New York State of Mind: How I survived the Arctic Freeze

What are the odds that I would be summoned to New York during a historic polar freeze? Hotels week in New York was the draw, and this typically quiet week in the travel season in New York means that hotels are willing to lower their sky high rates to book you and why not, what could be more perfect?  A cheap week in New York?  Sign me up.  I should add, that this special rate had nothing to do with my write up here: I simply took advantage of the listed rates at this hotel that were on the Huffington Post, as part of this special promotion in New York.  Had the weather not been the trump card, I can assure you I would have done more and spent more time walking around but due to my fear of turning into an ice cube, I stayed mostly around the Park Avenue South area, super convenient for trips to the Village, Theater and Mid-Town district which is fast becoming a better area than it was when I lived in New York back-in-the-day. 

Now, to the hotel:  THE GANSEEVORT debuted in the meat packing district but has opened another property on 29th street and Park Avenue South. If you know this group, you'll know that stylish rooms, a rooftop garden bar, a pool and spa are just the beginning of this hotel. An additional property that is a resort property is also part of this group, which is a good omen in the croweded world of New York Hotels. 

The generous bathtub was put to good use by me in the spa-like bathroom as was the restaurant on property that had a good wine list for a hotel restaurant. The sheets in the room were high threadcount and all the hotel maid staff really worked hard to make my stay comfortable.  I felt that in general, the friendly workers were a huge plus such as the waiters, bartenders, maids, and only the front desk was lacking. 

So, is this a 3 star hotel? or, a 4 Star? Nah....there are some problems which keep this hotel from becoming a flagship in the neighborhood, and I will share those with you so you don't book this until they make these much needed improvements.  

1.  The Lobby: The fireplace was a huge plus but the lobby was not kept up at all, like the maids had never set foot there, so that's not 4 star by any rating. Table tops were dirty, not dusted, furniture was always in disarray. The lobby had the feeling of a frat house, due to the lack of attention to maintenance and cleanliness, which was a surprise, as I am used to the impeccable maintenance of a Phillipe Stark property. 

2.  The Spa: I wish the prices had not been so high there - who wants to pay a huge sum for a simple 1 hour Swedish Massage? The price was almost $200.00.  They need to run a promotion that Hotel Guests can try, in mini-format, to lure us into the spa not a small discount that really doesn't affect their high prices.  A missed opportunity, and, one that may be goverend by the spa chain itself, the Exhale Spas are worldwide and are managed differently at each property. 

3.  Pool Bar. I was there on a quiet night, but frankly the decor was so hidous, and so out of date, I was shocked and surprised that the bar did not equal the chic decor of the hotel restaurant nor the promotional photos of the property. Seating was not arranged well in the space, and, not very comfortable. The staff was very nice, but the bar was not well managed in the maintenance area. It looked like a few huge frat parties had been there all summer and no one had thought to refresh the place for the season. 

4.  Rooftop Bar:  Obviously, too cold to go up there, but I did venture up to see the space, and I can assume that in the right season, its a haven for the lower manhattan professional crowd. But, had they thought to invest in a rootop tent (and standard catering heaters) I could have enjoyed a drink in the winter with a view of New York. Let's not even mention the gorgeous orange trees in pots, the fire pits or other winter chic options that would have been a great way to bring in winter revenues for the hotel on that roof. 

I overall have to give this hotel a rating of a 5 on scale of 10, and unless they are running an online room special, the $300.00 per night rate is over-priced.  I am afraid I am spoiled by the French properties I am famliar with from my European Travels, and the gorgeous properties I have stayed in throughout Italy.  Sadly, we are are not in the same league here. 



Pikke Allen

Pikke Allen is a Writer and Principal Consultant for her own Content & Branding Atelier. Her passion for all things French is a tribute to her dad, a French teacher and devoted Francophile. She grew up on the left bank in Paris during one of the most fruitful periods in art, fashion and culture in the 1970s. Pikke has been published on a variety of travel platforms including 'Girls Guide to Paris'...(Read More)

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