New York is a living, breathing Hollywood movie set. Iconic skylines give a sense of familiarity to NYC for even first-time visitors. But for every Times Square and Brooklyn Bridge, there’s a cosy pizzeria or hip boutique waiting to be discovered. It’s unerringly easy to mould the attractions of New York around your own unique vision of the perfect city break!
There’s a cultural heartbeat to New York which is second to none. Fall through the doors of any Broadway venue and enjoy exceptional live entertainment. Explore some of the best museums and galleries in the world. But that’s not the half of it. From Harlem jazz bars to Brooklyn indie rock, what New York City does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow. You can be there when it happens!
It’s tempting to explore New York with your head craned to the skies. No fewer than eleven of the city’s skyscrapers have held the title of ‘World’s Tallest Building’ – but it’s never been about the numbers. Every NYC building has a soul, and its own fascinating story to tell. Look down from Manhattan’s concrete canopy and you’ll discover the eerily peaceful urban oasis that is Central Park.
If you are planning major sightseeing, think about buying a CityPass. It costs a fair amount but offers savings and minimises queuing at the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art, the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, the Empire State Building and the Guggenheim.
If you want to gain entry to New York’s pricier museums without paying an entrance fee, keep Friday evening clear. Both the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney offer free entry on Friday evenings.
Tipping is a way of life. Double the tax part of your restaurant bill to know the amount you ought to leave. Tip a dollar a drink in a bar. Have a stash of dollar bills at hand to tip doormen, taxi drivers and chambermaids.
Many restaurants won’t take bookings for groups of less than six people. If you’re dining a deux, you’re probably best off going in off the street – usually you won’t have to wait long.
However you prefer to stay while you’re travelling, from great value convenience to five-star luxury, we’ll find the perfect place for you to rest your head. Here’s a selection of our favourites in New York.
- Hilton Times Square
- Affinia 50 New York
- The Benjamin
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
- The Quin
- Fairfield Inn Sites Penn
- The Grand Hyatt Hotel
- The Ritz Carlton, New York, Central Park
TC Story. Travel Counsellor, Joanne Kemp
There are many couples that decide to take their loved one away for a romantic getaway, whether it be London, Paris, or perhaps further afield like Dubai or New York! I had one customer who decided to go one step further in the romance stakes, when he came to me with an ultimate challenge… “please find me the most romantic place to propose to my girlfriend”.
With New York being his chosen destination, I set off on my mission to find the perfect spot to pop the question. I had booked my clients into the elegant Waldorf Astoria for their special trip, so I contacted the hotel directly to ask for their suggestions. We also have a really useful internal messageboard system at Travel Counsellors where I can ask for and share advice and tips with over 1,350 Travel Counsellors across the globe, which proves invaluable when pulling together the perfect trip for your customers. And I was determined to make this a truly memorable experience for both my customer and his fiancée to be! I had such a great response and a wide range of ideas from my colleagues for the proposal venue…from Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Outside Tiffany’s on 5th Avenue, Horse and Carriage in Central Park to dinner proposal at River Cafe overlooking the Manhattan Skyline, all wonderful locations.
After some deliberation and many excited chats, in the end he chose ‘The Top of the Rock’ to be ‘the place’, an amazing observation deck at the renowned Rockerfeller Centre offering breathtaking 360 of the New York skyline. We both felt this would be a truly memorable location, and so all was kept very quiet about the ‘big secret’!
As well as arranging this wonderful and exciting surprise, the trip was also a 40th birthday celebration for the unbeknown bride-to-be. So I had already advised the Waldorf Astoria of the date my clients would be arriving and arranged a surprise Birthday cake for their room. The hotel were also on standby awaiting to hear news of the big proposal and more importantly, if she’d said ‘yes’, and had given my clients a complimentary upgraded Suite on 25th floor – we just now had to wait!
So on the actual day, I was so excited for them both after living and breathing it with them throughout the booking journey. As planned the proposal took place at ‘The Top of The Rock’, and I’m pleased to say via the power of Social Media she said YES! My lovely clients had their “Happy Ever After” wedding day last September and whenever New York is mentioned, it remains a very special memory to them both!