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Stockton
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Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

Ok firstly I've never been to New York and I'm travelling from the UK, I've saved for an age so I'm trying to make a special trip for my wife and 16 year old daughter. I have a budget of about $2400 for the hotel, I would like to spend less! I'm travelling on the 27 December 14 and returning on the 1st jan so we can have New year in New York. My wife wants to do all the tourist stuff, ice skating in Central Park, ground zero, Statue of Liberty etc, where should we stay? The hotel is just a place to get some sleep, but I want them to feel safe and for it to be clean.

Will we need to try and book restaurants nearer the time?

Am I best just getting a taxi from Newark or JFK airport when we arrive? Or should we pre book?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks

Dallas, Texas
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1. Re: Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

Be advised that the hotel prices increase, I'd say, at least 50-75% starting Jan 28 or so, because so many people want to be in New York for New Years. Visit a week earlier and you'll save a lot on the hotel. That said, your budget 2400/5 nights = 480/night should give you lots of options even during the pricier period.

You will definitely need to book restaurants because, again, so many visitors are making reservations. Start booking on opentable.com, or call the restaurant directly, 30 days ahead. Particularly if there's a restaurant you really want to visit.

You didn't ask, but same goes for theatre. If there's a show you really want to see, best buy the tickets online before you leave.

You can get a taxi when you arrive, no need to book ahead. Be sure to find the official taxi line, which will be outside the terminal. Do NOT accept offers from people approaching you in the terminal. If you want to save money, there are transit options from JFK and Newark.

As to hotel, you should monitor this forum, lookup various hotels, get a feel for what's available that is to your liking. It won't take long, hotel questions come up frequently. One thing that's important is proximity to a subway station. Or a bus stop. Do you have any idea where you'd like to be near generally ? Central Park ? Midtown ? The Village ?

For all these questions, check the links to the right "Top Questions about New York City" for tons of good information.

Have a great trip.

Stockton
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11 posts
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2. Re: Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

Thank you for your quick reply and some great advice

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

I think Larry meant Dec. 28th and I agree. It makes me so sad when someone that's been saving like you posts and wants to come when prices are so high. I beg you to reconsider your dates. NYE in NYC is outrageously expensive and VERY crowded. You'd be so much better coming for Xmas. Pick any hotel... and compare the prices for Dec. 22-27 vs. the dates you picked. And where do you think you're going to go for NYE? With the mobs in Times Square? Read up about that on the FAQ on

Timessquarealliance.org

If you want to have a great time, come earlier (or later) and avoid NYE. Your money will go further and you'll have a better time. As to where, the things you list are all over the city so no one location is going to be "best." Staying near a subway station is what you want.. There are hotels with 2 queen beds (like your kings) like the Hampton Inn Times Square North and the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square... and then there are suite hotels with a separate sitting room and bedroom. There's a London agency

www.apartments2book.com

that has contracts with many of the suite hotels and can often get better pricing than you can on your own. First you need (imo) to rethink your dates. I use

kayak.com

quikbook.com

to "shop" hotels to get idea of prices. Kayak includes the 15% tax in their nightly quoted rate which makes it easier but they don't show prices for 3 until you pick the hotel.

Dallas, Texas
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4. Re: Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

Yep I meant Dec 28 thanks for the clarification and sorry if any confusion.

PeterG post back when you've narrowed down some hotels and I'm sure you will get good guidance.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

I am "thirding" Larry and nywhiz...please think twice about coming over the New Year. The only iconic thing that happens in NYC on New Year's Eve is the ball drop in Times Square, and to see that you'll need to stand in a pen for ~12 hours with no access to a toilet and very limited food and drink. It's cold and uncomfortable and not something most of us would ever want to do.

There are some private venues that hold parties with a view of the ball drop, but very few of them would allow your under-21 daughter. Plus they cast hundreds of dollars per person and tickets are very competitive.

