How To Decide Between Hotels When You Have Two Good Choices

There are times when no matter how hard you try to find a perfect hotel to fit your trip, you never actually find it. You book the best thing you can find and, honestly, what you booked is probably going to be fine. What actually might be worse is when you have two equally appealing perfect choices. How do you pick between the two? You researched both places and you like different things about each one. There are worse problems to have and I know there are more important things for me to be worrying about. I just need to make a decision and stick with it.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to write about the handwringing that went into making the decision.

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Hotel Review: Courtyard New York Manhattan/Central Park

We’ve stayed at several hotels in Manhattan around the theater district. We’ve gone fancy, like the time we stayed at the Waldorf=Astoria and we’ve gone for the best value when we stayed at the Fitzpatrick Grand Central. This trip, we had a set of parameters we needed a hotel to meet. We didn’t want it to be too expensive and we wanted to be close to the Sheraton New York on 53rd St.

I was flexible with booking either a chain or independent hotel since I planned on using our Citi Prestige card to book our four-night stay and get one night free. A quick search turned up a hotel which had a rate which was almost too low to be believed.

Going to the hotel website, I confirmed the rate was real and booked a room with the Citi Concierge via email.

Here are the details of our stay:

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How We Found A Reasonable Rate At A NYC Chain Hotel That Had No Resort Fee

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.

people across on intersection
Photo by Vlad Alexandru Popa on

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.

When I hear four-night hotel stay, there’s only one other thing that pops into my mind. Citi Prestige fourth-night free! All I need to do is find a hotel I like at a reasonable rate and I’ll get 25% of the room rate charges refunded. Granted, Citi doesn’t refund the taxes or any additional resort fees, so you end up saving less than 25% but still, that’s a great discount for a hotel in Manhattan. Continue reading “How We Found A Reasonable Rate At A NYC Chain Hotel That Had No Resort Fee”

The Best Way To See The Statue Of Liberty

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.

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Hotel Review: Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square

I have hotels in Manhattan I like to stay in when we’re going to see shows. A different hotel might be better when I’m going to see the premiere of MST3K at a movie theater near Lincoln Center. There’s even a great hotel when we’re in New York to sing at Carnegie Hall. This trip called for something different and totally foreign to me; I needed a hotel that would be good for seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Fortunately, we planned this trip way in advance. I was able to do my research and found the best hotel for our needs and our price range. I would have loved if I could afford to stay at one of the hotels where you can see the parade from your room but I wasn’t willing to pay several thousand dollars for a package (as the places with the good locations know they’re desirable and charge accordingly). The hotel I picked was available to book with points so it was really the perfect place to stay.

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