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Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

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Clariman
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Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#107915

Postby Clariman » January 4th, 2018, 4:03 pm

Well I think the time has come when I cannot put Mrs C off anymore from having a holiday in NYC so we may have a 5 night break there next month. I once went many years ago with work and felt hemmed in by the towering Manhattan blocks but I'm sure I'll cope.

Any recommendations for hotels and/or flights? Also would you tend to book via an agent, via an airline etc? We tend to book separate flights and accommodation when in Europe and put it together ourselves.

I'd prefer to travel Premium Economy (or similar) if price is right. We like decent hotels but they don't have to be glamorous. It would need to be central and near enough Broadway to get to see a show easily. Decent rooms and service where you can get a good night's sleep in peace and comfort.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

Clariman

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#107949

Postby Lootman » January 4th, 2018, 5:11 pm

It can be worth booking the hotel with the flight, e.g. as a BA holiday. In some cases the cost of flight plus hotel is little more than the cost of the flight alone, so I'd definitely look at that option on ba.com or whatever airline you prefer. There is a big choice of airlines between LHR and JFK and, given that it isn't that long a flight, business class is overkill and you don't have enough time to enjoy it, so premium economy sounds right to me. Google flights is invaluable in my view for finding the right deal, and then you can book direct with the airline from there - I haven't used intermediaries in years.

I've spent a lot of time in New York as I have worked contracts there. I'm out of date on hotels but I do have opinions about the neighborhood. If you want to be near Broadway then I'd look at the area between 14th Street and 34th Street, particularly Grammercy Park. The high rises are a little less high there and so it has a more human scale, although 23rd Street is busy and has most of what you need.

You can walk down to the East Village, Lower East side, Greenwich Village and SOHO from there, or up to the main shopping, hotel and entertainment district above 34th Street. Central Park starts at 59th Street so that's a little more of a hike but there are subways, buses and cabs everywhere.

So, Grammercy Park gets my vote for location and feel.

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#107957

Postby PinkDalek » January 4th, 2018, 5:25 pm

Lootman wrote:... So, Grammercy Park gets my vote for location and feel.


That was the area that was suggested to me when I last went. Some decades ago it seems and the Gramercy Park Hotel would appear to have had a facelift or two.

http://www.gramercyparkhotel.com/
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Rev ... _York.html

Trivia: I think Joe Jackson stayed there when recording the "Night and Day" album.

Watis
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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#108125

Postby Watis » January 5th, 2018, 1:54 pm

Went to America in 2016, including a few days spent in NYC.

We booked flights and hotels separately. We used Expedia for flights, continually tweaking times and refreshing until we got low prices at sensible times. Don't underestimate how long this might take - I think we spent two or three evenings on this.

For hotels, I think we got good results by checking 'deal of the day' deals from some of the major sites - Expedia again, Booking.com and Travel Republic. Watch and pounce when the right deal for you comes along. We got 40% off one hotel via a daily deal. It was a genuine saving - I checked prices several times over the following weeks.

If you plan to use the subway, here's a website / guide I found very helpful. There's a lot of information to absorb because of the way it works. I'm familiar with the London Underground but that knowledge was of little use on NYC's subway. http://www.nycsubwayguide.com/subway/default.aspx

I used a pre-loaded currency card so I could pay for things in Dollars at the rate I paid for them. These cards avoid having to pay exchange surcharges and having to accept the exchange rate your credit or debit card provider chooses to apply. I have a Caxton card: https://www.caxtonfx.com/ but other cards are available - use comparative reviews to see which would be best for you. But take at least one alternative credit card as backup.

Tipping. I was told that 15% is expected but the bill usually came showing the amount of tip calculated at 18%, 20% & 22% of the cost of your meal . Here's another helpful guide: http://www.upworthy.com/the-uncomfortab ... res?c=ufb1

If you're going to fly into JFK airport, be sure you're in the right queue in the arrivals hall. It was busy when we arrived and we spent some time in the queue for returning American citizens because the mass of humanity hid the dividing barriers between American and 'alien' arrivals. And the signage was insufficient.

Have a great time!

