W New York Union Square Hotel

, New York City, United States
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W New York Union Square Hotel

, New York City
4 star

Rooms: 270

201 Park Avenue South - New York City - New York - 10003 - United States Hotel Website | 212 253 9119
493 Traveller

Reviews - W New York Union Square Hotel

10/10
Large Room & Comfy Bed
Submitted by: Tina Ablang in 20/05/05
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Special Interest/Event
Loved the "W"!! From the moment I stepped in the hotel, I felt like I was someone special in an exclusive place. Everyone was extremely friendly, yet the place held a mysterious aura, I think it was all the candles and velvet. The room was huge for NYC, the bed was fabulous, and the shower....BEST shower head EVER!!! I cannot say enough about this place! I would stay there every time if I could afford it!!

Historical Traveller Reviews of W New York Union Square Hotel

The Best Hotel in New York

from A TripAdvisor Member
This is the best hotel in New York City, bar none. Their staff is outstanding, ready to assist and respond to any need. Everytime I stepped into their lobby, I was greeted by a doorman or bellman within seconds. I was extremely surprised at how friendly and personable everyone was in light of how trendy the hotel is. My room was beautiful and their restaurant is excellent. This is my new home in NYC and I can't wait to return.

All Hype, No Substance!

from sachuest
Decided to splurge and stay at the W Union Square for parent's w/e at NYU. At $425 a night (and that was WITH the discount through NYU!), I expected a lot more. We entered a dark cave (that was with all the lights on) and could barely walk around the edge of the bed. My daughter opened the water on the bedside table which I discovered cost $8.50! View was lovely, a brick wall. The bathroom had missing tiles and the grout was falling out in the shower (no tub.) They supplied the least expensive hair dryer possible. You know, the kind that rips out half of your hair because it's so small.
On Sat night there was a function on the 2nd floor and we were regaled with the beat of the music until 2am. On sunday, we had breakfast at Olives (their restaurant), two bagels, one tea, one cranberry juice, $36 and they included an 18% gratuity.
Next time we will go back to the Westin Times Square where we had a lovely stay and take the subway to NYU!

What a great hotel!!!!!

from A TripAdvisor Member
The W Union Square is one of the best hotels in NYC. The beds are out of this world. I encountered friendly staff, always willing to help out. I had a great view from room 2112. I didn't run into any problems what so ever. The room was great, the housekeeping staff kept the room tidy and full of Bliss products (just a little bummed they quit using Aveda). The food in the restaurant was up to NYC standards and price. I'd stay here again in a heartbeat! Thanks for a great experience.

Unpleasant

from A TripAdvisor Member
"Trendy" may be a classification that has been placed on this hotel because there are a lot of young single New Yorkers who come to the bar/lounge in the lobby to hang out in the evenings. If that is what you are looking for then you can come join yourself to the trendy set at the hotel's bar/lounge without submitting yourself to the other inconveniences of the Hotel.

My sister & I stayed at "The W" and we were disappointed in the rooms and the staff.

Our rooms were extremely small and cramped. And no place to put our folded clothes except in our suitcase's and then no room for the suitcases to be out in the open. The closets were behind the entrance/exit door to the room and were difficult to reach back into.

There was an incident where for 3 nights in a row someone in a room adjacent to ours would decide to have a party at 2:00 am and we complained to the management but, they failed to resolve the issue. It did not stop until the guest checked out of the hotel. The management did not want to compensate us for the lack of sleep. Their attitude was that since we did not change rooms then they felt that they were not responsible for the inconvenience that it created for us.

When we checked out at the end of our week long stay, we found that we were being charged for items that had been in the mini bar. We explained that we NEVER consumed any items out of the mini bar and that our only contact with the mini bar was to keep some of our personal food item's stored there for the refrigeration. They did remove those charges for the mini bar but, only after a lengthy, unharmonious discussion.

