Summer is generally a time you want to getaway. Unfortunately, you may not always be able to do that for a number of reasons: budget, work commitments or you just don’t feel like it. Something I suggest? A staycation.
I took one this year for Memorial Day weekend. I didn’t feel like dealing with the crazy travel routine, especially when AAA forecasted that 37.2M people would travel 50 miles or more over the long weekend. But, I did want to feel like I got away. What happened next? I booked a hotel room for the night and enjoyed the cleared out city (minus tourists) for the weekend.
Stay | Dream Hotel (Downtown)
The rooms here are lovely, fresh and modern and I got a fairly reasonable deal ($290) for the Silver King w/balcony room. During my research, I couldn’t find many hotels in the city who had pools, and more specifically rooftop pools. Imagine my delight when I was able to book this only a week in advance! It was like finding the holy grail ~ a reasonable price, plus the chance to sit poolside in the city. While the pool/beach area was small, it was sexy and buzzing with energy. If you decide to stay here, you will need to wake up early to claim your stake at the pool. I’m talking before 9:00am early. When I checked in on Saturday (around Noon) the waitlist was 4 hours and on the Sunday I was there, a wait list was in effect by 9:30am. Granted it was Memorial Day weekend, but with many hotels not having this outdoor amenity I would expect this to be the case during any summer weekend.
Brunch | Bubby’s
Have it. At Bubby’s. It’s just a few blocks from Dream Hotel and it’s scrumptious. They have another outpost in Tribeca. When I go, it’s a total carb fest: biscuits, pancakes and home fries (not an egg or piece of fruit in site, lol). I don’t eat red meat, but the burgers I’ve seen people order look ah-mazing! They’re like Big Macs (with real meat) all grown up.
Explore | Citi Bike
Take a ride around the city on Citi bike. There’s a stand a 1/2 block from Dream Hotel and several more within a 3-5 block radius. It’s a cheap and fun way to see the sites. You can rent a bike for 24 hours for just $10. Be sure to have a credit card. You will need this for the rentals and for any time you check a bike in/out at a different stand. Tip: Keep an eye on your time. You use the bike in 30-minute intervals, if you go over additional fees will be charged.
Culture | Whitney Museum
Take a jaunt though the Whitney Museum. It very recently re-located to Meatpacking and it looks spectacular, especially the “Mary Heilmann: Sunset” installation. It inaugurates the Museum’s largest outdoor gallery.
Drinks | Chelsea Wine Vault
Required. If you want to go the economical route, then pop over to Chelsea Wine Vault, pick up some champagne or rosé, order a bucket of ice from room service and you’re all set. I even saw a couple make mimosas in their poolside room and bring them out to sip at the pool! Otherwise, be prepared to spend about $15/drink when sitting poolside.
Want to get sexy and have drinks? You’ve got plenty of options from the hotel bars, to Tao and Buddakan or the million other options in Meatpacking. The Dream Hotel is in a dreamy location – you don’t have the leave the neighborhood!
Dinner | Many, Many Options
After all of the previous sunbathing, eating, biking and drinking you’re going to be hungry again. My recommendations?
Cafeteria | For a casual setting, grab a Citi bike and get the pedaling. They have the. best. turkey. burgers. period. And, mac + cheese. Bonus: its open 24×7.
Dos Caminos | If you’re feeling festive and in the mood for a margarita, walk the two blocks and enjoy. Never had a bad margarita yet. Be prepared though, it’s far from Chipotle prices.
Buddakan | An all-time favorite of mine. No, it’s not just because the rehearsal dinner scene from Sex and the City was shot here, but the food is actually great and so are the drinks. Tack on an intimate atmosphere and you have the making of a wonderful meal.
Tao | I haven’t been to the ones in NYC, but if they carry the same quality and ambiance as the one in Vegas, then it’s a sure-fire meal, coupled with a gorgeous vibe. The one downtown is less than a 100 steps from the hotel entrance.
How would you plan your NYC staycation? Would you focus on one neighborhood or venture all over? Don’t be shy, sound off below!
happy staycation, tiffany