Finding hotel rooms in Manhattan is always a challenge. The sheer number of options available could easily cause travelers to throw up their hands and roll the dice, taking whatever hotel Priceline picks for them. We’re not that type of traveler. We need to know the hotel we’re staying at, check to see if the hotel gets good reviews and still get to stay there at what we consider to be a reasonable price.
For each trip, there are different factors that give me a hint of where to start looking. For this stay, we were going for four nights. If it was a five-night stay, I’d look at Marriott or Hilton properties because you get the fifth night free on reward stays. If I had the IHG Premier, I could look at one of their hotels since they offer a fourth night free on reward stays, but we’re keeping our Select versions of the IHG cards for now.
During our visit to Manhattan over Thanksgiving weekend, we planned a day where we’d have the chance to do something we hadn’t done in a long time and it involved us taking a boat. No, we weren’t going to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty. We weren’t going to Ellis Island either. We’d done both of those things before. Our trip was more important, we were going to Staten Island.
Yes, that Staten Island.
Sharon lived there for much of her life and for as long as I knew her before we moved to Florida. Once I got to go back to New Jersey for my reunion, she wanted to go back to her home borough for the Staten Island versions of authentic New York pizza and Chinese food (Note from Sharon: cuz they don’t taste ANYTHING like the pizza and Chinese you get in Manhattan).
One perk of going to Staten Island is that when you take the Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan, you get what might be the best view of the Statue of Liberty from the water. Even better than the boats that take you to Liberty Island. The kicker is, the Staten Island Ferry is free.
We just finished our first stay at a Courtyard by Marriott as newly minted Marriott Bonvoy Platinum members. Not being accustomed to having any type of status, I checked the Marriott website to see what type of welcome amenity we should be offered upon check-in. They sure don’t make it easy to figure out, as each Marriott hotel chain, all 36 of them, have different options. To confuse things even more, the amenity varies depending on where in the world you are. If you’re interested, here’s a list of all of the options:
New Yorkers are a breed unto themselves. And I can say that because I lived in New York for the first 35 years of my life (Brooklyn and Staten Island, REPRESENT!). As a general rule, we’re quick. We’re street smart. And we understand the system, to the point of knowing how to work it to our advantage. Or if not, at least how to work it over. 😉
So when the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority – they oversee the public transportation system of subways, trains, buses, etc, in 12 counties in lower New York, including the 5 boroughs of NYC) updated their rules to say, “No person may bring any animal on or into any conveyance or facility unless enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers,” (Section 1050.9, section H, paragraph 1) New Yorkers stepped up to the challenge. Take a look…
Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.