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The Park Hyatt New York is confusing.
On the one hand, it’s a gorgeous hotel in a swanky Midtown skyscraper. The rooms are plush, the pool is gorgeous, and the 25th-floor gym looks out onto Central Park. Nightly rates are, admittedly, extortionate, but this is a five-star hotel in one of the world’s most expensive cities.
What’s surprising about the Park Hyatt New York is its service, which, put simply, is about what I’d expect from a Motel 6 (though, in fairness, that assessment is probably unfair to Motel 6). For around $1,800 a night, the service here ought to be lightyears better.
On an absolute scale, I’d give the Park Hyatt New York 3.5 out of 5 stars. If I were to rate it against comparably priced hotels, I’d give it 1 star.
Booking the Park Hyatt New York
I booked four nights in a basic king bedroom. Since the Park Hyatt New York is a Category 8 property, you won’t find award nights available for anything less than 35,000 points, and at peak times, you’re looking at 45,000 points per night. I paid 40,000 points for two nights and 45,000 for the other two, coming in at 170,000 points for the entire stay.
Hyatt has just two transfer partners, so if you don’t have enough Hyatt points on hand, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards or Bilt Rewards Points. I used Chase.
The hotel sits squarely in Midtown, across from Carnegie Hall and two blocks from Central Park. There’s a real energy to this part of Manhattan, and though I’m partial to lower parts of the island, it will appeal to many. It’s well connected to the MTA, located just seconds from the N Train and a five-minute walk from the 59th Street–Columbus Circle station.
Lobby & check-in
The Park Hyatt’s entrance is on 57th Street, just across from Carnegie Hall. Upon entry, you’re greeted by a big, lovely flower display in the center of a cavernous mezzanine with a spiral staircase in back.
Take the elevator up two floors to the lobby, and you’ll find the hotel’s restaurant and, around the corner and past a display of ornate gingerbread houses, the check-in desk and concierge. You’ll also see the hotel’s only public seating area, which is tiny but well-appointed.
The first hints of this hotel’s service quality began to show when I checked in. I was looking forward to a standard suite upgrade, one of my favorite Globalist perks, and saw online that there were two available. The great thing about this perk is that the hotel doesn’t have discretion over whether to grant it and, as a matter of policy, is obligated to upgrade globalists to a standard suite should one be available. That effectively means that if a standard suite is available for booking at the time of check-in, Globalists should be upgraded.
When I asked the front desk whether it would be possible to get a suite upgrade, I was told brusquely that none were available because another Globalist with a late checkout was occupying the room.
“Got it. Could I check-in a bit later once the room has been cleaned?” I asked.
“Maybe. I don’t know.” Said the front desk lady.
I decided not to push the issue and instead went up to my room before double-checking whether there were suites available to book. Sure enough, there were. On my way back downstairs, I showed the front desk the option to book not one but two standard suites but was told that the website was “glitchy” and that there was, in actuality, no genuine availability.
I didn’t pursue the issue further, but the whole situation left a bad taste in my mouth. Not only were the explanations for the inability to upgrade me weird, but the staff seemed genuinely irritated that I had even asked for an upgrade in the first place.
I ended up in “King Bed Room with City View,” one category above what I had booked. By New York standards, the room was spacious and struck a good balance between functional and elegant.
Upon entering the room, you’ll see a long hallway with a leather trunk at the end, which holds the safe.
At the front of the room is a sort of work area with a wooden table and rather ugly green chair. Behind the table is a large, flat-screen TV.
The sleeping area features a king-sized bed with white bedding and standard pillows. I found the bed extremely comfortable and the bedding soft. Bedside tables with reading lamps are situated on either side of the bed.
To the side of the bed are floor-to-ceiling windows with heavy curtains capable of keeping the room pretty dark. New York is a loud city, and the windows did a good job of mostly cutting out street noises. I was on the 12th floor–relatively close to the street compared to other rooms that go up to the 25th floor–so I unfortunately was able to hear the occasional honking. If you’re an exceptionally light sleeper, you should pack earplugs.
A small minibar has what you’d expect, and above it, a Nespresso machine and complimentary pods are available.
The room has two large closets, so storage is ample.
The bathroom was lovely and, like the room, favored clean lines and minimalism. The walk-in shower was spacious and featured a standard rainfall showerhead and a handheld.
