W New York on Lex (Lexington Avenue, New York City) - Master Thread

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by MSPeconomist, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    This hotel is located in Midtown Manhattan, between 49th and 50th Streets on Lexington Avenue. It is across the street (back entrance) from the Waldorf Astoria; a Marriott and an Intercontinental are between 48th and 49th on Lex.

    I was favorably impressed by the service during my Friday and Saturday night stay last weekend on a cheap but refundable rate booked on spg.com. Upon arrival late Friday afternoon, I found the SPG elite check in line easily (hint: look for the silver ornament on the counter with a heart and the letters SPG, not the platinum colored sign as one finds in other Starwood properties) and did not have to wait at all. As I was completing my check in, a manager offered me a glass of French champagne, served in a plastic disposable flute. As I walked past the Acura desk on the way to the elevator, the gentleman asked me if I wished to schedule a ride and urged me to contact him when my plans were known. A quick call to whatever/whenever resulted in the delivery of a Keurig coffee maker, black mugs, and ample supplies with no argument, something that can be a problem in other W hotels. A later "is everything OK?" call resulted in an offer of a better upgrade the next day. (More about this later.) When the luggage was moved in my absence, the bellperson apparently noticed an article of clothing that I was leaving behind and delivered it also to the new room, laying it on top of my suitcase. I had no complaints about housekeeping services (they respected the do not disturb sign on my late check out day), although there seemed to be no turndown service and no mention of it in the hotel services section of the W information notebook in my room. The Acura driver on Sunday afternoon, who gave me a lift to another Starwood in NYC, was extremely pleasant, courteous, and professional.

    I had reserved a Cozy Queen room which I knew would be small but I was hoping that either my Plat status would rescue me or that I would spend little time in the room. Upon arrival, I was upgraded to a Spectacular King room. It was not much larger than the king bed. There were tiny night stands, a minibar built-in unit with a luggage shelf attached. The desk was fine but the armless pinkish lilac tweed desk chair had no back support, although the height was adjustable. There was no lounge chair in the room of any type/size. The TV (probably a 32" flat screen) and DVD player were attached to a pole, not sitting on a piece of furniture. There were no drawers or shelves to store any clothing. The room probably ended about 18 inches (less than half a meter) beyond the foot of the bed. There was a tiny closet containing two nice bathrobes, waffle cotton with soft terry lining.

    The closet and bathroom had opaque glass doors, but light came through the door, so that any attempt to leave on a night light in the bath made the room much too light for sleeping. The narrow but adequate windows--the room faced Lex and the Waldorf Astoria--admitted enough light so that the room was not at all dark during the day. However, the only window covering was a black-out fabric shade, with no option of a sheer panel to admit light while preserving privacy. The shades did admit light around the edges, so the black out treatment wasn't at all perfect. Most of the room lights had dimmers, including the lighted panel above the headboard which seemed to be a very abstract picture of a modern sculpture of a female body. The room was black and while with tan tweed wall-to-wall carpet. It was very stark and reminded me of aloft style. A cleaver design element was painting the ceiling over the bed black, continuing it the length (only slightly more than the length of the bed) of the room and down the opposite wall. This gave the bed a very modern canopy feel.

    The bathroom had a small but usable and comfortable bathtub, not too shallow although it would be too small for a tall person to stretch out. There was a pedestal sink and an institutional/industrial toilet with a flush lever and no lid. The charcoal slate floor and lilac tiles above the sink gave the bath a very W/aloft feel. Fortunately there was a shelf above the sink and toilet for toiletries, but this caused the mirror to start too high. Use of the sink required closing the door, which required one to step carefully between the toilet and bathtub. The bathroom was extremely small!

