On a recent visit to New York City, I was left with a bit of a challege to determine where to stay. Hyatt has five properties scattered through the city, with another one opening later this year.
Although the Andaz properties were enticing (I'll have a report on the Andaz 5th Ave shortly), the 48 Lex won out. Featuring 116 rooms at corner of 48th and Lexington, the 48 Lex is billed as a boutique hotel, and is different than any Hyatt Regency or Grand Hyatt you'll stay at.
Upon landing at JFK, I received a phone call from the driver of the car I had reserved. Thanks to a "flashsale" on Jetsetter, I was able to purchase $75 of GroundLink car service for $35. Rides from JFK or LGA to Manhattan usually price out at $65-$70, though that includes all tip, taxes, and tolls that you might have to pay. While the advertise a Lincoln towncar as the "economy" car offering, they do offer upgrades to larger vehicles. Walking out of the JFK terminal, I was pleased to see that I had been given an upgrade to a brand-new Lincoln Navigator. This was my first time using GroundLink, and I was pretty impressed!
Thirty minutes later, we pulled up to the 48 Lex. After thanking the driver, I walked inside, and was immediately greeted by one of the agents working the "front desk". Unlike a traditional hotel lobby, the 48 Lex lobby has two elevators, a door leading to the Lexington Brass restaurant, and then a small counter in the middle of the room that is used for check-in.
Upon seeing my Diamond card, the agent went into the back room to retrive an envelope that contained the keys for my room (1501), a welcome letter from the hotel manager, and then two $25 gift cards to Lexington Brass. Because the 48 Lex does not offer a club lounge, Diamond guests are given a $25 gift card, per registered guest, for each day of their stay. The cards are valid for breakfast service, as well as dinner.
Although I had only been in the hotel for ten minutes, my first complaint was about the elevators. With only two in operation, the average wait for an elevator during my stay was five to seven minutes. In many cases, I took the stairs to the upper floors, often beating the elevator.
My room was just a few feet from the elevator lobby, though the noise was minimal throughout the night.
Although overpriced, the mini-bar had a nice selection of beverages, as well as a few bottles of champagne. If Hyatt allowed their Diamond members to have free reign of the mini-bar, like InterContinental does with their Royal Ambassador members, I would certainly have been happy to take the champagne off their hands ;-)
Though I spent most of my time at the 48 Lex out of my room, I thoroughly enjoyed the bed when I returned to my room at 3:00am. It was just the right softness for me, and I spent some of the trip wishing I could take the bed home with me.
Though I did not request turn-down service, the mints were left on the bed, and the tv was tuned to a soft jazz channel.
Although the 48 Lex does not have a Grand or Regency Club, they do have the Lexicon Lounge, located on the 2nd floor. Lexicon is open to all guests of the hotel, and does offer some light Hors d'oeuvres in the afternoon, as well as juice and water. During the hour that we spent in the lounge, a waiter did come over to offer drinks, although they were not free. I asked for a coke, originally thinking it was free, later to find out that they wanted five dollars for it. The waiter did agree to waive the fee, however, as they had not disclosed the cost when I ordered, nor provided a menu showing the prices.
Diamond guests that stay with the 48 Lex are treated to a $25 gift card, per person, for each day of their stay. The funds can be used at Lexington Brass, the in-house resturant, for breakfast or dinner!
Thanks to a number of Diamond guests in the group I was with, we pooled our gift cards, and all but a few dollars of our bill was covered. Not too bad of a deal, and the food was pretty tasty.
On the way back up to my room, I noticed this sign in the elevator. I have yet to figure out what it actually means. Ideas?
Overall, I was pleased with my stay at the 48 Lex! They often participate in Hyatt's 48 Hour sales, which can see this property offering rates for as low as $150 per night. On top of that, treatment of Diamond guests was pretty impressive. Do be aware that the suite type normally used for Diamond Suite Upgrades is rather small, and can be a tight squeeze when you are trying to entertain ten people, as was the case with our stay.
My only other disappointment with hotel was the elevator service. In many cases, it was often faster to walk up/down the stairs.
I will be returning to the 48 Lex in March, and have used a Suite Upgrade, so I look forward to seeing how that stay will compare to this one.