Hotel review: 70 Park Avenue Hotel, New York (Kimpton)

by David Eckoff · 0 comments

UPDATE: I made a second visit to 70 Park Avenue later that year to give them a second chance, and unfortunately had an even worse experience. There were various service and attitude issues with the staff; the Inner Circle welcome amenity was a comedy of errors (despite me writing to the hotel GM in advance to give the hotel the best chance of success); no hot water in the shower (only ice cold, the hot water on my floor was broken, later fixed), and more.

Of those problems, I found the service and attitude issues to be particularly frustrating, falling far short of all other Kimpton properties.

I’ve crossed 70 Park Avenue off my list of hotels for business trips to New York City and will not return.

New option in New York City: Kimpton puchased “The Muse” hotel in NYC. I have since stayed there twice and the service was outstanding. Once they get The Muse renovated, the physical plant will be up to Kimpton’s standards, and finally Kimpton should have a great option for New York!


I recently stayed at 70 Park Avenue Hotel while on a business trip to New York City. Here is my review:

LOCATION: 70 Park Avenue hotel is located at Park Avenue and 38th Street – in Murray Hill, a unique residential enclave nestled in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The location is central yet the neighborhood “retains a smaller, more personal character.”

TRANSPORTATION: Upon arrival at Laguardia airport, I took a taxi to the hotel, about 30 minutes without traffic. Couldn’t be easier.

CHECK IN: Check in at the front desk was professional. As a Kimpton “Inner Circle” elite level guest, I was entitled to an upgrade to the best room available at check in: I was presented with a choice of my booked Deluxe room on a higher floor or an upgrade to a King Premier room on a lower 4th floor.

Upon my request, a hotel staffer escorted me to see each room so I could compare before making a decision.

The booked Deluxe room wasn’t that great: the view from the higher floor was uninspiring and the bathroom was quite possibly the smallest bathroom I’ve seen in any hotel (including a variety of New York City hotels). Simply put, the cramped bathroom in the Deluxe room would have been unacceptable – and if you are considering booking one of these rooms I advise against it.

The upgraded King Premier room was essentially the same as the Deluxe room except the bathroom was somewhat larger (although still small it was acceptable) and had a bath tub with jacuzi jets. I was concerned about the possibility of hearing street noise from this lower floor room – and with the hotel staffer’s assurance that it wouldn’t be a problem, I decided on the upgraded room.

Speaking of upgrades, if you’re an Inner Circle elite level member hoping for an upgrade to the 2,000 square-foot Penthouse Suite, forget about it, I was told by hotel management that they do not upgrade Inner Circle guests to the suite even if it is available.

If you’re on the official website for 70 Park Avenue, there is a photo gallery which has a single photo of a magnificent bathroom. If you’re expecting all the bathrooms to look like the photo on their site, you’ll be disappointed. That photo appears to be the bathroom in the one Penthouse Suite and is NOT representative of bathrooms in the hotel.

HOTEL BUILDING: 70 Park Avenue is in what was previously the Doral Hotel, with Kimpton doing a multi-million dollar renovation. The lobby is comfortable and inviting; with a 14-foot limestone and sandstone fireplace and plush furniture. 70 Park Avenue is a botique hotel, but unlike hotels such as the W Hotel, it isn’t too hip or pretentious – it has more of a residential feeling.

MY ROOM: Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly about my upgraded King Premier Room:

The Good:

  • 42″ Flat Screen TV (sweet!), plus DVD/CD player with surround-sound system
  • Very clean
  • Nicely furnished
  • Comfortable bed and pillows
  • Lots of mirrors
  • Candella nightlights were unique and created a nice atmosphere in the room
  • Plush terrycloth bathrobe
  • Bathtub with standard size tub with jacuzi jets was a nice bonus (but compare with better deep soaking tub at Hotel Monaco in Washington D.C.)
  • Curved shower rod similar to Westin
  • The Thymes Limited bath amenities
  • Speaking of The Thymes, I liked that instead of a mint on the pillow with turn down service, they left a packet of The Thymes “Sleep Well” lotion on the pillow. Nice touch!
  • The Bad:

  • No power strip near desk. This should be standard for a hotel that aims to meet the needs of the business traveler.
  • The sliding door for the bathroom was very hard to move. The door kept getting stuck and I couldn’t get out of the bathroom without great effort.
  • I didn’t like the brown wood panel on the walls of my room in 70 Park Avenue Hotel. Compared with other botique hotels I’ve stayed at, the room wasn’t as nice.
  • The hotel stored a large wheeled linen cart directly outside my room during the entire duration of my stay. I requested the hotel move the cart away from my room and was told it would be moved. Cart was never moved. A distinctive hotel should store linens in a closet and not directly outside my room. Perhaps more important, hotel staff should follow through on their commitments.
  • The Ugly:

  • My Kimpton Inner Circle custom preferences were missing, then late, then didn’t match my preferences. If it’s all about the experience, this part of the experience didn’t measure up. Kimpton needs to train their staff to be more familiar with Inner Circle benefits.
  • No high speed internet for you! 70 Park Avenue features WiFi high speed Internet access throughout the hotel. My laptop from the time didn’t have WiFi capability, and unlike many other hotels that have both wireless and wired connectivity in rooms, there was no wire line in the room. Upon my request, the hotel sent up a bridge router, but I was never able to connect to high speed Internet even with the bridge router. I called Kimpton’s toll free tech support number and tech support said the problem wasn’t with my laptop but with something local at the hotel — and amazingly they said they were “too busy to work on it” (and that’s a direct quote). After several phone calls, being put on hold, and phone calls not returned, I gave up in frustration. High speed Internet is important to me when I travel on business – and I just want it to work.
  • The hotel’s restaurant, silverleaf tavern had excellent food but the staff initially would not provide benefits associated with my Kimpton Inner Circle Elite Level. Only when I went back to my hotel room and returned with a printed copy showing the restaurant-related benefits of “Inner Circle”, did the restaurant offer the member benefit. Instead of a great dining experience, this proved to be an exercise in frustration. Hotel staff should be familiar with the VIP level benefits and deliver them seemlessly.
  • Despite assurances from the hotel staff, street noise was in fact a problem on the 4th floor. For context, I live in downtown Seattle and I am used to city noise. I also recognize that this is New York City. Having said that, street noise was over the top each morning, and went for hours. Loud enough to wake me up. Hotel staff should be more familiar with that, and should not have assured me that street noise would be no problemSPECIAL AMENITIES: 70 Park Avenue Hotel, like all the Kimpton properties, has an evening wine hour, during which guests can socialize with each other. I really like this concept.RESTAURANT: The hotel’s restaurant, silverleaf tavern had excellent food.

    HOTEL STAFF AND MANAGEMENT: The hotel manager I chatted with in the lobby was very friendly and professional. The staff in front of the lobby elevator was friendly and helpful. The people I spoke with gave 70 Park Avenue Hotel a personal touch that is often lacking in New York City.

    CHECK OUT: fast and efficient.

    WHEN BOOKING YOUR ROOM: If you decide to stay at 70 Park Avenue, avoid the Deluxe rooms so you don’t get the tiny bathroom. Also, be sure to get a higher level room to avoid street noise in the morning.

    THE VERDICT: I liked the people at 70 Park Avenue but I’m not a big fan of the rooms at 70 Park Avenue Hotel. In addition, the hotel poorly handled my Inner Circle elite level benefits – major points off for that from this traveler. But it’s my lack of enthusiasm for the rooms that tips the scales against a return trip to 70 Park Avenue. Despite the W Hotel Time Square’s own shortcomings, the Platinum level upgrades from Starwood are generally better rooms.

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