Review: the W Hotel on Lexington in New York


I admit it, I'm a hotel snob. It's not that I can't or haven't stayed in tiny, cramped hotels in seamy parts of town, it's that I tend to choose not to. So, after asking around, and getting plenty of recommendations, Carol and I decided to stay at the W on Lexington when we went to New York this week. Let me start by saying there are at least three W hotels in New York City, and perhaps everyone who recommended a W had stayed in Times Square or Union Square, but the W on Lexington didn't pass muster for the price charged.

I know that some of you will think, "well, it's a funky hotel, not everybody likes funky hotels," and you'd certainly be right. It is funky and there are people who don't like funky. Carol & I have stayed in quite a few funky and eccentric hotels over the years, and this is pretty tame as funky goes-- but we enjoy funky as much as the next folks.

Instead, our problem with the W on Lexington (which is in quite a nice location, across from the Waldorf Astoria, Starbucks, and a subway station), is one of service, in almost all manners of the word. I will say that one of our concierge experiences was good there (nice lady from Brooklyn who gave us a pointer to Park Slope for lunch on thursday), but the check-in was lack- luster (I've never had so little explained about a hotel during the check-in, and seldom felt so much like a number when paying those prices) and the room suffered from any number of ills.

When we checked in, we were "upgraded" to a room on the 18th floor (the top floor of the hotel), which overlooked the hotel next door and across the street. It had plenty of light, which was good. Unfortunately, it also had holes through the wall into the air conditioning box (directly into the box, not the ones that go into the presumedly-insulated air conditioner) that provided nearly-direct ingress to the sounds of the city at all hours of the day and night. Generally speaking, one of the benefits of the 18th floor of a moderately-expensive, well-recommended hotel is that you can expect a little peace and quiet in the night while you're sleeping. Compound this with the ripped sheets on the bed the first night, the loose-to-the-point-of-falling- off handle for hot water in the sink, and the miniscule closet that somebody saw fit to fill halfway with a hanging shoe holder and I was left at a loss for what would recommend this hotel. Certainly not comfort.

Perhaps it was the happening night-life downstairs. There always seemed to be plenty going on in the bars and in the restaurant, so perhaps we missed that all by scheduling time to meet friends and family in the evenings.

All told, we'll be looking for another hotel the next time we go back to New York City.