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Thread: New York City Hotels

  1. #16


    What about the Bedford Hotel on E40th?
    We can get some good deals on this hotel in the UK - but is it worth it?

  2. #17

    Smile Edison Hotel

    Hi I'm going to NY in December for the first time and are staying at the Edison Hotel on 47th street. Has anyone stayed there before? What is there to do within walking distance and how safe is the area at night? Thanks so much for any help. Pam

  3. #18
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    The area is full of stuff to do in the daytime... for nightime you might want to either hang out in Times Square/Empire State Building/Rockefeller Center or some clubs/bars in Chelsea/East Village... and maybe for dinner, I recommend the Upper West Side/West Village. Ofcourse there is always 'restaurant row' between 8th and 9th on 46th street. But you can really find a restaurant pretty much anywhere. The area is relative safe.

  4. #19


    Thanks for the information you have been very helpful! Pam

  5. #20

    Default Edison

    I have stayed there a couple of times & have no complaints. One of the old, formerly grand, hotel. A little shabby but clean. Gorgeous lobby. Have breakfast at their cafe & admire the original moldings. It must have been lovely when it first opened. You're right in Times Square so there are tons of things to do & see. Very safe. It's a beautiful time to go there. Department store windows, the Rock..... Need any suggestions?

  6. #21


    Quote Originally Posted by tdp View Post
    What about the Bedford Hotel on E40th?
    We can get some good deals on this hotel in the UK - but is it worth it?
    The location is good, hotel is decent.. If it is a good deal that you're getting, just take it...Hotels are for a clean sheet and a decent bed to get a night's sleep, that's all.. Right???

  7. #22


    Quote Originally Posted by milleniumcab View Post
    The location is good, hotel is decent.. If it is a good deal that you're getting, just take it...Hotels are for a clean sheet and a decent bed to get a night's sleep, that's all.. Right???
    Yes, you are right.
    I would sleep on someone's floor if it was a New York floor!

  8. #23


    Quote Originally Posted by Schadenfrau View Post
    ...a lot of people come to NYC for the first time and expect the hotels to be like standardized chains in other areas of the country. Things tend to be a lot smaller and shabbier here, in my experience. You should see the small-town jaws drop upon entering the Chelsea Hotel, and it's not because they're impressed with the history.
    This is true, and it's an opportunity to try something a little different...


    “I don’t intend to hang around in my hotel during my visit, so it only matters that the price is right.”

    Right…? Maybe not.

    Many folks’ first solo travel digs are youth hostels. These provide army barracks camaraderie, potential romantic adventure, a pool of like-minded adolescents, and you have to keep a sharp eye on your valuables. In the morning, they kick you out on the street, not to return till evening.

    Hotel rooms aren’t like that. No matter how much time you intend to spend out on the town, you linger eight to eleven hours in that hotel room: sleeping, showering, unwinding, planning your day, surfing the net, catching the news, making phone calls. Your hotel can make every one of these activities a pleasure or a chore.

    Additionally, at least one unforeseen circumstance will keep you in your room on nearly every visit –whether it’s that blister from unaccustomed walking or that sudden stomach virus or “I just had to take a break from all that frantic sightseeing.” Or: “Couldn’t drag myself out of bed this morning. Oh well, there goes the day…” Or even: “Today, let’s just make love.”

    There’s yet another factor: your hotel room can tell you where you are. Or at least that you’re not still home. If you think most New York or Boston hotel rooms are different from the ones by the Interstate in Raleigh, you’re absolutely right.

    You can find hotels in New York that resemble the ones in Raleigh and Memphis and Lubbock and everywhere else in homogenized America, but at a much higher price…and heck, you can stay at those when you travel to Augusta, which has NOTHING BUT such market-researched establishments.

    You can bid for a room on Priceline, and you can likely get a Memphis room at an actual Memphis price –meaning a bargain by New York standards. Myself, I’d rather have a New York-style bargain room at that price –even if it means sacrificing some mainstream frills.

    A prosperous business associate in my suburban paradise takes two vacations a year. These tend to sandy places like Cancun, Hawaii, Acapulco or St. John, but despite years of my urging neither he nor his wife had ever set foot in New York. Finally with much trepidation and armed with Lion King tickets, he caved; he would celebrate his fortieth birthday in New York.

    He ignored most of my advice and booked a flight into JFK. Consulting a map, he found that the distance from JFK to Times Square was actually less than his daily sunbelt commute. Being a child of the Seventies, he knew that walking New York streets (especially with a woman) requires frequent backward glances, and New York elevators are often packed with rapists. Finally, Manhattan hotels harbor rude clerks, Babylonian activities and settlements of cockroaches (if not also rats). He also knew the city’s dodgy restaurants practice dubious hygiene.

    After further research, he booked a familiar chain hotel near the airport, rented a car, and drove daily into New York for four days. He saw Lion King and ate at Planet Hollywood. On his return he declared that he had found New York expensive and boring –which I don’t doubt.

    You could regard the physical transfer of his body to New York as a mere technicality; he had never really left home.

