The hotel staff committed grand larceny while I was a guest at the Essex House during early 2009. They stole more than $1,000 USD in currency out of my secured luggage in my locked hotel room during a 2 week stay. The front desk turned away the NYPD during the initial investigation and it has since been turned into a formal criminal investigation. In addition, during the course of this ordeal, hotel staff inadvertently disclosed that there has been past criminal activity at the hotel. I found this revelation to be startling given the image that the hotel likes to portray.
The hotel staff has declined to reimburse or make any concessions for their theft, which has not been surprising given their tolerance for employing criminals and then looking the other way.
This hotel has declined in status and it is reflected in their cheap room rates. Others in the travel industry are aware that this hotel is a magnet of theft and other crimes and are directing their clients elsewhere.
Save yourself the time and hassle and stay at another true 4-5 star hotel in NYC that does not tolerate criminal activity. There are numerous others to choose from.