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The Maxwell New York City 4.0

Midtown East, New York City, New York

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Review Summary

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  • Sleek rooms with comfortable beds, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and Bliss toiletries
  • On-site Heart Beat restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Two bars, including a ritzy cocktail bar with a small-plates menu
  • 24-hour room service available
  • Guests get priority booking at popular in-house Bliss Spa
  • Large, modern, 24-hour fitness center that also offers personal training
  • One to four blocks from six subway lines


  • Poorly lit rooms (it's deliberate mood lighting)
  • Standard “Cozy” rooms are smaller than at most NYC boutiques
  • No coffee/tea in rooms
  • Room walls are thin
  • Fee for Wi-Fi

Bottom Line

Business and leisure travelers craving style and a social scene will enjoy the colorful, 693-room The Maxwell New York City (formerly W New York) amidst Midtown East’s gray business hotels. Cutesy language and small, mood-lit rooms are not for everyone, but a popular bar scene and comfortable beds seem to justify the steep rates.

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An exclusive hotel catering to business travelers and featuring sexy, highly stylized decor.

With creative lighting and highly stylized furniture, The Maxwell cares greatly about the mood it creates. But this isn’t quite a designer boutique. It’s a 693-room member of the Starwood hotel family, and a stylish sister to the Westins and Sheratons the world over. However, The Maxwell, part of Starwood's Tribute Portfolio brand, tries hard to distance itself from the rest with its sexy gleam.

What’s interesting about this is that The Maxwell primarily caters to business travelers -- this is made clear by the constant presence of Blackberries and briefcases throughout the cozy “living room.” The lobby is undeniably inviting and cozy (particularly with its fireplace), and the modern, stylish rooms feel less sterile than a typical room in a large hotel chain.

The chain's affiliation with Starwood brands and its popular guest loyalty program make it an attractive option for business travelers, particularly since there aren't any other Starwood hotels in Midtown East (except the small but ultra high-end St. Regis). The property opened in 1998 as the first W in the city. Formerly W's New York flagship, it was renovated in the fall of 2008 and then again in 2012 (event spaces only), but today feels like it's ready for another big refresh.


In Midtown East, a 15- to 20-minute walk from Central Park, and surrounded by office buildings and restaurants. But there's not much nightlife in the area.

The Maxwell New York City is located in Midtown East, a neighborhood that has long been a favorite for visitors who come to the city for both work and play. Though the immediate blocks surrounding the hotel feel like a "hotel district," business travelers love the area because it is convenient to the offices of nearly every Fortune 500 company, and is just six blocks from Grand Central, which services all East Side subway lines.

Leisure guests enjoy the central location of the hotel, which is convenient to popular tourist destinations, including Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, and the MoMA -- all are within a two- to six-block radius. Other areas of interest nearby include Central Park, an 843-acre haven for urban nature lovers just 20 blocks north of the hotel. The hotel has hosted several high-profile guests in town to visit to the U.N., which is just five blocks away.

The Theater District and the lights and crowds of Times Square are just a 10- to 15-minute walk to the west.

The hotel is also convenient to Lexington Avenue shopping, which includes favorites like Bloomingdales, as well as the more upscale shops of Madison and Fifth avenues like Chanel, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana, and high-end department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Barney's.

The hotels is just two to six blocks away from nearly every east side subway line, and it's easy to head west, via the 42nd Street subway shuttle.

Most of the midtown neighborhood is considerably less empty in the evenings and late at night. Still, because there are so many higher end hotels in the immediate area -- with doormen loitering out front -- safety shouldn't be a huge concern for guests.


Some of the most stylish rooms in Midtown East, but the standard rooms are tiny, and the mood lighting can be too dim

Rooms are decorated with dark wooden furniture, white bedding, and textured purple wallpaper in the bathroom. The desk, slim closet, and minibar are all made of wood that the hotel touts as "exotic zebrawood."

At about 170 square feet, the entry-level room, which they call the "Cozy Room" is certainly tiny -- only about a foot wider than the length of the double bed. The cramped space makes it difficult to get between the bed and the swiveling TV to the window. The 190- to 200-square-foot Standard Rooms or 220-square-foot Superior Rooms are worth the upgrade, but they're still far from spacious. 

The hotel has three top-of-the-line Penthouse Terrace Suites, which can go for several thousand dollars a night. Celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Terrence Howard have stayed in the suites, which feature beautiful wraparound terraces (including waterproof pool tables), Bose speaker systems built-in to the walls with iPod and XM Satellite radio integration, enormous flat-screen TVs, and another TV built into the bathroom mirror.

All rooms have pillow-topped beds backed by illuminated headboards that accounts for much of the bedroom's light. There are pole-mounted flat-screen TVs that swivel to allow for space and flexibility. The TV comes with lots of cable channels and also features on-demand movies and in-room checkout, and also has a DVD player. Bathrooms have glass showers, long back-lit mirrors, stainless steel shelves, and a selection of Bliss bath products. Wi-Fi is available for a daily fee.


A casual restaurant, two bars/lounges, a world-renowned spa, and business facilities

The hotel's restaurant, Heart Beat, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, and cocktails in the evening. The almost-always-buzzing, David Rockwell-designed Living Room Lounge is a popular spot for meetings and casual after-work gatherings, particularly given the lobby's cozy atmosphere replete with comfy couches and a fireplace. The stylish Whiskey Blue, also on site and open every evening, is one of the trendiest bars in the neighborhood. 

The Maxwell New York City houses one of the city's most popular spas, Bliss, which originated in New York but has now expanded into franchises all over the world. Maxwell's large fitness center is open 24 hours and offers modern equipment for cardio, yoga, and Pilates, and features a separate personal training area. The business center has a few desktop computers with high-speed Internet and faxing capabilities. There are seven meeting and events rooms, the largest of which offers nearly 3,700 square feet of space.


Pet are welcome, but guests must pay an additional per day fee, as well as a non-refundable cleaning fee

Maxwell's pet program offers perks like dog walking, grooming, and special pet-friendly snacks. The only issue is that there’s nary a park or patch of green space within five avenue blocks of the hotel (it's about a 15- to 20-minute walk to Central Park). The hotel charges a nightly fee for pets, plus a non-refundable cleaning fee.

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541 Lexington Avenue, between 49th St and 50th St, New York City, New York 10022-7503, United States


(212) 755-1200

Also Known As

  • w Hotel Lexington
  • w Hotel New York
  • w Hotel New York City
  • W New York
  • w New York City
  • w New York Hotel

Room Types

  • Extreme Wow Suite
  • Marvelous Suite
  • Mega Room
  • One Queen Cozy Room
  • One Queen Fantastic Suite
  • One Queen Wonderful Room
  • Spa Studio Suite
  • Spectacular Room
  • Studio Suite
  • Two Single Beds Wonderful Room
  • Wow Suite

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