12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
The romantic weekend away with my boyfri...
"The romantic weekend away with my boyfriend was spoilt by the staff and service at this hotel. It would seem this hotel take regular reservations for delegates of the UN Conferences held in NY. If this happens during your stay, be warned...you cannot use facilities you pay for! This includes the ladies restroom in the lobby, the main lift as this is reserved for VIPs and the gym facilities may be unavailable if delegates are using it! Plus, the street may be blocked off making it a nightmare to get a cab anywhere.
Add to this the fact you have to be searched going into the building, your bags put through an x-ray machine and you have secret service agents dotted around the lobby watching you and even sitting next to you to listen to your conversations!
We were woken around 7am in the morning by the secret service and our morning newspaper kept on disappearing from outside our door. At one point, having come back from a lovely dinner we decided to have a nightcap in the hotel bar. This prompted an agent to sit next to us and listen to our conversation to check we weren't a security threat!
Don't get me wrong I understand the need for security, but quite simply the hotel should not allow private guests to be in the hotel at the same time as delegates. We were very much second class guests and having spent close to Â£1500 for a weekend away we were not happy. When we complained to the hotel, they apologised, admitted the service had been substandard and invited us back to the hotel (at full price) so they could prove we would get the service we pay for!
When we questioned why on earth we would pay full price to give them a second chance to deliver what we initially paid for, the hotel ignored us. An example for me of a greedy hotel wanting the draw of important delegates at the price of the paying 'second class' guest.
- Travel date: Wed 12th of December 2007
We had our wedding reception here in Aug...
"We had our wedding reception here in Aug 2006 and could not fault anything.
The hotel was spotlessly clean, the staff went out of their way to help us and our guests. Even guests that were staying at other hotels used our facilities and found them to be wonderful.
Breakfast was extra but well worth it, even with the good value diners around NYC this breakfast blew them away.
For tennis fans the majority of players in the US open stayed here and apparently do so every year.
We were upgraded to a suite for free and honestly after staying around the world I have to say this was the one of the homeliest suites I've ever stayed at. The bathroom was a little on this small side but luxurious all the same. Don't stay if you like minimalism however, this is unashamed luxury.
Location wise this hotel is a short stroll away from central Terminal and just next door to the Waldorph Astoria.
We have stayed at about 6 hotels in NYC and if we could afford to stay here every time we came we would. (A close 2nd would be the Millennium Broadway - For location and room)."
- Travel date: Tue 11th of September 2007
"I stayed here with two friends for three nights recently and we had a great time. The location is great, the concierge very helpful and the rooms spacious."
- Travel date: Tue 16th of March 2004
Renovated, But Far From Perfect
"I've been to New York many times and have stayed at several great places. I decided to try The Barclay because of their heavily advertised $20 million renovation and the promotional winter rate of $160 per night.
I walked in the lobby and found it to be quite magnificent, with freshly restored neo-federalist styling. We made our way through the painfully slow moving line and attempted to check in at 10AM. I say attempted because the hotel had NO RECORD of my fully prepaid reservation. I was forced to fumble through my bag in the middle of the lobby to produce a receipt confirming that in fact I did have a reservation and that the room was already paid in full. The clerk still could not find any record, but responded with "I'll have this fixed in a couple hours". A couple HOURS!!! This would never happen at a Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, etc...
After I returned a couple hours later to properly check in, I asked about being upgraded because of the earlier inconvenience. The response was a very quick "no". They offered an executive room for $50 extra, a junior suite for $85 extra, or a 1 bedroom suite for $100 extra. I was tired and cranky at this point so I just agreed to the $100 extra charge for a suite.
Once we entered the suite, we found that 1 of the 2 televisions was broken, the safe was broken, one of the speakers on the stereo was broken, and the toilet seat had chips in the porcelain. In addition, the bathroom was much smaller than one would expect for a suite in a supposedly top hotel. This proved very impractical for a couple travelling together.
The service was rather lacking, with the doormen and bellstaff being remarkably uncouth, quietly speaking vulgarities thinking no one was within earshot. The reception staff was lathargic at best, and was not at all friendly. The only excellent service we received was from the room attendant and the barkeep.
The minibar is typically overpriced, with prices like $4.50 for a soft drink and $7.50 for a beer. Thankfully, there are 2 delis directly across the street (Longwood Gourmet & Bunny Deli) - we did most of our in-room food shopping at these 2 places.
We did complain about the problems we had, and the manager on duty sent up a nice card with a bottle of cabernet and "comped" our $100 per night surcharge for the suite. This is the only reason I gave the hotel a 3 instead of a 2.
Why have so many reviewers given this place such great reviews while only a handfull are negative? I can only guess that since I travel frequently and stay in a lot of hotels that I have come to expect a certain level of service. There is no way I would trust any review that gave The Barclay a '5' and I would be skeptical of any '4'."
- Travel date: Tue 16th of March 2004
If it were up to me, I'd be making reservations here again!