There was one shinning star [10 star value] in the Hotel and that was ONE of the female concierge's. She was a dream come true in that she was very knowledgeable about how to get around in the city without having to rely solely on taxis. And she even gave us her personal hotel number to call if we got lost or needed more help while we were out. She gave us great restaurant advise and sent us to affordable, walking distance restaurants that we enjoyed very much.

On my next trip to NYC, I will look elsewhere for accommodations in the Union Square area.

Food disappointing

from electroshock
I decided to try this "W" after hearing the hype, and I do love their beds, but I can truly say the room service food is dire - overcooked & leather like on both occassions I tried it. Perhaps the room service catering is outsourced as it certainly didn't taste like it came from the kitchen of a top chef. And yes, I agree with other reviewers that the rooms are too dark to work in.

Very pleasant stay

from A TripAdvisor Member
My wife and I just stayed here for 2 nites over a weekend. Overall, a very pleasant stay, completely free of the attitude we've occasionally encountered when staying at other W properties.

We had room 2106 on the top floor, a "Mega Room". The bed was great (as always) and the bathroom was very spacious, with a standalone shower. (And the water pressure was very strong, perhaps too strong in fact.) The room wasn't brand spanking new but the wear was minimal. And yes, the hallways are indeed very dark, too dark in fact. I struggled to find the 'keyhole' in the door almost every time!

We didn't eat or drink in the hotel so no comment on that front. The lobby was very busy in the evenings with the typical W crowd, with drinks aplenty.

The desk personnel and doormen were great, very friendly and helpful.

The location is excellent, the best of all of the NY Ws by far.

Very nice, if a little on the wacky side

from quadroplet
I stayed at the W Union Square for two nights last week. I had a room on the 9th floor and thought it was quite spacious for a New York hotel room-- though there was a king-size bed, there was actually plenty of room to move around. The bed is definitely as comfortable as everyone says it is! The decor was what I expected from a W-- modern, on the stark side, in shades of gray and brown with dark wood. That works for me, but some might think it's a bit blah. I did think the room could have used better lighting-- I didn't mind the dark color scheme but didn't think I had enough light to read comfortably at night, even with all the lamps on. The hallways, also, are SUPER dark.

Room service was prompt, and the food was very good (plus, they randomly brought me a box of RedHots with dinner), and housekeeping was quick to bring me foam pillows when I requested them. The room was very clean and everything worked. Someone else noted that the closet is very small-- that's true. I had just a few things, so it was fine, but it wouldn't be great for a week's worth of clothing.

The hotel does seem to be trying a bit too hard to be hip sometimes. They get some things right-- love the Aveda bath stuff-- but the elevator music is kind of annoying, and the fact that there's a glossary of hotel terms in the hotel info book is more amusing than cool. (The staff are known as "cast members"... um, isn't that what they call the workers at DisneyWorld? That doesn't exactly seem like something the W would want to emulate... but I digress...) One thing to be aware of: there was a list of movies you could borrow to watch in the room, and I thought this was a great idea. Only when I called to request one did I find out that it's not free to borrow them-- I think the fee is something like $10/day. They need to make that clear. Finally, there's a CVS right next door, so you can stock up there on sodas and snacks and avoid the crazy minibar prices.

W Hotel in Union Sqaure

from A TripAdvisor Member
Fabulous! The decor is modern and clean. The service is exceptional. The restaurant, Olives, is wonderfully gourmet although a little pricey. The beds are like sleeping on clouds in heaven. The location is perfect for theater goers, park dwellers, shoppers, and those who appreciate fine dining. When you check in ask for an upgrade... you very well may get one.

Horrible service, great beds...

from A TripAdvisor Member
If you can ignore the hordes of trendies in the lobby and thumping techno music in the elevators and run straight to your room, the W can be quite nice. The beds are lovely and even the smallest "wonderful" room is a decent size for a NYC hotel. Aside from the ever-helpful doormen, the service is an abomination. On two occasions, the bell desk lost packages within minutes of picking them up from me. You'll wait a while for the overpriced room service and there's no ordering breakfast before 8:30am, which I found extremely odd. Maybe I'm the only one who stays there for business and everyone else is simply recovering from their benders at Underbar (don't be tempted by the "special basement access" - it's an awful place).

