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NYC Accommodation

Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 09:36 PM
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NYC Accommodation

Hi there. We are arriving at JFK on 2 July and will be in NYC for about 6 Days (we are from Brisbane, Australia). We would like to stay somewhere as central as possible, close-ish to major attractions, eating etc if possible (we were thinking Manhattan, maybe times square?). I would like some advice on options here if anyone has any. There will be two of us travelling, we would like to stay under $US150 per night but could stretch it. Any help would be greatfully received. Thank you
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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 11:17 PM
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For starters, look here for a listing of available hotels in your price range: http://tinyurl.com/d7o3z5
Note that sales and occupancy taxes, totaling 14.25%, are additional.

Sorry I can't comment on these places, but most of us who live in or near NYC rarely stay in hotels. I'd suggest you identify an area you're interested in, then research the specific hotel.

In terms of particular locations, you definitely want to be in Manhattan, one of New York's five boroughs. Times Square is centrally located; some find its hustle and bustle inviting, others prefer to avoid it.

One listing is for the Salisbury Hotel, which is located near Carnegie Hall, a few blocks from Central Park and from Fifth Avenue shopping, and a few more blocks from the Theater District and from Madison Avenue shopping. I've passed it many times, but I've never been inside. Good location, though.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 05:12 AM
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That's a pretty low budget for Manhattan, even in these times. If your budget were $200, then I think it would be more doable. The Pod Hotel has tiny tiny rooms with shared baths that would probably be under $150 in July. You need to check with a travel agent in Australia. You can often get better deals through travel agents, who buy from consolidators, than on your own. But also check Hotels.com. With just two people, Priceline (bidding) is also an option, but you need to understand the rules and that nothing is refundable or changeable.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 05:27 AM
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check www.applecore.com - they list 4 hotels (2 in Times Square, 2 near Macy's Empire State Building). We just booked at the Comfort Inn Times Square for $154 (US) per night and it includes breakfast...
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 07:52 AM
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Of the places listed on the hotels.com link that bspielman gave you, the Hilton Garden Inn at ~ $143/night plus tax (which will bring it to ~$165/night total is by FAR the very best option in both location, size of room and value imo (I believe they include a continental breakfast in the price). It's in the general Times Square area but not right in the center of all the hoopla which can get very old very quickly. The problem is this is a prepaid, non-cancelable rate.

There are always hotel sales around the 4th of July holiday and I would be bet there will be some other options closer to your trip listed on travelzoo.com or travel-ticker.com or on quikbook.com

In the meantime, I really think you might prefer being in a different location altogether than Times Square. The very trendy new Smyth hotel in Tribeca is $148-166/night on quikbook.com (depending on what size room you get) and a younger, more interesting area to stay imo. 6 Columbus, part of that same group of trendy hotels but located in midtown near the southwest corner of Central Park is $160/night for a queen room on quikbook. All of these require no prepayment and are fully cancelable should you find a better deal. If you want to be central, I think 6 Columbus is an ideal location where you can walk to Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Central Park.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 08:10 AM
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I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn and was a little nervous because I HATE being in the middle of Time Square - I was using points - the rates where high when I was going to be there so I took full advantage of the free nights. I have to say I was VERY pleasantly surprised. I was reassured by folks here that it was NOT in the thick of things and they were right. It was an excellent location. We saw two shows and could walk very easily to them but we were just on the "outside" of the craziness. Very close to all subways we needed to take - really I would stay there again. Try to get your breakfast in your rate if possible (there is resturant on the property and they often have breakfast included rates) and try to get a room a little higher up. The subway ran right under my room (or so it felt like LOL). It is a large hotel room for NYC standards. It had two beds and was rather spacious. I stayed at the Waldorf a few months prior to that and we were JAMMED in a room.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 04:08 PM
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I think you may not realize how big NYC is. You definitely want to stay in Manhattan - but the major tourist sights are in an area 8 miles long, 2 miles wide and on island in the harbor. So no matter where you stay you will be using the subway a lot to get from one place to another.

I know a lot of tourists like Times Square and it makes sense if you're doing a lot of theater - but it is not within walking distance of most major sights. Also, food there tends to overpriced chain restaurants with the same awful micronuked stuff they serve at the mall - but at much higher prices.

