The London NYC (Conrad New York) Review
Recently management of The London NYC was taken over by Hilton. The long term plan is to renovate the property and rebrand it as Conrad New York. The price of the hotel is already in line with a Conrad, but, as you’ll see, the property is still far from the top of the line hotel brand.
The London NYC is located on 54th between 7th and 8th. It is a great location. The closest subway station is 53rd and 7th where you can catch the E train to JFK airport. It is a short walk to Times Square, Central Park, Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue.
You enter the small lobby off of 54th street. Interestingly it is across the street from a Hilton. The footprint of the property is quite small.
I arrived around 6pm on Thanksgiving Day. The lobby is tiny; basically just the check in desk and concierge. A second floor mezzanine opens up to the two story lobby that offers limited seating.
There was no line; as it was Thanksgiving evening I assume most people checked in the day before. I was told the hotel was sold out (I doubt that it was completely sold out, but I do believe it was quite full). The hotel is over 50 stories tall; but as a Hilton Diamond elite, I was given a room on the 6th floor facing an apartment across an alley. I switched the next night to a room on the 38th floor with a much better view.
As The London NYC just switched over to being a Hilton property a month ago, it is pretty clear that they are not prepared for the increase in customers. One of the staff mentioned to me that the increase in guests has been exponential. There were often lines 5+ deep to talk to one of the front desk staff. Often there was only one or two staff on duty; the most I ever saw was three.
In addition to needing more staff, it is clear that the staff are not up to speed on Hilton policies. Staff are not clear on elite benefits. I was told that as a Diamond I could choose between breakfast or 1,000 points. I had to correct the staff that Diamonds get both. I was told Diamonds could order anything for breakfast while another staff said the limit was $30. They currently don’t give Diamonds water bottles, but when asked, I was told I could have the water in the mini bar.
Both rooms I received were London King Suites; which I believe is the standard room. The room is quite large at 500 sq ft. The door opens into a small entry with a credenza that holds the mini bar and safe. The wall paper is a bit dated.
The living room area has a circular couch and chair.
A tv is wall mounted near the desk.
French doors divide the living room from the bedroom. They are mirrored so you cannot see through. The bedroom has a second, smaller tv mounted on the wall.
I had a king bed. The lights on either side of the bed seem like they are from Ikea, complete with a dimmer switch that is inline with the power cord, Velcro-ed to the wall.
I did appreciate that there were accessible outlets next to the bed. At the foot of the bed was a chest/bench that had the iron/ironing board inside.
The window blinds were controlled by a switch on the wall. They did a good job of blacking out the room even during the day.
The view from my room on the 6th floor (facing north) was of a rather ugly apartment building. The view from the room on the 38th floor was significantly better; I was able to see a bit of Central Park.
The bathrooms in both of my rooms were quite similar with one exception. Both were narrow but long. The toilet was in the back and the single sink along the left wall.
Under the sink was some storage and provided bathrobe.
My first room had a large dual shower — standard shower head on one side and a rain shower plus hand held wand on the other side. Enclosed in glass, there was no door or curtain.
The second room had a shower and separate bathtub in roughly the same space and location. Although the shower had a true glass door.
Just outside the bathroom was a dressing area with space to hang clothes.
Overall the room and bathroom felt high end for about 20 years ago. Most of the fixtures were in good shape, though it is clear that they are aging (small chips and scratches). The positive is that the rooms feel huge and Hilton has a lot to work with as they transform the property into a Conrad.
While the lobby of The London NYC is quite small; the restaurant and bar on site are quite large. My guess is that during the renovation, they will shrink the restaurant and open up the lobby.
Located off the lobby, The London Bar serves food all day, including breakfast for Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors elites.
I only ate there for breakfast. They offer a breakfast buffet or the option to order off the menu. I was told by staff in the restaurant I could order whatever I like and it would be covered as a Diamond. The front desk said there was a $30 limit per day. I went over $30 both days and was not charged for any of it, including tip. However, the breakfast did show up on my bill at check out and required an adjustment.
I prefer food made to order; so I ordered from the menu both days. The food was okay, not great. If I had been paying for it, I would not have been impressed, especially at the price they charged.
The only other amenity to speak of is a gym on the 4th floor. The second floor seems to have some conference room space though it wasn’t in use over the holiday.
The best thing about The London NYC is the location and the room size. Those are things that can’t be changed, so Conrad has a lot to work with to make this a fantastic property.
Currently, however, I do not think that The London NYC is worth 95,000 Hilton points per night. The staff needs to be better trained. The restaurant needs to improve its service and food quality. The lobby needs to be expanded. And the rooms need to be updated.
Once that is done, and assuming Hilton does it well, then this has the potential of being one of the best Hilton properties in the world.