Good, trendy hotel on Union Square.

from A TripAdvisor Member
Just a note to preface this: My rating of 2/5 is based on the blurb next to the choices that reads "Okay, but some problems". Also, as I write this, I am currently staying in one of the W Hotel Union Square's rooms, so what you read here will hot off the press, so to speak.

Booking:

I booked my hotel for this trip using Starwood's online reservation system, which went fine. They give you a confirmation, as well as the rates that you will be paying, but note that the rate does not include: State sales/ room taxes and occupancy (13.63% and US$2.00/night respectively). They also have a 24 hour (1 day prior to stay, at 4pm) cancellation policy which, if not heeded, will earn you 1 night's room charges.

If you are booking your stay I’ve listed the room level names below, as they use silly names with no explanations as to which is cheapest, or most expensive:

"Wonderful" (their version of a “standard” room)
"Spectacular" (a deluxe)
"Mega” (a superior)
Suites (duh)

Location:

Union Square is one of the most vibrant areas of New York (many great restaurants and shops within walking distance; plenty of subway entrances; a renowned farmer’s market on the weekends, etc.), and the W is located at the top right hand (east side) of the square. If coming by cab, the easiest thing to do is ask for the corner of Park Avenue South and 17th Street. If coming by car, circumnavigate the square to the east and take 17th Street towards Union Square (back westwards). The hotel offers valet parking at US$45 for unlimited 24 hour access, however there are cheaper places (i.e: Irving Place). Also, check your bill when checking out, I was charged US$45 for parking for each night I stayed even though I only valet parked at the hotel for one night.

Overall hotel:

The door staff are a little absent minded, with only one usually manning the entrance. Unless you are there odd hours, it will be a bit of a fight to be noticed, be it to get a cab or to have your luggage brought in. They are also a little too casual with a “what’s up?” more likely than a “good morning/afternoon/evening” as a greeting. In their defense, they do have a decent attitude though (read: not as snobby as the staff at other ‘trendy’ hotels can be).

The lobby reception/concierge is straight ahead through the doors, and the house bar (Olives) is to the right. It gets a bit cramped during the day because guests tend to mingle in the lobby area to meet and greet. Also, they have live candles on the reception desk, not such a great idea considering guests do put their bags up there.

The corridors to the rooms are not so great in design, as they are lit solely by the lamps that flank each guest room doorway. These lamps are low wattage, purple shaded bulbs which give off very little light, and give the place a bit of a low-rent feel, rather than the chill/soothing atmosphere I think they were going for.

The rooms:

As I was in and out of NYC on this trip I stayed in two different rooms within a 7 day period. The first room was a "Spectacular" on the upper levels of floors 1-10, and the second was on the middle levels of floors 10-20. For you non-veterans of NYC: As with any room, in any (older) building in this city, you will not be able to escape the honking yellow cabs or the incessant blare of the sirens unless the walls are solid concrete, the windows are double glazed and you are above the 20th storey; none of which apply to the W. Do check the window locks though, as they were left unlocked in both of my rooms, allowing a lot more noise to seep in.

The rooms themselves were aesthetically pleasing, with the interior color scheme being a mix of pinks, purples, browns, blacks and beiges; very much in the vein of the current modern/minimalist trend hotels seem to be going through. The layout however is not so well thought out, for example, the desk chair in the Mega bumped up against the wall making access to the desk an exercise in contortion. Another negative is the room lighting, which consists of a few table lamps (around 60 watts), a floor lamp (100 watt maybe?) and an entry spotlight (fluorescent, very little output); this is a firm guarantee that anyone who steps into the room after dark will fall asleep.

Speaking of sleep, the beds are a terrific place to be. The mattresses are fantastically supple, yet not unsupportive; the pillows are great, being of the rectangular variety with 2 soft, and 2 stiffer ones per side; and the comforter/blanket is also thick and fluffy. Also, the air-conditioning (controlled by a digital thermostat) works well and keeps the room at a comfortable temperature, although I’m not sure of the heating.

The bathrooms are well lit (which is a big plus in my book), with the color scheme being a mix of whites, beiges and browns. The shower faucet only has one single pressure setting, but the pressure is mid to high even though shower head is wide in diameter. One downside is the lack of ventilation (although there is a vent in there), and the frosted glass doors, both of which are not so great if there are visitors around. There is also an ample supply of towels, although the bath towels are a little too skimpy in size, and give the impression that their bean-counters were taking the minimalist trend a little too literally. Note that there is a little paper dial on the bedside table that gives you a choice to retain your sheets and towels, or have them changed daily. The bath products are by Aveda, and are a nice alternative to the run-of-the-mill Bulgari or L’Occitane options that most hotels in this price range have.

Other positive things in the room that stand out are: the thickly padded armchairs; the Fairytale Brownies that they give you on the first night of your stay, I got a box of chocolates the day before I left as well; there was a VCR in both of my rooms, as well as a HP fax/printer in the Mega; there is also a “Munchie Box” which is filled with all sorts of useful things like snacks, a first aid kit and (amusingly enough) an intimacy kit, amongst other things.

Negative stuff include the amount of ambient noise, as you will hear other people running water in nearby rooms, and people talking in the corridor. Also, the internet service is unacceptably patchy, a very big mark against a hotel that sells internet inclusive packages and makes such a big deal of their high speed internet access availability. For example, if the connection is idle it will cut out, and only rebooting your computer will help refresh it. During my first stay it quit out entirely throughout the hotel, which is an incredibly inconvenient thing when fast and reliable internet access is imperative. Poor upkeep (torn carpets, greasy smudges on the windows) is also a negative. I also found a bread crumb on one of my pillows… let’s just say I never ordered room service. The hotel also has a tendency to try to stick as much as possible on your bill, like the parking charges I mentioned above, so double check your bill again on check out.

Conclusion:

I am torn between the convenience of location, versus the value of this hotel. There are other hotels (both up and down town) that offer better value for the money, all within the same price range; one of which I looked at was the Maritime Hotel. That said, the W on Union Square did live up to the expectations I had, especially as they were tempered by the reviews I had read here. I would consider staying again at this hotel on a future visit, as well as recommend it to anyone looking for a newer hotel in this part of town.

Top Local Tips for New York City

Grocery store There's a Food Emporiun grocery store near the 14th St. Subway station. Great place to buy sandwiches and drinks for lunch in Union Square Park

Discount shopping There is a great Filene's discount store on the other side of Union Square - discounted designer clothing, for men and women. An off-shoot of the famous Filene's Basement in Boston

Do The Grayline Tour Bus This tour is worth every penny. You really get to see New York City at it's best. There is far too much walking involved to cover it all, you will never do it. Also be prepared to walk alot, bring comfy shoes and if your going to do the tour get the 48 hour all 3 loops pass for 45.00 per person, best value for the money and you have 2 days to see Uptown, Downtown, and the Brooklyn Loop, oh and don't forget there is a night tour also if your interested, the night tour does not stop like the other ones do. Central Park is a must as well chinatown for dinner and Little Italy for a little coffee and dessert. For all you woman outhere who crave the purses, visit Canal Street in Chinatown you won't be dissapointed. Last if your going to see The Staue of Liberty get there with your tickets in line before 9:00am. I'm not kidding anytime after 11:00 the line is ridiculous. Hope this helped.

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Other names for W New York Union Square Hotel

  • w union square
  • w new york city
  • w hotels union square
  • w hotel union square
  • Address: 201 Park Avenue South - New York City - New York - 10003 - United States
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