There's always more to see and discover in New York City, and 2010 is no exception. New hotels, restaurants, and shows will open this year, alongside refurbished hotels, special exhibits at well-loved museums, and anniversary celebrations at area attractions.
More than 6,800 rooms are scheduled to open in 32 properties this year, with inventory across all five boroughs expected to exceed 90,000 rooms by 2012. Hotel openings this year range from luxury to more budget-minded options, with a significant amount of growth in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Chris Heywood, Vice President of Travel and Tourism Public Relations for NYC & Company, notes some highly anticipated 2010 openings such as the W Downtown, Trump SoHo, the Chatwal, and the InterContinental Times Square, which is LEED certified.
Budget-conscious travelers may be able to snag a good price at the Holiday Inn Express, slated to open mid-year near Wall Street, or at the Doubletree Financial District, scheduled to open late this year. Several properties are on track to open in Brooklyn later this year, including a Best Western and Comfort Inn.
Destination restaurants in museums and hotels are two emerging trends in New York City this year, Heywood notes. "We recently saw the opening of Robert; it’s a very chic rooftop restaurant in the Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle. The Guggenheim has also done the same thing," he says, referring to The Wright, which places emphasis on seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients. This fall, the Whitney will open a new restaurant by Danny Myer, the famed restaurateur.
"The other big trend is hotel restaurants, in addition to all the hotel development," Heywood continues. He mentions the Breslin Bar and Dining Room at the Ace Hotel; Le Caprice at The Pierre; and Locanda Verde at the Greenwich Hotel as options, in addition to Cafe Boulud at the new Surrey Hotel on the Upper East Side and the all-glass Standard Grill at the Standard Hotel.
You don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy these restaurants, either. Grabbing a drink or dessert is an easy way to experience the atmosphere or enjoy the views without breaking the bank.
In 2009, the Official NYC Information Center opened at 810 Seventh Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, offering information in English and nine other languages. In 2010, visitors can take advantage of:
- Times Square and Herald have been closed to vehicle traffic; it's now a pedestrian area.
- The first section of the High Line opened in June last year, offering visitors a green space to relax and stretch their legs. Constructed in the 1930s to lift freight trains off the streets, the High Line is now a public park. When the project is complete, it will be a mile-and-a-half long elevated park.
- Closed after 9/11, the Statue of Liberty crown opened once again to the public last July, offering unparalleled views of New York Harbor.
- The King Tut and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit makes its last stop in New York this April before going back to Cairo, so this may be your chance to see these ancient artifacts without taking a trip to Egypt.
- Cirque du Soleil has new shows, including Wintuk, opening this winter at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, and Banana Scpeel, opening at the Beacon Theatre on February 25.
- Lincoln Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary through May, with special events and the completion of its redevelopment project.
- Apollo Theater's 75th anniversary celebration continues into 2010 and will include special programs.
- The National September 11 Memorial and Museum opened a Preview Site this past August, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the memorial and museum project, with the memorial scheduled for opening in 2011, followed by the museum in 2012.
There are plenty of ways to save in the Big Apple. Here are a few to get you started.
Several Hilton and Marriott brands are offering hotel specials in New York City that extend well into 2010.
- Through March 31, the Millennium Hilton's Winter Suite Sale offers 40 percent off Junior Suites, with rates starting at $168 per night. Use plan code "P2" when making a reservation.
- The Times Square Entertainment Package at Hilton Garden Inn New York/West 35th Street offers the City's attractions and dining discounts. Through December 31 when you make your reservation using plan code "LJ," you'll receive accommodations, $3 off Radio City Music Hall's Stage Door Tour, $3 off Madison Square Garden's All Access Tour, 20 percent off at B. Smith's Restaurant, 15 percent off at St. Andrew's Restaurant and Bar, 20 percent off at Bamboo 52 Sushi Bar and Lounge, 20 percent off at Philip Marie Restaurant, and 15 percent off food and spirits at Cafe Wha. The Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square is also offering a similar package with plan code "LJ1."
- Marriott hotels in New York City and the surrounding areas are also offering special winter rates on select dates through March 31 when you use promotional code "D52." Rates start at $139 per night at the New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott. For those looking to stay a bit closer to the action, the New York Marriott Downtown has starting rates of $179 per night, while the Courtyard New York Manhattan Times Square South and Upper East Side have rates beginning at $159 per night. (Note: Some hotels may require a minimum two-night stay to receive the lowest rates.)
- Through February 28, NYC & Company is offering a third night free with its Signature Collection Third Night promotion. When you book a two-night stay at participating hotels, you'll receive the third free, a VIP package at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store, and a complimentary coffee and desert at Cafe SFA.
- NYC Sunday Stays offers discounted hotel rates and extra amenities with Sunday-night stays at a variety of participating properties. Save 20 to 30 percent on room rates, plus upgrades, complimentary breakfast, and other discounted services.
Attractions and Dining
- Through February 28, you can get two-for-one Off-Broadway theater tickets for any of 25 productions throughout Manhattan with NYC & Company's On the House program. Participating productions include long-standing favorites such as The Fantasticks and Perfect Crime, as well as limited-engagement productions such as Mr. & Mrs. Fitch.
- NYC Restaurant Week has been extended to February 28. This is your chance to experience some world-class dining at over 190 of the city's top restaurants–at a fraction of the usual cost. Lunch and dinner are offered, with three-course, prix-fixe meals for $24.07 and $35, respectively. Don't worry if you can't catch this winter's restaurant week: the event will return this summer.
- Be sure to check out NYC: The Real Deal, featuring savings on dining, shopping, and more. For more savings, check out the offers section of NYCgo.com, where you can find discounts that may apply to your itinerary by searching for special offers and coupons by categories such as museums, arts and entertainment, dining, hotels, and more.
- NYCgo.com also features a section on free things to do. Stroll through Central Park, see the city from the water on the Staten Island Ferry, or window-shop along 5th Avenue. The site also offers a plethora of dining suggestions, including cheap eats.
Have you seen any great deals to New York City? Do you know of anything new in 2010 that shouldn't be missed? Share your thoughts, experiences, and advice by submitting a comment below!