Category Archives: New York City hotels

Getting around in New York City

The real fun in New York City travel is getting around the city. There is an intangible but strong sense of accomplishment in being able to go from one destination to another within this almost intimidating maze of the Big Apple.

Fortunately, there are several methods of getting around New York City. There are buses, taxis, and the world-famous subway. Tourists may want to consider renting their own car but for very short distances, walking is highly recommended.

Here are several important tips to remember when you use any of these methods.

New York City Travel On Foot

If you are not ready to walk for more than a couple of blocks, then your New York City travel plans need to be changed. Walking is inevitable in New York City. Even when you ride in subway trains or buses, you will still need to walk a few more blocks to get to your ultimate destination. Happily, you will be walking with many other New Yorkers and the sidewalks are paved and wide.

New York City Subway

The most popular mode of transportation in New York City is the subway train. It charges the virtually same right at all destinations. For New York City travels with tight budgets, the subway is the most affordable way in getting around the city.

The one thing to remember is to have a MetroCard with enough credit. Metrocards can be conveniently purchased from token booths and vending machines and you can use a credit card. You could enjoy discounts if you would buy Metrocard’s One-Day Fun Pass and the Seven-Day or 14-Day Unlimited Pass.

When using the subway, it is also important to pay attention to the letters and numbers of the subway line. A good guide is the free subway map available at token booths.

New York City Travel By Car

With New York’s traffic, getting your own rental car may not make sense at all. But if you must have your own car, the first thing to remember is that New York City’s traffic rules about right turns are different.

Right turn on red is generally not allowed. Private cars must give way to fire engines, police cars, and public transportation. With expensive rates, it is not recommended to drive a rental car in New York City.

Buses and Taxis

When riding a bus, it is important to have an exact amount for the fare because the bus drivers will not give you change. In fact, many bus passengers prefer to use MetroCards. To choose the right bus, remember the letters and numbers. The letters indicate the borough while the numbers indicate the street. Therefore, the M72 bus operates in Manhattan on 72nd street.

When riding in a taxi, you should look for yellow cars with a medallion on the hood. Hail only taxis that have lit taxi numbers, which indicates that the driver is on-duty. Make sure that there is a special taxi license plate, stickers on the windshield, and a divider inside.

If you plan on using your credit card, ask first if the taxi’s credit card machine is working. Fare information can be found at the NYC.gov website but remember that passengers must pay all toll fees and there is a rush hour (4-8 PM) surcharge of $1 and a night surcharge of $0.50. Tips are between 10-20%.

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Four legendary hotels in the US

For every hotel that exists just to put a roof over your head when you’re traveling, there are more that serve as destinations in their own right, whether for their history, architecture, or status as a world-class resort. Here are just four of the most legendary hotels in the US. If you get a chance, make your way to one and see what all the fuss is about (all prices in U.S. dollars):

Hotel Chelsea (New York City, New York, USA)
Located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, Hotel Chelsea is a landmark renowned for its place in pop culture as the long-term residence of numerous artists, including Bob Dylan, Sid Vicious, and Dylan Thomas, to name just a few. The building no longer accepts long-term stays, capping residences at 24 days, but the iconic location lives on in film, music, and books.
Cost: A one night-stay with a king-size bed will run you $249.

The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (New York City, New York, USA)
Originally located on the block that’s now home to the Empire State Building, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel currently resides at 301 Park Ave. in Manhattan. At times in the 1950s and 1960s, Herbert Hoover and Douglas MacArthur lived in suites there, and the hotel’s also been home to stars like Marilyn Monroe and gangsters like Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano. The Waldorf-Astoria is also the origin site of the Waldorf salad, consisting of apple, walnuts, celery, and mayo. The lobby currently houses Cole Porter’s Steinway grand piano.
Cost: A king-size bed for one night starts around $450.

Chateau Marmont Hotel (West Hollywood, California, USA)
The Chateau Marmont began life in 1929 as an apartment building but switched to a hotel in 1931 thanks to the crunch of the Depression. Because of its Los Angeles location, it was built to withstand earthquakes, and the roof has weathered tremors pretty well over the years. The hotel also owns nine cottages built next to it. Located on Sunset Boulevard, Chateau Marmont is a classic piece of Hollywood history that’s been home to dozens of film and music stars for decades. It also hosts a popular restaurant.
Cost: Standard bedrooms start at $370, suites start at $605, and the bungalows start at $1,800. (That’s all just for one night, too.)

