Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My guide to New York City

I've been in New York six times in the last 12 months and I'll give an inside look to my favorite places in the City.


When it comes to a place to stay, I never pay full price for hotels in Manhattan. So I rely on Priceline or Hotwire to get a deal for a 4 Star hotel. (Don't bid on a hotel with less stars or, believe me, you are going to end up on a dump.)

These are three reviews that I posted on Trip Advisor, for different hotels I've stayed in Manhattan:

Decent hotel with a bus station feeling

Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers

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3 of 5 stars
grovebr   13 contributions
Miami Beach, Florida
Jul 10, 2010 | Trip type: Family New
Let me start by saying that I stayed at this hotel because I bid on Priceline for a 4 stars hotel in Manhattan for US$120 and they booked at this Sheraton. Good, but not a 4 star hotel. Busy lobby, and I mean, BUSY! Took me 45 minutes to check-in. Small room but with everything we needed. Comfortable beds and quiet. They charge US$10 per day to use the fitness center, US$15 for the internet in the room (free at the bus station, I mean, lobby). Great location for major touristic attractions in Manhattan.
If you have an option, the Hilton New York, a block away, is much better for the same price.

Doubletree Metropolitan Hotel

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5 of 5 stars
grovebr   13 contributions
Miami Beach, Florida
Dec 24, 2009 | Trip type: Solo travel
2 people found this review helpful
I paid $119 a night during the Holidays for a Queen Bedroom. Great room, with everything I need - comfortable bed, huge plasma TV, great shower. Busy lobby (but I'm not sleeping there, right?), great gym (not an exercise room, they have a very nice gym on the second floor!). Subway in front of the hotel, Cafe Metro next door with everything you would like to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner at very reasonable price (lunch for 3 - salads and subs + drinks - $30). So I wonder why people complain so much about this hotel? If you want luxury in New York you have to pay for it, otherwise enjoy a decent Doubletree hotel in the heart of Manhattan.

The Benjamin

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4 of 5 stars
grovebr   13 contributions
Miami Beach, Florida
Aug 18, 2009 | Trip type: Couples
I stayed at The Benjamin after getting a US$110 rate per night on Priceline. Everything you read on these reviews is true. It's a good hotel, great location, good accommodations (large room. king size bed, flat screen TV, small bathroom), a fair exercise room, but I didn't feel the love from the staff. From the moment I checked in, the lady at the front desk seemed shocked and confused with the rate that I paid and wasn't very friendly. The same happened the next morning when I went back to the front desk to ask about the statement I received under my door, since I had prepaid on Priceline, and the reaction was rude and not very helpful. But overall it was a good stay at a decent New York hotel.

So, if you bid on Priceline or buy in the dark on Hotwire for a 4 Stars hotel, you will get a decent hotel at the location of your choice. I believe it's much better than paying full price for a hotel in Manhattan.


There are thousands of restaurants in Manhattan, but I have my favorite place and it is the Spring Street Natural Restaurant.

Spring Street Natural Website 

This is my review on Trip Advisor:


Spring Street Natural Restaurant

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5 of 5 stars
grovebr   13 contributions
Miami Beach, Florida
Jul 10, 2010 New
This is my favorite restaurant in Manhattan. Great atmosphere, casual but great and healthy food. In the heart of Soho, this culinary jewel serve whole natural foods that are minimally processed. But with great taste! Try the homemade bread (Sun dried tomato and rosemary) and their flourless chocolate cake with berry ice cream. To die for!

CUPCAKES: Since Sex in the City promoted Magnolia, their cupcakes became a hit in Manhattan. You have to deal with long lines to get one of these disappointing cupcakes. If you really want to splurge go to Crumbs. These are the most delicious cupcakes I've ever tried! There are so many flavors that you will have to try a few - remember each one has 500 calories - so choose wisely.
Crumbs Website


There is always a lot going on in Manhattan. For Broadways aficionados like me, it's theater haven. This season has many great musicals like Billy Elliot, Promises, Promises, The Adam's Family, La Cage Aux Folles, Next to Normal... just to name the best ones. Remember, never pay full price for a ticket, go to:


A bike ride in Manhattan is always fun. You have a chance to see a different side of the city and mingle with the locals. Rent your bike online in advance and get great discounts at Central Park Bicycle Shop.
Rent a Discounted Bike in Manhattan Website

I rented a bike and made a short movie of my experience. You can check the clip by clicking on the limk bellow:

Biking in Manhattan - The movie

And finally, wake up early, go at the Rockefeller Center and appear on The Today Show.
I did that and you can also see the experience on a short video...

My Appearance on The Today Show - The Video

It doesn't matter what you do, you will enjoy yourself in Manhattan. It's a fascinating and colorful place that has something for everybody.

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