Five Star Virgin: Andaz Wall Street New York

Introduction
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse San Francisco
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class from San Francisco (SFO) to London (LHR)
Virgin Atlantic Arrivals Lounge London Heathrow
First Class on the Heathrow Express – is it worth it?
Hotel Indigo London Paddington
SkyTeam Lounge London Heathrow
Qatar Airways First Class from London (LHR) to Doha (DOH)
InterContinental Doha
Exploring Doha
Qatar Airways Premium Terminal Doha
Qatar Airways First Class from Doha (DOH) to London (LHR)
Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Airport
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Heathrow
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class from London (LHR) to New York (JFK)
Andaz New York Wall Street
Conclusion
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To start off I should mention that I’ve stayed at the Andaz Wall Street twice before. The review from my first stay can be found here, should you be interested.

Much like everyone else, I hate traveling through JFK, though for different reasons than most. No, it’s not the delays, the crappy terminal layout, the long lines, etc. I actually enjoy those (fine, not really). Instead, I’m frustrated by the lack of decent airport hotels that align with my preferred programs. There used to be a Holiday Inn, which, while by no means luxurious, was acceptable and earned me points. Besides, Dwayne, the elite recognition superstar, worked there. Unfortunately the Holiday Inn has since been rebranded.

So as of late I’ve done something a bit different. I’ve stay at the Andaz Wall Street. Since my New York transit is almost always over the weekends, the rates are incredibly reasonable (by New York standards). In this case, I paid a rate of $175, and I was able to use my last Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond confirmed suite upgrade that would have otherwise expired. $175 for a great suite with free internet, free minibar, an amazing breakfast, and Hyatt points and stay credit? I’m in!

While I almost always take the subway, I was feeling more tired than cheap, so I decided to take a cab for the $45 flat rate. While it’s contradictory to my whole frugal travel attitude, the rest of my trip was so cheap that I figured I’d at least splurge on a cab. That ended up being an awful decision since traffic sucked, even on a Saturday afternoon.

I arrived at the Andaz in the early evening and was promptly helped by one of the “hosts.” For those of you not familiar with the Andaz “concept,” instead of having front desk agents, they instead have “hosts” that roam the lobby with portable computers from which they can check you in. I have to say, they’ve gotten much, much better since my first stay in terms of not being overly talkative or inquisitive, or I guess in my case sensing that I was exhausted and really didn’t want to talk. He confirmed that I had been upgraded to a suite on the top floor, asked which Diamond amenity I wanted (I chose 1,000 points), and explained that internet and breakfast were free.


Lobby


Lobby


Elevators

This was my first time in a suite at the Andaz Wall Street, and I was impressed both by the layout and the decor. The suite was about 800 square feet. At the entrance was a half bathroom, and then a big table with eight chairs. In the same area was the minibar, snacks, and a sink. One of the nice things about Andaz hotels is that all the snacks (in this case a Cliff Bar, Dagoba Chocolate, and Terra Chips) and soft drinks (in this case Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, still water, sparkling water, orange juice, tea, and tonic water) are complimentary. Best of all, if you’re on a multi-day stay they restock the minibar every day.


Entrance to suite


Dining room table


Dining room table


Chairs


Complimentary snacks


Complimentary drinks

Anyway, back to the room. Beyond the big table was the “living room,” featuring a couch and a couple of comfortable seats, facing a large flat screen TV.


Living room


Flat screen TV in living room

That area led into the bedroom, which had a king bed facing yet another large flat screen TV. The beds at this hotel are extremely comfortable.


Bedroom


Flat screen TV in bedroom

The curtains are electronic and can be controlled from a switch next to the bed, as is the case with all the lighting.

My one frustration about the hotel is the bathrooms. They’re all black, which I suppose is stylish, though I have the hardest time seeing anything in there, even with the lights on. The other frustration, if you’re traveling with someone you’re not intimate with, is that the shower has a glass shield separating it from the bedroom, and there’s no privacy shield or anything. So plan accordingly, if traveling with a friend. That being said, I believe the rooms with two beds have a privacy shield.


