Spotted: Andaz on 5th (NYC)
For the past 12 years, I’ve visited the big apple for over 15 times. This time, I found my 2nd home.
Andaz was just curiosity at first. The name was first spotted on my honeymoon at a big construction site along the beach from Mana Kai to Grand Wailea, our honeymoon suite to our wedding chapel. Andaz of Hyatt? Another chain without pleasant surprises? I’ve been spoilt by boutique hotels and if it wasn’t for what I saw on Trip Advisor ” #1 trendy spot of 2012″, I would have missed this gem in the heart of Manhattan.
Surprise #1, Check in counter
No such thing at Andaz on 5th. I talked to a good looking MIB (man in black shirt) and he pulled out an iPad while offering me quite a few choices of free refreshment. He checked me in right there and then! With a drink in my hand, good looking MIB led me to the elevator indicating he’s taking me to my room. Did he say he’s going to show me my room? I didn’t have to try to find my way while struggling with all my luggages?
Surprise#2, Local artists
From one elevator to another, I learned this place used to be Tommy Hilfiger headquarter. It’s like browsing a modern art gallery, clean line open concept and very pleasing to the eyes. Tons of art work framed or painted on the walls all by local artists, some established and some still in art schools. Every corner I turned, I was greeted by another artistic expression. This good looking MIB also pointed out quite a few lounging areas if I needed them. I was already formulating how I convince my boss to have the next strategy retreat here.
Surprise #3, Bigger room for 2 girls
We reached an extremely spacious room by new york standard (CAD$280/night tax included). Extra high ceiling, big wide window, and double sinks just to name a few pleasant surprises at first glance. MIB said he picked this bigger room because I mentioned that my girlfriend would join me later. A man who listened! He had just upgraded from “good looking MIB” to “George Clooney of Andaz on 5th”.
Surpise #4, High Tech all the way
He patiently walked me through all the modern automated features within the room including touch control panels for lighting and blinds, TV with wireless keyboard control, and iPod integrated sound system. My cell phone rang and interrupted our orientation. Apparently NYC party central received my check-in status on Facebook. George answered a few calls while he waited with his iPad and wireless device. Multiple guests served at the same time. Impressive! George also inquired about my evening plans and suggested dinner reservations. On his way out, he pointed out everything except alcohol in the snack bar was free. It was full of gourmet chips, crackers, nuts, special label sodas, tea, and juices. The establishment felt very boutique, and the next time I saw George, he remembered me and my evening plans. Wow!
Surprise #5, Above and beyond hospitality
On the day of check out, after all the shopping and partying, I still managed to be early for my ride to the airport. Andaz offered to hold my luggages so I wondered on 5th Ave a bit more. I was also offered to relax in their lounge while I wait for another 2 hours for my ride. Free coffee and other beverages were served of course. It’s amazing how they still found ways to make me feel comfortable after I surrendered my room keys and all tab cleared. The hotel was booked solid both nights I stayed.
Andaz on 5th, hands down is what I’ve found to be the perfect quiet spot at a prime location (5th Ave and 42nd St, across from New York Library). For those looking for extended stay (students, or business engagements), Asian in NY has an budget friendly boutique option with great location to subways and other amenities. Also worth checking out!