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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Elysee New York City
Realistic review for NYC hotel
This hotel isn't as good as some of the previous reviewers have said, but it certainly is much better than the reviewer from Chicago stated. I've been here twice this year. Most recently December 10-13. Contrary to the Chicago review, the beds have been fine and the heating system is also fine. I don't understand her complaint. The rooms have individual heating/airconditioning units. And the a/c worked in December if the room did get too hot. The pillows aren't that good however. They do only have one elevator, but I felt I only waited an unreasonable amount of time once. The complaint about the lack of inexpensive restaurants in midtown Manhattan is rediculous. Seek and you shall find.
The location is great. I've stayed at 6 different hotels in Manhattan in the past two years and this is by far the best location if you are traveling for pleasure. On the down side, about 1/3 of the rooms butt right up to the elevator and you will hear a frequent rumble. It's not enough to keep you awake, but it is annoying. And you will get street noise in rooms facing 54th. But that's an issue with many NYC hotels. Some little problems were carpeting that wasn't laid properly and it buckled and furniture that's getting nicked and scratched. But overall it's a lot better than places like the SOHO Grand. However, this hotel is probably 18-24 months away from needing some refurbishment or it will start to get shabby.
Good friendly staff. Bellman not real active in helping with cabs especially when the weather is rainy.
You need to remember this is New York. Rooms are very pricey in December on weekends. Last month in Japan I stayed at a better hotel for less than the Elysee. I't's nice but certainly not perfect.
My husband and I stayed at the Elysee for three nights - November 11-14, 2004. We needed a hotel in midtown since my husband was in town for a conference, we read the reviews for the Elysee and had recently stayed at the Hotel Aria in Prague (same owner) and had loved it so we went ahead and booked a room. Perhaps our expectations were too high or perhaps we should have paid more attention to the woman who complained about the soft mattresses; regardless, we has a miserable stay. Our chief complaints were as follows:
The mattresses were indeed soft - actually horrible is the right word. In addition, the pillows (both foam and feather - we tried both in desperation) were poor quality and old, the bedspead was very old, dingy and stained in places, the blanket was of the cheap, fuzzy polyester variety and the sheets were the lowest quality ever - they were actually scratchy and too small for the bed! By comparison, the Hotel Aria in Prague (by the same owner) had excellent mattresses, top quality pillows and sheets, as well as feather duvets placed inside of top quality duvet covers. There was no comparison.
The temperature in the room was either hot or very hot. We tried everything: turning on the A/C, turning the thermostat off, calling the front desk. Nothing worked. We eventually had to leave the windows open all the time to get any relief at all. I actually woke up at one point thirsty and soaked in sweat - I had to chug a liter of water. As if matters couldn't get worse, when my husband went to open the window, the roller shade came crashing down on his head. We called the front desk the next morning to discuss the situation but they were rather unhelpful. We asked if any other rooms had better mattresses and they told us that the mattresses were all the same. She even said that it was a common complaint. When we asked if there was anything that could be done about the room temperature, she said that she would notify engineering, but that they most likely would not be able to do much about it since the boilers (it's an old building) are either on or off, and that since heat rises - well you get the idea. Lastly, when I mentioned that the roller shade fell and struck my husband on the head, she apologized and said she would have it fixed - which she did. We were annoyed that no one ever checked back with us or offered any compensation for the miserable experience we were having. They had plenty of time to even leave a note with an apology in our room as we called and notified the front desk of the problems after our first night.
Other things that we found to be unsatisfactory:
The windows - when closed and locked - were not very sound proof. We live in Chicago and are used to city noise - quality windows have good sound insulation - these did not. Regardless, we had to try and sleep with the windows open due to the oppresive heat - and thus had to listen to garbage trucks most of the night. Not the best situation when you have to give a presentation the next morning.
Did I mention the crappy beds and sheets - we were miserable ! We were both so exhausted from lack of sleep - we actually could not wait to get home and sleep in our own bed. I've never had that happen before. We travel a great deal and I've never been so anxious to get home - we actually considered leaving a day early!
The hotel elevator (there is only one) - though steeped in history and lovely to look at - took forever. We often took the stairs for the trip down, but anything over ten flights up is out of the question when you are going up in heels or after you've spent the entire day walking around the city. Not a big deal, but it should be mentioned.
Either the walls aren't very sound proof or the women and their daughters having the slumber party in the room next to us were actually that loud - at midnight. Well, were couldn't sleep anyhow, but they were really annoying.
Many of the guests at the cocktail hour were absolute pigs. One large group of women kept running up and piling more food on their already heaping plates whenever the staff would replenish the platters. Those of us waiting patiently for a first pass (ie we had yet to even have one bite) stood by watching in horror as the greedy sows hogged everything in sight. I realize this isn't the fault of the staff but it does give an idea of what some hotel guests can be like - at times it seemed that they were in the majority. In additon, they left a huge mess for the staff to clean up and generally made the room unappealing for the rest of the guests, especially as the room was crowded, and there were only two employees staffing the room. Clean tables were often difficult to find. We were so put off by the cocktail hour - or more accurately - by the behaviour of many guests at the cocktail hour that we simply stopped going.
