Waldorf Astoria New York
This report covers our stay at the Waldorf Astoria New York, a Hilton hotel.
We booked the Waldorf Astoria using the two free weekend night certificates that I received via meeting the minimum spend requirements on my Citi Hilton Reserve Card.
The hotel was bookable for cash at between $550-$700 per-night during the stay. I attempted to get a reservation in the Towers, as those were selling for as high as $900 a night; however, it was not available. We requested an upgrade to the tours when we made the reservation.
I also looked at the Conrad New York as I have heard great things about those properties; however, the cash price was only $300 a night, so it made more sense to book at the Waldorf as we were receiving higher value on the free-night redemptions.
The Citi Chase Reserve Card is a great card because it gives one free weekend night after $10,000 spend on the card when you pay the annual fee of $95. The card also offers other great travel benefits including Hilton Gold Status for the time you have the card and Hilton Diamond Status after you spend $40,000 on the card each-year.
You may be able to apply for the Citi Hilton Reserve Card or another travel credit card via BaldThoughts Affiliate Link.
My wife and I arrived at the hotel via car. Doorman were present at the front door; however, they did not assist us with unloading the car. The doorman did not offer to assist with our luggage.
We arrived at the Park Avenue entrance. This is the formal entrance for the hotel.
The hotel is a classic style art deco hotel in New York. It has been made famous by movies over the years. In addition, many heads of state and other famous people frequently stay at the hotel. The hotel raises a flag of the country where a dignitary or head of state to welcome them to the hotel. During our stay, the flag of Saudi Arabia was flying.
We made our way to the reception desk and joined the line of about seven other guests.
After Waiting for about 15 minutes in line, we were invited to the desk. A team member welcomed us and he offered assistance. After I provided my identification card and credit card, the agent used my name and he confirmed the details of the reservation. The agent informed us that we had a king size bed room was not available. He said he would look for one and we waited at the desk for about 10 minutes. The agent said he could give us a double bed room now; or we can wait for the king size bed room. We asked to wait for the king bed room. The agent thanked us and he said he would text is when the room was ready and we could approach the key pick up area so we would not have to wait in the regular check-in line. The agent thanked us.
About two hours later, which was around the regular 3:00 PM check-in time, we received a text on our phone. We returned to the hotel and joined a small line of other guests waiting to pickup their keys.
The agent greeted us and she asked for my identification card. After I provided it, she provided keys for the room and she offered further assistance. After I declined, she thanked us and wished us a good stay.
We were assigned a room on the 10th floor in a standard king size bed room.
I posted a Facebook Live video of the room inspection upon arrival:
The room was clean overall; however, there was a strong scent of smoke in the room.
The bed was clean and it was presented neatly with white linens.
The room included a small desk and a small chair to sitting near the bed.
The room had a view of the other side of the hotel, so it did not allow any view of the city.
The bathroom was small but it included a decent size bath tub, toilet and sink. The vanity area offered limited storage space.
The bath amenities were upscale and they were presented attractively.
The temperature in the room was rather warm. We attempted to adjust it using the controls by the window; however, the temperature remained about the same.
We contacted the front desk to notify them about the scent of smoke in the room. The agent on the phone apologized and asked if the housekeeping manager could come to the room. We accepted and they thanked us.
The manager arrived about 10 minutes later. The manager introduced himself and he said he was the director of housekeeping. The manager apologized about the issue and he asked if he could have the housekeeping team address the scent. We accepted and he thanked us. The manager asked if we had plans for breakfast the following morning. I said no and he invited us to the Waldorf Breakfast. We accepted and he said he would have vouchers up to the room.
We left the room for a couple hours and when we returned we found that the room had a clean scent; however, the bathroom still had a scent of smoke.
We waited around for a few minutes to see if the smoke went away; however, it did not so I called the front desk to inform them that the issue was not resolved.
The desk informed me that she was sorry and she asked if the housekeeping manager could come back to the room to address the situation. I accepted.
About 10 minutes later there was a knock on the door. The housekeeping manager introduced herself and she checked the room. She offered to clean it again. I said that it was already cleaned once and we requested a different room. The manager said she would make a call.
She departed the room and returned after two minutes. The manager said the front desk manager would call us within 20 minutes about a potential room change. She also said she would inspect the new room for us.
We waited for about 35 minutes; however, no phone call arrived. I called the front desk and was told that there were no rooms available. I mentioned we were expecting a call back from the manager and she asked me to hold.
After about a minute, the manager greeted me. I explained the situation to her and she said she was sorry but there were no king size bed rooms available. She said she could possibly change us to a room with a queen size bed. I asked if that was a room with two beds. She said no. The manager said it was one of the show rooms and she thinks we would like that room. She offered to have a bellman up to the room to assist us with the room change. I accepted and she said she would send up a bellman shortly. I mentioned that the housekeeping director had offered us breakfast but we did not receive the vouchers. She said she was aware of it and she said that the vouchers would still be delivered that evening.
A bellman arrived to the room within 10 minutes. He loaded our luggage on a luggage cart and he escorted us to the new room. The bellman assisted with entering the room and he asked if he could setup our luggage or provide additional assistance. We declined and he thanked us and he apologized that we had to move rooms. He said he hoped we would enjoy the rest of our stay.
We received a follow up call within about 15 minutes of arriving in the new room. The breakfast vouchers arrived overnight and were slid under the door.
While the situation was ultimately rectified, it would have been better if there was more follow up after the first cleaning of the room. In addition, the housekeeping manager said the front desk manager would call us within 20 minutes and that did not happen. Only after I called again did anything further happen.
I get that the hotel had a lot of guests at the time, however, the service recovery could have been better.
The second room was a queen bed room that was similar to the previous room.
The air in the room was clean and there was no scent of smoke in the room.
