The Roosevelt Hotel – Manhattan, NY


Destination: NYC (Manhattan)
Date: August 2015
Hotel: The Roosevelt
Brand: independent?
Elite Status: none
# of travelers: 4
nights: 1

Hotel: Making the Decision

At the beginning of August I signed up for 2 free months of the Pana app.  Basically (I'll go into more detail in another blog post), Pana is a personal travel concierge that helps you with any and all of your travel needs. Need a hotel? Done. Want a good restaurant for dinner? Done. Whatever you need, whenever you need it.

So, being almost completely unfamiliar with NYC, I decided to take my Pana concierge's suggestion for which hotel to stay at. NYC is huge and, aside from going and spending a lot of time there, I had no idea what area of town was the safest or even really where we would be going or spending time. For someone who struggles at making decisions, constantly doubting and questioning, Pana worked out great. We needed a decision within 24 hours and we got one. Pana suggested 3 hotels – 2 within my budget and 1 outside. Given that the only other hotel within my budget was a Best Western, I decided to go with the non-chain. I mean – why not?

Yay public transportation!

Getting There

Justin and I (for only the second time ever!) decided against car renting! Once we got off the plane we took a bus to downtown Manhattan and walked the rest of the way. Other options include taking the subway, taking a taxi, or renting a car. HOWEVER, if you do rent a car, be aware of the high parking costs for a garage in Manhattan.

The Lobby & Checking In

Using Pana, my travel concierge, I knew that we could take our luggage straight from the airport to the hotel and regardless of whether or not our room was ready, they would hold our luggage. We arrived very early in the day (probably around 11AM?), and our first impression was how gorgeous the lobby was. Chandeliers and people milling about… This definitely seemed like a hotel lobby from a movie.

Then we approached the front desk where the staff were rude and cold. We were early; could they help us? No. We had paid for early check in; did that matter? No.

Being from the south where manners rule, I wasn't exactly used to the odd behavior. Weren't they happy we were checking in to their hotel and paying them money? Didn't they want our service? This is the behavior I expected but never saw in Paris; why was I seeing it in the states?

Luckily, the hotel concierge wasn't quite as rude. He made suggestions for where we should eat for lunch while the bellhop took our luggage to storage for the rest of the morning. We did not return to check in until 4PM. Even at our designated time, the front desk staff was still incredibly rude and unpleasant to work with it. It made me glad we were only staying for one night.

Not quite the room we received…

Room & View

As much as I wanted to like the room (despite the unpleasant staff), I found it to be small and confined. Our view was of a brick wall and windows – an office building, perhaps? The others in my party were unhappy with this view, but I reminded them that I paid for a cheap(er) room without a view and how many hotels would actually have a view in downtown NYC anyway?

The room didn't have a mini fridge and there wasn't really any room to store anything. Furthermore, with four of us staying in one room, we struggled to find enough places to plug in all of our electronics…

Hotel Property, Amenities, Location & Price

After getting to the airport for takeoff at 4am and spending the rest of the day roaming NYC, Justin and I found ourselves far too tired to take advantage of many of the amenities including a rooftop bar. From what we saw though, everything was gorgeous at this hotel. And the positioning of the hotel in downtown NYC was perfect for visiting tourist attractions…

According to the website, the hotel also has:

• Internet you pay for
• fitness center with gym
• business center (pay by the minute)
• meeting rooms/banquet rooms
• Starbucks in the lobby
• Laundry facilities

We also noticed a gift shop located right off of the main lobby in case you forget something…

For the money, you are getting a fantastic location and a beautiful property with history but not much else. Don't expect to be treated like royalty even if you feel you are paying royally high prices…

This hotel screams "Welcome to NY!"

Overall Review
★★★ (average)

Nothing stood out at this hotel as a reason for a return, especially with staff being so rude and unorganized (by which I mean they didn't give me early check in like I requested and "lied" to me when I asked about it). I would love, at some point, to see the beautiful rooftop view. Given the location and what I imagine to be typical downtown Manhattan prices, the room we received and price we paid weren't that bad. What it comes down to is that I'm used to receiving a lot more for my money. By comparison though, aside from the front staff, this hotel was very comparable to the IHG hotel in Paris near the Notre Dame. Decent enough and not an altogether bad choice, but perhaps not one of the best either.

Your Turn

With over 120 thousand likes on Facebook, is The Roosevelt on your bucket list? Are you a fan of staying at independently owned hotels? Or do you prefer chains like Hyatt, Hilton, or IHG? Where would you stay if you were visiting NYC?

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