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.