You don;t say who "we" are. For a couple who can share one bed (many NYC hotel rooms have 1 double bed) you can look at Priceline - which lets you bid for hotels - but blind, based only on location and star rating. In that case $150 might be doable - since July is sort of mid season. If there are more than 2 of you and you need a larger room $150 isn;t realistic, even for a very basic place.

Sometimes you can get deals on hotels in the financial district for lower prices at times when there are fewer business travelers. You might check Embassy Suites etc to see what prices they have for your dates. The only issue is that the area can be very quiet at night.

If you tell us how many you are - and what your must sees are, people may be able to make recos. And definitely check the discount sites: travelzoo, kayak, etc - but don;t assume their hotels are OK - also check reviews, since some listed are NOT places you would want to stay.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 04:48 PM
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Hi, thanks for all your advice. If we weren't to stay near times square, what would be the best area to stay in to base ourselves to see tourist sights over our 6 days? At the moment I have looked at the Salisbury Hotel, Comfort Inn Times Square and the Novotel Times Square - I'm about to look at the Hilton Garden Inn as suggested above. Where I can get a room with an 'amazing' city view for US$1353.16 including taxes and breakfast for the six days. This is still a bit more than I'd like, but my partner is worried about using priceline and not knowing where we'll be. I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the choices, however I like the idea of the view, but I'm not sure it's worth the money. What do people think?
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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for me - I would not use priceline for NYC but you have to know I am a bit of a nervous traveler. I use it when we go to San Diego or local here in Orange County... NYC is too much of a roll the dice... (to me).

I personally like the area by the Waldorf Astoria - it was my favorite place/area of the city - I have stayed in the financial district, the area (which I think is the upper east side but I will have to verify) by the Waldorf, then time square - are you planning on seeing shows? What are you planning on seeing??? That helps to know what area. I really liked the Hilton Garden Inn and am a bit of a fussy kind of gal... I liked it because it was close enough to Timesquare - the theater area but not crazy when I walked out my door. I stayed at the Marriott Marque and swore I would NEVER again...
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 05:51 PM
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MommDD, the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square looks great. $US1098 for the 6 nights. Did your room have a view? Excuse my ignorance in this respect, it's just the other room I found at the Novotel Times square specificed the view was amazing. I'm wondering if it's worth the extra $250US for 6 breakfasts each and the view.
We are not too sure of our itinerary. We will be going to a show or too maybe, we are going to Yankee Stadium on the fourth of July and then wish to watch the fireworks. Any clues on where would be good to watch them from for an out of town person? Thanks Again
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 07:09 PM
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The view was horrid. If I recall a dumpster and an alley. (I think... I have traveled a lot in the last year ... but it was nothing special - I know that - the best view I ever had was actually over in the financial district - over looking the river...

I am sorry I do not know about the fire works. I live in California - but am sure that someone here can help you. I cannot tell you enough that the New York people here know what they are talking about. I took, I think 3 trips in about 9 months and they helped me SO much - where to get my hair blown out before a wedding, what subway to take and EXACTLY how to take it (I was afraid the first time)... they are spot on.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 07:17 PM
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Hi Lissa - If you're going to be in New York for 6 days, I think you would find any area of Manhattan that is from the Upper West Side and Upper East Side to the south, to be to your liking. This would include the areas I just mentioned, plus any part of Mid-town and Downtown Manhattan. Many people also like a few close-in locations outside of Manhattan, such as Brooklyn (but only the close-in areas around downtown Brooklyn near the Brooklyn Bridge), Long Island City which is in Queens, and Jersey City which is in New Jersey. You can get lower hotel rates in these areas, but you will sacrifice some travel time, especially if you are in Jersey City. But as others above have said, your experience of New York will be more enjoyable if you are located in Manhattan.

If you are nervous about your location, then Priceline may not be your best option, but I use it all the time, and you can really save a bundle. The key is only bidding in geographical areas and hotel quality levels that you know you'll be happy with.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 07:28 PM
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What is billed as the world's largest fireworks display occurs on July 4 on the East River, between Manhattan and the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. There are usually four large barges in the river from which the mortars are set off.

