NYC Trip in May - Help Narrow Down Area

Old Jan 18th, 2008, 03:57 PM
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NYC Trip in May - Help Narrow Down Area

My husband and I will be meeting my sister and her husband in NYC in May. They will be traveling from Europe and we will be coming from Austin, Texas. My job is to plan the itinerary, find a place to stay, etc. I plan on doing tons of research here but I am hoping some of you can help me get started by recommending the best area to stay. We plan on doing all the usual touristy stuff plus I'm sure my sister will want to shop.

Our last trip together was when we met in Paris. We stayed in the Left Bank and spent our days exploring the city and doing a lot of wine sipping at cafes. We range in ages from 47 to 55. It is possible they will be able to get a good hotel rate through Icelandair, but if not, suggestions for reasonable (I know, quit laughing!) hotels, B&B's or the like would be greatly appreciated. I know rates are crazy in NYC so anything under $300 would be great.

Any help you can give will be much appreciated and I promise a trip report!!

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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 04:19 PM
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There are only a few areas of Manhattan that should be avoided. You can stay in the upper or lower east side, midtown east or west, chelsea, soho, etc. Manhattan is not huge. It's easy to get from one place to the other. Touristy things are all over the NYC map, as well as shopping. So you might start with finding a hotel to suit your needs.

I'll be happy to give you all kinds of ideas. Since you are a fellow Austinite, you can email me if you prefer at [email protected] and perhaps we can even talk via the phone if you prefer.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 05:09 PM
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Well - I would definitely stay away from Times Square - too tacky. And the hotels downtown tend to be either in business areas very quiet after dark - or quite trendy and expensive.

I would tend to look for something near Central Park South or the Upper West Side. The latter is residential and has tons of good moderate/inexpensive restaurants and is close to the Park, many major museums and has 2 subway lines - for easy access to the rest of the city. (You might try the Lucerne, One the Ave, Excelsior or even the Beacon - but do check tripadvisor.com for latest reviews.)

Another option is the basic Pod hotel on the east side - just make sure you don;t go for the rooms with bunk beds and shared baths.

My suggestion is to reserve something cancelable as soon as you can (yes, now - if you have your dates) - since rates will only continue to rise.

Check travelzoo, hotwire, kayak.com etc to see if you can find any special.

If you will be here only for a few nights you might luck out with 2 rooms on Priceline - but for more than 3 nights or so it's harder to get a good deal.


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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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We stayed at Hotel Metro ... http://www.hotelmetronyc.com

Great small boutique hotel close to Macy's. Subway entrance just down the block, so we had easy access to public transportation...

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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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There is no one "best" place to stay in Manhattan. It's personal preference (and budget issues) that will determine if you'd rather be in midtown where most first time tourists stay (midtown west encompasses Times Square) or whether you'd rather stay in a more residential area like the upper west side where there are quite a few decent hotels or downtown in Chelsea, the village, the financial district. Each area has it's pros and cons. I also think the length of your stay (which you don't mention) can affect the location decision. If it's just a long weekend, you may prefer to stay midtown. If you're staying longer, being in a less hectic area and perhaps an apt. style room with kitchen might be better.

May can be a tough month b/c of graduations. Are you looking for one or 2 rooms at $300/night?

www.affinia.com is a group of suite hotels very well run that offer studio, 1 & 2 bedroom suites with kitchens, usually good value.

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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 08:39 AM
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Thank you all for your suggestions! I like the idea of staying in the Upper West Side. We definitely do not want to stay in Times Square. I have researched a few hotels in the area and really like Lucerne and Excelsior. Both seem to be in a good location and price is around $350 a night. And no, I do not expect to find two rooms for that price! We will be staying five nights and plan on doing the usual touristy things, but definitely like the idea of staying in a more residential area close to the Park.

Again, thank you all for your suggestions. I'm sure I'll have more questions once I do further research.

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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Lucerne and Excelsior are both very nice. Still unclear whether you're going for 1 or 2 rooms. On the Avenue is a bit nicer (imo)
http://www.ontheave-nyc.com/main.htm
and there are several "b & b's" in the area that are basically short term apts.

jacksbandb.com
wymanhouse.com
countryinnthecity.com
innnewyorkcity.com
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Thanks McLaurie, I'll definitely look into all these options. We will be getting two rooms. I love my sister but not enough to share a room!

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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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The Hudson Hotel is under $200 but you have to deal with waaaaaaaaay small rooms. Rooms are very nice, as is the lobby, hallway carpets are worn. There are 2 bars and a nightclub open to hotel guests only. It is in a great area, close to everything I think its on 58th btwn 8th and 9th.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 09:59 AM
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That's what I would have thought but wasn't clear on your response. I think if you look at On the Ave you might agree it's a bit nicer/newer and I see some prices around $300/night for a room for 2.

If you want more of an apt., Wymanhouse.com and some of those others will really make you feel like a NYer.
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