New York Hotels/Place to stay

PrimePrime Registered User regular
edited December 2015 in Help / Advice Forum
We've booked the time off work (late May), saved the cash and are looking to spend 5-6 nights in New York for our first trip to the US (live in the UK).

Trying to avoid the package deals for flights + room if possible to make the money go futher. Any locals have good recommendations for a nice place to stay? The other half is a little worried about picking a place in a "bad" area because we dont know the city. We dont plan on spending much time in the hotel just after a nice enough place to rest our heads at night.

Also is there anything particually uniquely game/comic/nerdy in the area that I should check out?

Prime on

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  • SixSix Thankful for my limbs and teeth Registered User regular
    If you're staying in Manhattan you'll have to work pretty hard to find a really bad place to stay, especially if you're below the park. I'd probably avoid Chinatown, but you'll be able to walk/subway/cab/uber everywhere you want to go easily, meaning you'll be able to also get back pretty easily. There are certainly parts of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens I'd avoid staying in, especially since you can find yourself in a mass transit dead zone, but in Manhattan you should be fine. Yelp or Tripadvisor should guide you pretty well when it comes to specific hotels.

    Where you stay will likely be dictated by what you want to spend most of your time doing. Are you planning on just staying in Manhattan, venturing out into the boros or going further outside the city? Are you planning on renting a car or sticking to mass transit?

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  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    You'd probably save some money finding a hotel in Queens or Brooklyn and then traveling to the places you want to go. Taking the subway is one of the things you must do while here anyway.

    Look into Long Island City or Astoria in Queens, and Dumbo, Gowanus, Fort Greene, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint in Brooklyn. All are fairly close to the city (~30 minutes on the subway), and they're neat neighborhoods to check out. Everyone wins!

  • PrimePrime Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Six wrote: »
    Are you planning on just staying in Manhattan, venturing out into the boros or going further outside the city? Are you planning on renting a car or sticking to mass transit?

    We had planned to stick around Manhattan, but thats only because we dont know any better really and there is plenty we want to do there (touristy stuff to see). Will check out Astoria etc as recommended by Minirhyder for hotels.

    We hadnt planned on renting a car but could.

    Prime on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Prime wrote: »
    Six wrote: »
    Are you planning on just staying in Manhattan, venturing out into the boros or going further outside the city? Are you planning on renting a car or sticking to mass transit?

    We had planned to stick around Manhattan, but thats only because we dont know any better really and there is plenty we want to do there (touristy stuff to see). Will check out Astoria etc as recommended by Minirhyder for hotels.

    We hadnt planned on renting a car but could.

    Unless you are specifically planning on leaving the city, don't. NYC has solid mass transit, and driving in the city can be a nightmare.

    Edit: And if you do plan on leaving the city, plan your trip around doing so, and only rent the car for that portion.

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  • SixSix Thankful for my limbs and teeth Registered User regular
    Prime wrote: »
    Six wrote: »
    Are you planning on just staying in Manhattan, venturing out into the boros or going further outside the city? Are you planning on renting a car or sticking to mass transit?

    We had planned to stick around Manhattan, but thats only because we dont know any better really and there is plenty we want to do there (touristy stuff to see). Will check out Astoria etc as recommended by Minirhyder for hotels.

    We hadnt planned on renting a car but could.

    Unless you have a real reason for wanting a car, like you have specific plans to drive out on Long Island or upstate, I definitely wouldn't bother since it will be expensive to rent and to park.

    You can certainly save money staying outside of Manhattan, either in Brooklyn or queens or in Jersey City or Hoboken. NJ may make sense if you're flying in to Newark, but you'll have a little overhead getting into and out of the city every day, and it will be a super expensive cab ride if you ever want to get home.

    I'd start with planning your trip a bit. What do you want to do? if it's your first time to NY, you'll probably want to do a lot of Manhattan things - Central Park, Broadway, 30 Rock/Empire State Building, etc. If thast's the case, a home base in Manhattan will make the most sense, though it will be a bit more expensive (though harder to go wrong). If you have designs on seeing a less touristy NYC that includes more of the outer boroughs, you may end finding that a home base in downtown brooklyn or long island city makes sense and will be cheaper.

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  • PrimePrime Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Thanks @Six , money isnt really an issue was just trying to maximise bang for buck. If it makes things easier/less hassle its a premium we're happy to pay to stay in Manhattan.

    edit: We'll talk it over and do some planning and I'll be back once I know where we're staying for more "eat here, go there, try this" advise.

    Prime on
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    You really want to stay in Manhattan. Staying anywhere else adds a lot of travel time, as subways aren't that fast, and the vast majority of stuff you'll want to see will be in Manhattan.

    I visit NYC a few times a year to visit friends and even then, I'll rent out an Air B&B (https://airbnb.com) most of the time, because my friends live too far out for the limited time I'll be in NYC. Aka, it's a better use of my time to stay in Manhattan and let my friends come in to visit me, rather than to stay with them and commute to Manhattan.

    Granted, the only NYC neighborhood I go to outside of Manhattan is Flushings....

    iTNdmYl.png
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    Flushing is the farthest possible point from manhattan while still being technically on the the subway line, so that's not a fair comparison at all. The places minirhyder recommended are max 30 minute rides from most of manhattan, and much less to some parts. One thing to remember is that subways in nyc run 24 hours, though the frequency of trains decreases considerably late night.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Which airport are you coming in on and how much luggage

    I think you're stuck for price - if you're a tourist, you should get something in Manhattan if you don't have a game plan for the other boroughs.

