More about Hotel On Rivington
When I read some of the reviews about the service at the Rivington Hotel I thought I would still risk making a booking as we are pretty laid back about most things. I made a booking over the internet. Two days past and I didn't receive a confirmation of the booking. So I had to ring the hotel (waiting for an appropriate time to make the call from Australia). The booking manager said that she hadn't got around to answering the emails and that she would reply in an hour. We received the confirmation 2hours later.
Unfortunately we had to change our travel plans and could not make it to New York. I emailed them a cancellation and requested they confirm the cancellation (as they had our credit card details). After a week I had not heard from them. I rang the hotel and spoke to someone at bookings who said he understood we needed to cancel and that he would send me a confirmation. Two days later... no response!!! I sent a very strongly worded email in capital letters! Finally a day later,I received an email to confirm the cancellation. After all the drama of booking & cancelling it is unlikely we will attempt to stay there in the future.
Pluses outweigh minuses
My wife and I spent a Saturday night at the Rivington in late June 2005. We made the reservation about a week in advance, and the hotel was nearly sold out so we did not get a medium room as desired but a standard room, which I think is probably the same as a medium minus the gorgeous views that everyone talks about. Our room was on the fourth floor and overlooked an alleyway and tenements fronting Essex St. The tiny balcony was locked, but the room was oversized for NYC and was decorated minimally. However, the bed was comfortable, and I passed out in the room's armchair after a long day of walking the City. The bathroom was also large, new and clean, but the shower leaked through the wall into the carpeting in the bedroom. Not a huge inconvenience for one night, but it demonstrated the unfinished nature of the building. There were scuff and dirtmarks all over the walls and windows in the room, which seemed strange for a recently opened hotel (albeit a "soft opening"), but again something easy to deal with. The lobby is nice and the hotel offers a great breakfast (included with the room), that includes scones and other non-doughnut pastries, fresh fruit, cereals and coffee/expresso/cappucino, and the Times/Post/Newsday etc. I agree with other reviews that the staff is a bit flighty (I think cool factor outweighed any actual hospitality experience in the receptionist hiring process, but the doormen were good guys). The LES is a bit sketchy, too, but that's part of the charm. There's a subway station one block away at Essex & Delancey Sts., and theres several good restaurants and bars on Rivington (the Essex at the corner of Essex & Rivington has an awesome Sunday brunch that includes food and three margaritas or bloody marys for $16 per person). Overall, the size of the room, location, breakfast and price largely outweighs the rough edges of this hotel still under construction.
Our room was great...very crisp, cool and clean. We had one of the cheaper rooms without a view, but we didn't go to New York to sit inside and look out the window all day. Here's the basics - the bed was great, the air conditioning was quiet and kicking out the cold, the bathroom was huuuuge (the shower was lovely), plenty of closet and storage space, a packed snack cabinet with a stacked mini bar (and not one of those honor bars where if you breathe on it, oops, instant $6 charge for a Coke), bath products were nice, towels and robes were great...maybe because they've been lightly used, the complimentary breakfast was a treat and the turn-down service with a bedside plate of plums was a nice touch. The neighborhood was quiet and only felt a little uneasy in that vulnerable tourist way once while walking to the East Village for dinner one evening. I would stay here again. Oh, I can't forget to mention the amazingly helpful doorman that hailed us a cab way, way, way up the street. So, so nice.
worth checking out before it gets old
Just got back from a 3 night stay at thor. Room 195, outstanding terrace and views of midtown and the Empire State building. Room was a bit small though for a 'Large', and bathroom didn't have any window.
Hotel is clearly work in progress... Worth every dollar for the time being, but probably not for long: the building and the rooms may not age very well. Carpet was already stained (it is bright yellow, after all), the terrace and exterior walls had scratches and rust marks...
Net, great neighborhood, fantastic views, nice people... worth checking it out before it opens and... gets old.
For a hotel that supposedly caters to many “celebrities and Europeans” it is inconceivable to me that the rooms have no way to keep people from coming in. Actually unacceptable for any hotel and especially one in NYC. There is a dead bolt you can use from the inside, but it can be UNLOCKED with master keys!!!!!!
That is worse than if it wasn’t there, because when you “lock” it after you are in the room it gives you a false sense of security. The master keys that unlock the dead bolt are of the same type as the guest keys (credit card type) and these keys can be made at the same hotel. Why they would not have a manual latch type lock on the inside of the door like most hotels in NYC is beyond me.
I learned this the hard way… a maid walked into the room at night!!!! Maids and Maintenance may or may not have these master keys. Management does not give a darn about this issue and will treat you as if you are unreasonable when you bring it up. They claim that the maids only have “house keys” that do not unlock the dead bolts, but could not explain how one got in my room though it was locked with the dead bolt. My word that I activated the dead bolt from inside is not enough for them and they claim it was not locked.
They are quick to point out they have extensive background checks of their workers, but I work in that field and I know that these “background checks” are never 100% accurate and if the individual is a foreigner (most of Rivington’s are) then they are completely useless. Even if the background check is accurate and the individual is “clean”, I don’t want myself or someone I love to be the first victim one of the workers or someone who has obtained one of the master keys floating around.
A real life experience.
Just came back from three nights at the Hotel on Rivington and I can say with complete confidence that their website doesn't exactly lie, but it doesn't tell the whole story. As the New York Times article on June 21 mentioned, the quality of the workmanship in the hotel is questionable and there is definite wear to just about everything. But by the same token, this hotel is a great value. The rooms are incredibly comfortable and thoughtfully laid out, the bathtub and shower are exceptional, and the balcony turned out to be a nice asset for a late night cigar. There are service issues (not everyone gets the red carpet treatment from the doormen), but these are not insurmountable. Housekeeping was exceptional and the turndown service -- with a lovely piece of fruit each night -- was a nice touch. Perhaps the one thing in which Rivington far exceeds expectations is in the quality of its free breakfast: fresh fruit and juice, drinkable coffee, granola, and a variety of tasty baked goods that will keep you humming along all morning. Stay here now while the place is still affordable: after the grand opening in September this may not be your best price for value choice.
