Declining Service Levels at the Andaz Wall Street

I wrote up stays at the Andaz Wall Street back in 2011 and also in 2012. I did not write about other stays I’ve had at this property because they were remarkably similar.

Every time I have stayed there I’ve gotten the same room type — a large L-shaped room with a piece of furniture in the middle separating bedroom from living room; a junior suite that used to be considered a large room and now is an “Andaz Suite.” In other words, they downgraded the room type that they confirm upgrades into (whether using a Diamond confirmed suite upgrade or using points).

And each stay after my first one the breakfast benefit was taken only in the restaurant, no more room service.

Nonetheless, I’ve always considered this a good hotel for the location. Some will prefer the Conrad in Battery Park and of course there’s a Ritz-Carlton there as well which — like many properties in the almost exclusively business area of the city – can be quite reasonably priced on weekends.

I found myself back there and have to say that the hotel wasn’t up to its past standards (and already I did not like it nearly as much as its 5th Avenue cousin).

The room itself isn’t really holding up, the wood floor is bubbling up, meaning I could feel most steps which also make noises. This was a little bit of an issue in the past, but it has really exacerbated.

The view through the buildings isn’t bad though:

Housekeeping just doesn’t seem as proactive, or else it’s another cost-cutting symptom, but htere were no snacks in room when I first arrived (modest snscks are complimentary in all Andaz rooms, along with non-alcoholic beveragaes). That was rectified the next day when I called.

Similarly, toileteries were never refreshed during my 3-day stay. I had enough, but even if not refreshed daily by the third day of a stay it seems customary, and something that would have been done in the past. They also didn’t restock the ‘backup’ toilet paper roll.

Incidentally I never received a morning newspaper.

One night I met a friend who works in the area for drinks at the hotel bar. We were going to catch up over dinner, and for convenience figured we would just have dinner in the hotel restaurant. Except we walked up there and learned that they no longer serve dinner in the hotel — breakfast and lunch only — but that we could order something at the bar. We went to the (not very good) sushi restaurant behind the hotel.

Breakfast is still a good benefit here, although not what it once was. Of course they no longer let you take the complimentary Diamond breakfast via room service. And it’s never been quite clear what the breakfast allowance was (inconsistent statements from staff, and also inconsistent amounts deducted from my bill). At check-in I pressed and the hotel staffer checking me in said “we don’t usually like to say what it is, in order not to encourage people to take the full amount, it’s full breakfast for up to four people in the restaurant. But I will look it up in the computer. (tap, tap, tap) It is a credit of up to $100.”

The breakfast buffet during the week is much more modest than in the past.

During the weekend it is a bit better, and oddly it is also cheaper. The entrees at breakfast are also less ornate than in the past as well (gone is the foie gras!).

There were a few items on the buffet only on Friday morning, but Saturday and Sunday the display of breads was back.

Both days there was shrimp, and on Sunday only there were oysters — albeit only four when I came into the restaurant, they were gone by the time I got up to the buffet, and they were never replenished.

Here’s the weekend menu:

And the weekday breakfast menu:

There are no coffee machines in the rooms. That used to be fine. You had 24 hour a day access to coffee in the lobby. That’s gone. Room service isn’t 24 hours, either — so waking up at 5am can be tough at least for me.

There’s also no longer an evening wine reception.

This hotel can still be a good value, if you need or can be in the area and the prices are right, I certainly got a large room on a cheap rate and breakfast thrown in so I really do not mean to sound as though I am complaining. I got more than my money’s worth. But the hotel just didn’t seem to be performing at the level that it used to.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. I absolutely agree – my wife used to stay there ever week for business and when we returned for pleasure 8-10 months later the place had completely changed.

  2. Wow, that’s a shame about the restaurant Wall & Water no longer serving dinner. I actually work only 1 block away from this property and have had dinner there several times– and it was always enjoyable. I actually consider this a huge downgrade for guests at the hotel as the neighborhood empties out at night during the week and for the weekend, and there aren’t as many dinner dining options as in other parts of the city. Shouldn’t a full service hotel have a restaurant serving 3 meals a day?

  3. Shame. I’ve heard there were issues after sandy, but any input as if there was a new GM in place? I did enjoy this hotel very much a couple of years ago. Staying there this coming January and will see for myself.
    Too bad about the evening wine service. It was an absolute gem.

  4. No dinner service at the restaurant? Is this only on weekends when they expect a lower occupancy rate? If not, the F&B Director and GM must be smoking something considering F&B is helping a lot of hotels.

  5. I recently stayed at the Andaz Wall Street and had an all-around very disappointing experience. We waited over 30 minutes to be seated for breakfast and the two front desk staff members I interacted with could not have seemed less interested in helping us. When I inquired about getting something to eat around 11pm, I was directed to a neighborhood deli. This is by far the worst Andaz I’ve stayed at.

  6. This is a mid-tier hotel. There was a little pizzazz at the beginning…but remember, hotels have to earn a profit or else they close.

    Why, perchance, do you think this property’s offering was reduced? How long can they offer a $100 breakfast free with a $250 room?

  7. @NYBanker clearly they aren’t pulling rates to support a better quality service, and they weren’t that busy even at the lower rates while I was there.

  8. I am there in about three weeks and am really not looking forward to the stay. I have a great rate and everything else Hyatt is really expensive now, so I fear I am destined to experience the dumbed down service.

  9. When I stayed there earlier this year, they had a Foursquare check-in special, where you get a free glass of wine if you checked in. I wonder if that’s still the case.

  10. Dear Gary,

    I’m disappointed to hear about your most recent experience at Andaz Wall Street. Please know that anything that falls short of great service is unacceptable in our book. Rest assured that we are looking into your most recent booking to identify and address any possible gaps in service.

    Despite it all, I’m glad you are still able to acknowledge that Andaz Wall Street provides great value to its guests, or as you put it “more than my money’s worth.”

    As General Manager, I guarantee you that not a single day goes by when we do not try to both exceed guest expectations and successfully run a business to the very best of our ability. While sometimes we have to make some changes in order to address the ever-evolving nature of this business, it is never an option to compromise on service or our guests’ experiences.

    We work diligently each day to maintain a high level of excellence, so I appreciate your thoughts and feedback. It helps keep us on track. In fact, I will give you a call shortly to discuss further.

    With kind regards,
    Jeffrey Miller
    General Manager
    Andaz Wall Street

  11. The lack of coffee makers in the room really irritates. If I wake early and my wife is still asleep, I like to make a cup of coffee without getting dressed. And I really hated the lines in the lobby while waiting for them to make coffee.

    While there are sufficient restaurants and stores in the neighborhood even on evenings and weekends, the overall experience and location haven’t made us want to go back

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *