I've been staying at The Empire for ten years and each time I return I find something more that is causing my review to become less and less favorable.
1. No free WIFI ... REALLY? At the price they're charging they really need to rethink this policy. I've stayed at hotels all around the world from 2 to 5 stars and rarely have I come across one in this technological day and age that doesn't offer free WIFI.
2. There is barely an amenity in the room that doesn't come, literally, with a price tag attached to it, from an $8 bottle of filtered (not even spring) water ! to a $40 "complimentary" umbrella, should it be lost.
3. I get that we're all trying to be ecologically conscious but a 25 watt bulb over a bathroom mirror or on a nightstand is just ridiculous.
4. While the rooms are fairly well cleaned, they are showing their signs of wear and tear. Peeling paint and moldings in the bathroom and frayed edges on the curtains.
With management having a major pow wow with the powers that be and concentrating on a better eye toward Service and guests's comforts, I believe these are all issues that could bring this hotel back to a relatively higher rated status.
The Empire has prime real estate being directly in front of Lincoln Center with Central Park a block away. The area abounds in fine restaurants and boasts a Starbucks next door and a drugstore around the corner for everything from coffee, pastry and treats, (Forget the $29 hotel breakfast) to those forgotten toiletry items.
If you're a fan of the arts at Lincoln Center, this is, (even with all its foibles) the best place to stay.