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First timer to NYC. Stay in Manhattan or Brooklyn?

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Jan 31st, 2009, 03:03 PM
  #1
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First timer to NYC. Stay in Manhattan or Brooklyn?

I am starting to plan a first trip to NYC and hoping for input on which area to stay in. We are mid fifties and active, ready to walk a lot and hoping to see all the famous sites. I think a hotel in a 'neighborhood' and close to the Subway would be what we are looking for.

I will be using points for the room so Intercontinental, Best Western or Starwood Hotels all would fit.

What about staying in Brooklyn or across in New Jersey to get more value for my points? Do you think I would regret not being in the action in Manhattan?
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Jan 31st, 2009, 03:33 PM
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I don't think there ary any Starwood hotels in Brooklyn. There are couple of Holiday Inns (Intercontinental affiliate?) but not in nice neighborhoods.

If you stay in most locations in NJ you will lose flexibility and have to rely on not always convenient transportation in and out of the city. And any hotel in NJ will lack a neighborhood feel as they are generally in office parks.

What time of the year is your visit? Are there specific hotels in your point range that you are considering?
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Jan 31st, 2009, 04:00 PM
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I think you would regret not being in Manhattan. I know that I would.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 04:33 PM
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Yes, I think you will regret not staying in Manhattan. Imagine waking up in the morning, and having to "commute" to your day of sightseeing. No ability to return during the day, including to nap or freshen up before dinner. Prisoner to the public transit schedule for returning to Jersey. You'll be so glad you decided to stay in Manhattan! It's worth a few more points.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 04:59 PM
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I agree with the other posters. You need to spend the extra points and stay in Manhattan.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 05:19 PM
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Manhattan - hands down!!!

Manhattan is all the neighborhood you need. It's terrific. The side streets are as lovely as any town.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 05:48 PM
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Wow Thanks.
I will be planning on staying in Manhattan then.
I would be traveling in September or October, hopefully September. I am hoping to stretch out my northern Canadian Summer spending three or four nights in NYC and then a week in Cape Cod.
As far as price range I would be looking at Sheraton or Holiday Inn type quality. I am assuming Best Western would fall into that category too.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 05:53 PM
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No - BEst WEstern are individually owned and very uneven - many are very modest. Holiday Inn is a little better but still nothing to write home about. Starwood depends on the hotel - Sheratons are standard business class - others vary.

In NYC You need to look at each hotel individually - since some in a chain may be quite new - and some may be old, tatty and/or in inconveninet areas.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 05:55 PM
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And agree you should stay in Manhattan. But for a neighborhood feel do NOT stay near Times Square. There have been some new hotels opening downtown - some in neighborhood areas rather than the financial district.

I wold start looking there.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Manhattan
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Jan 31st, 2009, 08:03 PM
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I've stayed in a number of Starwood hotels in Manhattan, and my favorite is the Four Points Chelsea. It's fairly new, and a very convenient setup. It's only about 10 steps from the front door to the elevator. It's close to Chelsea, close to NYU, and a good location for people who like to walk a lot.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 08:23 PM
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Another vote for staying in Manhattan. Absolutely no question. Many parts of Brooklyn are nice, but I doubt that any of your 'must see' sights will be in Brooklyn - or in New Jersey for that matter.

When considering neighborhood, you should think about some of the things you want to do. Upper east or west side museums? the Village area - East village, west village, soho, noho? Broadway shows? Then perhaps choose a hotel that is nearby one of those things. I agree with staying off of Times Square, which can be very bright and active, certainly not the 'neighborhood' feel you are going for. But there are other streets in the theatre district that would be fine. Almost everything in Manhattan is near a subway.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 08:27 PM
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Red Roof Inn might work for you as well.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 08:28 PM
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You can also use AARP if you are a member for discounts as well.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 08:30 PM
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Another thought. If you want to see Broadway shows, get yourself onto the Playbill and Theatermania websties. Joining is free, and then you have access to their discount programs. For example, right now, although you won't find tickets to the newly opened Billy Elliot, you will find discount tickets for In The Heights, which was the 2008 Best Musical Tony award winner.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 09:43 PM
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Thanks again for the replies. I looked at the Four Points Chelsea and that looks promising to me.
I hear you saying don't stay in Times Square. Sounds like the same type of good advice I've heard before ... "Don't stay at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco."
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Feb 1st, 2009, 08:30 AM
  #17
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We stayed at the Hampton Inn on 8th Avenue; it says Times Sq North, but is a few blocks west and found the hotel quiet. Our room was facing the back. Hotel was very updated with very nice bedding and furniture. The bathroom was very nice too. The location was close to any Broadway theaters and near some subway stops.
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Feb 1st, 2009, 02:52 PM
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The only hotel in Brooklyn that I'd consider is the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott. Since that's not a brand you want, I'd say stick with Manhattan. There's a Westin right in Times Square as well as a number of W's around the city. The W New York is famous for it's very tiny rooms but the others are fine. The Sheratons are well located but large convention type hotels in need of updating.

I actually think the Best Western Seaport hotel is a good value if it saves you points. It would be a nice location for a Sept. visit right near the river. The Best Western Hanabee on the edge of Chinatown and Soho is not terrible. Neither of these are as central as other options but can be good value.

Reviews of the Intercontinental Barclay indicate it too has seen better days. Great location if it's not too many points.

The Holiday Inn Midtown is quite central and has relatively large rooms but it another somewhat dated hotel. There are some newer Holiday Inn Express hotels that will be fresher but with small rooms. The HI Express off Fifth ave. on 45th st. has a good location though.
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Feb 1st, 2009, 03:03 PM
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If it's your first trip to NYC, don't even consider staying in Brooklyn. Full stop.

I've used Starwood points for many a trip there - have stayed in the Sheraton Manhattan as well as the other Sheraton right down the street from it, the 4 Points Chelsea, and the W in Times Square as well as the original one on Lexington Ave. No problems with any of them.

Don't worry at all about staying in Times Sq, if that's where you can get a good deal on your points. You will be able to explore all the neighborhoods you want just by hopping on the subway, so having a "neighborhood feel" where you're staying, IMO, is irrelevant - all Starwood properties are big hotels, not boutique places or B&Bs - and the Times Sq area is a subway crossroads, so it's easier to get anywhere from there. Same deal with the Sheraton Manhattan btw - good subway proximity. If you end up in Times Sq, just make sure you request a quiet room and you'll be fine.
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Feb 1st, 2009, 04:41 PM
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The W New York is famous for it's very tiny rooms but the others are fine.

The rooms ARE small, but very well designed -- we're in the same demographic as you are, and enjoyed our stay there last October very much. The neighborhood is excellent. The hotel has a "hip" vibe (we don't, but the hotel does LOL). We walked everywhere; in fact, on that particular trip, I don't think we took any form of transportation other than our own two feet and one taxi ride (and we would have walked if we weren't late!)
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