Updated: May 21, 2015
The London NYC Hotel Review - Where to Stay in Midtown ManhattanComments, pictures, and video from our recent visit to the London NYC...
I've been going to NYC about once a year for the last 20 years, and I have yet to find a reason NOT to stay in a hotel around the midtown area. Sure, if you are there for business and will be spending all your time downtown, staying near Tribeca or something is fine. But if you are there to enjoy all of New York, midtown is just the most convenient spot to choose for your lodging. We've stayed many times at the Sheraton and Hilton, located along 53rd/54th at 6th and 7th - right smack in the middle of midtown. But this time, with every room seeming to be booked, we tried something different. We paid a little more to stay at The London NYC Hotel, which offered much larger suites than the fairly cramped rooms you find at the Sheraton and Hilton. Was it the right choice? How was the location and service? Would we stay again? Was it worth the extra money? This review will cover the details of our stay, complete with photos and videos of the hotel so you can see what to expect.
London NYC Hotel Location and MapThe London NYC was launched in 2006, taking over what used to be the Righa Royal Hotel. Let's start with the basic info - the London NYC is located at 151 W. 54th Street -- that's between 6th and 7th Avenues, closer to 7th Ave. So it's just north of the big Hilton there (which is between 53/54th) and one block up 7th from the Sheraton. It terms of location -- excellent. It's just a 1-3 minute walk to almost all the connecting subways in midtown, making it easy to go wherever you want to go. You're one block from MoMA, 5 blocks from Rockefeller Center, 6 blocks from Times Square, 5 blocks from Central Park -- you get the idea. I'm not crazy about the restaurant and bar selections in midtown, but there is still plenty to choose from within a 5-7 minute walk. Some more basics - the London NYC is the tallest hotel in Manhattan (at 54 stories), affording some magnificent views as you go higher and higher. It is also an all-suite hotel, meaning you actually have some room to move around or entertain - a rarity in Manhattan hotel rooms.
The London NYC Hotel - Rooms, Amenities, etc.OK, so let's take a look at the rooms/suites. We arrived on a Thursday morning after a red-eye flight from the West Coast, and they were good enough to immediately make a room available for us - a very nice touch and much appreciated. Doormen were always available and always helpful throughout our stay, hailing cabs in a matter of seconds when needed.. Elevators are located directly behind the front desk (the lobby is on the small side, so seating areas), and we were quickly whisked up to our floor and awaiting room. The video below shows a walk thru of the room - nice sized sitting area (though couch was very firm and hanging lamp bumped us in the head a few times), elegant, double-showered bathroom, two flat screen TVs, minibar..
We were on the 25 floor, with decent city views looking out on 54th Street, but nothing like the sweeping views you can get from higher rooms. Our room was quiet - no street noise to speak of, no loud TVs or banging around in rooms above or nextdoor. The living room area had plenty of space, with a large desk (with free Internet access), couch that could sit 3-4, and a chair and coffee table. With flat screen TVs in each room, we really struggled to find a single remote that was tucked away on the shelf below the nightstand by the bed -- would like to see a remote for each TV, and place them out in a conspicuous place. Automatic drapes and sheers let you open and close your window views with the touch of a button. Bedroom was fine, king size bed, iPod docking alarm clock, trunk at foot of bed for suitcase packing and unpacking, a few small drawers and plenty of hanger space in the closet area on the way to the bathroom, large dressing mirror. The bathrooms themselves are narrow but with an opulent look and feel. The open shower features shower heads on either end, sink area has adequate counter space and lots of mirrors, toilet is tucked around the corner by itself -- everything surrounded by hand-cut mosaic tiles.
There are packaged robes and slippers for your use while visiting, along with plenty of free toiletries. Free newspapers are available daily on the tables outside the elevators on each floor (NY Times, WSJ). The so-called London Suites are on the lower floors, while the Vista Suites (about $100 more) are on the higher floors, both clocking in at 500sf. In terms of room rates, we paid about $425 for our room in Oct, but saw prices ranging from $325 to $625 for the London Suites, depending on time of year and day of the week.
Valet parking is available for $55 per night ($65 for oversized vehicles) - a little on the high side, we have parked at the Sheraton a number of times in past years for closer to $30, but the cost of parking in NYC keeps going up. Fine dining is available at their signature restaurant, the Gordon Ramsay at the London (yes, that Gordon Ramsay - we didn't eat there but read many rave reviews). There is also the London Bar for drinks and conversation. The room is equipped with a fully-stocked and very automated minibar -- pick up a bottle to even look at it, and you are charged! Ouch! The minibar/fridge is also so fully-loaded that there isn't room for you to store even a can or bottle of your own beverage, which is kind of a bummer. The hotel also houses the London NYC Fitness Club on the 4th floor, home to treadmills, ellipticals, free weights, exercise mats, etc. You can also arrange massages in your own room.
The London NYC ReviewsWe always like to compare our experience with what other users are saying online. We checked in with TripAdvisor and Expedia to see what their users were saying about The London. At TripAdvisor, The London gets a 4.5 out of 5 rating, with nearly 500 reviews. Some complaints about only showers and not baths, some comments about the firm, somewhat uncomfortable couch in the sitting room, no furniture for sitting and waiting down in the lobby - but overall mostly positive comments from guests who would gladly return. It was also good to see that The London was brave enough to list customer reviews right on their own website (TheLondonNYC.com), even if they were fed in from TripAdvisor.
On Expedia, 59 visitors have rated The London NYC 4.5 out of 5, on average. Some reviewers said it was better than the Four Seasons or the Ritz - that's a pretty big statement. But lots of rave reviews about size of the suites, cleanliness, and overall service. Overall, I was very pleased with my stay. The location is great, room was great, price was a little higher that I usually like to pay in NYC, but the large suite justified the expense. My only complaint was this - there was a $50 charge on my bill that I missed at checkout, purportedly for drinks at the London Bar. Only problem - we never went to the bar. When I got home, I called 3 different times and talked to 3 different people, from accounting to the front desk to the bar manager, and no one ever managed to explain it or fix it or get back to me with a resolution. I was forced to contact my credit card company and dispute that portion of the bill. So I give them a poor mark on follow-up customer service. Would I stay there again - very probably.
More photos below..
|Another view looking into the long, thin bathroom. Double showers on the right (no tub), sink on the left, toilet out of view to the rear left..
|View looking from the bedroom out into the living room - there is a flat panel TV out in the living room, and a smaller one inside the bedroom..
|View from our window on the 25th floor looking out over 54th Street, towards the Hudson River..