New York City

Jul 19th, 2009, 08:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
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New York City

I am trying to find a good place to stay for a trip to NYC next week. We are a family of five including 3 teenage boys (possible one friend joining us too, but that is up in the air at the moment).

Neither my husband or I have ever been there and I'm finding it overwhelming to decide on a place to stay. I have been told we should stay in Midtown - but seems to be a bit difficult to find a place that will accomodate 5 (or 6) people without breaking the bank. We are driving in, but plan on parking the car for the entire trip and using public transportation.

Also open to ideas on things we should or shouldn't miss. We would like to take in one show - not set on which one yet.

nezimm is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 09:52 PM
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its really hard to give you any advice without more specifics..

Are you really going next week with no reservation yet?

When you say you don't want to break the bank, what dollar amount is your limit?

And does that include the cost of parking your car?

Have you stayed in other hotels that might give us an idea of what sort of level of comfort you are hoping for?

How many days will you be in the city?

What sort of things are you all interested in? Museums, walking, shopping, history, nightclubbing, eating? My must-sees, might be quite different than yours. If you click on the "destinations" tab above and go to New York, you might get some ideas of things that appeal to you. Come back here again and people can help you set up an itinerary that won't waste time or money.

Hopefully this will narrow things down enough for you to get some good advice.
lcuy is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 10:59 PM
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For that many people you will need a "suite hotel" or take 2 rooms. I'd suggest checking and for suggestions on hotels. Just about anything south of 96th St would work so find something that fits your budget.

3 hotels I would suggest looking at are:

1. Affinia Suite on E 34th St, you can walk to Macy's and the Empire State Building, even Times Square is not that far. There are parking garages in the area that are reasonable.

2. Travel Inn on W 42nd St. The kids will love this one. There is a pool on the roof and alot of restaurants close by, so is Times Square and all the theatres. Parking there is FREE it's the ONLY hotel in the city that offers free parking. You will probably need 2 rooms there.

3. Grand Union Hotel on E. 32nd St. (www.hotelgrandunion). The prices are good, and it's close to Macy's, shopping, Empire State etc.
Also bus and subway transportation is close by as well.
travelbuff is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 07:19 AM
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Try Courtyard by Marriott Midtown East at 866 3rd Ave. Their rooms are large with a pull out sofa bed.
lreeves is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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I have been looking at both and I would say we are used to staying in a Marriott type hotel.

That Courtyard is one that I am looking at. I've also been looking at the Doubletree in Times Square and the one over on Lexington. I am trying to decide if it is worth the extra money to stay right in Times Square. One that had listed was the Avalon, but from the reviews, seems like it may be a bit run down. A friend had stayed down in the financial district and felt that was too far away from things.

Kids ages 18, 16 and 13. The 13 y/o would like to go to a hands-on museum. We want to go see the Statue of Liberty and have heard we should do the doubledecker bus tour. We will drive in on Monday and leave on Friday. We do want to see one show. Shrek was recommended, but I am not sure if that might be a little young for them. Just looking over shows I could see online, was thinking Jersey Boys, Rock of Ages, or Blue Man Group.

We will definitely do some shopping and want to get down to Chinatown at some point.

I will definitely check out the hotels suggested above.
nezimm is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 08:42 AM
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In NYC it is illegal to put more than 4 people in one hotel room. for 5 - or 6 people you will have to get either a suite or two separate rooms.

Affinia hotels are moderately priced and have a bunch of different room configurations that you could consider (perhaps a one bedroom suite with 2 double beds in the bedroom and a pull-out sofa in the LR).

Travel Inn is relaibel and budget - but you would need 2 rooms.

If you go to you can see which hotels have special deals for your dates - but will have to get 2 rooms for so many people unless it's an all suite hotel.

And yes knowingyour budget will help. Also plan on parking to be about $40 per night in the city.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 08:44 AM
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Sorry -

You may find it very difficult to get so many tickets to one show at TKTS booth - I don;t know if they will even sell more than 4. You should select a show now and go to to see posible discounts - then go to the official online ticket seller to see what seats are available.

You have left all your planning very late and will really need to hustle to get things organized for so many people.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:02 AM
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Location isn't really relevant. You don't need to spend more to stay in Times Square (frankly, I'd spend more NOT to stay in Times Square). But most any hotel in Manhattan will do. I tend to agree that the Financial District is inconvenient, and you probably will not save money by looking there since rates are lower on weekends, not weekdays. You'll need 2 rooms, and you have several good hotel recommendations. However, it's conceivable that you will not be able to find anything within your price range for next week.

You may or may not want to do the Statue of Liberty. Since you have done absolutely no advance planning, you will have to wait in line for hours to get in on a busy summer day. For me, not worth it at all since it will probably take literally a full day starting at about 7:30am. Good luck there, but I'd take a harbor cruise or ride the Staten Island Ferry and get the view without the visit.

For five people, the double-decker bus will be a huge and expensive time-waster. The buses are really packed right now, and they don't run very frequently. Plus, you can get to all the major sights in town much more easily by using regular public transit. Walk around if you want to enjoy the streetscape. Take city buses if you don't want to walk.

Note that you will NOT be able to take a single taxi while in Manhattan, where taxis are limited to 4 people.

I'd recommend buying your theater tickets now. There are a lot of tourists in town right now.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:20 AM
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I really want to stay under $2000 for the hotel and parking. Courtyard is coming up at $1215 through for 2 queens and says rollaway is available, but on Courtyard's site says no rollaway allowed.

