We just returned from 5 exciting nights in New York City. We used this forum as a great planning tool before our trip, so thought I just had to write a trip report of how we found our time in New York City.
In summary we absolutely loved the city and had a great time. It is definitely a unique city and offers so much to do and different ways to spend money! We will be absolutely recommending it to others as something you have to experience at least once!
Day 1 – After a very long flight arrived in Newark where there were no troubles getting on the train to Penn Station NYC which took roughly 30 minutes. Once arriving at Penn Station we found it to be a slight mad house, and the cab ride to our hotel was umm interesting to say the least. Our motto with taxi rides especially during busy times was best not to look too much at all the near accidents and make sure you are buckled up!
Due to rates and a few other reasons we stayed at 3 hotels while in NYC. Each offered something different and would definitely recommend any of them.
First was the Fairmont Plaza Hotel. What more can you say about this hotel? It is in a perfect location, has an unbelievable bathroom and was a perfect stay for 2 nights.
For Lunch we made reservations for Jean Georges, which was absolutely amazing. Yes by the time you add in a couple of bottles of water and wine the bill does start to add up – but what a way to start our trip. An absolute excellent meal.
We took a leisurely stroll around the area, Central Park and Lincoln Center.
We had an early dinner at the Oak Room at the Plaza which was very quiet – but the food very good and decently priced. The ambiance in the restaurant was very nice.
After dinner went to Wicked which was a great show and very entertaining!
Day 2 – Ate lunch at Carnegie Deli which was great and kept us full for a long time! We went to the Yankees matinee game which was a great experience. The stadium is costly but a definite experience. I wished I had a chance to experience the Old Yankee Stadium, but the game was still lots of fun. The Yankees sure are one heck of a good team!
Wanted to check out Madison Square Garden and got tickets to Ivete Sangelo which was an absolute blast. We did not know much of her going into the concert, but she clearly is loved by thousands. The crowd was loud and did not stop dancing the entire time!
Afterwards we went up the Empire States Building which had about a 2 hour wait, but thankfully had the Express Tickets. Was definitely the best money we spent this trip as we could not imagine standing in line for that long in those hot rooms for the trip up. Plus seeing everyone’s face as we cruised by was worth the money as well!!! After this we went for a couple of drinks in front of Rockefeller Place - which was lots of fun.
Day 3 – Sunday checked into the Marriott Marquis hotel. The hotel is nice, we had a lovely larger room high up overlooking Times Square. The location was definitely central, but the hotel has kind of an 80’s feel to it. Definitely nice, but almost makes you feel like you are in Vegas. Went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art – which is HUGE but very nice. Wonderful exhibits and a great way to spend a morning. We ended up rushing quite a bit near the end, as we only had time to spend 3 hours there. Took a nice stroll afterwards through Central Park which was honestly nicer then I even imagined. The trees, atmosphere was very relaxing and hard to imagine that the craziness of the city is just a block away. Visited Bethesda and Strawberry Fields, but enjoyed all of the park which we visited.
In the evening did the Bateaux Dinner Cruise. I could not imagine a more perfect evening. Absolutely gorgeous sunset and views. The food was very nice, and we purchased the open bar package which was definitely worth it. Very relaxing and enjoyable dancing underneath the city lights!
Finished the night off with a night cap at the Broadway lounge on the 8th floor of the hotel which was nice but again showing signs of needing a renovation!
Day 4 – Checked into the Ritz Carlton Central Park. Ritz Carlton’s definitely know how to run a hotel. From the moment you walk in until you checked out you are treated like royalty. The hotel itself is absolutely beautiful and the rooms were gorgeous. Had a nice view of the park which was a perfect way to start each day. We went to Tennis – morning match which was great but unfortunately had a rule of no ‘back-pack’s’ in the stadium. I think kind of an odd rule since you are allowed strollers and one shoulder bags. Luckily our bag had detachable straps so we could get in. We had Ashe tickets which is definitely the way to go. There was a huge lineup to get into Armstrong, which did not look fun. We got there right at opening and only stayed for 1 ½ draws. Took the subway back and visited Grand Central Terminal which was big and had a nice pizza fast food restaurant in the basement, Bryant Park which was great to people watch and then Macy’s and Bloomingdales. Bloomingdales itself was a very nice store with actually great bargains to be had.
Day 5 – made our way to Downtown using the subway. Used the subway quite extensively throughout our trip – which was always safe and quite easy to use. Actually surprisingly easy to use.
Once downtown we visited Wall Street, Battery Park, Bowling Green, St Pauls, Trinity Church and of course Century 21. We could not visit Greenwich Village as we were luckily got a phone call while we were there to see Letterman.
Letterman was lots of fun. Really neat to see behind the scenes like this. We originally tried to get tickets online but had no luck so went to the theater a couple days before and signed up for the ‘draw’. Sounds like they like to give the majority of tickets to those who go to the box office to get tickets.
Right after this we went to Promises, Promises which was an absolute fantastic show. Found the site lines not the greatest, as the rows were not ‘steep-enough’ but the show to us was just perfect. Great signing, and VERY funny. We were also lucky enough to have a special guest appearance of Ellen Degeneres on the show. Finished the evening with a few drinks from Hard Rock in Times Square which was nice but quite touristy (I guess we should have figured that going in!!!)
Overall had a very wonderful time in New York City, the people were all friendly, the city very clean (except at night when they pile up the garbage bags) and had an indescribable feel to it. A few passing comments – would recommend the Bateaux as a ‘splurge night’ if you were looking for one night out at a special restaurant, would recommend taking the subway as much as possible, getting off the beaten path as much as possible, even a couple blocks off of the main roads had a much different feel, if you plan on going to ESB get express tickets, had good views of the horses for Central Park and after watching them decided not to get a ride and felt sorry for them, and when buying street hot dogs early in the day make sure they are actually cooked (learnt that last one the hard way!)