Most of the information currently available refers to last year's display, but the routine is likely to be the same this year as last. (In prior years, there have been some significant location changes, so it pays to get up-to-date details.)

Generally speaking, in Manhattan, vast crowds gather well before the 9 p.m. or so start along the FDR Drive, a riverfront highway in Manhattan facing the East River. It is closed to vehicular traffic for this event. We've done this only once; the crowds are huge but festive.

There are other options, such as viewing from the top of the Empire State Building or from a cruise boat, but these take some advance planning, whereas to stand near the river merely requires showing up and expecting to stand for a long while.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Thanks for the info re the fireworks, we are going to the Yankee's game at 1pm and then hope to find somewhere to watch the fireworks. Being from Australia we have never been to a baseball game. Can you tell me how long the game will go for, so I can see if we have time to get on a Cruise Boat for the fireworks. We love fireworks.
Also... I'm starting to be really interested in the Novotel Times Square for $225 per night including taxes and breakfast for two, I've read some reviews, but does anyone have any direct opinions? Thanks, Meliss
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Old Mar 25th, 2009, 04:19 AM
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Novotel - I haven't stayed there, but I have been in the lobby which is nice, and the location on 52nd Street is fine.
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Old Mar 25th, 2009, 04:28 AM
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Thanks Smetz. Does anyone have an opinion on the Comfort Inn Times Square (305 West 39th Street). Looks like really good rates there. We are thinking this for 7 nights at the beginning of the trip and the Novotel for 2 nights at the end. Thanks, Melissa
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Old Mar 25th, 2009, 04:29 AM
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Do you already have the Yankees tickets? They are extremely expensive and hard to get so you may want to get them soon. They sold 170,000 tickets yesterday alone. The game will be around 3 hours but could go longer than that. There is no maximum amount of time.

What time would the boat cruise be? I think you will be cutting it close at best with the game that day. You may be better served by planning on going straight from the game to the area that bspielman is talking about, getting dinner, then finding an area to watch the fireworks from land. All public transportation will be absolutely mobbed that day and make it hard to move around.
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Old Mar 25th, 2009, 04:46 AM
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The Novotel is an ok hotel. I believe it was renovated in the last couple of years. I saw the rooms a few years ago, and they look just like a Novotel room anywhere in the world. It's certainly not anything great, and I'd probably choose the Hilton Garden Inn over the Novotel. But the Novotel is in a convenient location (the hotel starts at something like the 8th floor and then goes up, hence the view). It's around the corner from a McDonald's and near a few relatively expensive delis on Broadway. But you can get breakfast for 7 nights for much less than $250, and if you are willing to walk two long blocks west, you'll find many reasonably priced restaurants along 9th Avenue.

You probably won't be in your room much except to sleep, so I would choose the cheapest hotel in a good location. I think you can do better, and if budget is an issue for you, I certainly wouldn't move for the last 2 nights to enjoy the view. You can enjoy it by having a drink at the top of the Marriott Marquis (expensive, but much less than $250). How much time do you plan staring out your hermetically sealed hotel room window?
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Old Mar 25th, 2009, 04:56 AM
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Check the Pod Hotel and the Jane Hotel.
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Old Mar 25th, 2009, 06:06 AM
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The Novotel is not that special a hotel and I don't think it's been renovated in ages. Here are some reviews. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev..._New_York.html The one titled "Could do with refurbishment, think Travelodge with Marriott Prices” is my sentiments exactly.

If you want a good view in Times Square, the Milleniunm Broadway is often on special on travelzoo for $149-199/night but it would be too early for a July sale now. It's currently on quikbook.com for avg. $203/night fully cancelable. If you want a splurge hotel for 2 nights, the Marriott Marquis, the Westin or even the Hilton Times Square would be much better options imo.

The Millenium UN Plaza is on the east side with great views (you might even be able to see the fireworks from a room with east or southeast views). Least expensive rate right now on their website is $209-229/night plus tax fully cancelable.

The Comfort Inn you asked about is new and pretty far west on a somewhat unattractive block with a number of other new chain hotels but is good value and not a bad option depending on price. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR..._New_York.html

If you want to book something cancelable now, I think that makes sense but I certainly wouldn't commit to pay now unless the deal was too good to pass up.
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