Work in Progress
The hotel is in a great location and is well designed. Unfortunately, it appears to be the work of a first-time hotelier who hasn't handled a project of this size before and has yet to work out the kinks. The hotel is still full of construction workers during the day and many of the "finished" areas will need to be redone to repair the damage done by the crews that are still on site. As noted in other reviews, the workmanship is generally a bit off.
Although the staff was friendly, they weren't able to help when I asked to be moved to a room with a tub or a balcony (I asked a few times over the course of a 4 day stay and find it hard to believe that no room with a tub or balcony turned over during this stay) nor did they have a stereo or iPod speakers for my room as advertised. Similarly, the maid service never got to my room until the late afternoon.
While none of these things is a major problem, the combination of these and other slight annoyances definitely detracted from my stay. One of the pleasures of a good hotel is having all the details handled and THOR is not quite there.
In addition to the location some of the highlights of the hotel are the excellent continental breakfast, Frette linens, good beds and helpful doormen.
As it stands, the reduced "soft opening" rates seem about right. I'm not sure that I will return if the rates increase significantly, there are simply too many other hotels in NYC that provide better service and comparable style for the price.
Unless you are (or think you are) a rock star...
Stayed for one night. And one night only in late August.
The hotel was still in renovation mode but I believed it has come a long way over the past few months. I checked in late at night and initially I thought I was in a wrong spot. It felt like a night club at the entrance. No lobby, very dim lighting and several dark suits greeted us. Check in lobby turned out was on the 2nd floor and the process was quite smooth.
What surprised me the most was the room. It felt like they simply painted the walls white and rolled over some dark carpeting, which looked worn already. The bedroom was "smallish" and felt like I was sleeping next to the window since the gap between the bed and the window-wall was less than 6 inches. The electric curtain was fun to play with but what surprised me the most was that light actually leaked out at the edges of the curtain! So, I was awaken by the morning light, with the curtains closed, before the morning call.
Overall, if you want to party late at night and enjoy the rock-star lifestyle, the hotel is great. But if you want to get some sleep in the morning, or perhaps to grab a cab at the door of the hotel (there was no cab in the morning), avoid the morning traffic uptown, you may be better staying in Soho or midtown.
I recently returned from a 3 night stay at Hotel on Rivington. I thought the people staying at the hotel were a bit self important. The hotel itself was trying to be really funky. The elevators are lined with leather and I found they really stunk. Room was ok, sparse. Comfortable bed and nice sheets. The amenities were great.
The service was there is you asked for it, but we felt like the hotel was run by kids. Not much experience and not overly friendly, which is fine.
After a few initial glitches (call for room service at 1 in the morning: wrong room, etc.)it actually improved. I asked the conceiarge a few questions which were well answered and had two surprise lovely breakfasts in the hotel restaurant on the last 2 days.
All in all, there really is no choice for that area, as it is really the only hotel. Love the location. I suspect this hotel may disappear into oblivivian as it really was trying hard, yet nothing special. I really hope they can make it work.
Unique & alot of NYC fun
A real unique hotel. It is extremely comfortable - slept like a baby !!! Tempurpedic mattress & the bathrooms are big. Loved the steam shower !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The hotel has some great views of NYC & a great location to experience new york night life. The bar & restaurant just opened. Food was fantastic.
I will definately be back for more fun soon.
View of the Empire State building
more hot dog stands
Times Square for a Few Days
It has been about 15 years since living in NJ and going to NYC on a regular basis. I would appreciate some updates on Times Square area. Staying in Doubletree Suites, but looking for other cafes and restaurants close by, esp. a good bagel for the mornings. Looking for casual (jeans) atmosphere,and a good suggestion for Sat. and/or Sun. brunch would be helpful.
Re: Times Square for a Few Days
You won't recognize Times Square now, it's totally Disneyfied!
For breakfast, I'd go to Pranzo on 50th St., just east of 7th Ave. It's one of those "we have everything" places. They've got a buffet, but also will toast and butter a bagel for you. You can eat there, or, better yet, get your breakfast to go and eat in the little vest pocket park across the street.
A little further east on 50th is the Belgian chain restaurant, Le Pain Quotidien. They have the absolute best baguettes in the city, and my favorite breakfast is a bowl (!) of their wonderful coffee and a simple buttered baguette. However, their pastries are out of this world.
Directly across from LPQ is another chain, Au Bon Pain. Also pretty good pastries. They also have bagels, but they won't toast them.
You'll also find food carts on all the side streets. Great for a cup of coffee and a muffin, but avoid their bagels -- they're basically just doughy white bread in a bagel shape.
Re: Times Square for a Few Days
Last year we stayed at about 7th Ave. and 47th St. It was strange for me since I used to live near NYC but now am in England. We found some good coffee shops on the stretch going up from 47th to about 50th on Eighth Ave. In fact, a supermarket along there (sorry I can't remember the name.. maybe Shoprite?) had the best bagels and hot chocolates I've had in years. They had an area to sit and eat, and it was always fairly crowded because the food was so good.
Sarabeth's Kitchen used to do terrific brunches. I'm not sure if they are still around but a quick Google will pull up their locations. The Edison Hotel at about 44th & Broadway used to have a good coffee shop, too.