There are some fireworks in Central Park on New Year's Eve, but these are not iconic fireworks like in Sydney or a big impressive display like in London and many other cities. We save our big fireworks for the Fourth of July.

In sum, in my opinion it would be a lot more special - and a lot less expensive - to be in NYC over Christmas week, when the magical holiday feeling is still in the air!! :)

Stockton
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11 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

I'm so impressed with the advice, thanks so much.

The flights haven't been booked yet, but to be stuck in a penn for 10 or so hours has no appeal so I think I'll spend NYE in the air flying back home, why not. I wish I could travel earlier and I really would take your advice but I'm an emergency service worker (my reason for wanting to see Ground Zero and pay my respects) and I have to unfortunately work Christmas Eve, so travelling on Boxing Day is the earliest I can travel.

Some great tips KAYAK, never used them before but a great search tool, thanks.

I can eat anywhere, but my wife prefers veggie, can you guys recommend any restaurants and I'll try and book them from over here so as not to disappoint.

and thanks again

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

Peter, we dont call it Ground Zero any more. It's now the Freedom Tower or 9/11 Memorial. You need tickets, btw for the Memorial. You might want to take one of the guided tours from the Tribute Center.

http://www.tributewtc.org/walktours/

In addition to kayak, many folks from the UK like

Skyscanner.net

for airfare and I think they also do hotel seraches. What I like about both is they're not really selling but leading you to who is. It's always better imo to buy air tickets directly from the airline. In case of changes, weather delays etc., the folks who bought from the airline always do better than those who didn't. That said, given your dates, before buying anything you should check prices on air/hotel packages vs. buying individually. It's hard to tell which will be cheaper. One great feature kayak has a predictor on whether prices will go up or down. It's after you do a fare search on the upper left. it's called fare chart. Don't be in a rush to buy airfare this early unless the price spunds great.

Menupages.com

Is a good place to start looking at restaurants. I don't thi k you realize how large Manhattan is, let alone all of NYC. Veggie options are all over. Frangipani is a veggie eater and will have lots of good ideas for you. Poster ziggy has a food blog at

Eatingwithziggy.com

You should start exploring hotel options and come back with a short list.

Edited: 10 March 2014, 12:58
New York City, New...
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8. Re: Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

From what I have read, once the 9/11 Museum opens up - which is supposed to be in May - you won't need a pass to visit the 9/11 memorial anymore. The memorial will remain free, and you can go just to visit it, or you can pay admission to visit the museum as well. With your profession, as nywhiz suggested, you might want to look into getting a Tribute Center tour as well, and request a guide who was an emergency services worker on site that day. You'll probably also be interested in paying a visit to St. paul's Chapel, which is next to the WTC site.

As far as where to eat, if you're interested in one or two special lunches.dinners, please let us know, and what your budget for the splurge(s) is as well. As far as other meals, you'll probably want to eat in whatever neighborhood you'll be in that day, so we can give you suggestions once you've mapped out an itinerary. For special/popular restaurants, you do generally need to reserve a month in advance, but few restaurants allow bookings more than one month in advance, so you have plenty of time to decide!

Please do post again once you've gotten a shortlist of hotels and we can help you to decide. Also please post once you've gotten a first draft itinerary together, and we can help you to make sure it's logical and efficient and to fill in any gaps (such as where to eat).

Have fun planning!

Boston, MA
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9. Re: Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

Can you travel in early January? You will get amazing hotel deals for your Money then. Just a thought. Dec 30 - jan 2 are some of the highest hotel prices of the entire year.

Syracuse, New York
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10. Re: Good hotel? And should I book restaurants?

My advice about making restaurant reservations is that, if there is a specific restaurant you want to dine in, please make reservations. I know I wanted to go to a place called Victor's Cafe for a trip at the end of the month & couldn't get in at the time I wanted to.

On the other hand, by law, the restaurants in NYC have to post menus outside of their entrances. You can go by, look at the menu &, if possible, look in the window to see if it's a place you'd like. I've done both & they both work.