Monday, January 30, 2012

How to get to Manhattan from EWR (Newark Liberty Airport)

The hardest part of planning our trip to NYC was getting there once we landed.  Most flights from Toronto fly to either Laguardia Airport or Newark Liberty Airport (though just announced today that Air Canada will start service to JFK.  West Jet also goes to JFK but it uses American Airlines as it's carrier).  This time we decided to fly into Newark.  There are a few ways of getting to Manhattan from EWR as stated here but which option gets you there the fastest and the cheapest?

It really depends what time you go.  There are a few forum threads going on in TripAdvisor asking this same question.  Everyone has their opinion but these are all personal preferences so choosing a way is very difficult.  Originally I had booked for a car to pick us up at EWR and to be dropped off at our hotel in Midtown Manhattan.  It was the only way I knew.  You can take a Taxi there as well but I find that the rates are very similar to taking a Town Car, so I've always opted to take the nicer ride in.  The problem this time around was we were arriving during the morning rush hour the last day before Christmas Break. Traffic suddenly became my worries.

I went back to the drawing board, and luckily I found MoreFFmiles on TripAdvisor and out of everyone, he had given the best advice on how to get to and from EWR.  So, I took his advice and we are so glad we did.  Not only did we save time, he saved us a whole lot of money in the process.


Once we landed, we asked where the AirTrain terminal was and the employee directed us to it's location. When we got there, we went to the kiosk and purchased our tickets which was $12.50 USD per person one way (at this point make sure you keep this ticket as it will be punched once you get on the New Jersey Transit Train.).  Once purchased, we went up the escalator and went to the proper platform that brings you to NEW YORK PENN STATION (there are signs that lead you to the right platform or you can simply ask one of the uniformed employees in the station but just remember, KEEP YOUR TICKET )

There are two Penn Stations on this line.  Make sure you get off the New York one and NOT the New Jersey one.  Once on the train, there will be someone that punches your ticket and he will leave a little white ticket in front of where you are sitting.  If you decide to move, make sure you bring this ticket with you cause there will be another employee collecting these.

After about a 20 min ride, you're at New York Penn Station and from there you can either walk, take the subway or taxi to your hotel.

Honestly it's such a simple process.  It sounds more confusing when you read it, but it's really simple once you go through the motions.

This site is a good tool to use if you're thinking about this route or if you're a visual person like I am, the video below helped us a lot too in our decision.


I find it important to give yourself enough time to catch your flight home.  Last thing you want is to miss your flight at the end of the trip, so for our return to EWR we decided to use a car service.  There are plenty of car service companies out there.  Make sure you do your research before you book one for yourself.  Yelp was a good site and that's how I found WiroLimo.  

There are a few things to keep in mind when booking a car service from EWR.  The one thing to remember is that you are in New Jersey, not New York so these cars to charge for toll fees.  From what I understand, toll fees have increased - the $50 one way car ride that I took with my friends 4 years ago no longer exists. When you see a rate of $45 one way, it really ends up being about $70 or so.

Now WiroLimo charges $90 FLAT from EWR (additional charges are added when using a credit card).  It's a bit more than the other companies but it's the most reliable.  Reading reviews, I saw that people who booked with other companies missed their flight due to the driver showing up late and running into traffic and a whole bunch of other horror stories.  

Booking with William at WiroLimo was painless.  It was fast and quick, and if you need to make adjustments on the fly, you can email him and he quickly gets back to you.  He will email you instructions on how the driver will contact you and give you a confirmation as well.

On our date of departure, Felipe sent me a text saying that he was downstairs waiting for us and look for the SUV with the flashing blinkers on.  He was there 30min before our requested pick up time and he goes at your pace.  He was nice and friendly and to my surprise they are equipped with a GPS and an iPad to get them through the city and avoid all the traffic jams.  He was polite and honestly one of the best drivers I have ever met!

The next time we go to NYC, we will be taking WiroLimo there and back since we plan on bringing check-in luggage with us this time.  The Airtrain option was a good one for us since we only had small carry-on luggage with us but I can't see us maneuvering that way with two big luggages.