On the plus side: the bathrooms were nice and the breakfast was good. I've had better, but both were satisfactory. We enjoyed the complementary coffee, juice, rolls and yogurt, but tried to avoid the rush. The staff was helpful in giving directions, getting a taxi and providing umbrellas. The location is good if you like midtown and are shopping in the area, going to shows or visiting Central Park. I prefer other locations more but this was centrally located for my husband who was in town on business. The on site restaurant and bar looked nice but we did not dine there. The complementary coffee available all day was nice - we desperately needed the caffeine jolt to get us through our day.
One other drawback - this one regarding the location. There are plenty of very nice restaurants in the area but nothing much in the way of a less expensive place with good food quality. We have no problem enjoying a special night out at an expensive restaurant, but not for every meal. There wasn't a single place nearby that had a really good slice of NY style pizza. Yes - there was a place nearby but the pizza was awful. We simply prefer the wider variety of restaurants available downtown whether it is in the village or elsewhere.
Overall, our trip was ruined by lack of sleep. I'll never stay at this hotel again. We travel a great deal, for both business and pleasure and have never had an experience like this. We have stayed all over the world in both moderate and very high end hotels, and have never had a bad experience. Location, service and bed quality will make or break a trip. In this case, the horrible bed, noise and excessive heat totally ruined our experience. Please think carefully before booking a room here.
On the other hand, if you are in Prague - I would highly recommend the Hotel Aria by the same owner as the Elysee. I also recommend the Tourville in Paris, the Hotel Pulitzer in Amsterdam, Casa #7 in Sevilla, the Relais Uffizi in Florence, the Dorset Square Hotel in London and the Halekulani in Hawaii - all have excellent locations, top-notch service, lovely clean rooms, beautiful bathrooms and only the highest quality beds and bedding.
Lovely boutique hotel with unbeatable location--an oasis in NYC
We just spent three nights at the Hotel Elysee where we enjoyed a wonderful stay. This small hotel (only 110 rooms) is an oasis in NYC, located on a relatively quiet block of E. 54th Street between Park and Madison. The Elysee offers by far the best price for its location (midtown East, 3 minutes on foot to Rockefeller Center, Saks, Tiffany's, and the new MoMA, 5 minutes on foot to Central Park and Barney's, under 10 minutes on foot to Times Square, 20 minutes on foot to Museum Mile), and is a wonderfully intimate hotel when compared with the huge branded luxury hotels in the vicinity. The rooms are comfortable and cozy, tastefully decorated with European antiques and unique artwork. The lobbies and public areas are filled with beautiful floral arrangements, and the Club Room on the second floors offers guests (and their visitors) a perfect spot to unwind for a few minutes between outings into this sometimes overwhelming city. The immaculate rooms are remarkably quiet with almost no street noise. Windows can be opened for fresh air. Beds are comfortable with soft sheets, although we thought the pillows were a bit too stiff. Each room includes a TV with VCR (complimentary video rental through the hotel), complimentary bottled water, and a welcome bar of Belgian chocolate. When reserving, request a room with a terrace; in addition to a standard-sized hotel bedroom, these rooms have glass-enclosed living areas filled with plants and natural light. Bathrooms are compact, but nicely appointed in marble with excellent showers, super plush towels, and pleasant bath amenities. The hotel offers complimentary continental breakfast each morning, tea, coffee, and cookies throughout the day, and wine and cheese in the evenings. All are served in the comfortable Club Room, where you can lounge in any one of many plush sofas or armchairs. A computer in a small room adjacent to the Club Room is connected to high-speed internet, and guests may use it to check e-mail, etc. Beware misinformation about this hotel in the Fodor's guide; my 2003 Fodor's warns that rooms do not have mini-bars and that there is no room service. Courtesy of some recent updates and rennovations, the rooms do, in fact, have mini-bars, and most also have an additional small refrigerator where guests can keep personal items (if there is not a second fridge and you would like one, the hotel will provide one on request). The Monkey Bar, a local hot spot located off of the hotel lobby, has recently expanded as a full-service restaurant, and room service is available from the restaurant in the afternoons and evenings (not 24 hours). Breakfast can be served in-room for a fee (I think $5 per person--included in many packages). Service is friendly, polite, and efficient. The hotel often has special packages available, so be sure to check the website or ask if calling (some packages, like the one we ended up booking, don't appear on-line; while it often seems the best deals are to be had on-line when booking hotels, this rule doesn't seem to apply to this hotel--I would recommend calling). We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Elysee, and would gladly stay there again in the future.
Best Small Luxury Hotel in New York
I highly recommend the Hotel Elysee on 54th Street between Park and Madison. You could not ask for a more glamorous or convenient address. The hotel is so charming and the staff is so sweet, gracious and absolutely professional. It is the kind of hotel I seek out in every city, yet so rarely find. They have a wonderful clubroom on the second floor where all day they serve coffee tea and cookies, and in the morning there is a free buffet breakfast. At night they have wine and cheese and you can even bring a guest. Once when they were sold out, they put me at the sister hotel, the Library on 41st and Madison, and that was wonderful too. My cousins like it there because they love books, but there is something about the traditional charm of the Hotel Elysee that suits me perfectly. They have a website with great promotional rates at several different locations -------------
Very nice stay
Just came back from a four day trip with my mother and two children, ages 7 and 14. We loved the hotel.