    Some place-specific New York lodgings occupy townhouses in dense urban neighborhoods, some have been around since the dawn of time, and some reflect the cultural predilections of an eccentric innkeeper rather than the data of corporate market surveys.

    Now minuscule rooms, windows on airshafts or roaches in the bathroom may also tell you you’re in New York, but that’s not the way you want to get the message.

    So yes, it does make a difference where you stay. And you can stay in an expensive city like New York in a budget establishment that actually enhances the experience of travel –that is, a place that is an attraction itself.

    But times change. Time was, you could sojourn at a then-affordable Gramercy and get a key to the exclusive park. Time was, you could afford to stay at the terminally funky Hotel Chelsea –today still funky and just as run-down as but no longer affordable. Some hotels start out as great finds but then raise their prices as soon as word gets around (Comfort Inn Midtown).

    Sam Chang is building a whole raft of clean, new moderately-priced hotels branded as familiar chains in mostly uninteresting Manhattan venues. These will remind you of vertical versions of the places you know from beside the Interstate in your home town. I wouldn’t recommend them for a stay in New York.

    Finding affordable gems takes a little research. Guidebooks, the Internet and word-of-mouth all help. Checking Tripadvisor is sine qua non –but with a caveat: you have to watch for glowing reviews that are plants.

    Some criteria:

    Location is important not just because you inevitably spend some time in your hotel’s immediate vicinity but also because it helps you feel secure and at home --or it can make you dread your nightly return. Equally important is access to restaurants, coffee shops, groceries, and most of all, the subway.

    Ambiance extends beyond décor to historic associations or a talkative owner or a camaraderie among guests. This is especially prevalent in bed-and-breakfasts, which also tend to cluster in less touristed neighborhoods. You need to not mind climbing stairs.

    Upkeep: cleanliness is essential; you want all traces of previous occupants expunged: hair, gum wrappers, cigarette smoke, condoms. You also want freedom from vermin, including roaches, mice and recently-proliferating bedbugs. The furniture’s condition should be scuffed and worn only if it’s a genuine antique.

    Features: these are nice to have, but you can’t be too fussy about these if you’re on a budget. You’ll rarely find a coffee maker, a safe, room service, or maybe even a hair dryer –though you can ask the innkeeper for help with some of these. I hope you’ll also discover how inessential these are to a satisfying experience. And to compensate, some bed-and-breakfasts may provide you with a glass of sherry and a pleasant chat.

    Using these criteria, the following are establishments I can recommend:

    Hotel Beacon. This used to be a well-kept secret, but as word trickled out, rates crept upward. So it’s less budget than moderate, but it has so much going for it you might still think of it as a bargain.

    You could start by knocking a bundle out of your food bill by shopping at the Fairway across the street and using the fridge and kitchenette you’ll find in a Beacon room; you can cut out some restaurant meals this way. Ask for a room on a high floor or facing Broadway; the top floor room in the point is the best; it has panoramic views in three directions.

    The neighborhood is Beacon’s other big asset. Lively street life, plenty of restaurants, both utilitarian and ritzy shops, hairdressers. You’ll be living in a New Yorkers’ New York, though at times it’ll feel like Paris.

    The subway is right there: one express stop to Times Square, a short spurt to Columbia –and Lincoln Center, the Museum of Natural History, elegant brownstones and Central Park are all walking distance.

    The Excelsior. Another former secret find, now discovered and therefore moderate, not budget. If there are more than two of you, the multi-room suites here make this hotel a good buy. Rent a suite instead of two rooms.

    Directly across from the Museum of Natural History on truly Parisian 81st Street, there’s a decent coffee shop/diner downstairs and the subway on the corner of ritzy Central Park West.

    Truly at your doorstep, walk across the Park to the Metropolitan Museum, Fifth and Madison Avenues and the East Side. You’ll certainly know you’re in New York; though the rooms are very nice, they’re not corporate standard issue.

    A step down in both price and quality is the Washington Square Hotel, which I guess qualifies as a European style boutique hotel. Very individualistically decorated, the public rooms feature Klimtian ceramic mosaics and the guest rooms have movie stars and trim modern furniture. Caveat: be sure you ask for a renovated room; the old ones are tired and a touch depressing.

    Downstairs you’ll find a great breakfast and coffee shop, and you won’t believe how narrow some of the corridors get.

    At your doorstep: Washington Square, one of New York’s best, Greenwich Village and SoHo. The subway is two blocks away.

    Though the rack rate is fairly high, the Park Central is much discounted by Internet travel services, so you can sometimes get a really great deal. It’s big and a bit impersonal, but it’s a renovated old-timey mid-range grand hotel such as used to dominate old Gotham, which means it’s not really corporate standard, although it tries hard to be. And unlike its sibling, the Pennsylvania, this one’s in really good shape. It has a vast low-ceilinged lobby with plenty of little shops and snack bars, and the subway is literally in its basement, while the throngs of Times Square swarm immediately outside.

