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joeclanton Oct 17th, 2003 10:56 AM

NYC Help Please!
Thanks in advance for any feedback. It is greatly appreciated.

We are planning to go to NYC, for the first time ever, in early December. We will be there for only 4-5 days. Not knowing where to stay and what to expect, I'm at a serious disadvantage here. I think we want to take in a Broadway play. Any suggestions? I know we want to see Rockefeller Center and Times Square. We will most likely want to see the Empire State Building and The Statue Of Liberty. I'm guessing that we want to stay in the general vicinity of Times Square, or within walking distance. The only reason we wouldn't want to stay in that area would be if there was an incredible deal somewhere else. Can anyone make a suggestion? It seems that most people are upset about the size of the rooms in NYC. Is this the norm due to it being the big city or are there options? HELP!!

GoTravel Oct 17th, 2003 11:02 AM

Hotel rooms are small because space is a premium. Book an all suite hotel ( and you shouldn't have a problem with room size.

What are the ages of people going to the theater? Hairspray, Momma Mia!, and The Producers are all good bets. Since you've waited so long, pickings may be slim but you never know. A holiday must is the Rockettes Radio City Music Hall Spectacular.

Since public transportation is so abundant, I wouldn't worry too much about the location of the hotel.

Times Square and Rock Center are almost on top of each other. ESB is a little south of TS and the Statue of Liberty is off the tip of Manhattan Island.

Anonymous Oct 17th, 2003 11:05 AM

Why do you think you'd like to stay in Times Square? You can see the ESB, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square in one day, then go to a show that night. There are lots of great places to stay, why not work on your itinerary some more, and decide based on that?

You can't go INTO the Statue of Liberty anymore, though you can visit the island (and the visitors center and gift shop) so lots of people just take the (free) Staten Island ferry and wave as they go by, admiring the great views of Manhattan.

hipster70 Oct 17th, 2003 11:11 AM

I was in Manhattan over the summer. Believe it or not, there is a Red Roof Inn on 34th street right across from the Empire State Building..I have to say, it was a pretty nice hotel..decent size room..VERY CLEAN..and complimentary breakfast every morning...It only cost us $99.00 a night..The location is considered Midtown and we were within a few blocks of the subway stations and many buses..You can do a few neighborhoods a day actually. The subway system was great...Times square was about 10 blocks of the hotel and we actually walked it..

hope this helps!

sandi_travelnut Oct 17th, 2003 01:23 PM

Joe - We went to NY recently for about that length of time and stayed close to the Empire State bldg...walked everywhere or took the subway. I'd be glad to send you my trip report that show how we broke the city down into 3 different section in order to everything we wanted in a short amount of time. Let me know.

sandi_travelnut Oct 17th, 2003 01:29 PM

by the's where we stayed:

I highly recommend it, very reasonable especially if you can get a package deal. The only downside (which it didn't bother us) is that the hotel is in an area that's pretyy dead at night - void of a lot of activity and hussle-bussle. Again, I didn't think that was an issue since I knew where to go to find the nightlife and we had our 14yr old with us.

missjanna Oct 17th, 2003 01:42 PM

The Red Roof Inn that Hipster refers to is almost brand new, it just opened around March of this year. I have stayed at the chain before and never had a problem, and the location can't be beat since it's by 34th Street. You'll have the Empire State Bldg, Macy's, Madison Square Garden and trains all within striking distance.

joeclanton Oct 17th, 2003 05:08 PM

Thanks for all of the info! I will definitely check out the hotels that were mentioned here. I have called about 50 hotels of interest so far and everyone is either sold out or they want $400-$600 a night...OUCH!! I'm used to spending around $100-$200 tops. Maybe we should just plan to stay in Connecticut somewhere and drive in each day.

Trisha Oct 17th, 2003 05:18 PM

Driving in NYC was one of the worse experiences I ever had on a vacation. You don't want to stay in Connecticut and drive in everyday. We used Priceline and got a good deal with the Swissotel. The rooms are spacious and VERY nice. You do have to walk alot because you aren't in Times Square are but, it doesn't take very long or you could use the subway.

missjanna Oct 17th, 2003 05:21 PM

The LAST thing you would want to do is drive in each day. Traffic can be a nightmare and parking is through the roof (as much as $17 for a few hours!). If you want to choose the out of Manhattan route, I would say you are better off looking into hotels maybe in Queens or New Jersey by the airports where they have access to buses and trains into Manhattan. Trust me, it would be a lot less of a headache!! Better yet, check these sites for cheaper rooms:, and

Anonymous Oct 17th, 2003 05:28 PM

Or try Priceline. Read up about it at Pay close attentoin to the lists fo hotels that have been won in varoius sections of the city. Many people bidding on 2.5* hotel in MTE (Midtown East) get the Courtyard by Marriott for $75.

