Travel: A Manhattan Holiday that’s worth the price

Everyone has a reason to visit New York City: the restaurants, the museums, the Yankees, shopping on Fifth Avenue, hanging out in Greenwich Village, strolling through Central Park.

Whatever your reason, getting there, staying there and going from one place to another — without breaking the bank — is always an uphill battle when visiting the Big Apple.

I was fortunate enough to discover a hidden gem: the Holiday Inn Manhattan 6th Avenue. Although you may think “What’s so great about Holiday Inn?” take note: As part of a $1 billion global rebranding, Holiday Inn picked the Big Apple for one of its first properties to undergo a top-to-bottom makeover. The result is a downtown Chelsea hotel that features a completely new look and feel.

The 24-story, 226-room property boasts amenities that you might not expect — upgraded bedding and bathroom amenities, a sophisticated full-service restaurant and bar and perks such as an on-site fitness center, flat-screen TVs and rooms on the upper floors with perfect views of two classic New York City icons: the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.

When you arrive, don’t look for a big neon “Holiday Inn” sign. Instead, expect a much more subtle, cleaner sign with the hotel name and a big “H” as the newly branded logo. The front-desk area is nothing short of elegant. Staff is dressed in monochromatic, NYC-hip black uniforms — and the service is polished (and available in several languages).

When we arrived at our room, it was nothing short of perfect. I happened to be fortunate enough to be on the 18th floor, offering an impressive view. My standard room had a very comfortable king-size bed, a large flat-screen TV, a desk and chair (as well as Wi-Fi) and bath with a marble sink and marble-tiled shower. Like the front lobby, the color palette is filled with soft earth tones. The bedding — high-end duvet, high thread-count sheets and really nice pillows — was also a perk.

Amazingly, the noise level was almost unnoticeable. Sure, you’re in NYC, so expect noise, but I don’t remember anything waking me up.

There were two other really nice things worth mentioning about this hotel. First, there is a really nice bar and restaurant adjacent to the front lobby. Although it is run independently from the hotel, Prime Cafe serves breakfast and dinner in a beautifully lit area that is covered by skylights — and it’s a great way to start or end the day.

The hotel also has a complimentary, on-site fitness center on its lower level — and the small gym is open 24 hours. For a bigger gym, the hotel offers guests passes ($25) to a fitness studio next door.

Last but not least are the room rates. I suggest going to its Web site and plugging in dates to get an idea. I did some random searching and found (on the low end) rooms starting at $262 per night on Christmas Eve (what a deal!), but more realistically, I found rooms around $499 per night.

If you go

Holiday Inn Manhattan 6th Avenue

Where: 125 W. 26th St. (between Sixth and Seventh avenues)

Contact: </span>(212) 430-8500 or www.hi-nyc.com

What: The newly constructed 24-story hotel, located five blocks from Penn Station, features 226 standard guest rooms — 123 singles and 92 doubles. The average size is 200 square feet. First priority for rooms with views — rooms on the 20th floor and higher either have a view of downtown or the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building — are given to Priority Rewards Club members and locally negotiated corporate-rate guests.

An unlimited MTA MetroCard

Starting at $7.50

Sure, you can take cabs anywhere in Manhattan, but why not try the subway and bus, which quickly and efficiently can zip you from one end of the Big Apple to another. Although you can opt for a pay-per-ride MetroCard (the fare for a subway or local bus ride is $2; the fare for an express bus ride is $5), an Unlimited Ride MetroCard is good for unlimited subway and local bus rides from first use until 3 a.m. A one-day fun pass is $7.50; a seven-day unlimited-ride MetroCard is $25. For more information, visit www.mta.info/metrocard.

A ticket for the Rockettes

$250 for a premium seat to a peak performance

The Radio City “Christmas Spectacular,” starring the world-famous Radio City Rockettes, is as iconic as any tall building in New York City. Featuring the Rockettes and their signature high kicks, the show includes legendary performances of “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “New York at Christmas.” The best seats in the house — at the peak of the holiday season — go for $250 per ticket. For more information, visit christmas.radiocity.com/calendar.html.

artsentertainmentManhattanOther Artstravel

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA to resume ‘poverty tows’ amid calls to make temporary ban permanent

Fines and fees hurt low-income, homeless residents, but officials say they are a necessary tool

Income from Shared Spaces will provide financial resources to the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency, according to its director, Jeffrey Tumlin. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA director says Shared Spaces serves transit agency’s financial interest

$10.6 million price tag for program raises concerns among transit agency’s board members

A broad coalition of tenants and housing rights organizers rally at Stanley Mosk Courthouse to protest eviction orders issued against renters Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Federal judge strikes down CDC’s national moratorium on evictions

David Yaffe-Bellany, Noah Buhayar Los Angeles Times A federal judge in Washington… Continue reading

Most Read