The Waldorf Astoria New York is one of the most grand hotels in New York and has a long and distinguished history. It has hosted many famous people and world leaders over the course of its existence. While it is not the latest and greatest in condition and upgrades, it is a 5 star hotel in how customer service is handled at the Waldorf Astoria New York.
The Waldorf Astoria New York
This property’s reputation is known far and wide for its prestige and clients. In all of my visits to New York, I had actually never stayed at the Waldorf Astoria. With its pending closure, I knew I had to stay here at least one time to see what it was like for myself. With consistent cash and point availability and cash rates that are typically lower than surrounding properties, it was a good deal for my one night stay back in November.
The Waldorf Astoria New York is located at 301 Park Avenue. The cost of getting there by car is not a really cheap proposition, depending on where you are coming from. Unless you absolutely need a car in the city, you could pay almost to house your car as you would to stay there yourself – $80 per night. Of course, that is valet parking (no other parking is available) but it does not have in/out privileges. So, best thing to do would be to park the car outside of Manhattan and take the metro in.
Speaking of the metro, it is near several stations. They include Grand Central station, Lexington Ave/53rd St station, Rockefeller Center station, and then the 51st Street Station just a few hundred feet away. It is served by the 4 and 6 lines.
Hotel Entrance | Check-In
Walking in the Waldorf Astoria, you immediately are wrapped in the luxurious, stately surroundings throughout the ground floor. When you get into the center, you will find the check-in desks.
To be honest, I was a little surprised that there was no Diamond line and that the check-in line was quite long. It took about 30 minutes for me to get to the counter which is not a long period of time to wait in New York. But, I did think it was a long time for a Hilton Diamond member to wait in line at a top-tier hotel like the Waldorf Astoria. Note: I didn’t personally care about having to wait a long time nor did I think I was more important than anyone else in line but just an observation of the time it took.
I had been tempted to book a better room just to get an idea of what the better rooms were like. But, I did what I normally do and booked the base room (the Deluxe Guestroom) for two reasons – I didn’t really need a bigger room and I wanted to see what would be offered to Diamond members.
One of the Diamond benefits at the Waldorf Astoria hotels is space-available upgrades to a better room. But, even though I was told later that the hotel was not nearly full, I was not given an upgrade. Again, I did not need to space but was a little surprised that I was not upgraded.
Waldorf Astoria New York | Deluxe Guestroom
As I said at the beginning, the Waldorf Astoria is not the latest and greatest in upgrades but the rooms are still elegantly appointed. The room was around 250 sq ft or so and they made the most of the available New York City space. Even though the room was smaller than some other rooms I have stayed at in the city, it was still roomy enough with a large bed, dresser with TV, larger-than-normal closet, desk, and sitting chair.
Part of the older-style of the hotel was the TV in the room. While not a tube TV, it was certainly an older model than I have had in most of my recent hotels and that includes lower category hotels.
As I mentioned in a post from last year, the biggest disappointment to me from my stay was the lack of outlets. In this day, most people probably need a minimum of 3 outlets when staying at hotels. I actually needed 5 so I rotated the plugs through the single outlet in the room until they brought up the power strip.
When it comes to hotel beds, when I go to bed, I am so exhausted I typically can fall asleep and stay asleep as long as I need to. So, most range of beds are fine for me. In this case, this bed was above average for me and the pillows very comfortable. In fact, I fell asleep during the World Series so that is how comfortable I was in the bed!
The bathroom looks larger than it was but it did have one important thing for me – the outlet underneath the mirror. With no available outlets in the room, this was the one place I could rotate my devices through for charging.
I have stayed at other hotels in the same category as the Waldorf Astoria New York and the bathtub in this WA was more like one you might find at a Holiday Inn.
Waldorf Astoria New York | Fitness Center
I popped over to the fitness center to check it out but never actually used it as I wanted to run outside. In most cities, if the weather is decent enough, I love getting out and enjoying the city from the ground. But, it is nice to have a decent fitness center in the hotel and the fitness center at the Waldorf Astoria was pretty nice.
This hotel will be closing for a 2 year renovation and will reopen with luxury condos (and some hotel rooms, not sure how many yet). If you want to stay here, it will have to be this month!
There is great availability with Cash and Points, which would cost you 28,000 points and $125 per night. Of course, that might not be a great deal depending on when you stay there. I am seeing wide availability also around $205 per night so that could be a better deal. If those amounts are equal on the night(s) you would stay there, it would mean that the Hilton points are only giving you a value of about 1/4 cent of a point. While Hilton points are not huge value, they are certainly worth more than that.
Of course, it is also available for an outright point redemption as well but at 70,000 points per night, it means you will only be getting about 1/3 cent per points after figuring in the tax. Again, it is a good deal if the price is high but with many nights available around $200, it would be better to pay cash.
Especially since you could match it with this Amex Offer and pay even less!
I was glad I was finally able to stay at this legendary hotel. I would say that there are certainly better hotels in that same star rating in the city and many of them are better point values as well. But, for the history and stated elegance in the halls, rooms, and furniture, it was a nice experience. My biggest takeaway was the unbelievable customer service I received when I had a problem – that I did not even mention to hotel employees! Check out this post for more details about that. I certainly hope that service is adopted wherever these employees move to because it was certainly top-notch.
As for elite recognition, it was non-existent at the hotel during my stay but I would imagine that the hotel is probably more interested in the high-paying customers than high-elite status customers. Of course, I could be wrong since it was based on a single stay, but that was what my feeling was.
Farewell, Waldorf Astoria New York!