Last summer I stayed at the Andaz Wall Street during my visit to the BlogWorld New Media Expo. This review is a long time coming, but I’m trying to catch up Overall I enjoyed my stay and look forward to returning to the property. The one fault is that it is in lower Manhattan and pretty much dead on the weekend. That may be why I was able to get a reasonable rate on a Friday night of about $300. (Nothing is ever cheap in New York, merely “reasonable.”)
Our town car dropped us off around the corner from the main entrance, which caused a minor disturbance when I tried to walk in the first door I saw and found myself in the residents’ lobby. Once I figured out where I was going, I had my first experience with an Andaz check-in. I had stayed at the Andaz Napa before, but at the time it was still the AVIA Napa and operated a little differently.
Andaz properties have several “hosts,” one of whom is assigned to you throughout your stay and is responsible for checking you in and addressing any other requests. There is no front desk, although the hosts do have a kiosk they tend to hang around. Instead you take a seat on one of the couches, and they offer to bring you coffee, tea, or water from the free refreshments in the lobby.
I think I’ve made it clear before that sitting down during any check-in process is uncomfortable for me. I like to stand up, preferably with a counter, and keep things professional and quick. I wasn’t planning on hanging around long enough to actually get comfortable sitting, which I think just made it uncomfortable for my host to see me insist on standing.
But soon we were on our way to the room, upgraded to a corner suite. Although not technically divided into a separate living room and bedroom, there was a TV “wall” between the two and a complimentary mini bar underneath it (alcohol still has a charge). We never really used the sitting area during our short stay, but we did like the big island in the bedroom, with space for me to set up my workspace on one end and for Megan to do her makeup on the other.
Almost everything in the room was controlled by switches, including a few master switches that would set the room to different “moods” by raising or lower the blinds a certain amount and adjusting the lights in different areas. It was nice to be able to raise the blackout curtains in the morning all at once to let in the light without having to go to each of several windows.
The bathroom was the coolest feature of this room. The shower was almost as big as my Seattle apartment’s bedroom, though the black walls and floor made it very dark and a little hard to see. Past the shower was the tub, and it might have been nice to put the tub somewhere with more light. Still, Megan enjoyed it and has power as the ultimate arbiter of whether the robe is fluffy enough or the bathtub big enough. Andaz hotels get to choose their own toiletries, and this one procures theirs from C.O. Bigelow.
The next morning I headed downstairs to get a workout before breakfast and found one of the nicest hotel gyms ever. The wood paneling and mirrors made it feel more like a function room. We also saw a neat demo kitchen outside (also in the basement) which must get used for occasional events at the hotel.
Breakfast at the Andaz Wall Street, like the famed lemon poppy seed pancakes at the Andaz Fifth Avenue, is a treat. My Diamond breakfast amenity here was $50 per person and we could have easily spent more with a menu that included exotic ingredients like foie gras. The décor, food, and service were all excellent. I still went over that limit by about $9 due to the size of my gratuity.
The only real fault with the Andaz Wall Street, as I alluded to earlier, is that there is almost nothing to do in the financial district. Even the walk to the 9/11 Memorial was a hike, though I guess this wouldn’t be too bad a place if you were planning on shopping in SoHo and TriBeCa. Personally, I much preferred the midtown location of our stay the following night at the Grand Hyatt New York even though some features of the hotel put it it a notch below the excellent comfort and service of the Andaz Wall Street. Look for my review of the Grand Hyatt New York in the next week.
There are several other Hyatt properties open or opening soon in New York, and I hope to review them in the future. However, I just don’t visit New York very often. Don’t hate on me too much for neglecting to compare the Andaz Wall Street to the Andaz 5th Avenue or the Hyatt 48Lex. Both properties receive excellent comments from others, but I have not yet had the opportunity to stay at them and provide my own perspective.