Programs: UA 1K 2MM, Starwood Platinum, Hilton Diamond
Both properties typically afford platinum guests with suite upgrades. On that basis, either one is quite acceptable, although I personally feel that the Russell suites boast a bit more character. In fact, it seems to me that no two suites there are the same.
During my midweek stays, I also enjoy the fact that Russell provides a club lounge in which gold or platinum guests can enjoy a continental breakfast or early evening snacks. Please note that these snacks do not include soft drinks other than water.
The Russell also waives local phone charges for up to 20 minutes per call. That's not great, but its still about 20 minutes longer than you would enjoy at the W.
Given that you will not be able to make use of the lounge during your free Saturday, I would say that if the phone charges don't matter to you then I would choose the property on the basis of its overall ambience. I consider the old world boutique environment provided by the Russell to be more suited to my personal tastes but others would certainly find the W to be more appealing.
I think the choice comes down to your own character and personality. The W Tuscany is a typical W, with its cool arrogance and youthful brash character. The Russell is urbane, tweedy, east side midtown NYC, geared to a slighty greying conservative persona. If neither of these describe you, then try the Sheraton NYC. Having done both, I would opt for the Russell, but then that's me.
I'm going to stick my neck out and suggest the Westin Essex House as a superior choice in every regard.Its got the heavenly bed,a class act lobby,great location with killer Central Park views (sometimes suites face other buildings with non park views)awesome upgrades most the time.The mgt takes care of Plats .......don't know about golds.I myself will be trying the W Times Square this weekend to burn up my free friday and saturday as its the only W I haven't been in.But having stayed at the other 2 propeties you are considering I just don't feel they compare or come close in any special way.Have a great stay wherever you end up and feel free to ask me any questions regarding these or other properties.......
140 stays since 99 with Starwood alone
By the Way if I were gonna choose between the Russell and the Tuscany I would probably go with the Tuscany because it feels a bit more private,hip(know you are!) and has great beds)The one thing I did like about the Russell was the Bose Clock radios.
Shy of that I found it a somewhat very dated made over property.But by all means satisfactory.In the end its all personal preference
Say can I make my reservation now for the 2003 Hammer Tour?
AA & Starwood,Marriott Platinum
Diamond Hyatt, Hilton
U/A 1 K
Swissotel Club Gold
[This message has been edited by 777 global mile hound (edited 06-26-2002).]
__________________ American SPG & Priority Club Platinum
Hyatt/Hilton Diamond IHG Ambassador
Having just stayed at the W Court and Russell, I'd have to go for the W Tuscany. The Russell had a regular Sheraton bed, and the W bed is better in my book. Both hotels upgraded me to a suite of about the same size.
We used a free Friday and stayed at the Sheraton Russell. We were upgraded as a Plat to 418A, a suite! Mrs. dhammer always tolerates flyertalk after SPG comes through for one of its members.
This hotel has a similar feel to the Belgravia in London. Small hallways leading mazelike to your room. The suite had to be 450 sq. feet. Plenty of room in this old world style of property. And compared to the 'cool hip' W crowd, the Sheraton Russell is refreshing.
Continental buffet breakfast was served in the lounge Saturday morning. And it was a nice spread, not skipmy.
I tried in vail to find a fault with this room, and really couldn't find any (typical flyertalker). But there was one corporate thing. This hotel should have Aveda products in the bathroom, instead of the standard Sheraton stuff. The Russell is too classy for the cheap stuff. Also, the bathroom light is outside the bathroom. My wife didn't care for it when I turned the light on at 2:00am. I just couldn't close the door fast enough.
Overall, a rating of 99%. Plenty of free street weekend parking. Just read the signs.
[This message has been edited by dhammer53 (edited 08-24-2002).]
I haven't run across any high end Sheraton that stocks anything other than the generic house brand of toiletries, only at those sharing the Luxury Collection label as in Kuala Lumpur, Park Tower, etc. As nice as the Russell is, it is not ranked up there, so just ordinaire in the bathrooms.
