Need hotel rec. in NYC

Old May 27th, 2008, 10:59 AM
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Need hotel rec. in NYC

I know that this question has been asked and answered at least a trillion times and I've gone through many of them and am still confused.

My husband and I are planning a trip to NYC over Labor Day weekend. We will be there 5 nights. My husband has been to Vietnam, Turkey, Morocco etc. but never to New York. It's also been years since I've been there. We are late 40s, early 50s and love to walk. We want to see the "usual" sites including Central Park, the Met, Ellis Island and who knows what else. We probably will not see any theatre since there is plenty of that where we live. We also want to be around plenty of good restaurants.

So what area should we stay in? What is the difference between Upper East Side and Upper West Side. What about Midtown--east or west? And then there's Times Square. What is the difference between these areas? And what are their "boundaries?"

It doesn't appear that Labor Day weekend is a terribly expensive weekend. We are hoping to find a place between $275-325 a night.

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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I'll let some others distinguish east and west for you, but generally speaking, the upper east side and upper west side are residential areas, which means they are quieter, with many local restaurants, businesses, etc. I don't think there are many hotels on the upper EAST side.

Times Square is Times Square - frenetic and noisy, non-stop activity. Some love it (my daughter) and some hate it and would prefer to be anywhere else. Many chain hotels in this area, including nice ones (Westin, Renaissance, Marriott Marquis, just for examples).

In general, my advice is, stay near a subway. After that, stay at the hotel you like best -- since the places you want to go are all over, you just need a decent efficient way to get there, and that's the subway.

here's a map of NY neighborhoods.
Old May 27th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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Manhattan is laid out in a grid, with Avenues running north/south and numbered streets running east/west. There are about 20 numbered streets per mile; the avenues are farther apart but not any consistent distance. The Streets are known by their number and "East" or "West" depending on which side of Fifth Avenue you're on.

Central Park lies in the middle, bounded by 59th Street on the south, 110th Street on the North, Fifth Avenue on the east, and Central Park West (AKA 8th Ave. when not alongside the park).

59th Street, on the southern edge of Central Park, is recognized as the boundary between Midtown and the Upper East and West sides, which of course refer to which side of Central Park you're on.

The southern boundary of Midtown is open to dispute; it's somewhere between 34th Street and 14th Street. Times Square is in Midtown. Below 14th street is the older part of the city where the grid isn't as strict and many streets have actual names.

For most tourists, a hotel in Midtown is a good central choice, close to many attractions and subway stations.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 11:53 AM
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We just got back from NYC and stayed on the UWS. I highly recommend the area. While I loved everywhere I went in the City (except Times Square), it always felt great to go "home" to the UWS. You can easily walk to Central Park and there are tons of restaurants, especially along Amsterdam and Columbia. We stayed at On the Ave and loved it. We had a Deluxe corner room that was a nice size. Be warned that some of the cheaper rooms are way small. The hotel is on Broadway and 77th and there is a subway stop at 79th so really convenient. We also walked from the hotel to Times Square one day and it was no big deal, especially if you're used to walking. Click on my name if you want to read my trip report. Have a great time!!

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Old May 27th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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I think you should research hotel deals and see what comes up for that weekend pricewise. You can come back here for advice when you've narrowed it down. It usually is quiet in the city over LD weekend which can be a nice thing. And quiet in NY is still plenty busy.

I agree with dmlove about Times Square - way too crowded 24/7.

For activities, take a look at
All of these activities are free and I believe downtown. There are concerts, walking tours, you name it. You might want to supplement the 'usuals' with one of these offerings.

Don't choose your hotel based on proximity to good restaurants - even the very special ones are easy to get to.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 06:08 PM
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The upper East Side has relatively few hotels, mostly quite upscale. the upper west side has more and in a variety of price ranges. Both are primarily residential areas with the avenues lined with many, many restaurants, neighborhood shops and some areas of brand name shops. The upper west side has better transit access - 2 subway lines in a smaller area - while the upper east side is wider and has only one subway. Both areas are busy with quite a lot of street life - due to hundreds of outdoor cafes - but not frantic like Times Square.

Times Square is IMHO a place to be avoided except for shows. It is really a business area - with lots of office high rises - but also tourist group central (tons of over priced chain restaurants, tacky tee shirt shops, a gazillion constantly moving lights and a LOT of noise).

Midtown east, west (except Times Square) and Central Park South are primarily business ares with major stores interspersed. This area tends to be quieter at night than the upper east and west since it is less residential - except for far east and west.

Downtown areas have generally fewer hotels. The financial district is very quiet at night. Other areas have some trendy hotels, with the Village and the East Village having a lot of restaurants and night spots.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 04:16 PM
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I live in Queens but my BF surprised me with a weekend at a Manhattan hotel so I could sleep in late before work as a birthday present. We stayed at the Double Tree on Lexington and 51st. It was very comfortable and comparable to any Hilton/DoubleTree anywhere else and is only 1 block away from the E, V and 6 trains, which I would argue can get you to most places you'd like to visit in about 20 minutes.

It is mostly an area with office buildings but there are some decent restaurants within walking distance (Vong, Smith & Wollensky, Bice, China Grill, or Dukes for breakfast etc.), Grand Central is about 9 blocks away and Rockefellar Center and Fifth Avenue just a few blocks away.

A king-size room is showing up for a total of $1579 for 5 nights beginning August 29, on the official site (the actual holiday night costs more than the other nights). Works out to about $315 a night including tax.
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 05:02 AM
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Dont overlook Priceline, we swear by it for NYC. Check bidding for travel to get an idea what hotels are going for. UES very few hotels. There is a courtyard by marriot on the UES.
UWS mostly very expensive boutique hotels.
Midtown west, east, central all fine locations
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 05:36 AM
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I usually use Priceline for NYC, but last January I got a great rate at one of the Apple Core hotels: The Red Roof Inn on 34th street, right across from the Empire State Building. The place was an excellent value, newly renovated with free continental breakfast (yogurt, fresh fruit, bagels, etc.). They are showing a rate of about $225 for Labor Day weekend, $265 for the weeknights the following week.
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 05:57 AM
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I am writing this from the Courtyard (Marriott) on 3rd Ave. between 52nd and 53rd Sts. Our King room is huge by NYC standards. The 53rd/Lexington subway stop entrance is 10 yards from the door. It's a 15 min. walk to MOMA, or 15 the other way to Grand Central. We're paying something like $220 a night while comparable hotels were $100 more. We've stayed here before and intend to do so again.

Our experience with PL in NYC has been a mixed bag, with more negatives than positives.
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 12:23 PM
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I agree with Centralparkgirl-find a couple of hotels that are good value on your dates and then make final decision based on location. The things you want to see/do are spread out. There's no one best location and no one location where the restaurants will be. There are typically great hotel deals for all of the summer holiday weekends.

Hotel tax in NYC amounts to about 15% over the prices quoted on US websites so if $325 is your top price, you're really looking for something around $280.

Times Square is in midtown west. YOu should look at a map ( is a start). Here's the subway map

I like shopping for hotels on and

Where do you live? Seeing a show in NYC is not like anywhere else (imo).
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