HTH,

Watis

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#108156

Postby Dod101 » January 5th, 2018, 3:40 pm

Lootman clearly knows a lot more about NYC than I do but I would second his choice of area. The last time we were there we got a very good deal at the Sofitel on West 44th (right next to The Algonquin of Dorothy Parker fame) That was within easy walking distance of Broadway, Grand Central and the like and a very civilised hotel.

Dod

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#108173

Postby tea42 » January 5th, 2018, 4:08 pm

Sofitel, 45 West 44th Street. Short walk to all the action. You wont regret it.

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#108373

Postby swill453 » January 6th, 2018, 6:08 pm

Interesting, after 2 recs for the Sofitel I checked prices for a possible trip in the fall. £350 (yes pounds) a night for the cheapest room. This was a couple of random dates chosen in September/October this year.

This compares to about £160 per night for next week.

Is this because of the time of year, or because it's so far in the future that deals haven't become available?

I guess I could just keep a look out for deals coming up.

Scott.

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#108387

Postby tea42 » January 6th, 2018, 6:36 pm

Time of year probably. Sofitel is not cheap but stylish well located and well appointed with great breakfasts. We often do City Centre breaks at this time of year because hotels are relatively cheap and Cities are less crowded.

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#108422

Postby panamagold » January 6th, 2018, 9:10 pm

swill453 wrote:Interesting, after 2 recs for the Sofitel I checked prices for a possible trip in the fall. £350 (yes pounds) a night for the cheapest room. This was a couple of random dates chosen in September/October this year.

This compares to about £160 per night for next week.

Is this because of the time of year, or because it's so far in the future that deals haven't become available?

I guess I could just keep a look out for deals coming up.

Scott.


Visits around these two dates will not attract price reductions at that time of the year.
Labor Day weekend......September 03
Columbus Day public holiday......October 08

Dod101
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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#108426

Postby Dod101 » January 6th, 2018, 10:06 pm

We were there just before Christmas one year and certainly did not pay anything like £350! £150 or so maybe but I am sorry I cannot remember. As has been said City breaks in the winter are often good value but NYC is of course very cold in the winter and often has snow!

Dod

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#108429

Postby Lootman » January 6th, 2018, 10:31 pm

Watis wrote:Tipping. I was told that 15% is expected but the bill usually came showing the amount of tip calculated at 18%, 20% & 22% of the cost of your meal .

15% is fine. It's sneaky the way those "helpful" suggested tip amounts start at 18% and go on up. but no waiter is going to look down on you if you "only" tip 15%.

Many checks do not compute tips for you, and few places include a service charge. A useful rule of thumb in some higher-tax States (which NY definitely is) is to "double the Sales Tax", which is always itemised (unlike the UK where VAT is rarely shown separately). Sales tax is often in the 8% to 10% range in a high-tax State, so doubling it for the tip gives you between 15% and 20%, and then you can round it up or down to the nearest dollar as you wish. In a low tax State, or a State with no sales tax like Oregon or New Hampshire, obviously that won't work.

And as a European you will get away with tipping a little less, as Europeans are considered to be culturally cheap.

With cabs I round up to the nearest $5. At the bar leave a buck a drink unless it's a fancy cocktail that's hard to make, like a Mojito, and then I'd do $2.

I rarely tip anyone else in the US other than waiters, barstaff and cabbies. Some claim you should tip out housekeeping staff in hotels, front desk clerks and the like but I never bother. If you're there long enough to get your hair or nails done, tip them; likewise a spa treatment. My wife tips $20 for stuff like that.

nmdhqbc
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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#108442

Postby nmdhqbc » January 7th, 2018, 7:58 am

Lovely little place in Brooklyn...
https://youtu.be/G0mXtEjjtW4?t=274

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#108873

Postby Regdragon » January 8th, 2018, 9:26 pm

Hi Clariman,

On flights I always use the skyscanner site, rightly or wrongly - it’s just easy. We stayed at the Element hotel near Times Square. (Actually I think it’s on the same street as the Sofitel. It’s close anyway.) It’s only 3-star but the rooms are well-appointed and comfy, particularly the beds, and I think we paid £130 but the “free breakfast” was a bit basic I remember and my recollection is you were eating brekkie within sight of the reception desk. Room rates at the Element seem to be £90 on trivago at the moment but I didn’t click on it to see the detail.

