service of the hotel. In the middle of the night, I woke up to find that the temperature inside the room was 75 degrees. I switched the thermostat to 65 and high but that made little difference. The next day I noticed there was another thermostat in the living room so I switched that one to 65 as well. The room would not cool. Before going to breakfast, I called guest services who sent someone to check the air conditioning. They said it was fine. When I returned, the room was still warm making me question if I was doing something wrong. Curious if it was user error, I spent the next three hours before checking out messing with both thermostats and monitoring the temperature of the room. I concluded that the a.c. does work but works very poorly.

The Breakfast 

2015-12-27 09.29.03
Lobby bar
2015-12-27 09.30.57
Breakfast restaurant

Like the Park Hyatt Toronto, the Park Hyatt NY does not have a breakfast buffet. Diamond guests are given an allowance and can choose anything on the menu. At check-in I was told that the allowance was $45 per person. The set breakfast for $38 which includes coffee and juice is the safe option for frugal diamond travelers who don’t want to spend a dollar more than they have to on breakfast. I, under the counsel of my great waiter, ventured off of the set menu and order an orange juice, double espresso, a child’s portion of blueberry pancakes, and the lobster omelette with whole eggs instead of white.

2015-12-27 09.35.13
Coffee presentation
2015-12-27 09.43.37
Espresso + $10 OJ
2015-12-27 09.55.06
Lobster delight
2015-12-27 09.55.12
Pancakes
2015-12-27 09.55.17
Salmon benedict

The menu said that orange juice was $10 so I refused refills as I was too embarrassed to ask at the Park Hyatt NY if refills were free and too conditioned from eating at late-night diners to believe that they could be free. The bill came to $65 for two. The kind waiter said he had taken off our drinks to keep us under the diamond member threshold. This unexpected gesture made me wonder if the allowance truly is $45 and if it was then how much does it cost for a double espresso.

Regardless, the breakfast was great and so was the service.

2015-12-27 09.29.53
Caviar
2015-12-27 09.30.13
Breakfast menu
2015-12-27 10.14.02
$10 for kids pancakes

The Pool

I had booked the Park Hyatt NY before but cancelled because the pool was closed for service, something that baffled me at the time since the hotel had just opened.

I’m glad I did because my favorite amenity of the Park Hyatt was the pool. Although I didn’t get to practice my cannon ball, like Kevin McAllister, I did swim laps with the provided kickboard and was able to clear the entire length of the pool underwater.

2015-12-26 12.05.13
The gym is above the pool
2015-12-26 12.07.45
The pool
2015-12-26 12.07.08
Random depth
2015-12-26 12.10.04
View of the city
2015-12-26 12.07.54
View of the city
2015-12-26 12.08.08
View of the city
2015-12-26 12.09.11
The pool
2015-12-26 12.15.11
The hot tub
2015-12-26 12.06.15
The chairs
 A puzzling feature of the pool area is the slick countertop floors that are a disaster waiting to happen.

A puzzling feature of the pool area is the slick marble floors that are a disaster waiting to happen.
2015-12-26 12.27.20
From within the pool
2015-12-26 12.27.33
Art
park hyatt new york hotel review
Phelps

Overall 

What can I say about the Park Hyatt NY that I haven’t already said? Though it may be hard to believe, I don’t go into hotels looking to find fault, but I have become spoiled by great stays at numerous luxurious properties throughout the world. Therefore, when I walk into what is supposed to be the flagship hotel of a great brand like the Park Hyatt, I expect nothing less than perfection. This was not delivered by the puzzling lack of effort on behalf of some of the staff. For the price in dollars or points, I would recommend skipping the Park Hyatt NY for Le Parker Meridien, located across the street. There you won’t find over-the-top luxury but you will find a solid burger served with an authentic New York smile.

 

 

 

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. The Andaz 5th Avenue is a great option for Hyatt. A suite upgrade will put you in a “Splash Suite,” which is a proper two room suite. The living room and bathroom are massive (with a huge tub in the middle, plus great shower, and weird little foot soaking basin). The bedroom is more modest, but very comfortable. Probably the happiest I’ve ever been using a DSU.

  2. That the air con didn’t work very well is story I’ve heard too many times at the PH New York. That is an absolute no-no for me. (To be fair, the Le Parker Meridien across the street sometimes has issues with its central air con, too…and doesn’t even turn it on until spring/summer temps reach a certain threshold, as with many older edifices in NYC.) The PH is so new and so luxury that individual air con units should allow the room to be cooled at least to 65-68 F whenever you wish. The check-in service fail was matched by the air con service fail after you asked for it to be fixed–with no fix provided. (“It’s just fine” when it obviously isn’t is what poor hotels tell you when you they can’t figure it out or when they have an inherent problem that can’t be remedied.)

    That breakfast is pricey in NYC should not be a surprise. You are only looking for criticism in that regard, IMO.

