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Help with where to stay

Midwest
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Help with where to stay

We are a family of 4. My wife and I and our 2 teenage daughters.

We are flying in on July 17th and leaving on July 22nd.

We are planning to walk the Brooklyn bridge, we have crown acces to SOL, we have tix for 9/11 Museum, we plan to spend Saturday in Central Park, we want to got to see the Late Show and we want to see Phantom.

We are booked at the Sheraton Times Square. However the reviews are mixed and are making me nervous.

Are we ok staying there or do any of you have some other suggestions.

The Sheraton is going to cost $1,500.

We would like to walk to Phantom and to Times Square to see the lights since both are night events.

Also, any advice on getting cheaper tix for Phantom would be helpful. Also seating location advice would be good as well.

Thank you in advance for any help.

Olney, Maryland
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1. Re: Help with where to stay

1) $1500 per night? 1500 for 1 room for 4 nights, or $187.50 per room for two rooms for 4 nights? I assume it's the last one, which is a typical price. And don't forget the 14% tax,unless that is already calculated in your price.

2) Because New York has a subway system that is more comprehensive than most city's bus systems, and because the entire famous part of New York is about 6 miles x 2 miles, you can get anywhere from anywhere by taxi or train or bus very, very easily. And you can walk to about half of what you want to see, no matter where you stay. You could stay in New Jersey, if so inclined, and still get to Times Square in 15 minutes (like getting from Council Bluffs to Omaha, or Belleville,IL, to St. Louis, MO). More typically, you could stay in the Financial District and get to Times Square in 15 minutes, too (and vice versa).

3) The complaints about the hotel seemed to be that, I am sorry to say, it is a typical 1500-room hotel, with long lines for checking in, long lines for checking out (unless they do it automatically and give you the receipt under the door or electronically, and no time for the staff to be especially friendly (with about 3000 people staying there, it's hard to have time to be more than superficially nice).

What in most cities in the US are large hotels would be medium or failry small ones in New York. If you can't change the hotel, I would not worry; I've had family stay there many times over the decades under many different owners, and it's just a typical big-conference, big group tour, big family get-together, New York hotel. Many Times Square hotels are that large, because that's where all the visitors want to stay.

There are many other locations and hotel sizes. If you want advice on others, just ask away. It seems to me that no one wrote that it's not clean, that it's not serviced properly, that there was no hot water, none of those things.

I see this a lot; it's the shock of visiting a very different sort of place that one is visiting. You should have seen my wife's face the first time she saw our hotel room in London (the bed + 1 foot on each side + a wardrobe against the wall). At least we had our own WC :^)

Olney, Maryland
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2. Re: Help with where to stay

As far as Phantom is concerned, here is one way to get good discounts: Join playbill.com which is the website of the publication given out at every Broadway theater you go to. Joining is free. Once your have joined you can get a discount a many (not all) Broadway shows, usually the same amount as the famous "tkts" booth (look it up), but you don't have to stand in a line.

I'm looking at it right now, and the highest price tickets are $99, many are $90 and some are as low as $55 (the closeness and the day of the week and evening/vs. matinee are what determine the price).

You then can get the tickets by going to a web page, calling them, or visiting the theater itself. Makes no difference, as far as I can tell. I have done this a number of times, some even walking up with the sheet of paper they tell you to print out the day before the performance and getting my tickets.

There are some other honest discount-offering sites, but I've always trusted this, so it's as good as any.

Times Square isn't exactly an event, it's a place, from 42 to 48th St along 7th Avenue and Broadway. And the TS neighborhood continues up to about 53rd St. (20 blocks to a mile).

Midwest
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3. Re: Help with where to stay

Thank you for the answers. This helps. Sorry for the lack of clarity. The $1500 is for 1 room with two double beds for 5 nights. $300 a night per room and that includes taxes.

I am wide open to suggestions for staying anywhere else that fits our needs and in that price range.

We are totally fine with the subway, kind of enjoy using it since we don't have one here. However my wife really doesn't want to have to use it at night. So we would like to be able to walk to the theatre and Times Square at night from the hotel.

Do you have a good suggestion for us hotel wise? The sheraton reservation is not prepaid and can be cancelled.

Thank you

Olney, Maryland
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4. Re: Help with where to stay

Also, the Late Show is very difficult to get into; tickets are mailed out to people who request them months in advance. They also give some out early in the day, but guarantee nothing. My brother and his daughter got same-day waiting-list tickets, and never got in, and wasted a couple of hours in the morning, and another couple of hours in the late afternoon. Luckily they only live 150 miles from New York, so it wasn't like it was a one-time only visit.

Next, are you sure you can spend an entire 8 hours in Central Park? Yes it's great, yes there are many interesting places to wander throught, like the Sheep Meadow, the Great Lawn, Strawberry Fields, the Carousel, the Zoo, the Bethesda Fountain, the Lake, Cleopatra's Needle, many statues, may walkways, but I'd be done after about 4 hours.

There are museums next to the east side of the park: The Met, the Guggenheim, the Cooper-Hewitt and others.

You never mentioned the High Line, Chinatown, Greenwich Village and its famous Washington Square Park, the East Village, Soho, Union Square, the UN, the Financial District itself (where the WTC, the ferry to the SOL, and the Bklyn Br are).

Olney, Maryland
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5. Re: Help with where to stay

The five subway lines are more crowded at night than they are during midday; and not with "rowdy kids who need to get off my lawn!" either. And there are taxis for real late at night, like after midnight, when the trains are only moderately filled. Where are you from in the Midwest? I have worked in Omaha, Chicago, St. Louis, and St. Paul, and am familiar with how different some parts can feel from New York, and some similarities.

