Help with plan to visit New York City

Oct 6th, 2006, 07:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 59
Help with plan to visit New York City

Three ladies (70's) are planning our first trip to New York City for Spring 2007 for about 3 days. We will fly in. Should we take a cab from the airport?
Also, we want to go to the theatre. Then one day we would like to see the touristy things--Central Park, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building--any other suggestions??
To do the touristy part, I am thinking that we would be better off hiring a driver/guide. Commercial type tours are not for us. Is there a website that knowledgeable Fodorites can recommend for guides/drivers?
(Or any other suggestions knowing that I would be the only one of us who knows how to hail a cab, etc)
Also, we thought we might try to get tickets for Regis & Kelley.
As to a hotel, we would like a clean, safe, centrally located hotel....I have read on this site that the Michaelangelo is highly rated? Any other hotels in the $3-400/night range (for 3 people)?
MollyB is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 08:25 PM
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Oh ladies have a great time. Yes with three people take a cab to the hotel. The cab charges a set amount and takes you directly to your hotel while the shuttle charges per person and stops at all hotels along the way and is generally slow and crowded. My mom ( in her 70's) is heading to NY with friends this weekend so I will report back to you on their experience.
irecommend is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 08:27 PM
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You might check out The Shoreham Hotel, quite central small and extremely clean well appointed rooms. We stayed there two years ago in a Junior Suite and were very impressed.
irecommend is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 01:50 AM
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My wife and I went to NYC for the first time a couple of years back and I have written about our experience in this trip report . Maybe you can find some useful information there to start with

Gard - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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Taking a cab from the airport is your best bet. Just make sure you go to the line for the "real" taxis and not the mini-cab drivers. Don't worry--it's easy to find the taxi line at the airports when you come out of baggage claim.

One suggestion for returning to the airport when you leave NYC--consider using a car service for this. I've used Carmel 2 or 3 times and have been very pleased. They will pick you up at your hotel in a town car (most likely) and take you to the airport for a set price (not including tip). You will need to call at least a day ahead of time to arrange this service. I highly recommend it b/c you can be sure to have them there to pick up just you at a time that will get you to your gate in plenty of time. It's much easier than trying to use a shuttle or cab to get back to the airport.

For touring NYC, I don't know anything about hiring a car/driver just for that but have friends who have gotten tickets on one of the big buses that take you all over town and they were very pleased with that. I hear that sitting on top allows you to see the best but I don't know how the weather would be for that in the spring of 2007. Just a thought...

Have a wonderful trip--NYC is GREAT!!
Lee4 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 358
Gray Line runs the big red buses but they also do tours with guides. They wouldnt be private. They should have a web site. The Bid red bus tours are pretty good for an overview, one route does midtown/downtown and another route does uptown. You can hop on and off or just ride around.
I think you have to write ahead for Regis Kelly, I would love to see them myself
Start reading about current Broadway shows so you know what you want to see.
Take cabs from the airport and to travel around the city.
Rockefeller Center has some nice studio and observation deck tours.
Trip sounds great
hilda is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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Take a cab in from the airport- it's really the only sensible thing for 3 people, regardless of age IMHO. Agree to take only the official yellow cab from the dispatcher - but don;t know what a "mini-cab" is - certainly not something we have in New York. (There will be con artists trying to get you to take a limo on the spot. Don't - it's illegal and they often change prices once you're in the car.)

Am not aware of any private tours or drivers. Why not just take cabs from place to place? (You can certainly hire a car and driver for the day - but they won't/can;t guide you - since there is no place to leave a car - and the cost would be enormous). I don;t like the buses - since you see just the outside of things, rather than the content and the info they provide is not only boring but often incorrect.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715 is a well regarded tour. While not private, it's a small bus. If you really want a private tour, then perhaps Just a heads up, the Ellis Island trip will take a while as it requires a ferry, security etc. If you want a private tour of that, contact

For a hotel, do the 3 of you plan to share 1 room? If so, do you need 3 beds? Not easy to find unless someone sleeps on a sofabed in a 1 bedroom suite. The Salisbury hotel has some 2 bedroom 2 bath suites that might work for you. It's not nearly as fancy as the Michelangelo, but the space (like an apartment with kitchenette) might be nicer. I think the 2 bedroom suites have to be booked on the phone.