I hope this post helps you as I know how confusing and difficult it can be to get to and from Newark Liberty Airport.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us through our email on the side bar or our twitter account.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How We Ate Our Way Through NYC: Forty Four

Restaurant Name:
Forty Four
44 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036, United States
(212) 944-8844

Cuisine: American
Price Rating: $$$$
Beach Junkies Rating (based out of 5 stars):
Food: 5 / Service: 5 / Drinks: 5 / Atmosphere: 5

One of our main goals was to try as many drinks as we could at Forty Four. After dinner we would walk back to the hotel in anticipation of what drinks we would get that night.  The drinks here are awesome!  Pricey, yes but if you go to other quality bars and restaurants around the city, the price is just right.  There is a range of cocktails and other drinks to choose from, but knowing that Forty Four bar is staffed with awesome mixologists, we knew we were going for their signature cocktails!

Drinks: Please keep in mind that we did not drink all of these in one sitting.  These were the drinks we had throughout our stay.

Creamsicle & Ginger Julep
The Creamsicle is an off the menu cocktail that Matt at Forty Four had done up for "M".  It was clean, tart, fresh and strong. If you like the taste of spirits, this drink is for you. If not, I'd stay away from it as it might be too much for your taste buds.  "A" ordered the Ginger Julep and this is where Matt introduced us to Honey Jack Daniels! Y-U-M!

Seven Spiced Cider & Agave Royale

After sitting on top of a double decker tour bus for 2 hours in the cold, we longed to sit by the fireplace at the lobby of the Royalton Hotel. Seeing that we were chilled to the bone, Jason recommended that we get the Seven Spiced Cider. It was definitely what we needed.  Hot, flavorful, and just a soothing cocktail!  It was perfect for coming in from the cold.  "A" opted to get the Agave Royale, her second crushed ice drink of the trip.  At this point I was getting really jealous of her crushed ice drinks but I'm glad she shared with me.

French Caribbean & Sidecar

I thought this time around it was about time that I ordered a crushed ice drink, so I went with French Caribbean which became my absolute favorite drink of the trip. It's pretty much a Pina Colada on roids.  It's that good.  It also comes in a clear Tiki mask mug that I thought was a perfect touch! The only thing that could've gone better with the drink is if it was called Beach Junkie lol! I definitely recommend it.  As a joke, "A" decided to order a Sidecar since Matt raved about it (inside joke). She should've ordered it when Matt was there but Merritt made one for her instead.

Merritt also made us a bunch of drinks our first night like the Alchemist and the Italian Banana Bread which were delicious as well but unfortunately we forgot to take photographs of them.

Appetizers: We don't remember what they called this bread, but we sure can still taste it.  This was the best bread we have ever eaten!  At first we thought it was some sort of danish.  The outer layer is like a danish but the inside is like bread. You really have to try this. It's unreal

Fresh Mozzarella Salad: A-MA-ZING! The roasted peppers and arugula compliment well with the texture of the mozzarella.  It was really fresh.  We've never eaten fresh mozzarella before and I can see what the difference is.  It's not hard and chewy, it's tender and slightly flakes at a bite.  Just great!

Tuna Tartar: The best tuna tartar you will ever have.  Sushi grade tuna dressed with Kimchi and mixed with Cucumbers and toasted chia seeds.  Fresh.  Flavorful. Fantastic.

Main: 72 Hour Braised Short Rib: This meal was straight from mama's kitchen.  Perfectly cooked baby carrots, peas and pearl onions. The mash potatoes was amazingly soft, fluffy and creamy and the short rib was outstandingly juicy!

As it turned out, our last meal of our trip was the best meal of our trip.  It was amazing and the service was once again outstanding.  The best part about Forty Four is that you don't have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy this goodness.  You can walk right in and enjoy the drinks and food, like so many people we saw during our stay.  If the food doesn't lure you in, then the drinks should.  It is a bit pricey but there is a reason why and as the saying goes, you get what you pay for and we definitely got what we paid for!

