What We Love
- Convenient location steps from Central Park, Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center
- The rooftop bar, lounge and pool with killer views of the west side
- Four blocks from five subway lines
What To Know
- Not great for kids as the hotel is home to two happening bars and a rooftop lounge
- Sounds from the rooftop scene and city streets can carry through to rooms
- The rooftop pool is open from May to September
- Staff are happy to help but have a New York attitude
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The contemporary Empire Hotel, conveniently located just across from Lincoln Center, is a perfect pick for out-of-towners who want to stay Uptown but also get the buzzy vibe usually reserved for properties in lower Manhattan. The two-story Art Deco lobby, jazzed up with fierce but fashionable animal-print throw pillows and plush banquets in the busy bar, sets a sexy tone. The custom furnishings, fixtures and fabrics make all 422 rooms feel like sexy apartments (some of which are small for New York standards): woody wallpaper, ebony accents, and walnut floors pay homage to nearby Central Park, while soothing teak bathrooms and rainfall showers offset the otherwise dramatic décor. Keep an eye on the city that never sleeps even when you’re in your room via live video feeds of Columbus Circle and the Lincoln Center Fountain available on two channels on rooms’ flat screen TVs. The hotel’s 12th-floor rooftop bar, easily recognized by its iconic neon “Hotel Empire” sign, is a popular pick for visitors and locals alike thanks to stunning city views and well-mixed cocktails, while a seasonal pool deck offers hotel guests a respite from the bustle of the city. When hunger strikes, casual onsite eatery Ed’s Chowder House offers East Coast fare (lobster rolls, crab cakes, oysters) plus signature cocktails including the refreshing Upper West Aperitif with vodka, muddled orange, mint leaf, and ginger ale.
In the Area
Take your plastic on a walk to the Shops at Columbus Circle and browse big name stores like Williams-Sonoma and J.Crew, plus favorite neighborhood boutique Montmartre for stylish women’s wear from designers like Missoni and Trina Turk. Grab a coffee and a pastry at Bouchon Bakery and take them to go on a walk through Central Park. In the evening, you’ll find plenty to see just across the street from the hotel at Lincoln Center, home to the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera.
How to Get There
From the moment we arrived to the time of departure , we could not have enjoyed our stay more . The location is the absolute best ; you are close to everything that NYC offers and if not, taxis and uber are readily available . We arrived early and the bellman checked our luggage quickly and efficiently. If you have ever been told that New Yorkers can be unfriendly , this is not the case at the Empire . The staff is helpful and friendly . We have traveled frequently and I rarely take the time to write a review but this experience was so good I felt it was important to share with those who plan a trip to NYC . Lincoln Center is right across the street and Central Park 2 blocks away , the Hudson river is about 5 blocks away . If you like to run, which I do , it is a great location for that as well . A special thank you to Luis , who checked us in on Friday . There were a HUGE amount of people all checking in at once and the front desk staff handled all very efficiently yet remained helpful and above all cheerful. Congratulations to the manager of this hotel for assembling a great staff and running a top notch hotel . Our room was quite nice and very clean . The beds were great and the showers were as well ( great water pressure , hot water ! ) , not always the case in even the best hotels ! Thank you for a great stay , we will be back !
I traveled to NYC from Minneapolis with my sister and elderly parents. I pre paid for our rooms, however there was an issue with their website which changed our check in and check out dates. The Empire was very accommodating, appearing to resolve the issue. I have multiple emails claiming it was taken care of. Upon check in, only one room was noted as pre paid. I was charged again for the second room in my reservation. Upon discovering this, the front desk staff was as helpful as they can be. The charge was reversed, but not until I arrived home. In the mean time, the $150 refundable deposit had to be paid.
In the days since I have arrived home (Stay was July 7-10th) another almost $360 in charges has appeared on my account. Calling, emailing the hotel has not resulted in a response for an explanation. I have also requested an itemized bill which I have not received. Our rooms were not damaged, nothing was charged to our rooms. I'm awaiting a response from Empire Hotel. I should never stay there again after this experience
So really excited to stay here as great location and as a gg fan did want to relive the memories of Chuck and Blair.
Value for money- fair I expected to pay more due to location in New York and was happy for the value
Check in was flawless, great welcome email- reconfirming check in time and asking if we needed an earlier check in as an option which was a nice touch-
Door men! Spot on, very friendly, welcoming and informative
Lobby- breathtaking this is when you see the class of the empire, good vibe very clean and great bar
Rooms- clean and have what you need but on the small side for the price- very poor air con incame from a budget hotel into this and the budget had excellent air con (empire can afford it and they need an upgrade, this is the reason for my average score as the air con is pretty much non existant) also after a hot day of travel a glass of water in the room would be a welcome (they have Fiji bottles out for you but for 4 dollars- come in empire give the bottles out for free)
Upstairs bar area is pretty and a nice break from the city- pool is very small and only a few loungers- happy with this as I weren’t planning to sunbathe but if you are going with children I don’t think it would entertain them for long
Restaurant/ breakfast area has stunning views but very disappointing staff- no welcome/no help unfortunately
So overall- clean, comfortable, great location and great if it’s just a stop gap for sleep providing it isn’t in humid times
Would I stay again? No I’d choose same area but the air con is needed in July
We arrived at 12:30 on 6/29 and checked in knowing that the room would probably not be ready for us since it was before 3pm. The front desk person said she'd put us on the rush housekeeping list and would call us when our room was ready. We didn't receive a call so we waited in line again at 3 pm to attempt to check in. The front desk person said our room was not ready, but would be in 15 minutes. We tried again at 4 pm and were told it was not yet ready. We tried again at 5:30 and was again told the room was not ready. They said one more hour and gave us a temporary room. We checked back at 6:45 pm and were told the room would be ready at 7:30 pm. When we checked at 7:30, the room was not yet ready but it would be ready at 7:30. At 7:30 pm, Luis at the front desk said they needed to wait for some cement to dry and it would be another 20-30 minutes or so. At that point, we were given the keys to our room and were asked to wait a bit so the manager could remove the fan from the room. Luis also told us that they would be comping our room that night since we were inconvenienced. This was a very long day for our family. My son is autistic and does not handle change well. The uncertainty of when we'd get access to our room did not go over well with him and was, therefore, challenging for all of us. This was not a great start to our vacation. Upon checkout on 7/7, we did not get a credit and when we asked about it, the front desk staff told us no we could not get a credit as we were told we would. We travel to NYC on a fairly regular basis and we won't be staying at the Empire again. To top it off, we were harassed in the women's restroom on the mezzanine level on Thursday night around 8:30 pm by a local woman who had likely been over-served in your bar. I know she lived in NYC because she told me she paid NYC taxes and that we didn't belong there. She was upset because my son was talking while using the restroom. He was asking me for help because there was no toilet paper in his stall. She told me and my son that children were meant to be seen and not heard and that we were disrespectful, then threatened to fight me. I realize you have no control over your patrons, however, the hotel tended to be overrun at night with non-guests which made me question the security of the hotel in general.
Turns out the AC units on the top floors are not capable of cooling the rooms in the summer. You'd think they may want to fix that. Their solution was a tiny electric fan that did next to nothing. No excuse to charge people NYC hotel rates to sweat in a room all night long. Location is fine, and room was adequate.