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There are numerous Hyatt Properties in New York but conventional wisdom states that the Andaz 5th is the best value and by far the best use of a Diamond Suite Upgrade.
The Grand Hyatt is basically a soulless convention hotel, where the suites are just two regular rooms stuck together. It is also the same Cash+Points price as the Andaz 5th (Hyatt category 6).
I really enjoyed my stay at the Andaz Wall Street but it is right on the other end of Manhattan and upgrades elites to such a large room anyway, that burning a DSU there seems pointless.
The Park Hyatt New York, a category 7 hotel, is very expensive however you book it. Besides, the suites are only marginally bigger than the deluxe rooms that HGP Diamonds get anyway.
I had previously had a fantastic experience at the Andaz Wall Street and a distinctly average experience at the Andaz in West Hollywood. As such, I was very interested to see how this Andaz stacked up, with a view to getting a better feel for this brand overall.
The Andaz 5th Avenue is located right by Bryant Park and a short walk from Times Square and Grand Central. Location-wise it is hard to beat, especially for a first time visitor to the Big Apple.
As you’d expect, given the difference in real estate prices, the hotel lobby is much smaller than the sister property in Wall Street.
Check-in took place standing up, at a small island in the centre of the lobby, right by the lifts. The process was efficient and factory-like. This is definitely not a luxury experience. You feel immediately that you are just one of many hundreds of people being processed.
Despite the lacklustre check-in process, we knew going in that the Andaz was not going to have a grand lobby like the St Regis or the Plaza, what we were really excited about was the room: The 73sq m Splash Suite.
Given that we were staying in this suite I felt compelled to have a bath here. Although, for all the times we’ve had amazing bathtubs in hotel rooms, I think we’ve only actually found the time to use them 10% of the time. In a city like New York there’s always something to see and do, for me the real upside of this suite was the entertaining space rather than the tub (cool though it is).
These sliding panels, decorated with numerous paintings, separate the splash room from the bathroom proper. It was necessary to keep these closed whilst showering as otherwise the aircon would blast right into the shower.
The bathroom features twin vanities and an enormous shower.
Go Pro for field of vision. Regular camera, for details…
This has to be one of the largest hotel showers I’ve ever seen. To the left is a stool. This isn’t done to accommodate an obscure influx of hipster geriatrics. Underneath it is a large foot soaking tub, which can be filled using the waterfall tap on the wall. I guess this is pitched towards women who are looking to alleviate the consequences of indulging in 5th Avenue shopping sprees, whilst wearing Louboutins.
The suite is supplied with Beekman toiletries. My personal scale goes like this:
2. Everything else
Beekman is firmly middle of the pack, within the Everything Else category.
The bedroom of the Splash Suite is only fractionally larger than the shower room, although I love how it comes with its own cozy little sitting area. Sometimes a large suite can actually feel weirdly impersonal, so it’s nice that this little TV nook exists.
The bed was super comfortable, and the soundproofing was excellent. Despite overlooking a busy road, we never heard any noise at all
As you can see, this side of the building opens out onto the NY Public Library and Bryant Park. As well as being an awesome view, it means that you can fully open the blinds without any privacy concerns.
Little touches like the white marble table help to set the tone. Sleek, elegant and minimal, with a few quirky touches. Andaz is definitely a little more understated and luxurious than W, at least with its New York properties (not so sure about the luminous orange, plastic dog in the Andaz WeHo).
Another really cool aspect of this suite is the fact that it has views of the Empire State Building. I loved sitting on this windowsill in the evening.
In fact, the whole surrounding area is pretty magical at night.
The view from the window next to the bed.
I was only platinum at the time of our stay (havin applied the upgrade certificate when I was still Diamond) so didn’t get a chance to sample in the in-room breakfast benefit. This is something I will be rectifying upon our return visit in a couple of weeks.
However, one cool feature of Andaz hotels is that all guests – irrespective of HGP status – are invited to a complimentary wine hour every day.
Whilst the wine at the Andaz hotels in Wall St and WeHo tasted like something out of a foil bag, the offering in the intimate bar area of the Andaz 5th was very drinkable.
Whenever I visit a city with this many food options, I make sure to bring workout gear. This stops me from becoming an obese tub of goo and also serves to stimulate the appetite when it is otherwise absent (which is sort of counter to the first effect).
Luckily the Andaz 5th has a well equipped gym, which I had to myself on a Sunday morning. The gym is underground, which encourages you to just get your workout done quickly, lest you miss out on the action outdoors.
It is also rather small and caters more to cardio, stretching etc than it does to lifting weights. Still, you can get an ok workout in as long as you’re not looking to set a back squat PR.
The Andaz 5th feels a lot more luxurious than the Andaz Wall St and the location is way better if you need to be in midtown. The view from the rooms is great and as soon as you step outside you’re immediately hit by the energy of the city. This is not the case on Wall St on the weekend.
However, I’m slowly beginning to realise that no matter how good the hotel, in the US 5* hotels do not feel luxurious. The interactions with staff are always oddly forced and insincere, nothing at all like hotels in Asia, Europe or Australia. At least the Andaz 5th doesn’t have one of those dreaded “honor bar” systems though.
So, the Andaz 5th has a great location. A very large and uniquely cool suite, a suite which is not only beautiful inside but also has great views. The lobby bar is very nicely designed and has a fantastic complimentary wine hour every day.
If I could improve something I would ask for a bigger gym with decent views and natural light. It would also be great to have a pool. New York is HOT in August.
Overall, I enjoyed the stay here and loved having space to meet with my New York friends. I have a return stay coming up at the end of this month and I’m really looking forward to seeing how my experience measures up, given that this time I’ll have my Diamond status during the stay. (Note: it was terrible)