Monthly Archives: February 2011

Jana: The Best Spa Experience in New York City

Hello! My name is Jana, I am a Senior Travel Consultant at New York Guest. I help people from all over the world plan their New York City getaways. I wanted to share with you a recent amazing experience I had here in my hometown. There are so many wonderful Spas in New York City, but by far the most relaxing and breathtaking that I had been to was the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The entire spa visit was relaxing from head to toe – literally! I had the pleasure of experiencing this with my boyfriend after he won a visit to the spa and of course he took me along with him for some treatments! How lucky was I?! From the moment you enter the Mandarin Oriental, the soothing music and atmosphere totally transforms you into a calm, relaxed mood. This was extremely special as we had been walking around our wonderful city all day. Taking time to enjoy the sites and attractions of New York City is always a  great time, but it was such a delight to know that New York also offers tranquil places to visit as well.

Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Spa

We were welcomed with delicious tea and a change of footwear. The slippers were very comfy and immediately soothed our feet from all of the walking we had done. After leaving the Tea Lounge we parted ways into our Massage rooms. They were lit with candles and the music was very relaxing. The entire room smelled of aromatherapy oils and my masseuse allowed me to choose the scent that I liked best.  The service was absolutely amazing and transformed me into a very calm, relaxed state.  It was fantastic! The hour-long service was just perfect.

Relaxation Room at the Mandarin Oriental Spa

After my Massage I was greeted by my Masseuse with a glass of water and whe then escorted me into the Spa Relaxation Room. There are full length windows that encompass the most spectacular views of the New York City. Looking out at the amazing view, it made me so proud to be a native New Yorker! In the Relaxation Room I was surrounded by other women who had also enjoyed many different spa services. We were talking, reading the provided magazines, enjoying fruit and RELAXING! The Chairs were long chaise lounges that curved to your body– so comfortable I wanted to take one home with me.

Steam Room

Upon my exit from the Relaxation Room I entered the Amethyst Crystal Steam Room and the Vitality Pool. When I was ready to end my spa session, I was reunited with my boyfriend. We were so relaxed and ready for the romantic dinner ahead of us! It was one of my favorite New York City experiences ever and I highly recommend it!

Vitality Pool

I would love to help you plan your own New York City spa experience on your next trip to the city! Having been to many of the area hotels and day spas, I have a great sense of what’s available and what’s worth the splurge (like the Mandarin Oriental) of taking time during a busy trip to pamper oneself. Just give me a call at (212) 302-4019 or email me at JUrban@newyorkguest.com.

— Jana

There are so many wonderful Spas in New York City, but by far the most relaxing and breathtaking that I had been to was the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The Entire spa visit was relaxing from head to toe- Literally! I had the pleasure of experiencing this with my Boyfriend. He had won a weekend in New York City and the Spa at the MO Hotel was one of the perks! How lucky was I?! From the moment you enter the soothing music and atmosphere totally transforms you into a calm, relaxed mood. This was extremely special as we were travelling all day! We were visiting busy museums, walking on cramped streets, dealing with loud noises, honking horns and MANY people trying to “get through” all day! Don’t get me wrong, it was a great time and so much fun but it was such a delight to know that New York also offers tranquil places to visit as well!

We were welcomed with delicious tea and a change of footwear. The slippers were very comfy and immediately soothed our feet from all of the walking we had done! After leaving the Tea Lounge we parted ways into our Massage rooms. They were lit with candles and the music was very relaxing. The entire room smelled of aromatherapy oils and my masseuse allowed me to choose the scent that I liked best! The service was absolutely amazing and transformed me into a very calm, relaxed state. It was fantastic! The hour service was just perfect.

After my Massage I was greeted by my Masseuse with a glass of water. She then escorted me into the Spa Relaxation Room. There are full length windows that encompass the most spectacular views of the city! It made me so proud to be a native New Yorker! It was breathtaking. In the Relaxation Room I was surrounded by other women who enjoyed many different spa services. We were talking, reading the provided magazines, enjoying fruit and specialty waters and RELAXING! The Chairs were long Chaise Lounges that curved to your body. They were extremely comfortable.

Upon my exit from the Relaxation Room I entered the Amethyst Crystal Steam Room and the Vitality Pool. When I was ready to end my spa session, I was reunited with my boyfriend Joe. We were so relaxed and ready for the romantic dinner ahead of us! It was one of my favorite New York City experiences and I highly recommend it!

Consider the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental after a fun filled, vigorous day in New York City- you will not regret it!