Just a thought but picking up on what earlier posters were saying about the chances of room discounts at this time of year, maybe it’s worth trying Priceline.com for hotels? I’ve not used it myself but friends did when they went to NYC after us and got a better deal on a 4 star hotel (and I notice Priceline do discounted flights too.) On Priceline you bid for rooms basically. You enter your dates and the price you are willing to pay and wait to see if hotels bite. Maybe this is a good time of year to try it? The same friends also recommended Hotwire.com but I haven’t tried that site either yet.

Regards

RD

Watis
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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#109019

Postby Watis » January 9th, 2018, 4:49 pm

Nearly forgot - each traveller will need a ESTA waiver to be allowed into America.

The official Department of Homeland Security site for these is here: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ - don't apply on any other site or face additional charges!

Supporting info here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/esta-usa-visa

HTH,

Watis

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#110011

Postby fuiseog » January 12th, 2018, 9:24 pm

My adult son's working and living in Manhattan. We went across to see him in October 2016 and are due to travel again late spring/early summer. We stayed in a friend's vacant apartment so didn't have to deal with those (to me) telephone number hotel bills.

The National Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian - well worth a visit IMO
http://nmai.si.edu/visit/newyork/
Also, a very readable paperback to get a background on native Americans - "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus", Charles C Mann

Walking back across the Brooklyn Bridge into the Manhattan skyline, particularly if timed to coincide with a good sunset
http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/walking- ... yn-bridge/

I found a visit on the ferry past the Statue of Liberty to Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration a compelling experience knowing that my grandmother passed through it in the early 1900's
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellis_Island

A weekly subway ticket at $32 was very useful in getting around. Without exception, people were helpful when they realise you are a stranger. We found the trains and stations clean and felt very safe even in the early hours, a big change from my previous visits in the 1970's!
http://web.mta.info/metrocard/mcgtreng.htm#7day

There are so many top restaurants that it's difficult to know where to start, but this is worth considering if you're into ***Michelin.
https://www.thomaskeller.com/perseny
Unless you prefer (in Trump Towers) - Jean-Georges Vongerichten, also a **M (Just be careful of the KGB!)

Hope you and your wife have a great time, and the chill factor -29C weather of last week is nothing more than a memory!

fuiseog

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#110012

Postby fuiseog » January 12th, 2018, 9:26 pm

Apologies for a typo, Jean-Georges is a ***M, not **.

Howard
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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#110029

Postby Howard » January 12th, 2018, 11:24 pm

I used to visit New York quite a lot and if you are using BA my recommendation would be to fly home from JFK on the flight which departs around 08.00. This gets into Heathrow around 19.00 UK time. Ok, you spend the day flying, but Mrs H and I found it eliminated jet lag. By the time we got home it was nearly bed-time and we always slept well at home after the flight.

It also avoided the "slept in my clothes - unshaven feeling" after the flight (that's me not Mrs H speaking).

I'd prefer to take that flight home rather than going business class and flying through the night.

Have a great trip.

Howard

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Re: Recommendations for accommodation in New York - near Broadway - and flights

#110053

Postby TahiPanasDua » January 13th, 2018, 6:41 am

Howard wrote:I used to visit New York quite a lot and if you are using BA my recommendation would be to fly home from JFK on the flight which departs around 08.00. This gets into Heathrow around 19.00 UK time. Ok, you spend the day flying, but Mrs H and I found it eliminated jet lag. By the time we got home it was nearly bed-time and we always slept well at home after the flight.

It also avoided the "slept in my clothes - unshaven feeling" after the flight (that's me not Mrs H speaking).

I'd prefer to take that flight home rather than going business class and flying through the night.

Have a great trip.

Howard


Howard, I so agree with you about day time flights. We flew UK/Asia for decades and found day flights to be the answer to jetlag. We had accommodation at both ends so could have a good nights sleep at each end.

Day flights are, however, relatively rare on long flights. I understand that most passengers prefer night flights to avoid an extra night in a hotel. This tends to penalize those with accommodation on arrival though we all have accommodation at one end of the return journey.

Personally, we find the cost of a night in a hotel to be a reasonable price to pay for a relaxing holiday these days.

TP2.


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