Monday, January 23, 2012

How We Ate Our Way Through NYC: Bryant Park Grill

Restaurant Name:
Bryant Park Grill
25 W 40th St
New York, NY
(212) 840-6500

Cuisine: American
Price Rating: $$
Beach Junkies Rating (based out of 5 stars):
Food: 3 / Service: 3.5 / Drinks: 3 / Atmosphere: 4

We chose to have our Christmas Day dinner at Bryant Park Grill.  They offered a 3 course pre-fixe menu for $68 per person which was really reasonable considering the other prices we saw in town.  We also wanted to eat somewhere that had a very festive feel and being that the Holiday markets and ice rink were there, it just made sense.

Appetizers: Crab Cakes: We were off to a good start with this meal. It was quite delicious and perfectly cooked.  Unfortunately, this was the best dish of our seating and you'll see why below.

Main Course: Duck with Portobello Mushroom and Mash Potatoes: The duck breast was actually pretty good and so where the cranberries.  However the dark meat portion of the dish wasn't so great.  It had a really gamey taste to it and wasn't desirable to the pallet at all.  Good thing I ate it last cause I almost lost my appetite because of it.

Turkey with cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes and vegetables. I chose to eat traditional turkey for my Christmas dinner. The turkey was moist not dry and there was three huge slices included in my entree (a little too much for me). I barely made a dent in my meal but I was full. I am not use to eating so much carbs.

Dessert: Bread Pudding with coconut drizzle and creme fresh: The savoir of the night.  If it wasn't for this, I would've been really grumpy on Christmas Night since my main meal wasn't satisfying at all.  Then again can't judge it fairly since it could've been good since my duck was so bad.  In any case, it was edible at least.

Mascarpone cheesecake with chocolate ice cream: Being lactose-intolerant, I tried not too eat too much of the cheesecake but it did taste delicious with the cookie crumb base and ice cream.

Overall this was our most disappointing dinner of our trip.  We wanted the ambiance and that's what we pretty much paid for.  The meal wasn't great and the portions were extremely huge that we didn't finish everything.  The service was your typical "get you in and out" as fast as they can. This was a good thing since we didn't wait long for our meal, but it unfortunately showed in the quality of the food.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How We Ate Our Way Through NYC: Blue Fin

Restaurant Name:
Blue Fin
1567 Broadway at 47th St (at W Hotel, Times Square)
New York, NY
(212) 918-1400

Cuisine: Seafood and Sushi
Price Rating: $$$
Beach Junkies Rating (based out of 5 stars):
Food: 4 / Service: 5 / Drinks: n/a / Atmosphere: 4

We happened to stumble upon Blue Fin on Christmas Day. We were walking around Times Square, noticed it was opened and luckily we were able to get a table. Since it was Christmas Day, they had a special menu but everything on the regular menu looked equally delicious, including the brunch.

We wanted a light lunch, therefore we only ordered two items off the menu. Let me tell you that we did get full just from the delicious warm bread they served. Both of us love seafood so we went with the shellfish tower for 2 people. This tower included maine lobster, empress crab, jumbo shrimp, littleneck clams, ceviche, marinated prince edward mussels and east and west coast oysters. The icing on the cake was the tasty sauces for the oysters: spicy cocktail sauce, mignonette (shallots and red wine vinegar mixture) and the tomato horseradish granite (cocktail sauce and horseradish mixed together, then frozen and scraped). The last sauce was absolutely to die for. We never tasted anything like it but it worked wonders with the oysters and everything else we decided to dip it in.

Balcony Shellfish Tower
We also ordered the spicy tuna maki in case all the that shellfish wasn't enough. The sweet thai chili sauce was a unique addition to the standard tuna maki.

Spicy Tuna Maki with sweet thai chili

Again, we had no room for dessert or maybe it was the fact that Baked by Melissa was across the street and was calling "A"'s name. We will save Baked by Melissa for another post.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How We Ate Our Way Through NYC: La Masseria

Restaurant Name:
Las Masseria
235 West 48th Street
New York, NY
(212) 582-2111

Cuisine: Italian
Price Rating: $$
Beach Junkies Rating (based out of 5 stars):
Food: 4 / Service: 4 / Drinks: 4 / Atmosphere: 4

As mentioned in a previous post, we had all our dinner reservation booked through Open Table. On Christmas, we had reserved at a Sake/Japanese bar but suddenly craved for authentic Italian food. We had no idea where to go and if it was even possible to get a last minute reservation on Christmas Eve, let alone figure out what would be open. What is the best solution? Ask the concierge or front desk at your hotel. Within minutes, we had a 8:45 pm dinner reservation at La Masseria. What wonders the front desk can do - we asked for an Italian restaurant walking distance around 8 pm - and we got it. There was no disappointment at all. We were satisfied and honestly, we would have never found this restaurant on our own.

