After a one night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Westchester we headed into NYC for four nights.
We decided to book the Andaz 5th Avenue for the first two nights. The rate was about ~$280 per night, which is very good for this property, in my opinion. The Andaz 5th Avenue tends to be my go to hotel in NYC. Is it the most luxurious hotel? No. But I find it’s a great value, especially as a Diamond member, so when the rates are good it’s where I tend to stay.
While I’ve probably stayed at this hotel a dozen times, I just realized I haven’t reviewed it since 2011, so figured I’d write a follow-up review about the hotel.
I’ve reviewed quite a few other hotels in NYC, including the Park Hyatt, Hyatt Herald Square, Andaz Wall Street, St. Regis, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Times Square, Hyatt Union Square, Westin Grand Central, W Union Square, Westin Times Square, W Times Square, Le Parker Meridien, and more, so feel free to check out those reviews for more context on my overall thoughts of NYC hotels.
With that out of the way, we arrived at the Andaz 5th Avenue in the late afternoon. The hotel is located at 41st & 5th. Personally I don’t love staying in midtown in the sense that I find the immediate area to be chaotic. However, I appreciate the convenience of being in the area, since it’s quite easy to get downtown or uptown pretty quickly, depending on where I need to be.
The Andaz’s lobby is intimate, with the centerpiece of the lobby being the “host” stand. Andaz has a different check-in concept than most hotels in the sense that they don’t have a traditional front desk, but rather have hosts with tablets who check you in as you stand next to them.
In this case the friendly associate offers us something to drink while she processed our check-in. She confirmed Diamond benefits, and proactively offered us late check-out. We were assigned an accessible room with two double beds. I find upgrades for Diamond members to generally be limited at this property without using a Diamond Suite Upgrade Award, but that’s hardly surprising given the number of Diamond members who choose to stay at this hotel.
The Diamond welcome letter confirmed that breakfast could be had either in the restaurant, or otherwise via room service, which I appreciate. The letter specifically said that Diamond breakfast included one entree, juice, and coffee. Back in the day the hotel had no limit to how much Diamond members could order for breakfast, though they changed that policy since quite a few people abused it. At the time I believe the limit they added was a certain dollar amount, while nowadays it’s based on what you order.
We took the elevator up to the fifth floor. Upon exiting the elevator we turned right to the far end of the hallway, where our room was located on the right.
We were in room 501, which was behind another door, so presumably this could be converted into a two bedroom suite if needed.
The room was a good size (especially for NYC), with a large entryway with the room straight ahead and the bathroom to the right.
There were two double beds, along with a desk, to the right. Then a couch and TV were on the left.
The beds were extremely comfortable, which I’ve consistently found to be the case at Andaz properties. However, I was a bit puzzled by the lack of practical bedside outlets.
To the left of the beds was a desk with a rolling chair. The desk was a great workspace overall, though once again I’m puzzled by the lack of well positioned outlets.
The couch in the room was large, though a bit awkward to sit on, given the strange shape.
The TV was mounted to the wall, and a decent size.
The room had a great view of the New York Public Library. It’s a great view, though at the same time there’s a lot of street noise when your room faces 5th Avenue in midtown.
Back towards the entrance were some glass shelves on the right, which housed the minibar.
One of the things that makes Andaz unique is that all snacks and non-alcoholic minibar drinks are complimentary. However, over the years they’ve changed the snack selection. It used to be that they had nuts, chips, and chocolate, while nowadays they instead have Nourish Snacks, which I suppose are a bit healthier.
The minibar was well stocked with soft drinks, including a Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, tonic water, sparkling water, and four bottles of still water.
I’ve always found the bathroom setup in both NYC Andaz properties to simultaneously be great and bizarre.
One thing that annoys me is that there’s no separation between the bathroom and the bedroom, so you’re fully exposed when you’re showering or at the sink. That’s a bit awkward, especially if you’re staying in a room with two beds, in my opinion.
The toilet is partitioned off from the rest of the bathroom, and was quite large, given that this was an accessible room.
On the plus side, the showers at this hotel are fantastic. Water comes out of the ceiling mounted nozzle, the handheld one, as well as a foot bath of sorts. Again, my only complaint is that there’s not a door to the shower, so the temperature from the shower spreads throughout the whole room — personally I like keeping my hotel rooms really cold and showers really hot, so that doesn’t work all that well in this hotel.
Toiletries at this property are from Beekman, which are good though unmemorable.
Wifi in the room was high speed, so I appreciated that. Furthermore, I love that this hotel has proper blackout curtains, which can be controlled at the push of a button.
In terms of a couple of other unique features of Andaz, there’s complimentary coffee in the lobby in the mornings, as well as complimentary wine in the evenings. This is served in a room just off the lobby, which is a nice area to sit.
There’s even a computer in this area.
I really appreciate that they offer complimentary coffee, and it’s a feature I’d love to see at more hotels.
Meanwhile in the evenings there’s a wine hour at 6PM, with complimentary red and white wine. Obviously it’s not going to be great wine, though it’s a nice offering nonetheless.
Typically I get room service breakfast at this hotel, though in this instance we decided to dine in the restaurant, located just off the lobby.
The breakfast menu read as follows:
I had a coffee to drink, which was served in a pretty cool clear cup.
To eat I ordered the lemon souffle pancake, which is excellent, and perhaps the breakfast dish the hotel is best known for. I’m not usually someone who orders pancakes for breakfast, but I make an exception at the Andaz.
Meanwhile my mom had an egg white frittata with multi-grain toast.
The other feature of the hotel worth noting is the 24 hour gym, located on the basement level. It’s fairly well equipped, and doesn’t ever seem to be full, in my experience.
Andaz 5th Avenue New York bottom line
As a Diamond member I find the Andaz 5th Avenue to be a great value and a safe bet when the rates are reasonable. The rooms are mostly well designed and in good condition, the location is central, the breakfast is excellent, and I find the staff to be great as well. I’ve probably stayed at this hotel a dozen times, and certainly return whenever the rates are good, though I’d also like to try some more hotels in the city the next time I visit.
Do you have a “go to” NYC hotel, either because it’s just a great hotel, or because it represents an excellent value?