Low-Key Luxury: A Review of the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York City
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To The Point
The Andaz 5th Avenue is an understated hotel that offers a near-perfect stay. Pros: large rooms, friendly staff and great location. Cons: bland decor, noticeable street noise in lower-floor rooms.
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With seemingly endless options, I try to stay a different hotel every time I visit the Big Apple. This time around, I decided to check out the Andaz 5th Avenue. The 184-room hotel is located in a 1916 building that has a history in fashion and retail. Years ago, the building housed the last outpost of Rogers Peet (a menswear company founded in 1874), and then it later was the worldwide headquarters for global fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger before becoming an Andaz hotel in 2010.
At time of booking, paid rates for a standard room at the Andaz 5th Avenue were going for $499 per night including taxes. That was above my travel budget, so as any points-savvy traveler would do, I instead used Hyatt points to book my stay. At 25,000 points per night, I got a value of nearly 2 cents per point, slightly higher than TPG’s most recent valuation of 1.8 cents per point.
Since I was a few thousand points short of the 50,000 I needed for my two-night stay, I topped off my World of Hyatt account by transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred are currently offering sign-up bonuses of 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening, meaning you could earn the points required (and then some) for a two-night stay at this property just by signing up for either of those cards. Another way to build up your stash of Hyatt points is to sign up for the World of Hyatt credit card, which is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points — 25,000 after spending $3,000 within the first three months and then another 25,000 after you spend $6,000 total within the first six months of account opening.
The Andaz 5th Avenue was on — you guessed it — 5th Avenue, though the main entrance was actually on East 41st Street.
Its Midtown location was ideal for both business and leisure travelers. Right across the street from the hotel was the New York Public Library and Bryant Park. Other major attractions like the Empire State Building, Times Square and Rockefeller Center were all a short walk away.
By cab, the hotel was about an hour away from New York-JFK and a half hour away from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in typically heavy New York City traffic.
Like other Andaz properties, the hotel bypassed the traditional row of check-in counters. Instead, receptionists surrounded a table with laptops in the center of the lobby, standing side-by-side with guests as they were being checked in.
The check-in experience and lobby as a whole felt a lot more intimate than what you’d usually find in a New York City hotel that’s part of a major chain. I was offered a welcome drink and already had my keys in hand by the time I finished it.
Entering my room, I was pleasantly surprised by how spacious it was, especially by Manhattan standards. The hotel lists standard rooms at between 322 and 404 square feet, but its 12-foot ceilings made it feel a lot larger. I genuinely thought for a minute that I was upgraded to a bigger room, since I wasn’t expecting to have a separate living and sleeping area based on the photos on the hotel’s website.
The desk was large and clutter-free. Anyone sitting at it wouldn’t have been in the way of others.
As is standard at Andaz hotels, nonalcoholic minibar items were complimentary. There were a few cans of soda and plenty of water bottles. There was no coffeemaker in the room, though one was available upon request.
Snacks were limited to a bag of chips and a chocolate bar with nuts. While more options would have been nice, I couldn’t complain about free snacks.
The room was minimalist in terms of style and decor, but my king bed was comfortable, and I had no trouble falling asleep at night.
However, being on the fourth floor facing 41st Street, I was woken up by street noise both mornings I was there. Unfortunately, being on such a low floor also meant that there weren’t any views to speak of.
Across from the bed was a small closet stocked with bathrobes, slippers and an iron and ironing board.
Although not completely obvious, there were large doors that could be closed to separate the bedroom from the bathroom.
As with the rest of the room, I was impressed by how spacious the bathroom felt. There were double vanities and a gigantic rainfall shower that would pass the TPG shower test with flying colors. While there wasn’t a bathtub, there was a porcelain foot bath for those longing for a little splash.
Toiletries were from Brooklyn-based Apotheke, which are decent, though maybe not worth stuffing your bag with.
Food and Beverage
I ordered room service one morning to sample the breakfast, and it did not disappoint. The brioche French toast and muesli were both extremely tasty. And while I wouldn’t call it cheap, at $49, it wasn’t too overpriced by New York standards. If I’d had Hyatt Globalist status, my meal would’ve been free.
There was a restaurant in the basement called The Bar Downstairs and Kitchen, which served breakfast and lunch during the day, light bites and drinks in the evening.
In the basement was a 24-hour gym. It had a decent selection of cardio and weight equipment, and there were no other people when I visited.
There was free coffee and tea set up in the lobby every morning, and a complimentary wine hour every evening.
Wi-Fi was free for all guests and worked great throughout my stay.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Andaz 5th Avenue. The staff was consistently warm and welcoming, and my room was huge. While I’d like to try out the Park Hyatt New York for just 5,000 more points per night next time I book a Hyatt award in the city, I still got a great use of my points. I would absolutely return — I’ll just be sure to ask for a room on a higher floor the next time I visit.
All photos by the author.
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