    Junior suites are almost always a larger room and not a true one bedroom suite with separated living and bed rooms. This is a poor criticism. Even if it wasn’t what you hoped for, it should be no surprise that a top end hotel like this would categorize junior suites as the entry level suite for upgrades and DSUs–especially since the hotel graciously allowed you to use a DSU on a free stay. THAT was very good service…but you belittled it by dismissing that as an entitlement. Shameful.

    Overall, I agree that the PH New York is not the service flagship that it pretends to be. For some reason, newly opened PH properties often don’t quite delivery on service as they should–while slightly more seasoned PH properties deliver in spades. PH Vienna and even PH Paris Vendome have similar service issues, while the PH Istanbul and PH Shanghai offer true luxury in every sense of the word. The PH New York perhaps requires more time to get its act together for service. And to fix its air con issue.

    • Wait wait wait, you and I are actually in agreement on everything here.

      Junior suite: I said ‘graciously’ allowed me to have a suite upgrade, so that wasn’t a criticism. I only put in the bit about the separate room because had I not then people would be complaining that this isn’t really a suite. I loved the room and wrote, ” While a proper suite would have been nice, I was more than pleased with the room itself.”

      Breakfast: Again, I wrote that the breakfast was delicious and that I wasn’t going to take the cheapest option simply because it was free. I ordered what I wanted. What I was saying is that my allowance of $45 would’ve been used up on OJ and espresso because I didn’t take the standard breakfast. I was being sincere when I asked if OJ refills would be $10 each.

      Yes, the PH Istanbul was great. I’m going to add that to this review. http://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/park-hyatt-istanbul-hotel-review/

      So, with all due respect, calling me shameful because you didn’t read what I clearly wrote is misguided.

      • Hey, hey, hey! We do largely agree.

        Unfortunately, I do find it shameful that you didn’t give proper service credit for the very nice service element of getting a junior suite DSU upgrade on a free stay–despite that being clearly against Hyatt policy. That’s a BIG service plus IMO, and I don’t think you gave the hotel enough credit for that. That to me is shameful for a blogger of your caliber. It smacks of Diamond entitlement IMO. I found nothing else shameful–just that. We obviously must need to agree to disagree on this one.

        I still think you harped a bit much on breakfast pricing–and you didn’t help yourself when you indicated that you “refused refills as I was too embarrassed to ask…if refills were free.” It’s Manhattan in a 5 star luxury hotel. If you or readers want to stay there and are surprised by the high prices for food/beverage or are too embarrassed to ask, I think you send the wrong message–it’s less about the hotel and more about you IMO.

        I believe I’m giving honest and constructive feedback–especially since I pretty much agree with your assessment overall. I appreciate the review and the details you shared. I just think your overall opinion being a bit negative of the property (like mine) caused you to unnecessarily color the review in the areas I mentioned. You are welcome to disagree, of course.

        • Wait wait wait! Again haha.

          I wrote a whole separate post on the DSU which is why I didn’t get into it here though I did provide the link for it above. I compared it to Christmas morning! So how can that be entitlement?

          We can disagree about the OJ. That’s fine. You have to assume there are no refills right? But what sort of imbecile is going to spend $40 on OJ for two people, I don’t care how rich I become, I wouldn’t…unless it had champagne at best or vodka at worst in it. I’m not surprised by the high prices. Like you said, it’s NYC, it’s the Park Hyatt.

          And I appreciate the comments especially about the AC. That drives me crazy when it isn’t working. I had an issue in Helsinki where it didn’t work but it was understandable, it’s Finland, they don’t use AC and it was unseasonably hot that summer. I didn’t complain then.

        • Whenever I visit a luxury hotel with which I’m unfamiliar, especially in very warm locations, I always ask if it can guarantee an in-room temperature of 65-68 F. That has caused me to not stay at one luxury hotel and stay instead at another on multiple occasions. It also has allowed me to get comp’d nights for hotels that promise and then don’t deliver on such guarantees. I run very hot, and and most comfortable at 65 F, so therefore this is critically important to me. 🙂

  3. I wanted to fall in love with the Park Hyatt NYC but was underwhelmed. It has some fantastic luxury amenities (the pool is fabulous) and service CAN be great but when it’s not, it’s horrible. The upper and lower lobby set up feels more like going through an airport security checkpoint rather than being greeted at a luxury hotel. The bar/restaurant are frequently booked to non-hotel guests so it was very frustrating to be at a 1K per night 5 star hotel and be unable to get an evening cocktail or lunch before checkout. After expressing my views, I was given a contact to phone prior to my next visit (next month) so that I could be shown a “true Park Hyatt” experience. We will see if I can fall properly in love with it the next time.

    • Thanks for the comment. That’s exactly how my stay was. I will not be going back because there are far better choices in the city for far less points or cash. Like the upper and lower lobby, the hotel is too disjointed. Everyone is doing their own thing which is probably why service is consistently inconsistent.

Leave a Reply