Our second hotel in NYC was the 5 star Conrad New York at Battery Park on lower Manhatten, and full of expectations we jumping in a cap to take us from Viceroy down to North End Avenue near the financial district and TriBeCa.
Conrad is world-famous for luxury hotels, with style, class and great service. We had booked a junior-suite online, so we had enough space.
Arriving to the hotel we first thought that the driver had taken a wrong turn – the hotel looked more like a Novotel, nothing wrong with Novotels, but just not what you would expect from a Conrad building. Well, after dragging our luggageup the escalators and over to the front desk, we had an ice-cold checkin, where is most seemed like we were annoying to front desk manager. Surely this was nowhere near the average of service we are used to at other luxury hotels. Where where the smiles, the bell-boys and atmosphere? The lobby looks like a shopping center back in Denmark, and the service is better when you are buying a train ticket at the central station in Copenhagen.
Well – we hoped the room would make it up to this unpleasant start. The junior suite was very big, spacey and clean. Actually a very nice room, and we loved the size. Separated shower, couch nice comfy bed and everything you need. But something was missing, the feel of style and luxury, that gives the right atmosphere. The furniture is just average, no cosiness or coolness. It is hard to put you finger on what was missing, but again it was just too much a Novotel standard and not what you expect from Conrad. We got a room facing towards the river, and these are the ones you should go for. We found out, the hard way, that city view at Conrad New York, means a view directly into the offices at the neighbor building. Luckily, after confronting the front desk once again we were more to the room facing the river.
Being europeans, we had also booked the room with an intercontinental breakfast. At breakfast you get 2 different menus and it turns out that you actually just have got a breakfast coupon! If you want something which is not of the “cheap-menu” – you much pay more and then coffee and juice is no longer included. What – are we back in the shopping-center cafes again? In our opinion this was just too silly. Just charge 50 usd more a night, and provide you clients with a good breakfast and service. Noone told us that the coffee and juice no longer was included, and we found out when we got the bill. Just not good enough.
The last night, we had a accident in the room, where one for us bumped in to the wooden frame on the bed, which was exposed at the corners. The edge is very sharp, and it ended up with a wound in the leg. When we were checking out the following morning, we mentioned the accident and the unfortunate design, and the reaction was: “So?” Once again – 5 star hotel and service? Not even near.
So what is our “verdict” over Conrad New York? Well – if you don’t care about design, atmosphere and service, and for anything in the world wants to stay here – go ahead. If you are like most of us, who cares about the details, and thinks the five stars also commits to a certain level of service and quality, try something else.. You opportunities are wide in NYC, and you don’t have to settle for less.
By the way, when we were checking out and were leaving the hotel, a bell-boy was actually present at the door, but he was busy with his phone, so we had to hail a cap ourselves. It might sound like we are spoiled and demands too much. But on most of the hotels we stay in, these kinds of services is just a natural part.