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Filed under Hotel Review, NYC News and Information, Staff Intro

Kelly: I am a Yankees Fanatic

Hello NYG fans!

My name is Kelly, I am the Sales and Operations Manger on the New York Guest team. Being a native of Northern New Jersey, just 15 miles away from Manhattan, I have been a Yankee fan since birth. Every year around this time, when spring training is in full swing (pun intended),  I start to get excited for the upcoming baseball season.  This year is no different! I am already glued to the nightly news for reports on who is being traded, which players are coming back and how the pre-season games are going.

Andy Pettitte throws against the Minnesota Twins

I am sad to start off the 2011 season by saying good-bye to the retiring long-time Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte.  Pettitte, along with Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, make up the heart of the team I grew up with and have watched season after winning season. On the bright side, his retirement opens the door for the up and coming rookies to show their stuff.  Seeing new pitchers take the mound is never boring (see the story of Joba Chamberlain to see what I mean)

This is also the time of year my family starts planning the games we want to go see at Yankee Stadium– I try to go to at least 20 games every season! With 80 home game between April and October the hardest part is narrowing my choices down to just 20 games .  There are some special games I plan to attend, like Old Timer’s Day that have to be reserved months in advance due to their special popularity . However it happens all the time that I will get a call at 4:30 on the afternoon of a game from someone offering me a ticket…and I never turn down a ticket to a Yankees game!

See the 2011 Yankees Baseball Season Schedule

My view of the field at one of last year's games

People ask me all the time why I am a Yankees fan. It’s more than just being a native of the New York metro area since I know Yankees fans who have never stepped foot in New York City. Yankees fans are like family. I frequently run into people I know at the game– cousins, friends and sometimes even other New York Guest team members! Baseball in New York City is a serious deal. Just about everyone has one allegiance or another, and the top baseball news of the day is constantly under discussion.  The few games a year when the Yankees play the other hometown team, the New York Mets, are some of the hottest tickets to acquire in the entire league. Then of course there are the Boston Red Sox.  The Yankees vs. Red Sox rivalry is the best rivalry in all of sports with an exhilarating history that extends back over100 years. Tickets to these epic games are nearly impossible to find, but I have connections that make getting tickets possible.

The New Yankee Stadium

I love helping my clients with their baseball ticket orders since baseball is something I am truly passionate about. I can also advise you on some special tips that only the locals know, such as the special Yankees ferry that goes to & from Yankee Stadium on game days. What a beautiful way to get to the game!  Let me help you with your summer baseball tickets by e-mailing me your request at KKademian@newyorkguest.com or you can buy tickets right on our website.

On NewYorkGuest.com you can either buy Yankees tickets by themselves, or a Yankees Baseball Package including tickets and your hotel stay.

If you have any questions, just give me a call at (212) 302-4019!

–Kelly

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Filed under NYC Icons, NYC Sports, Staff Intro

Jeannette: Where Should You Stay in New York City?

People are always asking me, “Where should I stay in New York City?”

I visit about 15 hotels a month in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey  so I have insider information on what every hotel really looks like on the inside. Whenever I visit a hotel I check out everything the hotel has to offer including the lobby, all the room types, any restaurant, lounge, spa, fitness center or other amenity the hotel might have to offer. It’s important to me to know exactly what my friends, family and clients are getting when I recommend a hotel to them.

Let me share with you a few of the recommendations I have recently given my friends and family on the best hotels to stay at while visiting New York.

Element Hotel - Love the Kitchens

Liz is the Director of Giving for a  Foundation.  She is a mother to twin toddlers so when she has the chance to travel, she likes to comfort without going over the budget.  Since her recent trip to New York was for 6 nights, her priority was to stay in a hotel in a great location and have a room with a good coffee maker.  Not only did we get her a coffee maker, we got her full kitchen!  I chose the Element Hotel by Westin for her and boy were we right on target! She loved the hotel and was delighted to have a full kitchen at her disposal. Liz has used New York Guest to book hotel rooms in Boston, Washington, San Francisco, Chicago and of course New York.

Eventi Hotel - Pet Friendly

Bob and Denise are former New Yorkers who have left the big city behind for beautiful Fairfield County in Connecticut. A rare treat for the couple was a recent business trip for Bob that was long enough to take his deserving wife on quick escape to New York City.   They love to travel and often they take their 95 pound Labrador named Max with them so they needed a pet friendly room spacious enough for 2 adults and a big dog.  Fortunately, there are a number of Kimpton hotels in New York City and Kimpton is famous for their special pet amenities like massages and doggie beds and, in some cases, even a  Pet Concierge.  A perfect fit! Bob and Denise stayed at the Eventi Hotel in Chelsea (just around the corner from the New York Guest office). They loved the hotel so much they stayed an extra three nights! Max seemed pretty content with the extended stay as well.

