These New York City Hotels Haven’t Gotten the ‘Do Not Disturb’ Memo

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February 27, 2019

Midtown’s Dream Hotel is anything but a dream for some.

The Dream, located at 210 West 55th St., was ranked the noisiest hotel in New York City, according to an analysis of 311 noise complaints by  Localize.city, a real estate website that shows you the pros and cons of life at every NYC address.

“By showing the full story of every address, including its noise profile, we’re helping New Yorkers make better, more informed decisions about where to live or even where to stay when they come to visit,” said Localize.city president Steve Kalifowitz. “Providing this knowledge helps you ask the right questions before you move or visit. The bottom line is: no one should be surprised.”

>> Check any address on Localize.city to see if noise might be a problem.

To sleep, perchance to dream?

Localize.city’s data science team looked at the total number of days when 311 noise-related complaints about New York City hotels were filed over 12 months (July 2017 through July 2018). By looking at the total number of days rather than the total number of complaints overall, the data scientists aimed to detect persistent problems — multiple complaints might be filed on one particularly loud day that could be an anomaly.

Many of these hotels have rooftop bars and lounges where guests sometimes party until 4 a.m., their noise disrupting residents in nearby buildings, as well as other hotel guests.

Neighbors of Midtown’s Dream complained about noise there on 49 days over 12 months, which translates to about once a week. There were 69 total complaints filed in total.

The hotel has a roughly 2,500-square-foot rooftop bar, called PHD Terrace, on the 16th floor (as well as a lounge on the floor below) where guests party until the wee hours of the morning. Members on the local community board asked the bar to work with a sound engineer to reduce the impact on neighboring residential buildings, according to notes from a 2015 community board meeting.

Many guests seem fed up.

“You can hear ordinary conversations next door—never mind the girls blaring music two doors down or the teenagers goofing off until 2 am,” a reviewer wrote on the AARP Travel Center website. “We paid for a place to sleep; the thin walls and inconsiderate clientele made that impossible here.”

Neighbors have long been complaining about noise from Williamsburg’s McCarren Hotel, which came in second with a total of 40 complaints logged over 22 days. The noise coming from the hotel at 160 North 12th St., which has a 4,800-square-foot rooftop pool and bar, remains a problem.

Again, even some guests find the noise levels disruptive.

“They have parties in their bar/rooftop on the 8th floor on the weekends and music is blasting until 2 a.m.,” one Trip Advisor reviewer wrote. “It’s so loud and the bass is so strong that it’s impossible to sleep.”

The complaints overwhelmingly were for “loud music/partying,” with a handful related to “banging/pounding” and “loud talking,” according to the 311 data.

Know where hotel noise has caused most complaints

Besides Midtown, the Lower East Side was a particular hot spot. Three of the top 10 hotels for noise complaints were on the Lower East Side: the Hotel on Rivington (107 Rivington St.), the PUBLIC Hotel (215 Chrystie St.) and Sixty LES (190 Allen St.). Two more — Hotel Indigo (171 Ludlow St.) and the Ludlow Hotel (180 Ludlow St.) — were also in the top 30 for noise complaints.

It is perhaps not surprising that many hotels on densely packed streets pose problems for neighbors, given their proximity to residents. Noise at Hotel Rivington was the object of ire over 19 days within 12 months, with people logging 27 complaints about noise.

Living near the Hotel on Rivington — recently purchased by Kushner companies, according to recent reports — has been unbearable for some residents.

“We are told that at least one new resident nearby was forced to move out given the purported threat to health, livelihood, and overall quality of life, incurring the moving costs after less than a year on the block,” the Bowery Boogie blog noted in 2017.

Other hotels have been in prolonged battles with neighbors. The rooftop bar at the Upper West Side’s Empire Hotel, which was No. 8 on the list, had been in litigation with neighbors for years. When the bar changed ownership a few years ago, the community board approved its liquor license while asking them to be good neighbors.

“The UWS is a ‘bedroom community.’ People go to bed early, and local businesses cannot disrupt that pattern,” the local community board wrote in a 2016 resolution. “That must be a paramount consideration.”

It does not seem to have entirely solved the problem for those living in the building whose back windows overlook the rooftop bar. Loud bass music and noise from smokers taking breaks on a part of the terrace continue to keep them up at night, some say.

“It’s gotten better, but it’s still not acceptable,” said one resident, declining to give a name, who paid $5,000 a piece for new soundproofing windows. “All we want to do when we turn off our lights is go to sleep…  We pay through the nose to live here.”

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