And if you are staying five nights, the odds are you will not be spending all five of them in Times Square (the hotel is actually a couple of blocks north of the north end of Times Square).

There are lots of $300/night hotels. If this one gives you trepidations, look for a smaller one,

I looked on Hotels.com and every hotel around Times Square is around $250-300 per night. Try the Renaissance Times Square Hotel at 714 Seventh Avenue (at W. 48th St). My wife loved it the two times we stayed there. It's smaller, yet very highly rated, and around $277 per night that I saw for July 17-22. It's closer to TS than the one you picked, and it's near 3 subway station (49th on the N, R, 50th on the 1, 7th/53 on the B,D,E).

Dallas, Texas...
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6. Re: Help with where to stay

Take a look at Hampton Inn Times Square North. You will have two queen beds instead of two doubles. Great reviews and a good hotel. Great location too. Near theaters and good restaurants, but not right in the thick of the TS bedlam.

The best price I could find was on their own website. $295 nonrefundable. That rate includes free hot breakfast. I think Sheraton only provides that for Club Level guests. It's a little higher for a flexible rate, but I think it's worth it vs the Sheraton and making due with 2 double beds..

To see that rate, you have to click the "special promotions" checkbox when looking at room search results.

Whitestone, New York
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7. Re: Help with where to stay

Why doesn't your wife want to use the subway at night? That makes it sound like she thinks the subway gets bad, or dangerous, or something, at night, which of course it doesn't; there's actually less crime on the subway later at night than there is in the early evening. And it isn't any darker underground at night than it is in the middle of the day. What, then, is her objection?

As for the location, you would only want to walk to Times Square once at night, and you would stay there about ten minutes and then want to get the heck out of there. You also wouldn't have any place right at hand to get something to eat that wasn't built to be an overpriced tourist trap. While if you had a hotel in a more residential area you would have to take the subway (and yes, at night -- but tell your wife that Linda said that she takes the subway by herself at night all the time, and never gives it a thought, and you will be travelling as a group) to get back from the theater, you would also have much better options for getting breakfast or dinner close to your room.

To show you the difference location can make in price, the Country Inn and Suites in Long Island City has a suite with a king bed in the bedroom and a sofabed in the living room, with free breakfast, for $180 per night during the time you will be here.

Linda

Olney, Maryland
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8. Re: Help with where to stay

And that Country Inn and Suites, while in a kind of industrial neighborhood, is 10 minutes from Times Square, and at midnight you will be walking to your hotel with about 100 Europeans who appreciate the price, the cleanliness, and the private WC :^) There must be about a dozen hotels around there, near the auto repair and welding places.

Midwest
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9. Re: Help with where to stay

Wow, I need to do some more research. I wasn't sure about the park. We were thinking of renting bikes. Sounds like there are some other things we need to see for the other half of that day.

Do you just walk around and explore the areas you mentioned? Or are there particular things to do in the areas? I have read about most of them in my research, but didn't see what there was to really do. Just explore?

We are trying to leave enough time in our itinerary to be able to sort of live in the moment if we find something interesting or what not. We have planned to bring our girls on this trip since they were young. So we really want to hit the highlights and really explore New York. I know we have a lot of the touristy stuff on our list, but we also want to really see New York as well.

Please tell me what things we should 100% have in our itinerary with 2 teenage daughters being with us.

Also, where should we really be staying to get the full experience. What hotel is your preference in our price range? $300 a night for two doubles or queens including tax if possible.

As far as eating, we love food, but don't want to do the upscale dinning stuff, except maybe once. We really are into fun places with great food at reasonable prices. I'm budgeting around $200 a day for food, 3 meals, but we are definitely excited to try food carts for our lunches and are open to some cheaper dinners as long as the atmosphere is cool and food is good. We can eat cheap breakfast as well some of the days.

We plan to eat at Juniors for breakfast one day and cheesecake one night. We plan to have the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity and would like to eat a Carnegie Deli, maybe. We thought it would be fun to have Chinese in Chinatown and plan to have food cart food for most lunches. We know we want to get some pizza by the slice as well. Also have considered Ellen's Stardust Dinner.

I have been reading the forum for a long time and still feel a bit overwhelmed on where and what to eat. What a huge array of choices. It has all almost started to bleed together on me now.

I'm at a point where I wish someone would just tell us where to go and what to see and where to stay and what to eat. Not quite there, but getting close. What a great city with so much to chose from.

Thank you for your help.

Midwest
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10. Re: Help with where to stay

NorthofDC, thank you for all your help. We live in a suburb of Indianapolis, IN. I will definitely check into the Renaissance.

Christnp2, I will also check into the Hampton Inn, that sounds nice to have Queens instead of Doubles. Also, the breakfast would be great a few of the mornings.

AuntLindaV, Thank you for the info. I think her fear is just of the unknown and big city and all and just something about after dark and in a tunnel and such scares her a bit. I will share with her your thoughts. You make some great points. I also think that she doesn't want her and the girls to be to dressed up and on a subway when go to the musical, which may not be a big deal either, but I suppose we could take a taxi that night if need be. We are really wide open as to where to stay and I really do like the idea of staying in a neighborhood with great food options around us.

We talked about Long Island City, but she really wants to stay in Manhattan. That may be a touristy thing, but I think it's more of an idea than anything else. This is the only time we will visit with our daughters before they are grown and such and we want to just experience it. Maybe that's a little goofy, but that's what she's thinking I think.

Thank you to all of you for your great help. All info and advice is greatly appreciated.