Doubletree TS is $2256 and over on Lexington $1727 incl parking - if we can get it the one on Lexington - it is a King junior suite and for some reason doesn't show up unless I have 3 or less listed as being in the room. Not sure if it is worth the $500 for location. I think I might be able to get TS down to $1868 by paying in advance and then add the self-parking at $35/24hours which I think would be $140.
nezimm is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:36 AM
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When researching and deciding on New York as your holiday destination, what was most important to you? Art, architecture, food, etc? That will really help finalize a proposed itinerary in such a short period of time.
michelleNYC is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:57 AM
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I really don't think I'd want to put 5 people, including 3 teens, in a single room in NYC. The rooms are just not that large. Rollaways usually will not fit, especially if there are 2 other beds. But I could be wrong about this particular hotel. I still think you would be better with 2 separate rooms, if only to give you two bathrooms.

If the Doubletree doesn't give you the option of 5 people in a "junior suite" it's probably because it won't accommodate that many people. I suspect it's a single queen or double bed plus a couch or room for a rollaway.

I can't think of any "self-park" lots in midtown Manhattan near Times Square except the open lots on the far west side. I'm not sure how the hotel is coming up with a self-park option that's cheaper. I suspect they are just going to send you to a nearby open lot rather than a garage. If that's ok with you, then no problem.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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As nyt said, none of those hotels will permit 5 people in one room, even the Courtyard.
sf7307 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 10:15 AM
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I agree with Doug that Manhattan hotel rooms are just not conducive to putting five people in a room. You can hotwire two rooms and still come in for your budget.

I disagree with Doug about the doubledecker being a time waster. It is expensive but is a very good way to get an overview of the city.

Trying to herd five people around on public transportation who are geographically unfamiliar with Manhattan and the city's public transportation will be a frustrating experience as well as will eat up all your time.

Skip the Statue of Liberty this trip and instead take the Staten Island Ferry. It has fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty as well as lower Manhattan, Financial District, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
GoTravel is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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I don't want to muddy the water when you already have a lot to sort out but I think you could consider a hotel in Queens if it's on a subway line. That is, assuming you plan to use the subway to get around NYC (which I definitely advise. If you'll be traveling by subway anyway there are several queens neighborhoods that are only a couple more stops on the subway.
aterry is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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If you click on my screen name, you will find a lot of posts about NYC because I just took my teen Ds there. I'll top my thread that has a review of the Doubletree Times Square. One thing I'll say right here about it: My D's were convinced that the beds were not doubles but were somewhat smaller. My H and I actually share a double bed, so it was plenty roomy for me alone in the bed. But two teen boys may feel squeezed (my Ds ages 16 and 13 did).

The last trip there were all five of us (and the kids were 16, 14 and 11). We stayed at the Embassy Suites and it seemed roomier. I don't remember if the beds at the Embassy Suites were doubles or queens but the bedroom was definitely larger.

Breakfast is included at the Embassy Suites; it isn't for the Doubletree.

The Embassy Suites is at the far tip of Manhattan, so it's not super-convenient, but it's not bad. It is actually more convenient than a midtown location to see the Statue of Libery and Ellis Island, walk the Brooklyn Bridge, and seeing Wall Street and Ground Zero.

When I was booking hotels this time around I booked early, then kept looking for a further discount. I noticed that the rooms with two beds went quickly and that only the rooms with one king bed were left at lots of hotels.

Before you decide on a hotel, look on a subway map so that you'll know how close you are to the lines that you want to travel.

You can buy timed tickets for Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty and Top of the Rock. I recommend that if possible at this late date.

Check for theatre tickets. The kids will think In the Heights is way cool and I bet you can still get seats at a discount. The line at the Times Square TKTS booth is very need to waste time in long lines.
missypie is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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I also recommend the Greyline doubledecker bus--it lets you at least "see" everything you've heard about. Especially for first-timers, getting around is confusing and time consuming. Do the bus tour first and get a feel for where things are even if you don't get on-and-off. We paid $56 for 48-hr pass and felt it well worth it. Despite months of pre-planning and good maps, we would never have seen some things on our list otherwise. Also, recommend the NY Waterways harbor tour for great skyline views and photo stop at the Lady. Not as crowded as Circle Line and there is free shuttle bus from several locations to/from the pier. Have fun! New York is exciting, exhilirating and exhausting--we loved it!
texasjo is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 12:05 PM
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nezimm- have you considered staying in a vacation rental? The last two times that I went to NYC I rented an apartment because I was traveling with 4-6 people.
Check out-

You can search by dates and the number of people you are traveling with. It's a good idea when you have a big group that wants to stay together. Good Luck!
Chellebelly is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Hi love. I have gone to NYC with no reservations. Challenging but possible.

Don't freak out.

Pick one area, and search. If you find something, then great, if you don't pick another area. I suggest something on the E or W side or N of mid town. You WILL be overwhelmed otherwise.

If I were you, I'd look up the bed and breakfast sections. There are many that house 5-6 guests in the same hall area. I am thinking of Nick and stay the night B&B. I didn't wind up staying there, because my dates got messed up, but I was influenced by the website...It also was on the upper east side. Pick a neighborhood if you can. You'll calm down more.
GypsyMaiden is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 12:29 PM
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I would ignore chellebelle's suggestion for an apt. rental. Short term rentals are often illegal or scams
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 01:25 PM
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If you have a good guide book you really DON'T NEED the bus tour, and if it costs $250 for the 5 of you, that's a great meal somewhere instead.

With a map of the city and pegging in what you wnat to see on the map, you can easily get around with public transit instead. Bus/subway is also the fastest way to get around, the tour buses often get stuck in traffic, because they are in the busiest areas of the city and with summer, the traffic is usually pretty bad.

My cousin and her family (of 5) stayed at the Travel Inn a coupld of years ago in one large room and the kids loved having the pool to cool off. It's just off Times Square and convenient to everything. The crosstown bus stops almost in front of the hotel, and the subway is 2 blocks away.
travelbuff is offline  

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