Monday, October 31, 2011

My Kind of Town

I remember my first trip to New York City in the 1980's: Times Square was a seedy place filled with adult peep shows and ladies of the evening. Fast forward to 2011 and Times Square is completely different: bright, clean and buzzing with tourists from all over the world.

Travelers used to want to stay near Central Park and the 5th Avenue shops. The venerable Plaza hotel is still there, a commanding presence on the corner of 5th Avenue and Central Park South. It has reopened after a complete closure and renovation. The rooms and lobby have retained their traditional feel. The glass domed Palm Court is the premier place for an elegant afternoon tea. Be sure to make your reservations well in advance as they are usually completely booked on the weekends.

These days, there are wonderful hotels all over the city and it feels safe to walk just about anywhere. There are great neighborhoods to explore with fabulous restaurants and one-of-a-kind boutiques.

I enjoyed visiting the Trump hotel in Soho. This newer addition to the Trump hotel collection is within walking distance to all of the fun shops in and around Spring and Prince streets. The rooms and suites are very airy with a contemporary but comfortable feel. The views of the city are fantastic from the higher floor rooms. There is a beautiful spa, with the only luxury private hammam (a Turkish bath) in the city. The Trump Soho also has one of the few outdoor pools in New York - a relaxing oasis in the city.

I stayed at the new Chatwal hotel, located just off of Times Square in the Theater District. It is a great place to stay if you like to be close to the action. The hotel is in a landmark building which used to be home to the famous Lambs Club. The decor is art deco but with a modern twist. The staff uniforms evoke New York in the 1930's - the cocktail lounge makes you feel like you've stepped back in time!
This is a boutique hotel, with only 76 rooms and suites. The rooms are done in soothing beige and cream tones, with sueded walls and very cool closets that resemble old steamer trunks. Modern technology takes over in the room, with a button to control everything, from the drapes to the lighting. It continues into the black and chrome bathroom, where a TV is embedded in the mirror. Even the Toto toilet is the ultimate in modern conveniences, with sprays, blowers and a heated seat!
They named the restaurant The Lambs Club in a nod to the building's previous incarnation. The red upholstered booths and huge fireplace give it a very clubby feel. On my visit, the food and service were fantastic. The location makes it a great place to go before or after the theater.
Speaking of theater, the hot ticket these days is
The Book of Mormon, which won nine Tony awards this year, including Best Musical. Can't get tickets? Never fear, the ever efficient head concierge at The Chatwal may be able to snag some for you. I found the show to be very funny and entertaining. If you are easily offended by foul language and sexual references, this may not be the show for you. 

New York City has so much to offer: museums, parks, fine dining, history and shopping. It's a great destination for a perfect weekend getaway!

Make your hotel reservation with us, and receive complimentary amenities such as room upgrades, complimentary breakfast and more!  

Call the Travel Specialists at Bee Kalt Travel to book your next vacation to New York City!
Tel: 248-288-9600 or Toll-free 1-800-284-5258
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Crystal Cruise Sale - Book Now!

Crystal Cruises offers a choice of two luxury ships, the Crystal Symphony and the Crystal Serenity. They hold up to 900 passengers each and both ships have beautifully redesigned staterooms and suites. Crystal offers the perfect combination of luxury and value with their new all inclusive concept. For sailings after March 2012, your cruise fare will now include gratuities, complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the voyage.   Enjoy spectacular dining experiences at the specialty restaurants Prego and Silk Road. They feature the cuisines of renowned chefs Piero Selvaggio and Nobu Matsuhisa (and you can get a reservation easier here than on Nobu's land restaurants!)
Another new addition this year are complimentary "voluntourism" excursions in certain ports of call.

Wherever you'd like to be, Crystal can take you there: from Montreal to Moorea to Mykonos, their itineraries span the globe.

Book any European sailing for 2012 from now through October 21, and receive an additional $200 per person shore excursion credit! When booking with us, you will also sail as a member of Virtuoso Voyager Club, with additional complimentary amenities (depending on itinerary), a private cocktail reception and an onboard host.

Contact the Cruise Specialists at Bee Kalt Travel to book your Crystal Cruise today!
Tel: 248-288-9600 or Toll-free 1-800-284-5258
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