Review: Le Parker Meridien New York

Filed Under: Hotels, Starwood Preferred Guest

This review will be fairly short, as I didn’t have a chance to check out all the features of the property, and also because I probably won’t be returning, so I figure a short review is better than none.

Following my flight from Abu Dhabi to New York, I needed to spend one night in New York City. My flight out of New York was at 5AM the following morning, so that I could get to LA in time for my British Airways business class ticket to London for Thanksgiving.

The good thing about staying in New York City on the Monday before Thanksgiving is that hotels are quite cheap. So in this instance my hotel selection was based almost solely on location, and Le Parker Meridien suited my needs perfectly. The rate wasn’t bad either, as it was $189 for a pre-paid rate.

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The flexible rate for the night was $249, for what it’s worth.

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This doesn’t include the $15 per night “facilities fee,” which includes the following:

  • Wired or Wireless High Speed Internet Access for multi-devices in guestrooms, the lobby, restaurants and the bar
  • Unlimited use of Gravity Fitness Center
  • Unlimited use of the penthouse pool
  • Unlimited toll free and local calls from your in room phone

I’ve always hated resort fees, though it’s even worse when they make their way to city hotels.

For what it’s worth, this is a Category 6 SPG property, meaning a free night redemption would have cost 20,000 Starpoints — at a redemption value of less than one cent per Starpoint, paying cash was definitely the better option.

There were two other things which made me especially interested in staying at this hotel:

Anyway, on to the actual review. I arrived at the hotel at around 11AM. The hotel is on 56th, between Avenue of the Americas and 7th. I love the location in general — it’s just a block from the Park Hyatt New York.

The lobby of the hotel is fairly sterile, though has high ceilings and a bit of artwork which make it slightly less boring. Still, the lobby has a completely different theme than Le Parker Meridien Palm Springs, which is fun and quirky.

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Le Parker Meridien New York lobby

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Le Parker Meridien New York reception

At reception I was helped by a fairly rude associate. I handed her my credit card and ID, and said “checking in, please.” It was a solid minute before she said anything to me.

Rather than offering me my choice of Platinum welcome amenity (500 Starpoints, free breakfast, or local amenity), she said “I’ve credited your account 500 Starpoints as a Platinum member.” In this case that worked out since my flight was at 5AM (though she had no way of knowing that), but the fact that I wasn’t even offered a choice shows how this hotel feels about SPG.

She further explained that since it was before check-in time they only had a room with two twin beds available. That worked for me, since my priority was getting to sleep as quickly as possible.

Perhaps the most puzzling part of Le Parker Meridien is that the room keys are made of the same material as usual, but are roughly twice as long. What an outrageously impractical design, as the key is too long to fit inside any wallet.

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Le Parker Meridien New York keys

I was assigned a room on the 14th floor, room 1405.

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Le Parker Meridien New York floorplan

Again, since my point of reference was Le Parker Meridien Palm Springs, I was expecting the room to be fun and quirky. Instead it was just… bleh. The room truly had no personality.

The room was a decent size for a standard room in NYC, at maybe 300 square feet. It featured two beds, and then along the window there was a desk with a comfortable office chair.

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Le Parker Meridien New York room with two beds

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Le Parker Meridien New York room with two beds

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Le Parker Meridien New York room with two beds

The hotel deserves some credit for at least having proper office chairs in the room, given that many hotels don’t even have desks anymore.

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Le Parker Meridien New York room — desk

Then in the corner across from the desk was a chair for lounging, though it may have been more comfortable if there were an ottoman.

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Le Parker Meridien New York room — chair by window

Then there was a TV and luggage rack across from the two beds.

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Le Parker Meridien New York room — TV & bag storage

The room didn’t have much in the way of views, but even the Park Hyatt, which is one block closer to Central Park, doesn’t have any views.

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Le Parker Meridien New York room view

The bathroom was small but functional, with a sink, toilet, and shower/tub combo.

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Le Parker Meridien New York bathroom

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Le Parker Meridien New York toilet & shower

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Le Parker Meridien New York shower

For a hotel which otherwise had very little in the way of branding, it’s worth noting that at least their towels were Le Parker Meridien branded.

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Le Parker Meridien New York towels

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Le Parker Meridien New York toiletries

The next morning I left shortly after 3AM, so it was a fairly short stay. I tried to check out the gym on the way out, but it was closed.

Apparently the hotel has a really nice gym and also has a pool, which is rare for NYC hotels. Personally I’ll take a mediocre 24 hour gym over a nice one with limited hours, but I also know I have a weird schedule.

Le Parker Meridien New York bottom line

Le Parker Meridien New York has a great location, at least in terms of where I like to be when in New York. Aside from that, I find the hotel to completely lack any personality, and the limited interaction I had with the staff was underwhelming. It’s especially disappointing when you compare it to Le Parker Meridien Palm Springs, which is one of the most fun and quirky hotels out there. The rooms in this hotel could have been any generic hotel brand.

Unless I had to be back in this area and the price was right, I don’t think I’d return. I’d take just about any of the Hyatt options over this, including the Grand Hyatt New YorkHyatt Times Square New YorkHyatt Union Square New YorkAndaz 5th Avenue New York, Park Hyatt New York, etc.

With Starwood I of course love the St. Regis New York, though that’s also a different caliber of hotel.

If you’ve stayed at Le Parker Meridien New York, what was your experience like?

  1. Between the dispute with Starwood over fraudulent room rate reimbursement for award stays, and this property being one of (if not THE) first NYC properties to implement a “resort fee”, you can tell where the property owner and hotel management have their priorities.

  2. Nice review, but why didn’t you just stay at an airport property, given how little time you had and the expense/hassle of getting to/from midtown for such a short amount of sleep. I guess, unlike most of us, you can just write it off, but it seems like you make your life too complicated sometimes.

