We stayed at the Wolcott Hotel last Noember as part of a multi-city USA trip. We choose this on recommendation from family members who had stayed there previously.
Check-in: Quick and simple process. Staff were helpful and friendly and orientated us to parts of the hotel such as the attached convenience store and internet access area.
Rooms: We were more than happy with our room, while it wasn't huge, it provided us with enough room to feel comfortable and adequate storage for our suitcases. There was also a large bathroom area with a bath/shower combination and complimentary toiletries. There was a TV with cable channels, large bed, hairdryer, in-room safe, desk area and chargeable internet access.
Hotel: The hotel has a small convenience store attached selling some toiletries, snacks and drinks. There is also a desk where you can book attraction tickets and airport shuttles. There is internet access and printer facilities which you can use for a fee. There are payphones and vending machines beneath the lobby and a fitness centre which is small but free to use.There is no restaurant but the hotel offer free coffee and muffins in the morning.
Location: The hotel is very close to the Empire State building and Penn station. It is around a 15-20 minute walk to the Times Square area. There is a Dunkin Donuts across the road which does great breakfast.
Hotel Wolcott was the chosen accomodation for a second year university field trip to New York. I was unsure of what to expect, in previous years, the accomodation had been in youth hostels, so I was not hoping for anything particularly special. What I ended up with, was a fairly pleasant suprise.
From the outside, the hotel actually looks quite grand, amongst more modern and less attractive skyscrapers on 31st street it certainly stood out. The next big suprise was walking into the lobby for the first time. For the size of the hotel, it was a pretty enormous space, the interior was incredibly decorative, in what the hotel describes as a 'turn of the century' style. The room is lined with tall pillars and impressively detailed coving around the walls and ceiling. There is seating adequate for a reasonable number of people in the lobby and also a computer offering pay as you go internet. There is also a small shop attached to the lobby, selling newspapers and magazines, aswell as snacks and tourist souvineers such as postcards.
The rooms are accessible either by stairs or one of two lifts, and for the price, they are not bad at all. Contemporary is not a word could be used here, but they do have a certain traditional charm. They certainly have a 'comfortable' feeling about them, thick carpets, decent beds, and decorated in slightly old-fashioned wallpaper designs. Staying in a triple room, there were three single beds, and a separate ensuite bathroom, with a good shower.
Obviously taking into account price and location, the room we were based in didn't have any view, but I wouldn't consider this an issue based on the relatively small amount of time spent in hotel overall. Some rooms, however, had views of the Empire State Building.
Rooms had a decent level of security, accessed by a card provided on arrival. Each room also had a secure safe, with code access which was extremely useful for storing valuables like passports and currency rather than carrying them around all the time. The are also further safe facilities available at the manned reception.
The hotel does have gym and conference facilities, but I had no experience of these.
In short, excellent. Central Downtown Manhattan, minutes walk to 5th Avenue, the Empire State, and easy walking distance to Times Square and other major tourists attractions. There are also nearby tube stations. Plenty of options for eating out, from the usual Subway and Burger King, to Steak houses, Indian, and Italian. For something a bit different, the nearby Korean neighbourhood offered some interesting restaurants.
Not everything was perfect. The radiators are ancient, and occasionally make a hissing noise to release hot air, which did cause concern before we knew what the reasoning behind this was. Also, one of the wall sockets in our room was loose. However, when reporting the problems, one of the maintenance staff came to visit within a matter of minutes.
I personally would not consider this an issue, but no meals are provided by the hotel, although there is a snack breakfast of fresh muffins and coffee/tea available in the morning and there are no shortage of outlets to get a good value breakfast/snack elsewhere.
I stayed at the Wolcott last December and while it is not in danger of giving the plaza a run for its money it was comfortable, warm and very friendly. Located just 3 blocks (about a 4 minute walk!!) from the empire state and about 5 blocks from Macys this hotel was very conviently situated. There a small shop in the hotel that sells limited soveniers and some cold drinks for your rooms. From here you can also book a large number of trips and sightseeing tours at very reasonabe prices. We found the gentleman working there was very helpful and friendly. As with most NYC hotels the Wolcott does not supply dinner or breakfast, however muffins and tea and coffee are provided in the mornings for those early birds. However if in NYC you should not waste time sleeping, there is far too much to see and do! All in all I would say this hotel was good value for money in a superb location, everything is in walking distance and staff are so helpful. Definately worthwhile for those on a budget who would rather use their money to sightsee than on plush hotels.