Moderator: Hilton HHonors, Practical Travel Safety Issues & San Francisco
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Francisco CA
Programs: UA, Hilton, Starwood, Priceline
Just wanted to add my 2cents - while not hip and cool (I am exactly the same age as Dan!) I LOVE the Tuscany....while the bar is full of genx/y ers and the all black outfits give the staff a look like "Dieter" of Satruday night fame, the rooms are great, beds Heavenly, and the staff will almost literally bend over backwards for your every whim. On our last stay, we wound up not being able to fit a print we'd purchased into our carry on - the desk staff whipped out some bubble wrap and a fedex box and had it shipped to my office while we were waiting for the car service...
edited fror bad typing
[This message has been edited by squeakr (edited 08-25-2002).]
"Come back baby, rock'n'roll never forgets" Bob Seger Band
Wanted to post another viewpoint on the Tuscany--just checked out a few minutes ago and then cancelled the reservation I had for next week...
Here's why I won't be going back to the Tuscany:
1. Absolutely indifferent attitude of the staff. I guess when you hire models to run a hotel, you get people interested in anything but service. I called down to Whatever/Whenever and let them know there was a funky smell in the closet and asked for someone to bring up Lysol. I called down again 45 minutes later--thin apology and was told that someone would be up soon. I called down again 45 minutes later--same person. Someone finally came up 40 minutes after the 3rd call with a can of Lysol which masked the odor for a few hours, but it was back the next morning--Housekeeping didn't do anything about the smell the rest of the week so I continued to spray Lysol each morning and afternoon. Similar experience with a couple of other requests during the stay.
2. Uncomfortable beds--they certainly didn't have the Heavenly Bed in my room
3. Broken air conditioner--the air conditioner rattled and creaked all 5 nights I was at the hotel, when I mentioned it at the front desk, I got a look of what do you want me to do about it. I let her know that fixing it would have been a nice touch since I only slept about 2 hours last night because of the thing
4. Poor maid service--I wasn't sure whether someone actually cleaned the room while I was there--The bed was made, but the remote was still on the floor, the ironing board wasn't put away, etc.
5. Incorrect items on my bill--I got a $36 charge on my bill for the mini-bar that wasn't mine. I was also charged $2 per night for a suite tax that the front desk didn't know whether it was a NY city tax or something the hotel adds
6. No Sheraton Promise--Given that this was a poor stay, I would have expected more than a blank stare after explaining this to the front desk and cancelling my stay for next week
At a rate of over $300 per night, this hotel simply does not compare to the other hotels in that price range in NYC.
I'd agree. We were less than impressed with the Tuscany as well. If you like a hotel so that you can actually sleep (a key reason we stay at hotels believe it or not), the Russell might be better. The walls are paper thin at Tuscany. Hip hotel guests can have tendencies to stay up late at night and be noisy. When we arrived at this hotel, they acted like they didn't realize we were platinum (though our number was in there). Not only were we not upgraded (a hope not a promise), they also didn't have a non-smoking room available.
We didn't like the W Tuscany and definitely would NOT stay there again.
I knew that the Tuscany didn't participate in the Sheraton promise--
what I was getting at was I was surprised that the front desk had no interest in addressing the concerns I presented at check-out, especially given the fact that I cancelled a 5 night reservation for next week, explained why I was cancelling the reservation, and then told them I was going to stay next door at the Russell.
Different brands, but interesting to see how one group (Sheraton) is mandating that problems are addressed on the spot and others don't appear to give the front desk any training in how to deal with things like that.
All in all, it wasn't a horrible stay--the room was clean, the upgrade was terrific--but there were issues, I let the front desk know, and they had no interest in solving them.
Not worth contacting Corp Services b/c other than the A/C being broken my only complaint was the hotel wasn't worth the price given what other hotels offer in the $300 per night price range in NYC (and that was a decision I made, not *wood )