Gotham Hotel - Luxury in New York

Guillaume is the quintessential world traveler. Born in Belgium raised between New York and Brussels and living in Barcelona, when he came to me looking for something new, I immediately thought of the Gotham Hotel.  With no front desk and large private balconies in most rooms, it really feels like you’re just hanging in a friend’s chic home. Now, if only we all had friends who live off Fifth Avenue!  The Gotham is a great example of a hotel that we don’t have in our online inventory, but we can absolutely still book for our clients. Did you know that only a portion of our overall inventory is online? If you are looking for a specific New York Hotel and don’t see it on www.newyorkguest.com, just drop us a line and we will find it for you. In fact, we will meet or beat any price at any hotel in the world.

Let me provide you with the same level of service I offer to my friends and family. If you need help deciding which New York hotel (or New Jersey!) is best for you, feel free to e-mail me at JDye@newyorkguest.com.

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Filed under Hotel Review, NYC News and Information

Take advantage of our Secret Sale!

Are you a New York Guest newsletter subscriber? I hope so!

Our subscribers received a very special e-mail today going over the deals included on our Secret Sale on New York City plus a new coupon code.

Sign up today to receive our monthly mailing, New York InSight:

http://www.newyorkguest.com/newsletter/sign-up/

If you sign up today, we’ll make sure you get a copy of today’s great deals.

Thank you!

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Filed under New York InSight, New York Travel Deal, NYC News and Information, Special Deals

Happy Valentine’s: Get 15% Off the Empire State Building!

In honor of this most romantic of holidays, we’re offering a discount to the most romantic New York City attraction: the Empire State Building! I don’t know what it is about this skyscraper that inspires so much love… but it sure does! Just see Sleepless in Seattle or An Affair to Remember for proof. In fact, I have personally arranged over 2 dozen surprise proposals on the Observation Deck!

TODAY AND TOMORROW ONLY:
Take 15% off Empire State Building Tickets when you buy them on our website! Tickets can be booked for a visit before December 31, 2011, but must be purchased today or tomorrow (February 14-15).  Our standard terms and conditions apply. Use code DWUJZ during check out.

Why not combine the tickets with a discounted hotel stay? Our rates start as low as $99 when traveling before March 31, 2011.

Check out our online inventory at travel.newyorkguest.com for specials, packages, hotel deals, sightseeing tours, transportation and more!

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(all photos taken by Terra Walker Mrkulić who has an admitted obsession with the Empire State Building)

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Lora: Double Decker Delight

Double Decker Bus in Times Square

I recently got the opportunity to go on a double decker city tour! It has always been something I wanted to do. I have done it in Boston and Washington, D.C. and always thought it would be interesting to do in my own city: New York! All my life I have been touring New York City like a tourist, even though I am a native of the area.  This tour in particular shouldn’t be left just for tourists, it’s a great way to discover the city you live in as well.

I woke up early wanting to be the first in line with all of the other eager tourists.  When I suggested we wear the foam Statue of Liberty hats my friend said I was taking it too far.  What a party-pooper.

Throughout the day we went on four different buses; the nature of this tour is that you get to hop on and hop off at various bus stops around the city. The double decker buses circulate on a route all day long and you can get on and off as much as you like during the time your ticket is valid. We got off in Greenwich Village, SoHo, Ground Zero and Little Italy for food, shopping and sights.

I have to say that I am ashamed to admit I had never been to Ground Zero before taking the double decker tour. It was an emotional experience for me, especially the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site (the full memorial will open closer to the time of the 10 year anniversary later this year).  Listening to 911 phone calls, the photos of the firemen and the plans for the rebuilding were so intriguing. I didn’t even know that museum existed until recently. On your next visit to New York City, I highly recommend that you include this stop on your itinerary. I am proud to tell you that New York Guest is a strong supporter of the 9/11 Memorial.

Most interesting fact of the day: Murray Hill (where I live) was named after Mary Murray, a former owner of an estate in the area. Her family were Quakers said to be responsible for delaying William Howe and his army during General Washington’s retreat from New York by extending an invitation for tea. Who knew? Our tour guide on the double decker bus knew!

