Sunday, 3 April 2016

VISITING NEW YORK; Where we stayed, Eating in NYC, Things to do and my Top Tips

So my latest trip took me to New York. My parents treated myself and all my sisters to a seven night trip to NYC (27 and being brought on a holiday- lucky me!), and we were super excited and nervous (6 of us for 24/7 non stop can be and was at time intense!!!) but it was also eight years since I had last been to New York and I was excited to try out the new spots and the ever changing vibe.

Where do you begin? The location, the Food, the Drink, the Culture, the's just one hub of a big buzz. Like little ants in a trance...the city truly never sleeps. Everyone works so hard to out do one another, but I love it and I love it's ambition. And I can't wait to be back, albeit after I have tackled a few other locations (I've made a mental note to really avoid visiting the same place too many times- the world is so big and time is so short to keep going to the same place!). But wow, thank you New York for re-lighting my spark to be aggressive and powerful.

I've decided to split my post in three sections: (1) An Intro and Where we stayed, (2) Eating in NYC and (3) Things to do and my Top Tips- hope you enjoy!

Where we stayed:

Seven nights were spent in The Conrad New York (102 North End Avenue, New York, NY 10282)- a luxury, suite based room (business) hotel based in Downtown Manhattan. The hotel is directly in front of the World Trade Centre and has full views of the Hudson River. Most people generally stay Uptown when visiting NYC, but because there were 6 travellers, we needed large rooms and the Conrad offers suite only style rooms- so there are seperate living rooms with each bedroom meaning there was always plenty of space and we were never on top of each other. Most of the hotels in NYC are tiny because Manhattan is so small, but we were 7 minutes on the subway from the Times Square stop so it wasn't as if we had ages to travel! In fact, most places other then visiting Flushing in Queens or Brooklyn took less than 20 minutes by subway- the metro system is sooooo cheap and reliable (more on that in part 3!).

The rooms are beautiful with huge beds, ample wardrobe space, nespresso machine, super fast internet (free!) and great concierge service- the General manager was really discreet when I organised an Easter surprise for the family and I loved their attention to detail. If you can afford, splurge for a room with a Hudson river view- oooh la la!

The hotel also has a cinema attached, a rooftop bar (that unfortunately only operates during Spring/Summer schedule!) and a decent restaurant and bar. Drinks were a normal price for that type of hotel ($16 for a glass of cava and $17 for G + T's!). Because of where the hotel is located, the Financial District, you are spoilt for choice for eateries- but decent priced ones too. There is plenty of street food for office workers! It certainly wasn't tourist filled. In fact I loved the location so much because every morning when I nipped to Whole Foods for breakfast, I was walking with all the workers on the way to their offices- such a buzz and so fast paced and reminded me of living in London years ago.

*A little note for any Irish readers. Directly in front of the hotel  (Hudson river side) there is a fantastic Irish Famine Memorial Site- they have a whole lot with grass from Ireland (yes- I said Grass from Ireland!). The Irish may have had a tough time in migration the last century- but New York does certainly recognise them as being a major population to shape the future of the city. Kudos.

Price wise of the hotel was very expensive. But you pay for what you get and in our case it was space and quietness. There are no honking horns or bars around and everything is fairly quiet but extremely safe (there are police everywhere because of the New World Trade Centre and I think some government buildings!)so being a solo women in the area would be totally fine. Highly recommended, and I'd love to be back, even just to see what the Rooftop bar (which stocks wine ice lollies- H-E-L-L-0!!!)looks like during the warmer weather.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my Visiting New York post which is all about my favourite thing in the world- FOOD! 

Happy Sunday!

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