The room also offered a view of the other building without any city view.
I posted a video on Facebook Live highlighting the second room.
The room was clean and in good condition overall.
The temperature in the room was a bit warm similar to the other room. We attempted to adjust it with the air conditioning controls without luck. We did not report this issue to the hotel.
We did not utilize housekeeping services during the stay as we did not need the room refreshed; however, the housekeeping staff we encountered in the hallways were friendly and welcoming.
Bull and Bear Breakfast
We used the free breakfast vouchers for breakfast at Bill and Bear, which is the steakhouse at the hotel.
When we arrived at the restaurant, the hostess greeted us and offered to seat us immediately. The hosted assisted with seating and she informed us the server would be with us shortly.
We were assigned a table near the window. It was setup for four people. The seating was not adjusted to our party size of two.
The server approached the table and greeted us. The server had coffee and orange juice and he offered both. We accepted the orange juice. My wife requested Diet Coke and I requested a cappuccino. The server thanked us. We presented the vouchers and he thanked us and he said he would have the drinks shortly and he asked us to help ourselves to the buffet.
The buffet offered a large selection of hot items that were displayed in clean containers that had signs listing what each item was.
An action station was present where omelets and made to order eggs were available. A variety of vegetables, meat and cheese options were available.
The buffet offered several types of fresh fruit, yogurt, snacks, cereal and breads. In addition, salmon and locks were available along with the accompaniments.
I requested an omelet for the action station chef. The chef prepared the omelet in front of me and he presented it neatly. The chef thanked me when I picked up my plate.
I also selected a small tomato and lettuce salad to accompany it. My wife selected a few items from the buffet.
Our beverages were present on the table when we returned.
The cappuccino was served hot. It had a good taste and flavor.
The omelet was served hot. The omelet was prepared as requested. The vegetables had a good taste and the ham was also fresh. The omelet was presented attractively.
The server checked in with us once during the meal and he removed used dishes.
We returned to the buffet and selected plate of fruit and we shared it.
The fruit was fresh and sweet and it had an excellent taste.
The server did not present a check. The voucher indicated that the tax and tip were included with the breakfast. We left a small tip on the table.
As we were departing two of the team members thanked us and wished us a good day.
Sir Harry’s Bar
We visited Sir Harry’s Bar one evening to enjoy a cocktail. We were given a voucher at the front desk at check in.
The bar is decorated neatly and it had dark tones. The bar serves classic cocktails, wines and sparkling options.
The bar area was busy when we arrived. No seats were available at the bar. The lounge had a main room and a side room. All of the tables in the main room were taken; however, the side room had two open tables when we arrived.
We took a seat at a table and within a minute a server approached us and welcomed us. The server presented a menu and he also provided a dish of Pink Popcorn.
It was interesting that the hotel offers pink popcorn. Perhaps it was for Breast Cancer awareness, but it was not clearly noted.
The popcorn was fresh and sweet and it had a good flavor.
The server returned within a few minutes and offered to take our order. My wife requested a vodka martini and I had a glass of water.
The server returned a minute later with the drinks and he placed them on a clean cocktail napkin.
The martini was prepared with gin rather than vodka.
I approached the server and I brought up the issue. He returned and picked up the drink and he said he would prepare a new one.
Within two minutes, a new vodka martini was provided.
The martini was chilled and it was served with olives. The martini was fresh; however, the olives had a gin flavor.
When we were ready to depart I presented the voucher and the server thanked us. I asked if I could sign the tip to the room. The server said the tip was included so we were all set. He thanked us and wished us a good day.
The hotel public areas were clean and well maintained.
The lobby is ornate with decorations including a center time clock with New York scenes as the decorations.
The lobby featured a variety of chairs for guests to relax. In addition, one of the restaurants and bars Peacock Alley is located across from the reception desk. A grand piano is on display near the restaurant.
The lobby was decorated for Christmas and it was festive in appearance.
The main hallway and ballroom area had ornate decorations and the ceilings and walls were decorated with art deco scenes.
I visited the fitness center, which was located on the fifth floor. Access to the fitness center is included for Hilton Gold and higher members, or there is a daily usage charge for regular members or non-Hilton member guests.
The fitness center was staffed when I visited it. A team member greeted me when I arrived and she thanked me and wished me a good day when I departed.
The fitness center was clean and the temperature was cool and comfortable.
The fitness center offered several treadmills, elliptical, bikes and other cardio equipment.
Free weights and workout areas were present.
Towels were displayed neatly on the wall and water was available.
No defects were noted in the fitness center.
I approached the front desk to check out. When I arrived there were five team members present and two other guests were waiting in line. Five other guests were being assisted when I arrived. After waiting for three minutes, I reached the front of the line and one of the team members invited me to the desk. The agent smiled, made eye contact with me and welcomed me. After I requested to check out, the team member learned my name, used it and inquired about the stay. The agent confirmed that there were no charges and she thanked me for staying at the hotel. The agent offered additional assistance. After I declined she wished me a good day.
Hopefully you enjoyed my review of the Waldorf Astoria New York. You can check out other reviews and get more information using my affiliate link to TripAdvisor.
Overall the visit was good but not great. My wife and I were disappointed with the service recovery regarding the first room. While each team member that we interacted with for it were friendly and polite, the lack of communication between the team members and follow up really took away from our enjoyment of the hotel. While the issue was ultimately resolved and we were given a room without the scent of smoke, the time that it took for it to ultimately be resolved was excessive. The breakfast was good and the staff there was friendly. The public areas were clean and in good condition and the hotel was maintained well. The majority of the team members we interacted with were friendly and polite. We could consider returning to the hotel. While the issue of other guests smoking was not necessarily the hotels fault; we felt the response could have been much better.
Have you stayed at the Waldorf Astoria New York? What was your experience like?