Bathroom

The huge shower, which has great water pressure and excellent bath amenities, leads into the tub.


Shower


Bathtub and shower


Floor layout

One of the unique aspects of Andaz is that they have a wine reception in the evening from 7PM till 9PM. Given that my brother lives in New York, he came over for happy hour (and before someone yells at me over this, I had two guests registered in the room, so technically he was a registered guest… he just didn’t actually spend the night), and more importantly to see me… I hope.


Lobby


Lobby


Lobby

The following morning I met my brother for breakfast at Wall & Water, which is the restaurant at the Andaz. As a Diamond member you typically get a $50 breakfast credit at the restaurant. As luck would have it they have a Sunday brunch, which is truly phenomenal. That kind of amazes me, because who the hell goes to Wall Street for brunch on a Sunday morning?

For brunch they have all the cold options on display, and you can add on a cooked to order hot entree. The buffet is truly one of the best I’ve seen in any hotel in the US.


Wall & Water


Wall & Water

After breakfast it was already time to head to the airport for my flight back home, finishing off a great trip.

The host that helped me at check-out was exceptionally nice. While I had service problems at this hotel during my first stay, this place has really improved. This is a top notch property and probably the best value in NYC. The rooms are great, the people are great, and the restaurant is great.

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Comments

  1. Try the 5th Ave. next time – AWESOME location and it they are still honoring the ‘thrillist’ rate, a great deal too! Don’t know about Sunday brunch at the 5th Ave location, though . . .

  2. Do they offer comp diamond breakfast via room service (a la Andaz 5th Ave)? And if so, is the $50 cap used, or is it unlimited [Andaz 5th Avenue doesn’t even bring a bill and will let you order more than once a morning…]?

  3. Not surprising at all that they have a Sunday brunch, more people live in that area than you’d think – I used to live a 5-7 minute walk from there on South St. Many of the older buildings on Wall St. itself have been converted to apartments or condos.

    I don’t like those bathrooms without some sort of privacy curtain or something between the bath and the bedroom – shared a room with a friend in Macau that had twin beds, and yet no privacy provision. On another occasion, had a similar room in Barcelona traveling with a platonic friend, and fortunately we discovered the button next to the bed that actually raised the bathtub/bedroom blinds before one of us was in the tub. This is a trend in hotel design that I’d like to see die out.

  4. As a Diamond, I stayed here last December on xp.ca deal 🙂

    Great hotel, and had room service both days for breakfast. Bill with a (generous) tip* was about $65 each day but was not billed anything when I checked out.

    * spent a total of $26 for 2 nights plus airfare for two on that deal 🙂

  5. @ Ryan — It looks to me like I actually got upgraded to the 1,000 square foot “Large Suite” and not the “Buttonwood Suite.” If you look at the first picture of the Buttonwood Suite, it has quite a different living room layout.

    @ Erndog — Am definitely hoping to check it out soon.

    @ Gary — I don’t believe they technically allow room service as the Diamond breakfast. Unlimited room service breakfast at the 5th Ave. Andaz? All the more reason to give it a try. 😀

    @ David — I’d most definitely say so. At $175/night you’re getting free internet, free minibar, free drinks in the evening, and they even have muffins and other snacks in the morning. It’s an unbeatable value regardless of status, in my opinion.

  6. @lucky Dude, you haven’t read my multiple reports on the Andaz 5th Avenue. Unlimited room service is the Best. Benefit. Ever. ‘Cause the room service is even pretty good. I order up some coffee first thing in the morning, not quite ready to eat yet. Ring back later to order breakfast. And order lots of different stuff to try. No worries, they DO NOT EVEN BRING A BILL. Seriously rocks, makes the stay. Plus the way to my heart at a hotel is plenty of conveinent access to complimentary bottled water. Which they have in spades, not just water in the minibar but in the library. = Gary happy.

