Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IHG Rewards Club. The opinions and text are all mine.
New York will grab you by the hand and take you for a wild ride if you let it. The City has a distinct energy that is hard to avoid. As you all know, I lived in NYC for 11 phenomenal years until our move to LA. Traveling back to the City as a visitor was an eye-opening experience. There was so much about it that I’d missed, and I couldn’t wait to spend the next few days falling back in love with NYC!
I planned an impromptu trip to New York because I was missing a taste of the Big Apple. As I slowly let people know I was coming to town, in true NYC fashion, my schedule quickly began to fill up. Suddenly my two-night trip turned into three. It was a great visit, and I walked more in those four days than I had in the month prior in Los Angeles.
NYC during the holidays is always a festive time. The City is decorated beautifully with lights and elaborate window displays, and pop-up shops line the parks and pedestrian walkways, offering unique gifts for loved ones. It was fantastic to walk around and reminisce about all the fun I used to have in this city. After chatting with friends about subway delays, rising rents, and the overall cost of living, the sunshine that awaited me in LA did suddenly seem brighter.
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321 W. 35th St., New York, NY 10001
Finding balance in NYC can be difficult. There is so much stimulation: the millions of people in a constant hurry, delicious food everywhere you turn, cocktails and Happy Hour spots galore, and clubs to dance the night away. I always take comfort in staying at hotels within the IHG family, and for this trip, I found myself at home at Even Hotels in Midtown West. Located just one avenue from the iconic Macy’s department store, the hotel offered easy access for me to zip downtown to visit my old neighborhood, the Financial District, or head uptown to Central Park and Columbus Circle.
It refreshed me to stay at a property that was not only located in the heart of the city but also gave me the opportunity to unwind in a health-conscious way. Each standard room at Even Hotels includes a yoga mat, fitness ball, and its own TRX-esque type of system. To keep your workout in the forefront of your mind and help jump-start your day, an array of fitness videos play in a loop on your television. Basically, there is no excuse not to get your workout on, even if for only 10 minutes a day. Additionally, the restaurant has loads of healthy meal options and smoothies to fuel you until good ol’ Happy Hour rolls around.
Accelerate with IHG Rewards Club
Staying within the IHG family has its benefits! As an Elite member, I received a late checkout, free internet, and a complimentary room upgrade. Right now until December 31st, IHG Rewards Club is running a promotion fit for an NYC lifestyle. The Accelerate-like promotion allows you to earn double the amount of Rewards Points for every stay after your second visit at IHG hotels. At that rate, earn a free night’s stay in a New York minute! If you are traveling to NYC, check out my travel tips below.
Travel Tips for Your NYC Visit
If you have never been to New York, there are probably many things you will want to see. Check out my tips to help you prepare for your trip.
Where to Stay
- If you want the most touristy experience, head straight to Time Square. However, if you’re coming to NYC for work, venture out a few blocks in any direction. There you’ll discover a more business-oriented area with a wonderful selection of hotels.
- Looking for a local and/or trendy experience? Book a room in Chelsea, the West Village, Lower East Side, Tribeca, or near Union Square. I love my old neighborhood, the Financial District, and personally feel it provides a good balance of touristy and local experiences.
- The Subway is your friend! But if you’re walking slowly down the stairs when the train is pulling up, you might get knocked over. Remember: don’t crowd the door when it’s time to get on or try to get on the train before people can get off—just wait your turn!
- Uber or cabs are both great alternatives. Just be aware that meters do run in traffic and surge pricing can happen at any time.
- If you are lost, a local will happily give you directions. Ask a person walking confidently (without headphones) and who doesn’t seem to be running late, and you’ll find just how truly helpful New Yorkers can be!
- New York City offers a restaurant to satisfy almost any and every craving. Venture out of your hotel and enjoy some of the best food this country can offer. Whether it’s a seven-course tasting meal or a simple slice of pizza, NYC has the best!
- Stay away from chain restaurants. If they have one in your hometown, don’t eat there in New York! Make a reservation for all places upscale, and don’t forget to tip well (20% or more) for excellent service.