Ok finally a trip report about NYE in Times Square, lol.
Arrived LGA Christmas afternoon, easy cab ride to my hotel the Novotel.
Novotel - Booked a Times Square view room back in April for this week. $3,000 for 7 days but worth it i/m/o for a bucket list item. They guarantee that view based on the room type description. The view did not disappoint. Located on 52nd St I had a clear shot of the ball and Times Square. I was on the 20th floor.
The room - About 3 stars.
The good -
View, view, view.
Huge Hotel Patio overlooking Times Square on the 5th floor. The hotel charged for NYE party tickets at the restaurant that also overlooks Times Square but any hotel guest could go out on the balcony to watch the ball drop.
Room service was very good.
3 free computers in the lobby for guests to use. Also an X Box station for the kids to play on a large screen tv.
Location - Steps from transit and restaurants.
What could be better -
Internet was very spotty. Was free because of a chain wide promo but was often down.
Cleanliness - Room was fine but a little attention to detail would be nice. The rooms need to be updated.
Shower - Over 5'5" and you will need to squat to shower.
Safe would not accommodate a large screen laptop.
Dinner at Heartland Brewery - Bad food, bad service, automatic 20% tip applied for a party of 2
Rockefeller Center - Saw tree and rink. Based on comments I heard I think the tree was better in previous years. Granted it has been up awhile and it showed. In my opinion this area is a little over hyped.
Storefronts - Bergdorf Goodman wins the display award hands down but I also enjoyed the Bloomingdales windows for the interactive aspect. I expected a lot more from Barneys with GaGa and all and left extremely disappointed. Also, $250 for a dog sweater? LMAO.
Rockettes Christmas Spectacular - Good show, not a bad seat in the house. The video game part was a little slow but I enjoyed it.
Bangkok House - Best Thai food in NYC. Great service and prices.
911 Memorial - Very moving. Really annoyed by the people selling programs outside. Can we have one thing that is a little sacred without trying to make a quick buck?
Priscilla - Great show, very funny, and everyone seemed to have a great time.
Juniors - 2nd time there. The chicken I had must have been loaded with growth hormone because it was huge. Great food and service.
B & H Photo - Huge mega electronics store. Neat delivery system, huge selection, great prices. Needed binoculars for NYE, $35 worked great.
Saw a movie on 34th street - Mission Impossible III. Good flick.
High Line Park - Great park. Will definitely go back in the summer.
Macys - Great sale going on. Walked out with two bags of clothes. Over the limit bag fee here I come.
Peters Since 1969 - Pretty good comfort food restaurant. Turkey was awesome, stuffing not so much. No sweet tea at a southern themed restaurant? Shameful.
Nutcracker Production - John Jay College - Saw my niece in this production.
Bryant Park - Great overlook place. Better tree than Rockefeller Center, better ice skating too. Great little shops for Christmas.
Bangkok House - Again, love that food.
Phantom of the Opera - Great classic show, good cast, a little underwhelmed by the falling chandelier, lol.
The Original Soup Man - Come on, it was just fun ordering as the stoic Russian girl would not crack a smile. Ordered Black Bean and Chicken Noodle. The soup was just ok. I expected an orgasmic experience. Not so much. Also, they included two oranges in the bag with my soup. A little confused.
Top of the Rock - Second time here, better views than Empire State in my opinion.
MOMA - Loved this museum, would definitely go back.
NYE - Tried to walk down to Times Square around 2:00 and they were already blocking off the streets. Bought some great light up glasses, hat, and noise makers. Went back to the room to settle in for the night. Could hear the crowd roar since the windows opened. Felt like I was out in the crowd, without the need for a diaper. Hotel manager delivered a complimentary bottle of champagne. Great panoramic shots of the crowd. Could only see the stage via the video screens set up and on the screen on the ball tower. Everybody seemed to be having a good time. The weather was mild. Saw and heard Justin and Lady Gaga. The ball drop itself was exciting. Once it was over I think everybody ran for any bathroom, lol. Lots of really drunk and loud people afterwards. The trash magically disappeared the next morning. It was amazing.
Bottom line - Great experience, glad I did it, would not do it again. I prefer the city in the spring and fall. Hotel was great for the view but you are like 10 blocks away from the stages. If NYE in NYC is on your bucket list but the idea of standing in a crowd for 12 hours is horrifying, stay at the Novotel.