Myself and my bf stayed at the Best Western Plaza Hotel for 9 days in May/June and were really impressed with what we got. When we were looking at hotels in NYC to book, they were all so expensive to stay in Manhattan, so we thought we'd stay a little further out, but still really handy on the subway. We picked the BW Plaza because it was a great price, and still really convenient to get around the whole of NYC not just the Manhattan area. It was also really easy to get to the hotel from JFK airport, and much much cheaper than a taxi would have been!
We checked in very late, in fact we were told that we were the last reservation of the day to book in. We were given a room on the ground floor, that we were told was usually given to people who were only staying one night, but that they would move us to another room higher up the next day. Us being British were like, 'Oh no we'll be fine etc etc..', and then we got inside the room! It was located right next to the car park at the back, and also all the air conditioning units which were so noisy. We did have a very noisy first night, but as promised, we were moved into a lovely room much higher up, and much quieter, the next day. From the second day, we always had uninterrupted sleep, and found it to be a very quiet place, even though our room was on the the front facing the road.
The hotel staff were all so lovely and friendly, they answered all our questions and seemed genuinely pleased to help you which was nice. The desk was also manned 24hrs a day which was also handy.
We had breakfast included in the price we paid, and I have seen that other people have complained about the lack of space in the breakfast room, and that tables were dirty etc. Yes it is a small space, and yes it did get cramped sometimes, but really, for a budget hotel what do you expect? Also, it wasn't table service, you got your own food and cleared away after yourselves, so if there was rubbish left on tables, then it's not the hotel's fault, but the fault of the dirty so-and-so who was eating there before you and didn't put their rubbish in the bin!
Breakfast consisted of doughnuts/pastries (which my bf loved), white/brown bread for you to toast with either very sweet typical American jams, or cream cheese. There was also a selection of cereals and milk, juice and coffee. We found this to be perfect for us, just something to fill us up before we left for the day. Yes, it did get very busy on some mornings, but if there was nowhere to sit, we just took our food back to our room which was no hassle at all.
The rooms all have air con which was a bonus for us, NYC was going through a bit of a heat wave whilst we were there! There is also a fridge, a safe and a nice flat screen tv that showed a lot of HBO channels which was great to fall asleep to after a long day walking! The beds were massive and very comfortable too. There is also free wifi in all the rooms which was fantastic and meant that we could use our iphones to plan what and where we were going each day. There are also two computers just along from the breakfast room that are free to use, and also a printer which is also free. This was handy as we were able to check in online for our flight back and print our boarding passes.
Some people have said that the neighbourhood is a bit sketchy. It is a bit rough looking, but we never had any trouble whatsoever. It was a very diverse neighbourhood and one that we found fascinating. We often came back quite late at night, and always used the subway (which is literally 5 mins up the street) without incident, and never once had any trouble with anyone where we were staying. There is also a little 'corner shop' on the way to the subway which was very run down looking, but an essential stop off for water/drinks/snacks and fruit! The man serving inside was very funny - every day we went in and bought the same items, and every day he charged us a different amount (always very cheap though)!
If you walk a little bit further past the subway you'll see Silver Cup studios which is were they filmed the Sopranos, Sex and the City and various other famous US shows. Well worth a look and a photo op!
All in all we found this hotel to be very good value for money (especially with breakfast thrown in), had great transport links into Manhattan (took no time at all to get anywhere) and would definitely stay here again.
NYC tips: Go to Brooklyn Flea market which is held every Saturday - loads of vintage treasures, beautiful and funky handmade jewellery, art etc.. and fab street food!
If you stay at this hotel, take the subway one stop to Roosevelt Island, and take the cable across to Manhattan. It's included in the price of your subway ticket anyway, so you may as well!
If you go to Coney Island, don't go on the Cyclone rollercoaster. It is lethal and gives you an instant headache ALL day :)
Explore Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Prospect park, lovely chilled out places with great places to eat and drink. Also Chelsea food market is definitely worth a visit, the food was amazing, and the High Line in Chelsea too is a beautiful place for a walk in the sunshine.
We love NYC!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the BEST WESTERN Plaza Hotel, where guests will find friendly customer service and superior accommodations at an affordable price. Located just five minutes from public transportation to Manhattan this Long Island City hotel features well-appointed guest rooms with cable satellite television and free wireless high-speed Internet access. The Friendly staff at the BEST WESTERN Plaza Hotel is ready to ensure a memorable stay in Long Island ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plaza Hotel Long Island City, New York