Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
Once prestigious, but less so today -- The 426-room Warwick is a moderately priced, centrally located hotel.
The hotel was first built in 1926 by newspaper magnate and Citizen Kane inspiration William Randolph Hearst. In a 2nd floor gallery, the Warwick proudly posts black-and-white photos of famous former guests and residents -- James Dean, Elvis Presley, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor; the list goes on and on. But as the photos progress in time, and toward a staircase, the famed guests get a bit less illustrious. Most recently, it seems, actress Jane Seymour (of Live and Let Die and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman fame) and members of the cast of Law and Order: SVU stayed at the hotel.
These days, the hotel is less of a legend and more of a middle-of-the-road Midtown West option. Premium rooms (those on floors 12, 14, and 15) were renovated in 2009, while remaining guest rooms and suites were renovated in 2012. On its website, the hotel calls itself a "sophisticated choice among luxury New York City hotels," but the hotel isn't all that luxurious. While there are grand chandeliers and Beaux-Arts details in the lobby, turndown service is only provided on request, there's no dedicated concierge.
While the hotel's location -- five blocks from Central Park, six blocks from , and 13 blocks from the heart of Times Square -- is ideal for business and sightseeing, there are better options for the price. The Omni Berkshire has better service and bigger, though still dated, rooms, while the slightly pricier Algonquin better highlights and displays its storied past.
Situated on a busy Midtown block, on the corner of 54th Street and 6th Avenue, one of the city's major thoroughfares, the hotel is convenient to many of the city's top attractions.
Within walking distance, are such must-sees as the Museum of Modern Art (one block away), Carnegie Hall (four blocks away), Central Park (five blocks away) and Saint Patrick's Cathedral (six blocks away). Broadway, and the northern end of the Theater District, is just two blocks away.
For shopping, the famed luxury shopping stretch of 5th Avenue is just one block to the east, and within Time Warner Center, seven blocks away, there are a number of slightly less luxurious but still upscale mall shops, like J. Crew.
For dining outside of the hotel, there's an Irish pub and a Thai restuarant down the street for quick, casual bites. Better yet, The Bar Room at the Museum of Modert Art serves delicious small plates in a casual, elegant setting, alongside the MOMA's more formal restuarant, The Modern. Within Time Warner Center, there are a number of great fine dining options, and a wonderful bakery, as well as a Whole Foods Market. For a complete list of the restaurants there, click here.
Comfortable beds with Serta mattresses and down duvets, quality toiletries, 32-inch flat-screen TVs, and alarm clocks with MP3 player hookups provide some modern comforts in all of the Warwick's rooms. But decor varies greatly across room types, and bathrooms tend to be small. Guestrooms were renovated in 2012 in an effrot to return to its Hollywood roots, giving all guest rooms a vintage-inspired look.
The cheapest standard "Classic" rooms feature traditional decor in pastel shades. For another $30 or so, guests can upgrade to "Deluxe" rooms, which are on higher floors (4th to 11th, 16th to 17th, and 26th to 33rd) and have more contemporary decor. Both classic and deluxe rooms feature Bulgari toiletries. The hotel also offers "Premier" rooms and suites, located on floors 12, 14, and 15. Premier rooms are the same size as classic rooms but feature new, modern decor and cost about $100 more per night.
All guest rooms are between 250 and 300 square feet -- slightly larger than your average New York hotel room, but bathrooms are tiny, as they tend to be in older New York hotels.
While room upgrades like mine are fairly common at the Warwick, guests can still do better for the buck. The London NYC, an all-suite hotel nearby, has huge (500-square-foot), stylish, reasonably priced suites and great restaurants on-site.
A 24-hour gym.where the first 15 minutes are free and a decent
The Warwick's lobby with a couple computers -- but it's open 24 hours and the first 15 minutes of computer use are free. After that, it costs a whopping $1 per minute. The front desk will send and receive faxes for guests.is small -- just a little alcove off the
The 3rd-floor fitness center has about half a dozen Life Fitness cardio machines with individual TV screens, a multipurpose strength-training machine, and a water cooler. It might seem nice, but like so much else in the hotel, it doesn't appear to be well maintained. When I visited the gym shortly after it opened, some towels were already askew. Plus, I had to try multiple treadmills before I could find one with a working television.
Only vaguely family-friendly. Limited on-site dining options, but standard rooms are fairly roomy and Central Park is just five blocks away.
The hotel doesn't cater to families, but it does have slightly larger-than-average guest rooms. Rollaway beds are available for a fee. They can fit in standard Classic rooms with one king bed but not those with two double beds. Cribs are available at no extra charge. For a better family friendly option in the neighborhood, check out the Buckingham Hotel. It has huge guest rooms with kitchens.
The hotel's location -- just five blocks from Central Park -- is a plus for families, but the hotel sits on a fairly busy street corner. Families might be happier with the quieter streets of the Upper West Side or Upper East Side.
Kids' menus are not available at the restaurant or for room service, but the breakfast at Murals on 54 includes some basic American options suitable for all ages. For dinner, there's only Randolph's Bar & Lounge, which doesn't attract too many families as it's a bar with a dark, woody atmosphere.
Decent bar fare, 24-hour room service, and a $25 breakfast buffet -- the hotel isn't an eating or drinking destination, but there's plenty to eat nearby.
The hotel restaurant, Murals on 54, is only open for breakfast and lunch. The breakfast buffet is pleasant but expensive (some packages include it with the price of the room). The setting, with, you guessed it, murals on the walls and windows that look out onto 54th Street, is quite pleasant and service is unfailingly kind. The three-course prix fixe lunch menu features dishes like a celery root and pear soup and grilled Atlantic salmon.
Randolph's Bar & Lounge opens at 11:30 a.m. and serves drinks and better-than-usual bar food. Starters range from a french onion soup to a tuna tartar, while entrees run the gamut from a turkey club to a New York strip steak.
Directly outside the hotel, there are plenty of places to eat and drink, like the casual The Modern's well-reviewed small plates at the Museum of Modern Art or head to the Time Warner Center seven blocks away, which contains some of the city's top restaurants, including Thomas Keller's Per Se and Masayoshi Takayama's Masa, as well as a Whole Foods gourmet market and a great bakery.and an inexpensive . For fine dining, check out
Room service is available 24-hours day, something the nearby and similarly priceddoesn't offer.
Once host to silver screen starlets, the 426-room Warwick maintains a few high-class touches -- 24-hour room service; free newspapers; turndowns (by request). But save for some new flat-screens and iPod hook-ups in its standard rooms, the Warwick just feels like another mid-priced midtown hotel.