One popular strategy is to book the cheapest cancellable reservation you can, then keep trying on Priceline until the last minute. Since they work with rooms that the hotels don't expect to sell otherwise, they often get some good deals at the last minute.

zizz Oct 17th, 2003 06:52 PM

sandi_travelnut, I can't seem to find your NYC trip report. Can you please send it to me. My family will also be travelling to NYC for the same amount of time and I am interested in how you did it. Thanks. [email protected]

GoTravel Oct 17th, 2003 07:28 PM

If you aren't familiar with the city, the last thing you want to do is fart around with a daily commute.

You can find a hotel for under $200 easily on priceline but you may end up with a small room.

You do realize that you are coming in the busiest time of year? Everything is expensive because of high demand.

Again, staying outside Manhattan Island if you want to sightsee on Manhattan Island isn't the most prudent course of action.

Patrick Oct 17th, 2003 07:56 PM

I'm a little confused. You mention that you've never been to NYC before, then you say you're used to paying $100 to $200 tops. Where is that? I think you need to realize that if you spend $200 for a hotel in most other US cities, you will naturally have to expect to pay considerably more for the same quality hotel in Manhattan. That's simply a fact of life.

I usually manage to find special deals directly with the hotels, but last night did my first ever Priceline experience when I couldn't seem to find any deals. Paid $152 on Priceline for Times Square Hilton. (That's over $184 by the way when you add the taxes), but a good $100 less than I could get direct from them -- with a discount. This has been a very busy week in Manhattan and apparently most hotels were booked fully several weeks ago.

mclaurie Oct 18th, 2003 06:38 AM

Another place you might try is the Park South hotel ( It's not in the areas you mentioned but transporattion is easy. They have a 3 night package that includes theater tickets. You could then extend your stay for a few nights. Also check on (register for free). This is a good site for discount theater tickets you can buy ahead of time & they often have hotel discounts advertised as well.

kodi Oct 18th, 2003 09:13 AM

IF you don't want to spend a lot of money, I would definately try We just got back from NYC and stayed at the Hilton and were very, very happy. OUr room was great and was not small. It seemed to be a normal size room to me. ..and we were treated very well.
Also, I drive for a living and wouldn't even think of driving in Manhatten. Just being in a taxi scared the hell out of me on a few occasions! So much honking and cutting each other off.. Forget it! Stay in the city.

Abby43 Oct 18th, 2003 03:34 PM

Hi Joe-
Please, for the love of God, just spend the money and don't drive in from CT every day. I reverse commute from NYC to CT and let me tell you it's not fun. If you are coming to the city for the first time you want to experience city life firsthand, and not feel pressured every morning and night to get in and out.

As for Broadway shows, I have seen all the ones mentioned and they are great. However, I absolutely LOVE "42nd Street"-it is fabulous. I've seen it 4 times throughout my life. It may be easier to get tickets to that, esp. at the discount TKTS booth in Times Square.

Enjoy the trip and if it costs you more than you had hoped remember it's just money...and you'll hopefully go home with some great memories!

china_cat Oct 18th, 2003 04:30 PM

Another option for hotel is to stay somewhere on the upper west side. You can be close to the subways, so getting to Times Square is easy, there are plenty of good restaurants in the area, its not far from the museums (Met, and Natural History), and I think the room prices tend to be a bit less than midtown. I liked "On the Avenue", which was something like 77th and 7th (I don't remember the exact address), and there have been good reviews for the Beacon hotel here as well.

syd1 Oct 18th, 2003 06:45 PM

Try the Lucere (77th and Amsterdam) or the Beacon (75th and Broadway). Both European Hotels (quaint, small rooms, but very nice) and affordable on the Upper West Side. Great neighborhood, great restaurants and acceessible to Midtown via the 1/9 train, the Bus, or a nice walk on a crisp morning. Be sure to stop at H&H Bagels on 80th and Brodway for a piping hot bagel.
Have a great trip!

syd1 Oct 18th, 2003 06:46 PM

Oops...meant to write the Lucerne in case you're looking it up. Don't know the # offhand.

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