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Questions about NYC -- hotels, time of week, airport

Questions about NYC -- hotels, time of week, airport

Old May 2nd, 2006, 12:26 PM
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Questions about NYC -- hotels, time of week, airport

First, let me say that I searched previous threads before posting, but I need updated info, please. We are 4 to 6 ladies in our late 40's planning a three night trip to NYC for the week after Thanksgiving. We plan to arrive either November 28 (Tuesday) and depart that Friday, or arrive November 30th and depart that Sunday (Dec 3). We have been to NYC a few times before, but we are not seasoned visitors by any means. Our questions are as follows:
1. Airports -- assuming airfare is relatively the same, which airport is better to fly in/out of? JFK, Newark, LaGuardia? We will be flying from Atlanta, Orlando and Birminghan, AL.
2. Timing -- considering prices and crowds, is it better to visit during the week or weekend?
3. Location and hotels -- we think we want to stay NEAR but not right in Times Square, and hope to spend less than $300 per night on the room, if that is reasonable. We plan to see a few shows and do the usual touristy things.
Any suggestions or warnings are greatly appreciated.
Gracie
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 12:57 PM
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LaGuardia is the most convenient airport. Those in Birmingham and Orlando should check out Southwest (which does not come up in the usual fare searches).

Weekend hotel rates are generally lower than weeknights, but all bets are off between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Highly recommend shopping forthwith for the best hotel deal you can find. As hotels fill, rates go up...and up...

It's crowded throughout the holiday season. (Though, we've found it a bit quieter Christmas Day through the day before New Year's Eve, and with more favorable hotel rates.)

If you are interested in specific shows, best bet is to sign up at Broadwaybox, Playbill, Theatermania, etc., so you'll receive e-mails of discounted tickets.

With theater tickets, in the wintertime, Midtown/Times Square is a good location for sleeping because it's just so convenient to the theaters, Rockefeller Center, etc.

If you've never seen the Radio Music Spectacular, consider it. It truly is "spectacular". Best to get tickets ASAP for best times and seats.

$300/night for 4-6 people? During the holiday season? Or, per person?
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 01:37 PM
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1. La Guardia is closest to Manhattan so taxi is cheapest/fastest but the other 2 airports also have train connections. Pick the airport with the best fares/times of flights. Do NOT use Southwest as you'll either have to fly into Phildelphia or Islip, Long Island, neither very convenient.

2. The week after Thanksgiving is one of the most popular/expensive weeks of the year, probably followed only by the following week. Play around with airfare/hotels and go when it's cheapest but be prepared for sticker shock.

3. $300/night for how many people to a room? I assume you don't all expect to stay together? If you do, you'll pay a premium for a large suite.

Imo, the ONLY reason to stay near Times Square is if you're planning to do a LOT of theater. If not, stay on the east side in midtown. It's more convenient to shopping and you'll get more for your money.

If you want to stay 4 to a room or more, go to an all suite hotel. Check the Kimberly, the San Carlos, the Affinia 50 and maybe even the Roger Smith. These all happen to be in the same general area, within walking distance of Rockefeller Center, Bloomingdales and Grand Central Terminal. The Tadio City Apartments is another good suite option, but probably booked already.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 01:48 PM
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I suppose $300. per night is a little unreasonable for six people in one room. More realistically, if we had four to a room, we would want to pay $150. to $200.00 per night per person.
Thanks for the replies so far.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 03:32 PM
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Gracie, if possible start looking at hotels now, and book something (cancelable, incase plans change or you find something else) when you see a price that is in your range at a hotel you like. This is a busy time in NYC, good rates at good hotels sell fast. Prices will only go up later in the year.
Have fun planning!
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 03:39 PM
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Grantop offers excellent advice. Shop like the dickens and book something now you can cancel, then keep shopping dates and hotels.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 04:54 PM
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Many hotels rooms in NYC are good only for two people - with the possible addition of a small child. You may want to check out all suite hotels - affinia.com - a group of moderate hotels with usually good reviews. But at that time of year you will find little for $300 - esp for 4 people.

Reco you start searching for hotels and reservations ASAP (Thanksgiving is already sold out for many hotels near the parade route)keeping in mind that prices will only rise as you get closer to the date.

LGA is the closest airport and cab is best for 4 people. For 6 you will need 2 cabs since NYC cabs are limited to 4 passengers by law.

Also - this is the busiest time of year for Broadway shows. If you want recent hits look for tickets now. For older shows try Broadwaybox.com starting about 90 days out for advance discounts.

Everything will be more crowded, take longer and cost more. If you plan on any fine dining find out when the restaurant starts taking reservations (often 30 or 60 days out) - and call ON THAT DAY.

