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.
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.
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.