May 31 2012 by Bryson Forbes
I have been very fortunate to host the Leisure Travel Summits for Best Western in both Toronto and New York the last two years and in mid May I was back in the big apple for the annual event.
In the past I have stayed at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Hospitality House, which is a fantastic apartment style hotel less than half a mile from Rockefeller Center. You won't believe you are in Manhattan based on the size of the space you get including a full kitchen! This year however, I changed it up at checked in to BEST WESTERN PLUS President Hotel at Times Square. It is a very cool, boutique type hotel. It reminded me just how unique each Best Western property can be while still having those consistent amenities we loyal fans count on like free high speed internet and friendly, well trained staff. The lobby was ultra trendy and a funky bar in the lobby is great place to have a drink. Location wise it is perfect for a tourist looking to check out Times Square, which was literally just up the street. I was also able to walk a few blocks to Hell's Kitchen for dinner. Don't let the name scare you, although formerly a tough part of town it is littered with hip restaurants, clubs and shops.
I would be remiss not to mentioned the location of the summit which has been held each of the three times I have hosted at MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art), which is an absolute must see. If you want to take it a step further make plans to eat at The Modern, which is at MOMA and among the best dining experiences I have ever had. Last year, my wife and I celebrated our tenth anniversary with dinner at The Modern and I recommend it to anyone that is going to be in Manhattan.
This year I was flying solo and despite the rain, I borrowed an umbrella from Best Western (another nice touch) and I walked fourteen blocks to Macy's. It is definitely the biggest retail store I have ever set foot in, in fact research tells me it is in fact the world's biggest store! It spans a full block in both directions and is 7 stories of pure shopping bliss. I can't imagine the number of staff alone that must be in there at any given time. It's worth seeing even if shopping is the last thing you want to do.
I ended the day meeting a friend from University who is now a banker in Manhattan and had a great dinner and a few drinks. Too soon it was over and I was grabbing a cab to fly home from Newark. I flew with Porter, which I also highly recommend! Getting on and off at the City Centre Airport is a breeze.
It pains me to think it may be another full year before I get back. I love the vibe and pace of Manhattan. I am always on the lookout for some great recommendations for next time. Let me know a few gems you have uncovered in NYC!