New York City: Good-bye High Life! No More Park Lane for Me!

It’s that time again; I’ve resisted long enough.  I must return to one of my favorite spots in the world: New York City.  Besides the fact I am addicted to NYC, I made a personal promise to myself that I would visit the Big Apple on every major holiday.  I’ve already done Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and St. Patrick’s Day.  So, now it’s time for one of the biggest hooplas of all:  Independence Day!

Airfares from Canada, especially if we fly on our own major holiday, Canada Day, are cheap, so now I must find a NYC hotel.  My husband and I took a liking to the Helmsley Park Lane (we’ve stayed there 3 times before), so I pulled up the hotel’s website, input our travel dates, and voila.  Yikes!  So much for the high life.

Read on…


  The Helmsley Park Lane is a great hotel, located directly across the street from Central Park; it’s minutes away from Tiffany’s and FAO Swartz; and it’s just a 2-minute walk from the CBS studio, which hosts the Early Show.  On our last trip (Labor Day), we would pick up a morning coffee, and stroll over to CBS, located in the General Motors Building.  We got really spoiled – a morning date with all kinds of celebrities, like Kevin Bacon, and swag, like free DVDs of the TV show, Weeds, to boot.  We wanted to repeat that convenient experience.

That is until I pulled up the Helmsley Park Lane rates.

I figured our favored hotel would boost its room rates once the famous Plaza Hotel next door re-opened its doors following its $400 million facelift.  And I was not disappointed; the same room we rented for under $200/night last fall is now renting for over $330/night.  Too rich for our blood, so it’s back to the Internet. is probably my favorite travel deal site – I use the site to book everything from flights to rental cars to hotel rooms.  And I’ve never been disappointed.  It’s not that I don’t like other sites like or or but Expedia deals are always comparable to the competing sites anyway.  It’s a waste of my time to hunt around just to save a couple of dollars. So, up comes the Expedia search engine.

I input my city of choice and my dates and wait.  The Expedia Picks are just so-so, so I narrow my search by selecting “Central Park” area, and then I select “sort by Price.”  That brings up the Hotel Belleclaire, located on the Upper West Side.

For a mere $153/night, we can have a queen bed with a shared bath.  We don’t do shared baths, so I check out the other rooms.  A room with a queen bed and with a bath of its own is $230/night.  (, by the way, is quoting nearly the same rates.)

It’s worth further investigation, so I open another web window and bring up one of my other favorite sites:  Before making any booking decision on a hotel, I always check this site for candid user responses to the property.  The reviews of the Hotel Belleclaire are generally good, very high ratings, but I decide to look further.

The Milford Plaza Hotel comes into view.  I find out it’s quaintly nicknamed, “The Lullabuy of Broadway.”  And the property is offering a “Best Rate Guarantee.”  The property is 10 blocks from Central Park, but we use the subway system well, and we love walking, so this hotel might work. I return to Trip Advisor.

The Milford Plaza ratings are okay, not as high as the Hotel Belleclaire ratings, but respectable.  And that’s when I come across a new site:  I take a look.  The room rates are reasonable, relatively speaking.  So, back I go to Expedia to do some comparison shopping.

It’s easy – I just type in the hotel name, and up come the rates.  Hmm, the new site is cheaper for all room rates, but only by a few dollars.  And I trust Expedia, so I’ll stay there.  I check the Milford Plaza description again – it has only 2-1/2 stars, but we’ve stayed in hotels with lower star ratings before.  They weren’t too bad.  I think I’ll take a chance.

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2 Responses to “New York City: Good-bye High Life! No More Park Lane for Me!”

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  2. John Smith says:

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