Most people coming to NYC say the hotel doesn’t matter, that they only want a place to sleep. This is largely true, there is so much to experience it is easy to be out on the town all day and only come home to crash. But even so, the place and the area you choose to stay in will have a huge impact on your first impressions of this amazing city. You can stay at the YMCA on 47th between 2nd and 3rd and pay $100 or so a night, and this may be perfectly fine. You can do a house swop, stay in an apartment-style suite or find a boutique hotel. But in my experience, if you are coming to visit New York, let adventure be your priority.
When Sean & I first came to NYC, we wanted to stay in a hotel that would be a total New York experience. It was certainly that, although not for the reasons we would have expected. We chose the Waldorf Astoria, a very grand old hotel on Park Avenue, host to many famous people and events, and originator of that most stylish indulgence – room service! The night we arrived however, service was not in the same league as our expectations. There was no real welcome at the desk, no-one to carry our bags, and when we arrived in the viewless shoebox that was to be our home for the next 2 weeks, I couldn’t contain my disappointment. I rang the front desk and said we were checking out, ‘we came to the Waldorf because we thought it was the best – but we are obviously in the wrong place – we’re going to The Plaza!’ Within minutes there was a knock at the door and a butler touting a bucket of iced champagne said he was there to escort us to our new room. Room? It was a suite bigger than our house in Sydney, and with an unbelievable view directly to the Chrysler Building. At that moment we made a wish, and here we are 15 years later, living in New York!