The vanity area includes a wide, wall-length mirror above a dual sink and a countertop finished in dark stone.
On the quirkier side, there was a TV embedded in the mirror. It didn’t look or sound particularly good, nor was it watchable from the bath, but I suppose if you want to watch the news while brushing your teeth, this is a way to do it.
A standalone bathtub is positioned adjacent to the shower, equipped with a side tray. The provided bathrobe was fine but nearly as plush as other comparable hotels.
Le Labo amenities, including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, bar soap, and bath salts, were provided, and smelled phenomenal.
By far the best feature of the space were the heated floors, which made getting out of bed in the morning infinitely easier.
Gym & pool
The gym, which sits on the 25th floor, didn’t feature a wide array of specialized equipment or a spacious environment, but sufficed for my relatively simple workout routine.
Cardio machines, including treadmills with individual entertainment systems and Peloton bikes, were positioned to allow users views of the city through floor-to-ceiling windows, although the proximity of nearby buildings partially obstructed the view.
The weight training area had several machines and free weights.
There was also a small area with a workout bench and a fitness ball in front of floor to ceiling windows that gave just about the best view of Central Park you’ll find anywhere in the hotel.
One floor down from the gym is the pool. Floor-to-ceiling windows cover the side of the room and make the space pretty gorgeous.
As a Hyatt Globalist, I was entitled to a complimentary daily breakfast for two. While the food wasn’t anything special, the hotel’s breakfast restaurant, The Living Room, does hold the distinction of having the most expensive cappuccino I’ve seen in my life, clocking in at $16.
After taxes and a mandatory 20% service charge, that comes to around $20. The price would’ve been (slightly) more palatable if not for the fact that the cappuccino appeared to have come from one of those touchscreen espresso machines you see in airport lounges.
The food itself was average and the portions were quite small. By far the highlight of breakfast was the room service, which comes on its own wheely table that allows you to eat in front of the window.
The hotel used to have a separate restaurant for lunch and dinner, but that’s since shutdown.
As I mentioned in the introduction, the service at the Park Hyatt New York was what I’d expect from an average Motel 6. Below are just a few examples of lackluster service, and keep in mind that the cheapest room available at this hotel was going for around $1500 a night during my stay.
- When I arrived at the hotel, I realized that I’d left my shaver at home and called guest services to request a shaving kit. After 90 minutes, the shaving kit never came. I called again and still no dice. After waiting another two hours, I ran across the street to the Walgreens to buy a razor myself.
- Since I was on my way to Europe for around a month, I was traveling with a large checked bag, a carry-on, and a backpack. I’m young, so I don’t necessarily need help, but I was still surprised that nobody offered to help me bring the bags up to my room.
- At one point during my stay I left the hotel around 2 PM and, on my way out, mentioned to the front desk that nobody had come by to clean the room, to which I was told that I should dial 0 from the in-room telephone and request that housekeeping come by. Seriously. Rather than just calling housekeeping themselves, they were suggesting that I go back up to my room in order to use the phone.
- My room service breakfast cart was left in the room all day despite my calling them to ask for its removal. This happened two days in a row. On one occasion, the room was cleaned by housekeeping but the cart was left there.
Worse than all these small foibles was the fact that the front desk personnel seemed genuinely indifferent to hotel guests. They almost never made eye contact or looked up from their computers and never apologized for any of the many inconveniences I experienced.
Since I’ve come to find that service standards in New York tend to be lower than elsewhere, I’ve come to expect slightly worse service when I stay here. What I got at the Park Hyatt, however, fell well below my already low expectations.
What to say about the Park Hyatt New York?
On the one hand, the hotel’s design, rooms, amenities, location, and views are exceptional, and seemingly justify the exorbitant nightly rates this hotel commands.
At the same time, the service falls unconscionably short given the nightly rates, with lackluster attention to detail, poor responsiveness, and indifferent staff attitudes that detract significantly from the overall guest experience. For the prices the hotel charges, it’s reasonable to expect thoughtful service, even in New York. Yet at this hotel, even simple requests went unfulfilled for hours.
The Park Hyatt New York’s aesthetic beauty made me want to love it, but the poor service makes it impossible to recommend until big improvements are made to elevate the guest experience to the level appropriate for a five-star property.