We were seated almost instantly and since it was Christmas Eve and there were large family parties booked throughout the restaurant, we were seated very close to another couple (who were quite annoying but I tried my best not to let it ruin our dinner. We started off with some sparkling water and a glass of prosecco for "A" and red wine for "M". The waiter announced the daily specials for the evening and let me tell you it was a very long list.

I Cucuzielli Fritti Alla Pino

Appetizer. We were going to start off with salads but decided on trying the I Cucuzielli Fritti Alla Pino, Crispy Fried Zucchini. "A" was a little hesitant in ordering anything fried since we had fried chicken for lunch (see previous post) but after trying these slivers of fried goodness, there was no regrets. "A" had pictured sticks of deep fried zucchini. We have never had anything like it and would definitely recommend it as a starter.

Pasta special of the night - Lobster Ravioli

Mains. There are so many dishes on the menu but both of us are not big eater so we went with an entree each. "A" ordered the pasta special of the night, Lobster Ravioli. It was delicious with large chunks of lobster.
Spaghetti All Spugnito Di Pomodoro

"M" ordered the Spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce and fresh basil. Every time I go to an Italian restaurant, I always order spaghetti.  To me it's a good way to see how authentic the restaurant really is.  The simpler, the better and this was definitely one of the better ones I have had.

It would have been nice to order more dishes if we had the appetite or even if we had a little room for dessert. As you can see the pasta portions are quite large so make sure you don't over stuff yourself with the bread they give you once you sit down. If you want to eat some good Italian food in a family owned restaurant (no Olive Garden please), you must try Las Masseria and be sure to start off with the crispy fried zucchini.

Monday, January 16, 2012

How We Ate Our Way Through NYC: Bon Chon Chicken

Restaurant Name:
Bon Chon Chicken
325 5th Avenue
New York, NY
(212) 686-8282

Cuisine: Korean
Price Rating: $$
Beach Junkies Rating (based out of 5 stars):
Food: 4 / Service: 4 / Drinks: 4 / Atmosphere: 4
In the same trip I discovered Koi three years ago, I stumbled upon Bon Chon Chicken.  We were at a friend's apartment and were lazy to go out and eat so we wanted something delivered. There in front of us was a menu for Bon Chon and we decided to try it.  It is now my must have while in NYC along with the Crispy Rice from Koi.  Unfortunately, we didn't take much pics of the food here since we were starving by the time we got there. I hope I can describe each thing perfectly.

Drinks: Blue Moon Beer & Coke -  We heard about Blue Moon beer from a friend of mine and thought I'd try it out and I quite enjoyed it.  It paired nicely with the food.

Sides: Kimchi Coleslaw & White Rice - Some of you might be thinking "Rice with wings?" but it's the best thing ever! Kimchi coleslaw was to die for.  Crunchy, gooey and spicy all in one bite. "A" ordered a side of hot sauce but never used it since the coleslaw gave enough kick for her.

Popcorn Shrimp & Onion Rings

Appetizer: Popcorn Shrimp & Onion Rings - This was not bad but it basically was your typical popcorn shrimp and onion rings.  Nothing special about it but the cocktail sauce that came with it had a good kick to it which was great. What we should've ordered here instead were the Bulgogi Tacos! We saw it on the menu after eating and regret not ordering it. Our server said it's her favorite thing on the menu.

Soy Garlic Drumsticks

Main: Small (5pcs) Bon Chon Soy Garlic Drumsticks - When we ordered this, we didn't know if it would be enough for the both of us since we were thinking these would be drumstick wings. Obviously we were wrong. These were the regular drumsticks and they were the larger kind too. The Soy Garlic that they glaze it with is just delicious and the drumsticks are fried to perfection.  Nice crispy layers of skin and soft white meat on the inside. Paired with the Kimchi Coleslaw, this thing will just scream flavors in your mouth.