"I absolutely loved my stay at the Intercontinental Barclay. It was everything I expected a 3/4 star hotel to be in NYC, especially for the great rate I got. The lobby is beautiful, the rooms, though small, are exceptional furnished and stocked. Location is excellent! Staff is very very friendly, took care of booking last minute Amtrak ticket out of Penn Station for me. I would be staying here again on a future trip but fellow travelers prefer larger rooms. I think their missing out on a great hotel..."
- Travel date: Fri 12th of March 2004
Good hotel, poor service
"Given the reviews, I was excited to stay at this hotel. I have stayed in many intercontinentals before, and am a six-continents club member.
I was disappointed. I was promised an upgrade when reserving an executive room. When I got to the hotl, an exceedingly rude reception person denied that this was offered, and told me to "read the six continents literature if you don't believe me". He then told me that my reservation had already been charged against my crediti card, for my entire stay. I had never agreed to this, and a complaint has been lodged with Amex and the hotel.
My "executive" room was small, cold, loud, with what appeared to be semen stains on the cover. The location was great, and this made up for the reception fiasco.
On checkout, the same rude behavior ensued. I took my Six continents club card, and cut it in two, so disappointed in the service that at this point Intercontinental became a non-entity in my mind.
I am amazed at how a hotel chain would allow two surly employees to ruin the well-deserved reputation that they have.
To her credit, the asst manager sent a bottle of wine to our room. It was too little, too late."
- Travel date: Tue 9th of March 2004
Brilliant.....thats the Barclay !
"Having just returned from a week in NYC and after staying at Intercontinental The Barclay, which i booked with the intercontintal website at $149 per night after reviews i read on this site, i feel i have to give the hotel a glowing report, arriving earlier than check-in time(3.00pm)was no problem, after being hepled with our luggage by the doorman, we we checked in at 1.30pm, very polite front desk, the hotel was spotless from front to back and top to bottom, the room was fairly large for nyc and the bathroom was lovely, the bed was enormous and so comfy, anything we requested was dealt with instantly and politley, the doormen were helpful and friendly, the location is superb for everthing, a great deli across the road for cheap breakfasts or whatever(longwood gourmet deli)there is a lovely chinese across lexington ave The Dynasty, Connellys Irish pub/restaurant 2 mins walk(47th street between lex and 3rd ave was excellent for drinks and meals as was PJ Morans 48th between madison and park aves. To sum up, great hotel, great people, great location, great price, great city, stay at The Barclay"
- Travel date: Fri 5th of March 2004
Quite possibly the best deal in New York City
"I took the wife to NYC for Valentines day weekend. I chose the IC Barclay after reading the glowing (and not so glowing) reviews of this property. I went to their website where I obatained a rate of $149.
There is not one bad thing I can say about the hotel! My wife was stunned by the beautiful lobby. I was stunned that they had a room available for us to check in at 10am! The room was bigger than New York City standards. Big thumbs up for the comfy king bed. There is an underground entrance to Grand Central Terminal (less than ten minutes walk) just to the west of the hotel. Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and many other attractions are in walking distance. You shouldn't be dissapointed if you stay here."
- Travel date: Wed 18th of February 2004
Great Hotel - Great Rates from interconti website
"Stayed here last weekend. Booked on interconti website and got $159 for the 3 nights. got upgraded to a lovely suite on the 11th floor. Good sized rooms and nicely decorated. Friendly staff. Fantastic location. If you are a member of the 6 continents priority club and can get an upgrade to a suite then there is no better hotel in NYC for the money."
- Travel date: Tue 17th of February 2004
"What a fantastic hotel! We checked into the Barclay Inter Continental Hotel just as the Holiday decoration were being put up and they looked amazing, adding excitement and Holiday cheer to an already beautiful foyer. After initial confusion about our internet booking, (which we had to ring the booking agents ourselves to sort out), we found our experience at the Hotel to be extremely pleasant. The hotel itself is ideally located and within walking distance of all the main attractions. All the hotel staff were very pleasant and helpful and the facilities at the hotel could not be faulted. The only complaint that we would have is that the fitness centre was a little on the small side but all the walking around Manhattan more than made up for that. The bedrooms were on the small side, but excellent facilities including in-room safe, (which gave us enormous peace of mind) tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary New York Times Newspaper in the morning and internet connection were available in-room. The breakfast buffet was exceeding and well worth the price as it set us up for the day. But the highlight has to have been the bed. 'Comfort beyond compare'! If I though I could have sneaked one out without been seen, I would have attempted to do so! This is a hotel that we will be defiantly returning too, if for nothing else, except the bed!"
- Travel date: Mon 16th of February 2004
Intercon Barclay - Very Nice
"Very Nice room - small bathroom but did not spend a lot of time in the room. Use the intercon website to get the $149 rate and you won't be disappointed."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of February 2004
A Gem of a Hotel!
"I just got back from a 6 night stay at the Barclay. The service provided to both my husband and I was exceptional. The room was kept very clean, and it was quite spacious for NYC standards. The doormen were a touchstone of information about neighborhood eateries. The Barclay was conveniently located to museums, and attractions in the Upper East Side as well as Midtown Manhattan. I would definitely stay here again. A gem of a property."
- Travel date: Fri 6th of February 2004