The Blakely is a lovely smaller hotel near the Michelangelo. They have some 1 bedroom suites, but not sure if they're comfortable enough for 3 adults.

The Elysee Hotel is also worth checking out. It's not as close to the theaters, but well located, small and very nice.
mclaurie is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 04:52 PM
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Do you have a website or other info on Carmel? Also, how much is a trip from midtown to JFK? I am trying to square away plans for this coming weekend. Thanks.
sharkmom is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 06:48 PM
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Here is the website for Carmel: The number is 212-666-6666.

nytraveler: I mentioned the term "mini-cab" in a previous postb/c that's what the unofficial cabs are called in London and I couldn't think of a similiar term for NYC. You better described what I was trying to tell the ladies--take only "official" yellow cabs in NYC when coming out of the airports. Thanks.
Lee4 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Do as others have suggested and take a taxi from the airport. Its the best way. I also agree with taking a town car back to the airport. Your hotel doorman can easily set this up for you after you arrive.

As for touring the city, a Google search for "New York private tours" turned up several that sound like what you may want.

Once you've settled on a hotel, contact the concierge to ask for assistance with tickets for Regis and Kelley. They may be able to help you. The show tapes M-F and they do offer stand-by tickets at 7am the day of taping.

For a hotel, you might want to consider the Doubletree Guest Suites. It is a good location for walking to theater or taking the subway ( can do it). The security at this hotel is quite good and the rooms are large. I stayed here with friends recently. The accommodations are two room suites. The bedroom had two double beds (smallish) and the living room had a sofa bed. The bathroom was nice and large with two sinks so it was easy for two people to get ready to go out at the same time. There is also a nice bar area in the living room with a sink and mirror so a third person could get ready there. We liked having space so that some could sleep while others read, etc. It was also nice to have coffee maker, mini fridge etc so we could keep a few nibbles on hand for breakfast and snacks. Another very good hotel in the same area is The Renaissance on Broadway. Excellent location, very large rooms and baths and good security.

Once you settle on shows to see, have a look at or some of the other discount ticket sites. Many are discussed at length on this web forum. You can save a bundle of money that way.

Post back often, we'd be happy to help make your first NY experience a great one.
TC is offline  
Oct 16th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Thanks to Lee4 for suggesting Carmel. I just returned from NYC last night and decided to use them for transport both to and from the airport. The fee from JFK to our midtown hotel was $40 plus $4.50 toll plus gratuity. We had been told that a taxi would cost $45 so the price was comparable. We called as we exited the plane and were told to meet the driver at the curb. He was courteous, the car was lovely and comfortable and it was perfect. We were able to pay by credit card which was an added bonus as well.
For the return to the airport, we arranged the pick up the day before. The charge oddly enough was $46 to JFK plus toll and gratuity. (The prices are posted on their website so I knew what the fee was). It was so simple. We walked out the hotel door at the appointed time, the car was there and we were off without any hassle at all. Again, we paid by credit card. This was the way to go for us. I think the price is really what you would expect with a taxi but with more comfort and better service. I would definitely use them again.
sharkmom is offline  
Oct 16th, 2006, 06:35 PM
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I'm glad to hear you had a good experience with Carmel. They really do make it so easy and as you said, the prices are comparable with a cab. I've found each Carmel driver we've ever had to be polite and nice and they also seem to try very hard to get you to the airport quickly. Once, a driver managed to use side roads to avoid the huge rush to get out of NYC on a Friday afternoon--I was amazed at how he pulled it off!
Lee4 is offline  
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