We’ve just returned from the most amazing trip to New York and thought you may like to hear about it!
This time of year we like to visit a City as it’s such a magical time of year. We visited Vienna last year. The hi-light of this trip was a visit to the Opera to see Madam Butterfly. The previous year we visited Paris. The stand out experience for me was dinner at the Jules Verne restaurant. This is located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.
However, after selling many clients City Breaks to New York I decided to go check it out myself! And WOW it did not disappoint.
We travelled with Jet2 City Breaks who offer direct flights from Newcastle (& other regional airports) at this time of year. We flew direct into Newark and the flight time was only 6 hours 50 minutes. This is quicker than the usual 8 hour schedule. I’d recommend you book Extra Legroom Seats ? as we did! These seats book up quickly so I would advise you to book early. We opted for seats 1A & 1C (next to each other), on the opposite side to the toilets. In my opinion these are the best two seats on the plane ✈️. The deposit is only £60 per person.
Also, if you have an iPad, download a couple of movies as there’s no in-flight entertainment. However, I’d say that it was so convenient flying from Newcastle. Rather than travelling to Manchester or London was worth the trade off for no in-flight entertainment.
We arrived at Newark and the airport was very efficient. Straight through customs and we collected our cases in no time. Remember you have to apply for your Esta in advance, but this lasts two years. We used an Uber cab which was only US$52. A yellow cab would have $80). You could also opt for coach transfers which would be slightly cheaper.
Our journey took 40 minutes. We arrived at The Lotte New York Palace which is a magnificent 5* Midtown Manhattan Hotel. This hotel is amazing, literally opposite Saks 5th Avenue and two minutes walk from the Rockerfeller Centre. We can offer you more competitively priced hotels which are also very Central but if you really want to stay somewhere that extra bit special I’d honestly say treat yourself and stay here! We would definitely stay here for our next visit to New York. The hotel had its own magnificent Christmas Tree outside and the Christmas decorations were unbelievable. Our room was fabulous, spacious, clean and amazing views.
Hotel Lotte Palace
The hotel boasts an array of places to eat and drink such as the Villard House (New York’s Breakfast Room), Pomme Palais (a boutique bakery), The Gold Room (Madison’s Avenue’s gathering place), Trouble’s Trust (Classic cocktail ? with a Twist), Rarities (The Connoisseurs last stop) or In-Room dining. Packages are on a Room Only basis but there’s plenty of choice for breakfast if you wanted to have this at the hotel.
We ordered Room Service one morning and it truly was delicious ? The cathedral view rooms were breathtakingly beautiful (again I’ve posted a photo).
After checking-in we couldn’t wait to explore! We visited the Rockerfeller Centre which has a magnificent Christmas Tree and Ice Skating. Their was a great carnival atmosphere. It has a real buzz. Next we headed to Radio City then Times Square. Times Square is the hub of the theatre district ? with some 40 theatres located around it and is one of the worlds busiest intersections, well worth a visit! We then headed to Ellen’s Stardust Diner which is a 50’s themed Diner with Singing ? servers which was great fun!
Grand Central Station
First stop was Grand Central Station which is a destination, not a pit stop. It’s a train station the way St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a church or Central Park is a park—its appeal goes way beyond its stated purpose. The architecture is amazing, also seek out the secret “Whispering Walls”.
Next we visited the Chrysler Building, what a great photo opportunity as this is a magnificent building! We then ate Breakfast at Breakfast Central, I’d highly recommend a visit here. Great breakfast in a lovely building.
New York Public Library
We then visited The Public Library! If you’re planning a trip to New York City, you won’t want to miss visiting this historic Building, which features a number of attractions—Astor Hall, the Gutenberg Bible, the Rose Reading Room, and the McGraw Rotunda—which each carries a certain historical significance to this NYC staple. I’d highly recommend you factor some time into your schedule to visit. We then had lunch at STK midtown. This is one of New York’s top rated Steak House’s which was delicious ?. I’d highly recommend!