There are two Bon Chon locations in Midtown, the second one being on W 38th Street. Oddly enough, that was the location we were aiming for but ended up at the one on 5th Ave.  We highly would recommend this place for lunch.  It wasn't busy at all and might have a harder time getting a table during dinner service.  We are definitely returning to try out those Bulgogi Tacos and I won't wait three years to have this again!

Friday, January 13, 2012

How We Ate Our Way Through NYC: Koi Restaurant | Lounge

We were fortunate enough to have found some great restaurants around Midtown NYC.  Just before we left, we had a set plan (and reservations) as to where we were going to eat and when.  Things changed when we got there.  The reality of how much traffic there was around the area was just insane.  This was Christmas weekend after all and after dealing with the crowds all day, the last thing you want to do is sit in traffic just to get to dinner or walk in dress shoes and heels.  By the end of it all, we only kept one of the four reservations we initially made, but in the process, found some excellent ones.

Restaurant Name:
Koi Restaurant | Lounge
Located @ Bryant Park Hotel
40 West 40th Street
(212) 921-3330
Cuisine: Japanese
Price Rating: $$$
Beach Junkies Rating (based out of 5 stars):
Food: 4.5 / Service: 5 / Drinks: 4 / Atmosphere: 4

This wasn't the first time we've eaten at Koi. I first ate at this restaurant three years ago on a trip to NYC with my friends.  We then went to Las Vegas the same year and that was when "A" tried it so we knew what to expect.

We have recommended this restaurant to a few people and all came back with glowing reviews BUT we all tell them to keep it light and share all the dishes.  Koi's hot dishes can be very savory and it can be too much sometimes just to eat that one dish yourself.  Trust us, this is the 3rd time we have eaten at this restaurant and our last visit there was our best experience yet.  Practice makes perfect.

Koi-Tini and Ginger Mojito

Cocktails: Koi-Tini & Ginger Mojito - Three years ago was the first time I tasted the Ginger Mojito. In that one sitting, I ordered four of them.  That's how good they are. Unfortunately, our visits after in Vegas was Ginger Mojito free. They didn't have them on the menu there and when we ate dinner this night, they didn't have it on the menu as well.  I asked the waiter if they served it and he said no.  However, a few minutes later, he came back and said that the bartender that has been at this location since day 1 and said he would make it for me. It was even better than I remembered it. As for the Koi-Tini, it wasn't anything spectacular. It basically was a cosmo but with sparkling wine.

Koi Crispy Rice topped w/ Spicy Tuna

First course: Koi Crispy Rice topped w/ Spicy Tuna - A must order!  Our first introduction to Koi's food was this and it should be everyone else's. An explosion of soft, crispy, juicy and spicy runs through the course of your palate once you take a bite of this goodness. We swear we can go to Koi and just eat this, but of course that won't be fun at all. If there is one thing you must order from their menu, it is this.

Rock Shrimp Ceviche and Yellowtail Sashimi

Second Course: Rock Shrimp Ceviche and Yellowtail Sashimi - We had always seen this on the menu but never opted to order it until now and we're glad we did.  The yellowtail sashimi at the bottom was fresh and delicious, and the rock shrimp was just right, not too soft and not too chewy.  Eating this though can be tricky but "A" figured out a way where you slide the chopsticks at both ends of the yellowtail and as you raise it, close the ends so that the rock shrimp is being cradled by the fish. I know it seems silly, but these dishes are meant to be eaten all at once so that all the flavors combine which makes the dish.

Baked Crab Roll

Third Course: Baked Crab Roll - Tthis was the one dish of the night that we could have done with out.  It didn't have that mix of flavors and textures we were looking for but it was still delicious none the less.

Miso Bronzed Black Cod

Fourth Course: Miso Bronzed Black Cod - Remember what I said that their hot dishes were savory. Well, this is one dish well worth sharing.  The cod is cooked to perfection and the skin was just absolutely wonderful.  It was a great mix of salty, sweet and savory.  This was our favorite meal of the night and having three light dishes before this meal balanced really well.

Japanese Mochi (pistachio and peanut butter/chocolate)

Dessert: Japanese Mochi - I absolutely love mochi.  Any flavor will do it for me. "A" on the other hand hates it and it was surprising to see how much she loved her peanut butter/chocolate mochi.