The Beverly Hilton Hotel (Beverly Hills, California, USA)
This Southern California hotel is best known for hosting the Golden Globe Awards, which it’s done since 1961. The hotel was owned by Merv Griffin from 1987 to 2003, during which time its glory faded a bit, but recent renovations have returned it to the top of the rankings.
Cost: Booking in advance and paying in full can lower your nightly rate to $184, but the suites can run much higher.

InterContinental New York Times Square set to open July

IHG, the world’s largest hotel group by number of rooms, has begun the countdown to the opening of the newest InterContinental Hotels & Resorts property in Times Square. Slated to open in July, the InterContinental New York Times Square will join the historic InterContinental New York Barclay as IHG’s newest InterContinental Hotel in the city.

Hotelmine Travel Planner – Taking in New York City

New York City, one of the most fascinating places on earth, offers a wide range of activities and adventures for everyone. Even if you’re lucky enough to visit New York more than a few times, you still won’t even come close to seeing all the secrets the city has to offer. Deciding exactly where to go and what to do is definitely a fun process, but it can also be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been to the city before. Here is a summary of the 5 top things to do in New York City:

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1. Lady Liberty and Ellis Island

The ever unique and widely diverse history of our country can be found at Ellis Island, where years ago so many of our ancestors set foot on American soil for the very first time looking for freedom and prosperity. If you’re a genealogy buff, look through the registry for names of relatives who may have stepped off a boat here before heading on to visit the Statue of Liberty, fondly known as Lady Liberty. If you’ve never seen the statue in person, she is definitely a sight to behold with her strong, majestic presence and watchful eyes overlooking the ocean. To visit Ellis Island from the city, or from New Jersey, take a ferry for $12, which also goes to Liberty Island where the statue is situated. Tickets often sell out, so buy yours early if at all possible, either online or from the site where the ferry departs. You can also tour the crown of the statue, but this might entail an extra cost. These tickets sell out fast as well, so reserve them quickly.

2. Times Square

There is so much to do in this one district and it’s all for free! (Well, unless you buy souvenirs of course). This is where you can watch the ball drop every New Year’s eve. There are plenty of shopping opportunities and stores to go into. There are also plenty of places to dine and eat. There is a tourist information center on 7th Avenue close to 46th Street. From Times Square there are endless possibilities. You can get tickets to one of the many Broadway shows or just sit back and enjoy the night life.

3. Central Park

You definitely won’t be bored in Central Park, which is free to visit unless you plan on riding the big, colorful carousel or visiting the zoo located inside of the park, which both charge admission. If you’re a John Lennon fan you won’t want to miss Strawberry Fields, the aptly named monument to the former member of The Beatles, located across the street from the Dakota, the apartment building Lennon lived in and lost his life in front of in 1980. The solitary word “Imagine,” one of Lennon’s most beloved hits, marks a circular set of stones to honor the late musician.

4. Ellen’s Stardust Diner.

For ’50s style fun, delicious food, and an incredible ambience for both kids and adults, visit Ellen’s Stardust Diner, which is not too far away from Times Square, located on 51st and Broadway. At Ellen’s you will be sung to by waiters and waitresses who know all of the best Broadway show tunes. In fact, several employees of Ellen’s Stardust Diner have gone on to successful careers on Broadway. If you can, sit in the upper dining area which provides a view of the whole place. Food is on the pricey side, but well worth it. While reservations aren’t necessary, the diner is rather well known, so plan on waiting in a long line most days.

5. The Empire State Building

Head to the top of the Empire State Building on a clear day and you will be rewarded with a stunning view of all the surrounding states. This is New York’s tallest building and is also one of the world’s most recognizable structures. It has appeared in several well known movies. Adorned with red and green lights for the holidays, the top of the Empire State Building also has various look-out points and binoculars for visitors to use. Admission to the building is $19 for adults, $2 less for those with a military identification, and discounts can often be found through AAA, in entertainment books, and newspapers. You can also buy tickets in the building’s lobby, but because this is one of the city’s most popular attractions, be prepared to wait in line many times during the year.

When in New York…