    Something you should strongly consider as a tourist is how much you want to view the Manhattan skyline - that's surprisingly accomplishable with many high rise hotels in the cheaper neighborhoods as long as you're not too far north, and there is a lot of stuff to look at, though you may prefer a view including the Empire State Building in the skyline.

    You can get views like that on the tons of skyscraper tours, but it looks best at night. If you're interested, ask the hotel about this. It'll probably cost more generally, but it's an experience.

    Where you can save a buck is transit to the hotel from the airport and vice versa, which can be excruciating if you want to save money and have lots of bags and are traveling at The Wrong Time. That's the MTA. More expensive options are yellow cab, uber?, or the predatory half-scam livery service that aggressively tries to recruit you from baggage claim on. A bad driver can make it extremely stressful, and for JFK you can easily plunk close to the cost of a day's stay in Manhattan just for that trip if you're not careful.

    Don't feel like you need a hotel really close to anything except maybe an Ess-a-Bagel or a bakery in case you want to eat very first thing in the morning. If you're fit and insane you can even take Citibike if you hate the subway. All the nice spots have great transportation.

    Have you checked out nycgo.com? I wonder if you'll catch a restaurant week.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • PrimePrime Registered User regular
    Just booked. 17th to the 24th. Staying at
    http://www.hotelmetronyc.com/ managed to get a good price with flights and transfers and seemed nice enough.

    Feel to fire any non standard must sees my way. Really looking forward to my first trip to the US. So much to see and so much food to try

  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    Go to Rockefeller Center, don't go to Empire State.
    Go to Cloisters/Ft. Tryon Park for a better The Met/Central Park experience, but do still go to the Met/Central Park on the same day.
    Go to Juliana's, don't go to Grimaldi's.
    Brick Lane for curry, Donguri for Japanese.
    Jing Fong for dim sum, Keens for lamb chop or steak.
    Five Guys for burgers.
    Russ & Daughters for belly lox (not just lox, but belly lox) with cream cheese on a bagel.
    Katz's/2nd Ave Deli/Carnegie(whoops, there goes another NY institution closed by hyper-gentrification)/Mile End/Eisenberg's for pastrami on rye. Must be accompanied by an egg cream or a lime rickey.
    Halal street cart food, it's what New Yorkers eat.
    Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Promenade.
    No matter what we say, you're going to see Times Square and probably SOHO.
    Liberty is worth a visit, but you should reserve tickets online first if at all possible.
    Governor's Island is a good getaway.
    Take the subway, don't take the Big Bus Tour type operations.

    PrimeAnarCHris
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited December 2015
    i dont live in Manhattan but i consulted here for advice last year and I visited on similar terms

    i stayed at the United Nations Hampton Inn, which is right around midtown and would do it again in a heartbeat. It's two blocks from grand central station, convenient to everything.

    The room is small... in that it's sized enough to hold a bed, a toilet, and a suitcase. I think my nightly rate was under $300/night. I'm sure deals can be had.

    I would also heavily reenforce other peoples suggestions that you SHOULD stay in Manhattan. Traffic is a fucking disaster. If you think you want a rental car, you're wrong and you're a bad person. It's horrifying. Don't do it. Just get a cab or take a sub or walk. I was there in late May and the weather was fine for walking. I did hundreds of blocks no problem!

    Jasconius on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Is Shake Shack open right now? Get the shack stack or the shroom burger, and Eataly is like right there. Also, Artichoke Pizza. The general rule is if there is a line it's good and also overrated. This goes quintuple for Dominic Ansel's bakery in SOHO, though cronuts are old hat so go for it whatever.

    Halal carts, uh, if you have an iron stomach they're ok. The better version is in the new York street fairs, which do happen around may. NYU's strawberry festival is in May. St. Mark's place is not as good as it used to be but still enjoyable for young people - look if you haven't guessed I stayed pretty much around east midtown where there isn't anything going on, so my advice only applies if you're stuck there for some reason.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    oh you're right in my nabe!

    the most important thing to remember about NYC: new yorkers hate doing anything early. This goes for dinner, happy hours, breakfast, brunch, movies, anything. If you want to do something popular, go right when it opens. As long as you're fine with being tragically uncool and eating at 5:30 (or brunch at 11:00 AM) you can sit down at the most desirable restaurants.

    if you like cocktails, check out rain's law room. try to get there right as it opens and you won't have to wait. it's pricy, but it's an awesome speakeasy with a v cool atmosphere. also they don't let it get crowded.

    a cooler burger experience than shake shack the burger joint hidden in le parker meridian hotel. It does get a long line so go early.

    definitely check out grand central if you haven't been. give yourself some time to gawk at the grandeur. get some nyc beer on draft at the little new york shop (it's near the 30+ platforms)

    Get some coffee at blue bottle, grumpy's, or toby's estate (the small one on 5th avenue)

    a great halal cart is Tariq's at like 19th and park ave. Used to get lunch there once a week. http://www.yelp.com/biz/tariqs-1-halal-food-new-york

    eataly is a wonderland for foodies. Try and go during business hours to avoid the crowds. for an extra special adventure, surprise your partner with a "cooking class." I add the quotes because it's not so much a class as you sitting in a beautiful classroom enjoying limitless wine and watching one of their expert cooks make you food. it's pricy but is one of my favorite memories of nyc.

    also this applies to @visiblehowl

    Elki wrote: »

    Casual Eddy: best poster 2014.
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    Casual Eddy: best poster of 2015

    gotta update that stuff man
    Prime
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Can speak from experience that Eddy's food suggestions for NYC are top notch.

  • PrimePrime Registered User regular
    Just found out about Nintendo World, adding that to my list for sure. Anything else similar around?

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Midtown Comics might be up your lane too.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Modern Pinball NYC?

    All these places are small street shops

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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