    As a favor/apology/fulfillment of a promise, the manager on duty gave me a Marvelous (one bedroom) suite on a high floor for the second night. It again had a small black and white bedroom with the TV mounted on a pole. The back-lit photo over the bed was similar but different and the room used the black paint over the bed and down the wall to create the fake canopy effect which I consider clever. The bedroom was located on the Lex and 49th corner and had two narrow windows on each side. The bathroom had a window and was similarly small--indeed, my bath towels were stored on a window sill on the far side of the bedroom. However, this bathroom had no tub, only a rain shower with a partial glass wall. The shower floor was the molded synthetic beige material with black, tan, and grey flecks that I associate with school locker rooms, so that it looked cheap and tacky to me. This was surprising as the pedestal sink seemed to be of high quality. The arrangement of fixtures was less awkward than in the Spectacular King room's bath, but again the mirror started too high and there was no makeup mirror. The frosted glass door created the same night light problem.

    The suite's living room had a counter for the minibar which was useful for the coffee maker and my doggie bag dessert; it could easily have accommodated a wet bar. The desk and desk chair were as in the Spectacular King room. The living room had two interesting floor lights of modern design, a large ottoman and a clear plastic molded movable cocktail table that fit over the ottoman. A turquoise and lime chess set provided an amusing touch. I would describe the lounge seating in the living room as a sofa and a chaise lounge that were covered in what seemed almost to be plastic air mattresses. This was surprisingly comfortable. I noticed that there was some water damage to the plaster around the windows.

    Both rooms had a lot of bad dark scuff marks on the white walls near the door, probably the result of people bumping the wall with luggage, but this needed maintenance attention. The overall impression given my the finishings in the room was neither good nor bad. Since this was an older building, it was disappointing not to find nice wall moldings, decorative plaster, or old light fixtures.

    The hotel doesn't have much lobby space, but there is a pleasant and very light living room (bar) across from the front desk. Here one can find coffee and cold grab and go breakfast items in the morning. To the other side (left as one enters) of the entrance is found the door to Whiskey Blue, a trendy and popular bar/nightclub, but surprisingly not packed when I walked past on Friday and Saturday nights. The hotel's restaurant is apparently being re-conceived as it is open only for breakfast. (I didn't try it.) IIRC there's a small health club (no pool) which I did not visit. The hotel's elevators have controlled key access but insertion of any room key permits access to any and all floors. Upper hallways are very dark, as is common in W properties, but the elevators themselves were surprisingly light, although small and somewhat slow.
    flyer_o, Jslo, theskyflyer and 3 others like this.
  2. theskyflyer
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    theskyflyer Silver Member

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    Great reviews! The wall paint that extends from the canopy is actually called 'Almost Black' -- it's a very very dark aubergine, which is W's signature color. Good note on the light through the frosted glass bathroom door.
  3. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Good review! Thanks.
  4. flyer_o

    flyer_o Gold Member

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    I Just finished a stay at the W Lex. Booked a starpicks rate of $189 and confirmed into a Spectacular King. Landed at JFK and took the AirTrain to Jamaica and then the E to 53rd and Lex. Walked the quick 4 blocks to the hotel.

    Check in was efficient and I was given my room keys. Unfortunately, upon reaching the room, it was occupied. Big no-no. Upon reaching my second room, it was what I expected, quaint, decently appointed with an infinitesimal bathroom. The bathroom was barely large enough to close the door. Complimentary Fiji waters were available, 2 per room per day. A very good perk.

    Went down to Whiskey Blue for drinks. One of the great things about most W hotels is the convenience of a decent bar scene. Drinks felt cheap for NYC. My yamasaki was only $12.. Didn't notice a big scene at Whiskey Blue for a weekend, but did see the doormen milling about in preparation for a large crowd.

    A couple of downsides are the extremely thin walls and the echoing hallways. I could hear water running and conversations with my room door closed. Definitely a big deal given the action of an NYC hotel. Notwithstanding these flaws, my stay at W Lex was acceptable and I could certaintly see the potential for a great stay for someone with Plat status.
    DeltaExpert likes this.
  5. Scott Schmidt

    Scott Schmidt Silver Member

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    I have only received a Cozy Queen, even as a Platinum, on several visits to the property. The only smaller hotel room I can think of was at the Dylan Hotel in Amsterdam. At least in 2011, they were offering 250 bonus SPG points for people assigned to those rooms, with little stickers on the windows apologizing for its "coziness"

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