The room was large, the bathroom smaller but nicely appointed. Beds were okay, but then I like a very firm bed and these were a little "spongy" for me. The daily breakfast served in the club room was great! Besides the breads (bagels, pasteries and bread and rolls), there was fresh fruit, cereal and boiled eggs! Their weekday wine and hor's d'oevres were a nice treat after a long day of hoofing through the city as were the cookies my children enjoyed each night.
The location was ideal and in a nice area. Close to the park and the stores, but not too far away from some of the sites.
The rest of the hotel seemed to be filled with business class and travelers from oversees. My two children were the only children I noticed when we were there and some of the folks were a little snippy with them, even though they are well behaved. But the hotel can't be faulted for that!
I would stay at this hotel again.
European ambiance in Midtown Manhattan!
From the fresh flowers that fill the compact but cozy lobby to the trompe l'oeil paintings that adorn the walls, the Hotel Elysee exudes the inviting Old World ambiance of an intimate European hotel.
If you're looking for a quiet retreat, soothing surroundings, and more personalized service than can be found with larger, branded hoteliers, look no further!
Based on TripAdvisor feedback, I booked a 4-night stay in early May 2004 for a business trip. Recently renovated, the hotel appears to have retained much of the interesting and unique character from its Art Deco-era construction. I reserved a "deluxe room" but swore that they must surely have upgraded me - it was that nice! If you have the option, request Room 145 where you'll be treated to a lovely not-quite-suite with a well-appointed marble bathroom that catches the morning sun, a comfortable seating area with sofa and coffee table, and a delightful private garden terrace overlooking East 54th Street. For Midtown, the quality can't be beat for the price!
Sleeping was a dream...comfortable bedding and absolutely NO street noise - unbelievable for NYC. Housekeeping staff kept the room positively immaculate every day (especially the bathroom, which is always my pet peeve at hotels) and all staff in general, from the front desk to housekeeping to maintenance, were incredibly friendly and very service-oriented. The 2nd floor common area where a delicious continental breakfast is served each morning is comfortable and welcoming, with the relaxed feel of a country house reading room.
All in all, a fabulous stay that far exceeded even my usually-too-high standards. Given the choice, I'll never stay anywhere else in NYC except Hotel Elysee!
Keep This a Secret
After reading the reviews here, I tried the Hotel Elysee in May,2004. I loved it! The hotel is quiet and in a great location and the Monkey Bar food was very good. Our room was in the front and we were told it was a renovated / redecorated one. It was comfortable but already showing wear in the Upolstry and carpet. Very clean and a nice size.
The Breakfast was GREAT and the Afternoon cocktails were even better. Looking forward to another visit soon!
This hotel was perfect for us in many ways; you'd be smack in the middle of Manhattan & minutes from the rest and relaxation that Central Park offers. It's beautiful & convenient. Within easy traveling distance of most of New York's biggest sights, restaurants, theaters & museums. This is central New York. Its convenience to all of Manhattan, plus proximity to Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center & more. The staff couldn't have been more helpful during our visit and everyone was more than friendly. They provided information about sites to see & events to take part in.
Parvus sed aptus...
If you want to go the new york way, go the quality way. Because there is a rite of passage to appreciate New York as a tourist: you have to aim for the best lodging. At the end of a `grueling`New York day, you want COZINESS. This come at a price, no way out of it, but what price for what confort is the $1000 question! Let me tell you, go the Elysée way, the hotel Elysée way.It is amazing how this small hotel (less than 100 rooms) can fill you with a sense of confort and home. It just takes a smiling and relaxed personel, a well appointed 4pm wine and cheese complimentary snack and a wonderfull bedroom to make you feel right at home! Who ever said small is beautifull, as I said Parvus, sed aptus....
My children and I (8 year old twins) just returned from a wonderful five-night stay at the Hotel Elysee. We particularly enjoyed the hospitality the hotel staff offered, which included a more-than-adequate complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary tea and cookies from noon to 5:00 p.m., and complimentary wine and cheese from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The manager even provided a welcome box of Belgian chocolates for each of my children! The room we had was extremely comfortable, and although it had no view, it was so quiet that we never heard any street noise or any of the guests in adjacent rooms. The maids provided twice-daily service, and the room was immaculately clean. For us, the location proved perfect - five blocks from Rockefeller Plaza, six blocks from Central Park, and steps from great shopping and restaurants. We were within walking distance of most of the major attractions we wanted to visit. I'd stay at the Elysee again in a heartbeat! The only downsides, which were no big deal for us, were no in-room coffee maker, a puny hair dryer, and an extremely slow elevator (since we were on the 8th floor, we enjoyed taking the stairs every now and then). We didn't really need concierge services, so I can't comment on that, but I can only assume that they would be excellent.
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Elysee New York City
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