  7. Gary’s right – room service is a part of the free breakfast for Diamonds at the Andaz (at least the property on 5th ave.) – – I wouldn’t have known this, but I read Gary’s post before staying at the hotel, and when I asked at check-in about this, the hotel staff confirmed.

    This was a great benefit for me when I stayed there as we has an early flight on Sunday morning and having breakfast in the room while we were getting ready just made things move along that much quicker.

    I guess it’s just one of those things – they don’t promote it, but it’s a great benefit . . .

    Not just water is complimentary in the library, but sparking water, too! Just walk up to the large fridge door and help yourself.

  8. The Andaz Wall Street is my go-to hotel in Manhattan. Very convenient to all subway lines (both East side and West side), not noisy or dirty like midtown and access to great restaurants in FiDi and South Street Seaport. The rooms are very spacious and quiet and the food at the hotel is some of the best around, hotel or otherwise.

    I’ve stayed in the same Large Suite that Lucky did and the Buttonwood Suite and have always arranged for room service for breakfast. No extra charge for Diamonds and they deliver to the minute requested on the door hangar (at 8:17am, for instance). The breakfast there is amazing! With two of us in the room, we typically order two entrées each, which gets you up to $50. Room service at other times is just as delicious as all the food comes from Wall & Water, and has been very convenient when work prevents normal dinner times.

    Love the Saratoga Springs sparkling water in the minibar and the fact that it is constantly restocked. I can’t stand purified water like Auquafina or Dasani.

    We actually held an evening gathering for about 25 people (for work) in the Buttonwood suite. The larger fridge (Sub-Zero, of course) and separate kitchen worked out very well for food and beverages. Believe it or not, we actually had enough seating for everyone in the suite and got many, many compliments on the space.

    The Andaz Wall Street really feels like my home away from home when I’m in NYC. I haven’t tried the Andaz 5th Ave yet, but it isn’t as convenient from a location standpoint. I’m not in the City for tourism and most of my work brings me to Chelsea and SoHo on the West Side, which is easy to get to from FiDi (1/2/3 Subway at Wall and William).

  9. I had brunch at Wall and Water last weekend. It was amazing!

    @David…. LOL about the great restaurants at South St. Seaport. They might exist there, but most of my fellow Manhattanites would rather die than trek down there. Until I had some work near there earlier this year, I hadn’t been there in at least five years.

    What’s funny about the Andaz Wall Street is the location. Most of my friends go out in the evening to Chelsea or Hells Kitchen. It’s kind of a long way by cab, and no one wants to take the subway home at 3am. It’s nice to have the 2 and 3 trains just a block away (the 1 train doesn’t go by there) if you need it.

  10. I am going to NY in a couple of weeks, and was considering either one of the two Andaz. I am currently penciled in for the Grand Hyatt at 42nd St. Should I switch from GH to Andaz?

  11. @UA Flyer no question, avoid the Grand Hyatt. busy hotel with paper thin walls and a joke of a club lounge where the staff themselves get in line for the ‘buffet’ and spend their time on the phone talking to friends instead of helping guests. Tiny rooms, too. Andaz blows GH out of the water…..

  12. I stayed at the Andaz Wall Street at the beginning of April, paid a lot more for a deluxe room (being a Brit living in Norway I have no real miles or points to speak of…yet!) but have nothing but praise for the hotel. It was my first time ever in NYC (and indeed in America) and I will definitely go back there. Certainly feels a little unusual if it’s your first time at an Andaz when you walk in and there’s no lobby, but what could easily just be a pretentious style point is in fact practical and laid-back. Staff were friendly and helpful, the free snacks were most welcome after long days spent sightseeing.

  13. just booked another stay at this palace on wall + water and have confirmed my suite upgrade. let the gods be with me. can lucky or others clarify – mini bar is comp – what about those Stella’s in the mini bar picture – also comp?

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