    The best deal for last: The Tribeca Cosmopolitan was built as a hotel in Civil War times, and has never been anything but a hotel. These days only the exterior betrays its age; inside it’s all clean, new surfaces.

    Cosmo’s present low prices are inexplicable and will almost certainly vanish. A cleaner, better-located place you can’t find at its price. Starbucks, deli and subway right downstairs, near great restaurants, the World Trade Center, Chinatown, Tribeca.

    Rooms are tastefully furnished without luxuries and the staff is courteous. If they give you a room on the airshaft, just ask pleasantly for a room that faces Chambers Street or West Broadway; the views are great and the streets aren’t particularly noisy.

    This hotel is clean, clean, clean. The Russian maids polish your room to shiny perfection. When they’re through they look for ways to make it even cleaner. If you can get a room here, you might want to forget the others.

    All the above are multi-story hotels with elevators. Here are three bed-and-breakfasts in converted town houses. They’re all very pleasant, clean and homey and can cost barely over $100 a night. But you have to like climbing stairs and be willing to share a bathroom:

    Second Home on Second Avenue. The Peruvian owner couldn’t be pleasanter or more helpful. Every room is different and laden with character. Some rooms have private baths, some are suites (great if there are four of you), one floor features shared bath, but if you rent both rooms, you’re sharing it with your buddies or family. There’s even a really tiny room for one –like a monk’s cell. Prices are low by New York standards and vary by size of room and whether the bath is shared or private. Informative website with floor plans.

    Location can’t be beat: on Second Avenue, just down from bustling and newly beautiful Union Square with it farmer’s market, its Trader Joe’s supermarket, its political demonstrations and its flaneurs. Also here you’ll find Manhattan’s densest confluence of subway lines less than two blocks from your front door. Lots of Starbucks and budget eateries, of which the most iconic is Veselka, a diner with a huge menu of Ukrainian and American comfort food and breakfast all day.

    You’re in the East Village. Check out St. Mark’s place, still reeking of patchouli, where you can pick up a Che Guevara poster, a scented candle, or paraphernalia. Follow it to leafy Tompkins Square in one direction to find all those undiscovered and cheap ethnic holes in the wall with enthusiastic food, including a whole street of curry. Or head west to nearby Astor Place, Cooper Union, Broadway or Greenwich Village.

    East Village Bed and Coffee. Rooms laden with character in Alphabet City. Friendly owner, very low prices, shared baths, communal atmosphere in hipster heaven.
    One block from Tompkins Square. Subway is a ten minute hike, though there’s a bus stop right in front. Highly recommended for a real taste of New York life in fairly bohemian surroundings.

    Abingdon Guest House. At the high end of bed and breakfasts in both quality and price, this fastidiously decorated pair of town houses is ideally located near Abingdon Square in the West Village, as charming a location as you’ll find,, and not too far from the subway. Book here months in advance.

    Try staying in a different neighborhood each time you visit New York. It sure beats staying in the tourist areas. You can live in a real neighborhood, enjoy a little adventure and save some money all at the same time.

  9. #24
    Senior Member Capn_Birdseye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Houseboat, Thames, London


    On my last visit had to stay in The Park Hotel W77st. Apparently Bush & Blair were in town and there was a major UN sitting taking place so hotel vacancies were scarce.

    Great hotel, just a walk down the street to Central Park. The bar was tiny, more a cocktail bar than anything else. Rooms were great and luckily we got off the web at a half-decent rate, usually its quite expensive.

    Going more mid-town next time we visit.

    The worst hotel I've stayed in is the Pennsylvannia opposite Madison Gardens. The "con" is they have old shabby rooms and for those "in the know" newly refurbished rooms - the former are crap holes, the latter ok. But 9 times out of 10 they put unsuspecting guests into the old rooms!
    Last edited by Capn_Birdseye; October 26th, 2006 at 01:36 PM.

  10. #25


    im stayin in the courtyard marriot in midtown! it kicks butt!! im pretti close 2 times square i luv it there NYC 4 LIFE LOL

  11. #26


    does anyone know what the Hilton Gardens is like and what it is close to?

  12. #27


    Quote Originally Posted by lucylocket View Post
    does anyone know what the Hilton Gardens is like and what it is close to?
    It's very close to Times Square - so pretty central.

    It would appear that there are also "Hilton Garden" Hotels in Staten Island, Queens, Ithaca and ALbany (all New York) - make sure you get the right one!

  13. #28

    Default Park Central

    has anyone stayed at Park Central ?

    I am booking a vacation and was considering this hotel as an option

  14. #29


    Quote Originally Posted by raycanales View Post
    has anyone stayed at Park Central ?
    Description in post 23. Name is boldfaced.

  15. #30


    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post

    The Excelsior. Another former secret find, now discovered and therefore moderate, not budget. If there are more than two of you, the multi-room suites here make this hotel a good buy. Rent a suite instead of two rooms.
    Are there any Midtown hotels that can offer 'multi-room' suites?
    This would certainly suit the party of eight that I will be traveling with in '07.

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