We needed a hotel in New York for a quick weekend trip. We were only staying two nights and wouldn’t be in the room much. We’d also be heading out of our normal area to visit Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn. With a seemingly endless number of possibilities, my focus narrowed when I saw an AMEX Offer for $40 back when spending $200 on a Marriott branded hotel. I looked for a hotel which would cost just over $200 per night and I found one.
We needed a hotel room in New York City, preferably Manhattan, for two nights. Instead of looking for rooms in our normal Mid-town/Times Square/Theater District area, I had a much larger range to look at. This was the trip where we were visiting Peter Luger Steakhouse, so one of my requirements was to be able to get to Brooklyn easily. I looked for locations near subway lines but for future trips, I’ll also look at places near the NYC Ferry.
I was originally considering a room at The Chatwal. I booked it before the Marriott Bonvoy devaluation for 60,000 points (now it costs 80,000). Between the feeling that I didn’t want to drop 120,000 points on two nights, I would have needed to call Marriott to complete the booking since it was only on hold waiting for me to earn enough points for the stay. Between buyers remorse (before even paying for the room) and the fear of getting #Bonvoyed on the phone call to finalize the reservation, I kept looking for other options.
Then I received this offer on my American Express cards:
Navigating New York City can be challenging, even for seasoned New Yorkers. It’s even more confusing if it’s your first trip to the city. Sharon and I fall somewhere in the middle of those categories. Like most locals (well, former locals), we’ll choose to walk if it’s a reasonable distance. For further trips, we’ll choose between an Uber, Taxi or Subway. Each one of those choices has its advantages and drawbacks.
During one of our trips, we decided to head to Williamsburg, Brooklyn and check out a New York classic, Peter Luger Steakhouse.
We managed to get there just fine, taking the Subway from our hotel that was located near Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. After lunch, we decided to walk around Brooklyn for a bit.
When we wanted to head back, I realized we walked the furthest direction possible from any convenient Subway station. We’d have to backtrack to get on the train we arrived on. What about Uber? There were cars available but for the short ride, it was really expensive because we’d have to drive all around Brooklyn to get to the closest bridge crossing.
That’s when I saw an option on Google Maps that I’ve never encountered before.
Undoubtedly, the place we visit more than any other is New York City. Maybe it’s because we both grew up there, or because it’s Sharon’s happy place, but more of our vacation nights are spent there than anywhere else. That being the case, we’ve found ourselves looking for a place to chill out more than once. We’ve spent some time in bars that were just blah but we’ve found a few favorites that we’d like to share.
Now, I’m not telling you what the hip, trendy bars are, as there are other blogs where you can read about those places. Instead, imagine a couple like Sharon and me, wanting a place to sit down and have a drink before or after a show, dressed like whatever we wore to tour NYC. Those are the places you’ll find on our list.
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.