I found the hotel booking a little hard work as having never been to New York I had to learn about the geography of the city so as to plan which area would be best for a hotel. We landed at Newark, New Jersey airport so the first challenge was to find out how to get from the airport to the hotel. As our hotel was in Manhattan, I discovered that there is a coach from the airport to the area which makes a stop at the Dylan. I had to check that the hotel wasn’t too far from the drop off point as there is nothing worse than walking through unfamiliar streets with heavy bags. We actually managed to find the hotel with the help of Google so we know what it looks like and how to get there. I found it difficult to select a hotel but with the help of Trip Advisor and reading guest comments, I decided upon the Dylan in East 41st Street in the area of Murray Hill. I used the Agoda Hotel site to find and book the hotel.
Our room at the Dylan overlooked the road below which I found quite interesting as you can watch the New Yorkers scurrying along below. One night it was quite noisy as the dust carts made their rounds in the street below. If you are a light sleeper, ask for a room at the back of the hotel.
The room itself was neat and clean, as was the bathroom but perhaps a little small but adequate for our needs.The bed was comfortable with quality bedding and afforded a good night's sleep.
The room had a widescreen TV and free internet access which we found very useful. Some hotels charge extra for this facility which this one doesn't
I had booked 5 nights here for $950 dollars( room only) but what you have to be careful that the final account at the hotel is the same as that agreed on line. So make sure you print off your booking details and take them with you when you go. I used Agoda which do good hotels at reasonable prices.
The reception staff were cheerful and efficient and handled our booking in a competent manner.
We had our first breakfast in the hotel which we enjoyed but we decided to go over to Grand Central to seek out other possibilites. The Hotel Dylan is opposite the back entrance to Grand Central Station and you enter it via gold painted swing doors. Here you can have breakfast choosing from the different outlets in the food court which all offer a take away service.You can have other meals there as it is open from 5 am until 9pm I had booked 5 nights here for $950 dollars( room only) but what you have to be careful of is that the final account at the hotel is the same as that agreed on line. So make sure you print off your booking details and take them with you when you go. I used Agoda which do good hotels at reasonable prices. We had our first breakfast in the hotel which we enjoyed but we decided to go over to Grand Central to seek out other possibilites.
Within the Dylan is the Benjamin Steakhouse which is warm and cosy with vaulted ceilings and a crackling fireplace in winter.
Menus and prices for this can be viewed at www.benjaminsteakhouse.com
If you decide to dine, there make sure you have a good appetite as the portions are huge. The Steakhouse also has Happy Hour from 4-7 pm
Scattered around the hotel are art deco lamps and furnishings some of which are original. In fact the whole of the hotel has a feeling of being part of the beaux arts era. It was first used as a Club and meeting place for the Society of Alchemists in 1903 and was not built specifically as a hotel and this history gives it a different air. There is a stained glass window in the dining room which depicts the activities of the Alchemists and is now the dining room.
Things to see in the area within easy reach are:- Times Square (a bit brash but worth a quick look), Rockefeller Centre or Top of the Rock as it is called by the locals, the Empire State building both of which have fabulous views across New York, Fifth Avenue for posh shops, Central Park for a relaxing stroll, The Statue of Liberty to remind you of the many immigrants who came in search of a new life and Ground Zero which commemorates those who lost theirs and leaves you with a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye.
A city for all ages to explore which is suitable for retirees like ourselves. Don't try to do too much in one day though- three big name places is enough in one day and have a rest and something to eat in between! Have fun, we certainly did and we will return in the not too distant future to see more of this wonderful city.