Our last tour guide was a woman named Kathleen. She was the kind of person that loved life and loved her job even more. She has been giving tours for over 20 years and never gets sick of it. She gave me her card and told me she does private tours and is trying to start her own business.  She was the kind of person that beams life; someone that makes you rethink your own. The crowd loved her. If you are coming to the city and need a private tour guide, I would love to put you in touch with her!

Overall, the double decker tour of New York was a great experience– you can book your double decker tour right on our website (tickets are on sale right now!) or contact my colleagues for booking assistance.

Other tours I highly recommend:

Sex and the City Tour

On Board New York Tours (all day tour with a professional guide)

The New York Pass (see over 55 NYC sites and attractions at an incredible rate)

New York Helicopter Tours

New York Harbor Cruises

Here are some shots I have taken while sightseeing in NYC over the years!

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I recently got the opportunity to go on a double decker city tour! It

has always been something I wanted to do. I have done it in

Boston and Washington DC and always thought it would be interesting to

do in my own city.

I woke up early wanting to be the first in line with all of the other

eager tourists. When I suggested we wear the foam Statue of Liberty

hats my friend said I was taking it too far.

Throughout the day we went on four different buses. Getting off in

Greenwich Village, Soho, Ground Zero and Little Italy for food,

shopping and sights. I have to say I am ashamed to admit I haven’t

been to Ground Zero. I never found myself in the area other then to

drive by. It was an emotional experience, especially the museum.

Listening to 911 phone calls, the photos of the firemen and the plans

for the rebuilding were so intriguing. I didn’t even know that museum

existed.

Most interesting fact of the day: Murray Hill (where I live) was named

after Mary Murray. A former owner of an estate in the area. Her family

were Quakers said to be responsible for delaying William Howe and his

army during General Washington’s retreat from New York by extending an

invitation for tea.

Our last tour guide was a woman named Kathleen. She was the

kind of person that loved life and loved her job even more. She has

been giving tours for over 20 years and never gets sick of it. She

gave me her card and told me she does private tours and is trying to

start her own business. She was the kind of person that beams life;

someone that makes you rethink your own. The crowd loved her.

Overall, this was a great experience. Something to check off the list.

If you are interested in any City Tours, please contact my colleagues at New York Guest. I also highly recommend the Sex and the City Tour!

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Filed under New York Sightseeing, NYC Icons, Out on the Town

Terra: You Never Forget Your First Glimpse of New York City

My 7th Grade Class before getting on the bus to NYC

When I was in the 7th grade in the early 80’s I signed up for a school trip to New York City with my teachers and classmates. I had never been to NYC before so I didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to go with my school!  I think it cost $300 for the bus ride from Washington, D.C. to Manhattan, 2 nights hotel near Times Square, meals, sightseeing and a ticket to see the show 42nd Street on Broadway.

I will never forget that first glimpse you get of Manhattan when driving up via the Jersey Turnpike. All the kids had their noses pressed up against the bus windows, looking for the Empire State Building and the shine of the Chrysler Building. We were all giddy with excitement for the weekend that lay ahead.

I don’t remember what hotel we stayed in, but it was clean and comfortable and fit 4 students per room. I am sure we didn’t get much sleep, with all the excitement of being away from home. But who needs sleep in the City that Never Sleeps? We all ate breakfast together before heading out for some sightseeing. We went to the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, one of the museums and of course Times Square.  We learned a lot about US History, art, architecture and social studies on this trip; it brought what we were learning in the classroom truly to life.

Seeing 42nd Street was the crown jewel of the trip. I had never been to the theatre before, much less a Broadway show! It was full of energy, dancing, glittery costumes and was just every thing a 13 year-old could ever want. I was hooked on New York City and knew right then and there I would move here. And then not too many years later, I did!

One of the things I love about working for New York Guest is that I get to provide that same exciting experience for student groups (and other travelers as well) that come to New York from all over the world.  It’s just not possible to forget your first visit to New York City! For so many people that experience shapes how they see the world. For me, it was the spark that led me to lead a life filled with travel and exploring new places. I truly believe it was a turning point, even at such a young age.

Are you a teacher or school administrator? Why not consider bring your students to New York City? We can provide educational itineraries to supplement classroom learning in many subjects. We make it easy for teachers and other group organizers by providing excellent group rates and all the logistic help required. Why do all the time consuming group travel planning when we can do it for you? Contact us today to start booking your New York City group travel!

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Filed under Group Travel, NYC News and Information, Student Travel