Park Central Hotel, New York
870 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019, USA
Not every review starts with a positive experience. It can be tempting to list everything that went wrong and vent frustration, but we don’t want this to be that kind of website. When you travel you expect with the right research you can ensure a satisfying outcome. However, on this occasion, despite our best efforts the experience was less than exemplary. The online reviews for this hotel are mixed, to say the least, but we didn’t expect what we experienced.
The hotel was built in the early 1920’s and it is a great location if you want to hit Central Park and the Time Square area. They pride themselves on hosting Jackie Gleason and Mae West to Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, even First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. But perhaps that was the last time they trained their staff on customer service too.
One of the rooms we booked promised a standard queen bed, but upon checking in the room had two single beds. Now sure, we are not “Honeymooners” (see Jackie Gleason reference to get that joke). But we want was requested on booking, at the very least be told about the problem/option at the front desk interaction. After a quick trip to the front desk and some disgruntled huffing from the staff, we were moved to a new room with our promised bed type.
But it didn’t end there the second room had a broken bed, that sagged very badly. Another trip to the front desk we were told that no other rooms were available. After further disgruntled huffing, a maintenance staff member was sent to the room to fix it. Unfortunately, the maintenance person deemed that it was not only unfixable but indeed unsleepable. At that point, one couple was moved to the two single bed room we had just rejected, with the promise that we would be moved to a new room the next day.
The rooms were small and our non-smoking floor reeked of cigarettes. Not wanting to fell like we were complainers, which we seldom are. We waited until the next night to tell the front desk about the smoke smell. Given that the other floors did not smell, we assumed someone was smoking on our floor and they were not supposed to be. The front desk was indifferent and did nothing to confirm or deny our concerns.
The beds were saggy and uncomfortable (even after changing from the broken one). The window view was of a brick wall and the elevators took a long time to arrive anywhere. It is almost comical now that we look back at the experience. Almost like the universe was giving us one hotel that is perfect for a bad review. Oh and when we walked out on the last day the hotel union was protesting the cleanliness of the hotel with a comical blow-up rat.
The staff were not accommodating or friendly. Every request we made, seemed to be an inconvenience for them.
FOOD and DRINK:
Aside from a couple of “ok” cocktails, we didn’t try any of the food or drink at the hotel. The experience with the rooms deterred us greatly from giving them any more money than they deserved.
Being our first time travelling as a group, we wanted to stay near Times Square. Our inexperience showed, after reading many recommendations telling us to stay away from the “Time Square Strip” we booked anyway. The room was expensive, although that is not uncommon in NYC. However, what we got for our money and the general lack of service showed a basic lack of understanding around the term hospitality. We can only assume the hotel thinks (knows) that thanks to their location they will sell out every week and there is no need for customer retention.
We would not stay here again and we would not recommend it to people. It may have changed since we stayed there, they may have made improvements in customer service and room cleanliness. But as they say “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Sometime, you need to eat up your pride, walk out of the hotel lobby and say “and… awaay we go!”
Our review is based on our stay April 2011.
FRIENDLY GLOBES REVIEW RATING: