During Christmas week we stayed in midtown at The London Hotel in New York City. We selected it because it was all suites, because Mr. G had stayed there prior, and because it was part of the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program. Part of the reason I lean toward the Fine Hotels and Resorts program is that I don’t have to budget for breakfast either with time or money. Anyone who has ever fed teenagers should understand just how much that changes the tenor of the day.
We arrived at The London sometime around 6pm on Christmas Day. This is about the time that the staff of the The London should have been sitting around their own tables with their families and if anyone was less than enthusiastic to be at work at that hour it would have been understandable. That simply wasn’t the case. We were greeted by one of the loveliest doormen I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with. Check in was seamless and we were offered a room upgrade that would occur midway through our stay. We declined but greatly appreciated the offer.
The rooms at The London are large by New York City standards but smaller by resort stay standards. Having a sitting room when you’re going to share close quarters for a week makes a huge difference in everyone’s comfort level. We had two London Suites, one for us, one for the kids. The rooms are new, modern, stylish and comfortable. Upgrades are available not not particularly necessary. If you’re doing New York right you shouldn’t be in the room much.
The London is the only luxury all suite hotel I could find in Midtown Manhattan.
The rooms were immaculate.
I assure you had they not been I would have noticed. There are few people who appreciate a spotless hotel room more than I. One of the things that nearly had me jumping for joy is that they don’t have those awful decorative pillows on the bed that we all know have never been washed. Ever. You know the ones, they’re what makes me call housekeeping for a change of bedding and removal of manky pillows.
When the four of us travel together we don’t even pretend to be low maintenance. Immediately upon check in I requested humidifiers for each room as well as an empty refrigerator. All were delivered, all were new and in good working order. The details matter.
The bathrooms at The London are nice, new and not designed for my needs. As much as my husband loved having a rain shower nozzle I have to say that they’re a complete nuisance for anyone who wants to keep their hair dry. Additionally the hand held nozzle wasn’t adjustable along the wall so you actually had to hold it in your hands. It’s not a luxe experience on the days you’ve got a shower cap on, it’s a wonderful shower when you’re shampooing.
There are two other design issues with the bathroom that made mornings a little complicated. Next to the bedroom is a dressing area and then a door to the bathroom. That there’s no door between the dressing area and the bedroom means you can either get dressed in the dark or bring your clothes into the bathroom if you and your partner would like to get up at different times in the morning. Also the showers follow a strange trend that I’ve noted at many luxury hotels in that the shower doors don’t close, they’re just a half wall of glass. For us, this means a soaking wet bathroom floor. Maybe we don’t shower right? I don’t know, I just don’t personally enjoy standing in a puddle.
These really aren’t complaints in any meaningful way as it’s a hotel and not my home. The London is a true luxury experience in every sense of the term. It’s just nice to prepare yourself before you go.
The only disappointment at The London occurred in the dining room and it was a consistent and repeated disappointment. As someone who has watched Gordon Ramsey transform many a failing restaurant it was shocking to see one of his own poorly run.
Nearly everyone at the hotel had breakfast vouchers and the vouchers are only good for the breakfast buffet. I should note that the buffet is really quite lovely, better than most, beautifully stocked and maintained. What I think happens though is that the service people are transformed into busboys. No one is in the habit of serving food and an 18% gratuity is included in the breakfast that is part of your hotel package. I was there six mornings and of the six mornings only one server dropped off the check for a signature and mentioned that service was included in our breakfast coupons. She was the only one who I left an additional tip for.
The hostesses were exceptionally kind to my children. Unfortunately they were the only ones. I don’t know how this happens, or why people think that teenagers don’t tip but my children on multiple occasions were there alone and completely ignored. No one came to take their order until I sat with them 20 minutes later. No one checked to see how their afternoon snacks were and no one refilled their drinks. When you snub my children you snub me.
Do not order tea there. It’s one crummy tea bag in a pot. The water wasn’t particularly hot and the tea wasn’t particularly fresh or good. Gordon Ramsey needs to do an intervention at his own place.
The charcuterie was generous and good enough but combined with negligent service it lost it’s flavor.
Unfortunately there are no coffee makers in the room so you’ll be beholden to the restaurant for breakfast. Hopefully they’ll get better.
The London NYC is in a fabulous location.
You can walk to Times Square but you’re removed enough to feel like it’s not invading your space. MoMa is a block away, Central Park and 5th Avenue are in your back yard. I dare you to find a more competent concierge desk in the city and encourage you to make good use of them. Dinner recommendations were fantastic as was their guidance about which train to take, where to catch it and how much time to allow.
Also bless The London for having high speed internet that didn’t crash on us and a good workspace. My husband always enjoys it for business travel and now I know why.
The London NYC
151 West 54th
New York, NY