Thursday, May 24, 2007

Courtyard By Marriott New York Manhattan - Upper East Side Review

Courtyard By Marriott Upper East Side Review
Summary: New, clean, highly recommended

My wife and I go to New York City about once a year and always bid on for a hotel. Priceline is a bit of a gamble: you don’t know where you’ll end up until after your card is charged, and the charges are non-refundable. But NYC is very easy to get around, so it's usually a risk worth taking. This year we ended up at Courtyard By Marriott New York Manhattan - Upper East Side.

We had a lot of plans for the weekend which included attending the Saturday Night Live season finale (Midtown), visiting the fabulous Calvin Wiley (Village), and getting a passport renewed (SoHo). Based on those criteria, the Upper East Side was not where we wanted to end up. But we also had plans to visit our friend Bryan Tucker from SNL, who it turned out lived just blocks from the Courtyard.

This particular Marriott property opened in August of 2006, and everything has a newness about it that is absent from many NYC hotels. The rooms were clean, spacious (especially by NYC standards), and well laid out. In addition to our King size bed, we had a sitting area that included a couch and workstation. The bathroom was also roomy with modern amenities and a very clean shower (keep in mind this can be unusual in NYC).

Most importantly, the staff was friendly and always ready to help out. And like any good stay, we rarely needed them.

For the fitness minded travelers, the lower level features an indoor pool, locker rooms with saunas and steam rooms, and a workout area with cardio equipment, machines, and free weights. Head outside down 90th street, and it’s a straight shot to the Central Park reservoir jogging track (1.5 miles around the track, 1.5 miles to/from hotel). If you’re looking for a good 5K, walk to the track (largely uphill), jog the track and then back to the hotel (largely downhill).

When you’re hungry, head over to 2nd Avenue between 88th and 90th. At 1726 Second Ave. you’ll find a delightful Mexican eatery called Taco Taco, known for its outstanding fish tacos. On either side of Taco Taco, you’ll find casual dining ranging from Thai, to Japanese, to Southwest, to Chinese, to anything you want to eat.

The nearest subway station is a mile away, but you’d better get used to walking if you’re coming to the city. You can also easily catch a cab outside the hotel. Rides to/from LaGuardia were about $20-25 + toll ($4.50) + tip. Rides to/from midtown were $10-15, and all the way to the Village or SoHo were in the $20-25 range.

Heading into the trip, I was a bit disappointed that we ended up so far away from Midtown. But this turned out to be one of our best stays, and the Courtyard played a big part in our satisfaction. We’d definitely return to the hotel, and we recommend you give it a try, as well.

Courtyard By Marriott
Upper East Side
410 East 92nd Street
New York, New York 10128

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