Visiting New York City at least once should be on everyone’s lifetime bucket list. Fact. But I swear by the statement that with a holiday especially like this it’s ‘all in the planning’.
Being lucky enough to visit The Big Apple twice in consecutive years, it’s landed me in a position where I jump at any chance to lecture anyone about my experience, and this is going to be no different.
I will say this now; the accommodation is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of your trip. In a city like New York you need your luxuries, (and sometimes even a mirror that hasn’t been burnt counts as one of those) so you cannot put a price on where you stay. Having had both a very positive and negative experience with hotels, it would be wise to take this very important advice.
WHATEVER YOU DO, TRUST THE TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWS
I, stupidly did not take my own advice, and ended up in the worst kind of positon. As this year I was dying to go back to New York but when arriving late at night to the Hotel Pennsylvania, I was shocked. Now I love a good hotel, don’t you? But this was far from good. The plug sockets were hanging off the wall, the mirror was burnt at the corner, (yes, it was burnt) and the bathroom looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the hotel was built in 1919. Now some would think that this isn’t a big deal as, ‘you only go there to sleep right?’ The answer is no. Sleep is sacred, especially in the city that never sleeps. So you need to be comfortable without having to worry whether the ceiling is going to fall down on you. This was the negative experience.
However it’s not all doom and gloom. The first time I visited this marvellous city, I couldn’t have wished for a better place to stay. The Ameritania on West 54th Street is probably one of the nicest hotels that won’t break the bank. With free wifi in the lobby, newly refurbished bedrooms, and arguably the cleanest bathrooms in New York, staying here was an absolute joy. Completely faultless, and I would most certainly recommend it to everyone.
But it isn’t just about where you stay, most importantly it’s about what you do. In New York there are literally millions of interesting touristy things to do, so don’t let wandering round clueless be one of them. From previous experience it is necessary, nay vital that you go and see a Broadway show. Top of my recommendation list is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The School of Rock’ and the equally brilliant ‘The Book of Mormon’. Both relatively new musicals, the performances in my opinion have some of the best musical scores around and they will defiantly leave you in the best possible mood for the rest of the trip.
Other must do’s in New York (besides shopping in Times Square) is to take a sightseeing tour of the city. It’s relatively cheap and will cover the most important parts you would want to see, as well as giving you the well sought after secrets to the city (anyone up for a jog with Leonardo DiCaprio at 6am in Central Park?) I’d also highly recommend paying a visit to Ground Zero, the Empire State Building, taking a tour of NBC studios and if you’re feeling courageous to book onto a 4 hour walking tour (trust me, it’s so worth it!)
There are so many fascinating aspects to go and discover in and around the city and with a trip like this, my final piece of advice is to make it worthwhile!