Also - be prepared for the weather to be changeable. It may be quite warm (50) during the day - but you can also get a cold snap (30's) and even some snow - although it's rare to get much before Christmas.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 05:57 PM
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I would re-iterate that you may wish to consider visiting planning your three nights arriving Christmas Day or thereafter and departing New Year's Eve or before. We've done this off and on over the years and have found those dates to be less crowded, better priced/located seats to Broadway shows, and more favorable hotel rates.

Four people to a room for $150-200/night is probably not the least bit realistic.

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Old May 2nd, 2006, 06:09 PM
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I heartily second the rec. that you look into the Affinia hotels. I've stayed in both the 50 and the Dumont - both are *great* values. Rooms are huge,clean, nicely decorated, with plenty of closet space. Oh, and they have kitchenettes, too. And the staff is the best around. We were treated like royalty, an unexpected but pleasant surprise for moderately priced hotels.

If there are 6 of you, book 2 jr. suites (2 beds and a sofa bed)and split 3 ways. It should come to around $200.00 per person.

Both hotels are on the East side, which I actually prefer to Times Square (a zoo!). It's a nice, safe area - close to 5th Ave. shopping, subway around the corner, and taxis available all hours.

Best of luck!

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Old May 2nd, 2006, 06:12 PM
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P.S.

Rates for room described above avgs. $600. per night (inc tax). Again, split 3 ways, it comes to about $200.00 per person.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 07:43 PM
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Check www.hotels.com for more suggsetions.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:21 AM
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Trust me on this, do not stay in Times Square.

Times Square has gotten so crowded in recent years that it is almost impossible to walk around and that weekend will be a zoo.

Choose the Nov 28-Dec 1 dates. The other dates fall over one of the busiest weekends of the year and I doubt you'll find much under $400 per night for the first weekend in December.
 
Old May 3rd, 2006, 08:13 AM
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Thank you for the informative replies. Fodors' posters are the best!!
It looks like there will only be 4 of us going on the trip, maybe 5, but definately not 6. Let me clarify that I hoped to find a room that would work out to about $200. per person, per night. For example, if the room was $800. per night and split 4 ways, that would be $200.00 per person per night. Is that still unreasonable?
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 08:46 AM
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Yes, you'll be able to find a great hotel for $800 per night but book something RIGHT NOW!!

Then you can shop around.

That time period will be sold out by summer. That weekend may already be sold out.

I highly suggest your mid week dates.
 
Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:54 AM
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Gracie, 4 of us women have travelled to NYC in the past & stayed at the Salisbury Hotel, on West 57th ST. (I think the address is 123 West 57th). You can walk to theatres, & all the 5th ave shopping, & Central Park. We like the hotel for the location & we usually get a suite. The suite we always choose has 2 queen size beds, good to accomodate us 4. But, there is also a sitting room, which has a sleeper sofa bed, 2 other chairs, tv & also a small dining area w/kitchenette (microwave & mini fridge). Not sure of current pricing, but, I think there is a website, www.salisburyhotel.com. (it's not the fanciest hotel, but, it's always worked well for us.)
We were just in NYC last weekend, 4/27-4/30, & we were with a tour that booked us at the Le Parker Meridian, also on West 57th st, (Salisbury was across the street). Le Parker Meridian was a modern hotel (IKEA type furniture). They let 3 of us stay in 1 room, which had 1 king size bed, & they brought in a cot for the 3rd. It was very nice, but, I think I preferred having the extra space at the Salisbury. (also, try typing in Salisbury Hotel on this website search to get info. Good luck, we love NYC!
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 10:00 AM
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http://www.nycsalisbury.com
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Old May 4th, 2006, 04:03 AM
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I agree the Salisbury is well located and their 2 bedroom 2 bath suites are large. You will have to PHONE them to reserve those. But the places I mentioned in my earlier post are also convenient and a bit nicer than the Salisbury. I can't remember if anyone has suggested the Envoy Club, but that's another good option. envoyclub.com

I would also email www.apartments2book.com They are an agency in London and seem to have very good contracts with many of these suite hotels and often have prices that are better than the hotels' own. YOu have nothing to lose.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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When is the absolutely cheapest time of the year to visit NYC?
After considering the costs and the crowds, we will probably change the date to late January or February. I know the cold will be a shock to us from the deep south, but November and December would not work for the majority of us for one reason or another. Do you have an opinion as to whether late January or any time in February would be better?
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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January is better than February.

Gracie, keep in mind that New York City is considered Mid-Atlantic, not the tundra, and not that cold. As a southerner myself, I've never been to NYC when it was that cold and you will not be in 'shock' being from the 'deep south'.
 
Old May 5th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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GoTravel,
Why is February better than January?
Just curious -- what part of the south are you from, if you don't mind me asking? Do you live in NYC now?
I grew up in a small town in south Alabama, but have lived in northwest Florida for more than 20 years now.
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