We then visited Bryant Park which is a beloved, year-round New York City destination. Known as Manhattan’s Town Square, at this time of year it has a fabulous Winter Village.
Top of the Rock
Next we had booked VIP tickets for The Top of the Rock observation Deck at sunset ? Take in 360° panoramic views of NYC on Top of the Rock’s 70th-floor outdoor observation deck. Again, I’ve posted some photos. This is a MUST and I’d highly recommend the VIP tickets as the queues were very lengthy this time of year.
One World Observatory
We had pre booked dinner at One Dine at One World Observatory. This is an Upscale eatery atop One World Trade Centre with a seasonal menu, cocktails & sweeping city views. The experience was unforgettable. The World Trade Centre building, also known as “Freedom Tower,” is widely regarded as a symbol of American power and stands at an impressive 1,776′ feet tall (541.3 meters) making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
Empire State Building
Somewhat tired this morning after a busy day we opted to have Room Service and Breakfast was delicious! We then headed to The Empire State Building and again had pre booked a VIP pass but again, this time of year the queues were lengthy so we felt it worth the money. The Empire State Building is more than a spectacular view. It’s an immersive experience inside a world famous landmark and I’d highly recommend you visit. The 86th floor observation deck is a site to behold, but in addition to this our VIP tickets allowed us entry to the newly re-opened 102nd Observatory. We found a French Patisserie for lunch then headed to Saks 5th Avenue in the afternoon for a spot of shopping before heading out for dinner.
We had pre booked dinner at the River Cafe in Brooklyn. The River Café is located in one of New York’s most unique and romantic settings, and is well known around the world as a wonderful culinary destination. A set 3 course meal was an eye-watering US$150! but I can honestly say it was one of the best meals we have ever had and the views from Brooklyn overlooking New York were unbelievable.
911 Memorial & Museum
We returned to Breakfast Central this morning as we had loved it on our previous visit and again it did not disappoint. We then made our way to 9/11 Ground Zero. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a memorial and museum in New York City commemorating the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed 2,977 people, and the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, which killed six. It felt very moving and almost upsetting but I’m glad we visited and remembered those who had lost their lives.
Statue of Liberty
We then gathered our thoughts and headed to Pier 16, where we took a Circle Cruise ? We opted for a one hour Statue of Liberty Express Cruise which took us to all of the famous New York Landmarks as well as the famous Statue of Liberty. Again, we had a gloriously sunny day and this was definitely one of my hi-lights of the whole trip! We then walked up Broadway and then visited Wall Street this afternoon and dinner this evening was at Smith and Wollensky (a magnificent steakhouse), which was delicious!
Keeping it real we had breakfast at McDonalds ? then visited Central Park. We visited Strawberry Fields Which is a 2.5-acre landscaped section designed by the landscape architect Bruce Kelly, that is dedicated to the memory of former Beatles member John Lennon. We also visited his apartment building where he was devastatingly shot. Another please we visited was the famous Bethesda Terrace and Fountain then headed to the beautiful Loeb Boat Club in Central Park for lunch which was delicious and I’d highly recommend. We then travelled back to our hotel, checked out and called an Uber back to the airport.
New York was amazing! I’d highly recommend visiting at Christmas as it’s such a magical time of year. We now have our Jet2 packages on sale for 2020 and I’d recommend you book early as it’s only £60pp deposit. Please call us on 0191 5145511. You are welcome to speak to Lee or myself as we have both visited and can give you the benefit of our knowledge. I’d recommend booking extra legroom seats and taking some form of entertainment with you for the flight. The Lotte New York Palace was out of this world, I can not recommend highly enough but we can recommend other hotels to so please get in touch. We have packages to suit all budgets. We were extremely fortunate with the weather with bright sunny days. If you have the opportunity visit NEW YORK! You will love it! ?
I look forward to hearing from you, Lisa 0191 5145511
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