  3. I like the Parker Meridien…’s Drybar in the basement. That’s the only reason I ever go there! I’ve never stayed there; I just go to get my hair done. The only advantage to this Drybar is that there’s a Blushington (makeup studio) also in the basement, but I don’t need to take advantage unless I can’t get an appointment at Sephora, where I get free makeup because I have top-tier status!

    Obviously, NONE of this applies in any way to you or most of your readers, but for a girl who’s in New York all the time for formal events, this is kinda huge.

  4. @ Joe — Because I had a commitment in the city in the evening, and because I was flying into Kennedy and out of Newark. If I didn’t have a commitment and were flying into/out of the same airport, I absolutely would have stayed at an airport hotel.

  5. There isn’t zero personality in the room…there’s one orange washcloth!

    If you didn’t also have complaints about insufficient and slow elevators then you got off lucky staying here.

  6. I love this hotel’s gym. It’s open at 5 AM on weekdays. In fact, this gym and the mid-town Hilton gym are the only two in NYC that have any decent free weights. My client site is moving from Columbus Circle to Gramercy Park area and I am dreading trying to find a new gym.

  7. You neglected to mention the one redeeming thing about the Parker Meridien: the Burger Joint. If you walk to the right of the check in desk along the wall there is a curtain. Go behind it and there is a small restaurant straight out of the 1970s selling awesome burgers, fries and milkshakes. There are formica countertops, graffiti on the walls and an open griddle. It’s completely unmarked and unless you knew it was there you’d have know way of guessing (other than the lines that sometime stretch into the lobby of the hotel at lunchtime).

  8. Looks horrible. The biz hotels in Chelsea (HGI, Four Points, et al) have nicer rooms by comparison.

    Burger Joint is pretty good, I will agree. Otherwise there’s no reason to go anywhere near 57th St. Unless you want a $200,000 watch or the most cramped Whole Foods on the planet.

  9. @Jamie: The Knickerbocker has a decent gym with a nice strength area with decent free weights, too 😉

  10. You weren’t offered a breakfast option because the staff there are embarrassed at the stingy Platinum offering. It is literally a croissant and a coffee/tea from the coffee bar (not the restaurant).
    The benefit is dispensed as a $12.50 voucher, which gets you an $8 drink and a $4.50 pastry.
    Totally in line with the nickel and diming of the resort fee.

  11. No reason to go anywhere near 57th Street? The area south of Central Park is great, especially if you are attending concerts at Carnegie Hall, City Center, or Lincoln Center, or just wanting to spend some time in the park. I like the Marriott at Broadway and 54th, fantastic views even from the points rooms.

  12. @tara, I guess it’s a tourist vs local perspective. Central Park South literally smells like horse crap and I never go anywhere near there. As for Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, I go maybe once every few years at most.

    My point was, there are better parts of the city to stay in.

  13. As someone who works on the same block as Parker Meridien/ Park Hyatt, I will (sort of) shoutout Burger Joint, as others on here have mentioned. Its one of those “worst kept secrets” like PDT downtown, so it is VERY crowded most of the time with very limited seating, but can be a redeeming option for those staying in the area.

    Its a fun spot if you can fight for a table, especially if you haven’t been, but its far from the best in town (despite being a fairly good burger). Aside from the seating issue, they use bland store bought buns and dont do much in the way of toppings… but at least they accept credit cards now (only recently).

  14. I have been staying in the city for the last 8 months or so. I have to say the gym is spectacular . If you are really into fitness this is the place to be . It also has a sauna an steam room . I checked out other hotels on the same price range and none of the gyms come even close to LeParker Meridien. I think the gym is open to no guest via a monthly membership but I hardly saw anybody there after 7pm

  15. There seems to be no relation to Palm Springs at all given the design. Palm Springs is Jonathan Adler over- the-top fab while this looks like an airport Novotel room. I mean, a flat screen above a luggage base? I am more and more distressed over the quality of the hotels in NYC. Even the Four Seasons closed their restaurant for dinner which is bizarre to me.

  16. I’ve started boycotting them when they started charging the undisclosed (or barely disclosed) mandatory $15 fee, and I don’t miss the proper one bit.

    Am surprised, and saddened, that Starwood hasn’t booted them out.

  17. The penthouse pool with views over Central Park is the best feature of this hotel. Also noteworthy is Norma’s, a legendary breakfast and brunch spot, and the bar Knave is very decent too. I think you missed out on the best parts of the hotel since your stay was so short. I’ve had many great stays there and good success of upgrades with my meagre Gold status.

  18. there’s quite a thread on flyertalk about the (lack) of breakfast offered to plats. Sad to see SPG still allowing this.

  19. We are very loyal SPG members usually Gold, sometimes Platinum.
    We travel extensively and have stayed at many excellent hotels and lots of good ones, regardless of class, stars, rakings, etc.
    This hotel ranks as the second worst hotel stay we have ever had surpassed only by the Barlow Hotel in Hudson New York and only because there were feces leaking into our room at the Barlow.
    The horrible service at this hotel exists from the top down.
    Avoid it like the plague.

  20. I stayed at Le Parker Meridien way back in 2006 and from the pictures that Ben has posted, the room decor has not changed (i.e. no renovation since then) but still looked as new. Kudos to maintenance.

  21. The location is really the only thing going for this place. The free internet is useless at the gym, which is in the basement. No connection, and no bars on the phone. So I ended up walking in the park every day. (Love the park.) Also if you are a morning person, know that the gym doesn’t open until 7am on weekends.

    I stayed for one week for business. The front desk refused a package I had paid amost $100 to get delivered to me. No coffee in the room or lobby. Obviously so one has to order room service or go down to the restaurant.

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