As I said earlier, this sitting was our best dining experience at Koi to date.  There is much more that we want to try on the menu that we want to try so it definitely won't be our last visit. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

HOTEL REVIEW: Royalton Hotel

Trip Date: December 23-27, 2011
Location: New York City, New York

Beach Junkies Rating: (based of 5 stars)
Location: 5 / Service: 5 / Room: 5 / Ambiance: 5

Royalton Hotel NYC

First Impressions: We arrived at the hotel at 9:30 am after taking the train in from Newark Liberty Airport and walking from New York Penn Station (we will have a separate post of different ways you can commute to and from EWR. There were many different forum posts about this but I thought we would compile all our research into one post).  The one thing you have to remember is that Royalton does NOT have the red door that all the other travel sites show.  As you can see from the picture above, it is a sleek black door framed by beautiful columns supported by a gorgeous overhead with a tonal engraving of its name across it.  This is when you know you have booked at a boutique hotel. 

Location: The hotel is conveniently located on 44th between 5th and 6th avenue.  Steps away from tourist attractions such as Bryant Park, Rockerfeller Center, 5th Avenue, Times Square, Magnolia Bakery, MOMA, FAO Schwartz, Central Park and much much more.  It is close enough to all these locations but you don't get the noise, traffic and overall madness that a Midtown hotel normally gets.  The location is just perfect.

Royalton Hotel Lobby

Once we walked in, we were greeted with what we would call dramatics.  The lobby is just stunning.  This is one of the main reasons why we decided to go with this hotel.  To us, it was classic old New York with the dim lighting, fireplace, deep tones of brown and black leather seating accented with hyde and fur upholstered chairs.  Simply put, it was cozy, classy and sexy.

Sit by the cozy fire in the lobby after a long day

Two of the seating sections on the left was split by a huge fireplace (which came in handy after sitting on top of an open double decker tour bus) and just in front of it on your right hand side is the reception desk.

Check In: Since we arrived pretty early, we knew there was a 90% chance our room wouldn't be ready and we were right.  Royalton has a 12:00 pm check out and 3:00 pm check in.  Most travelers should be acquainted with those times since that is pretty much the standard times at most hotels and resorts.  We were quickly processed and asked for one of our cellphone numbers to notify us if our room would be ready earlier.  We handed off our luggage with the bell boy and off we went to explore NYC.
Room 602 King Loft Suite

Room: We were lucky enough to book a King Loft Suite at the Royalton.  Royalton has several room categories and we were probably at one of the bigger ones.  What many people might not know is that hotel rates in NYC during the Christmas Holidays are amazing and this room was also just that.  AMAZING! Once we walked in, we first noticed the extensive bar on our left hand side.  That is where you will find the electronic safe and iPod / iPhone dock.

Room 602 King Loft Suite
Room 602 King Loft Suite

Straight ahead was the King Size bed with a total of 6 down pillows and the most comfortable duvet we have ever slept with at a hotel.  Instead of night tables, Royalton had designed two tiered ports holes complete with a night light.  We found this most convenient since "A" loves to sleep with a light on and "M" doesn't.  This is where you will also find the phone and remote for the TV.

Room 602 King Loft Suite

Beside the bed is an extremely long sofa which was so comfortable to lie on after a day of walking.  We used this to relax, read or just to watch TV. Our room had a view of 44th street which wasn't that spectacular but the interior design of the Royalton actually made us forget there was an outside world.  At the end of the couch is the TV which can be pulled from the wall and you can angle it towards the bed if you wanted to watch TV there.

Royalton King Loft Suite Bathroom

The other stunner of this room was the bathroom.  The Loft King Suite came with a 5ft soaker tub with a rain shower head right in the middle.  The sink (left side of pic) and the vanity (right side of pic) was at either side of the tub.  We have to tell you.  This tub was definitely worth it.  Think about walking the streets of NYC all day during the winter.  This helped wear off the wear and tear of the day and made our transition from day to night a whole lot easier.  The only thing we wished was that there was bubble bath that we were able to use but we just bought some bath balms from the Lush store near Herald Square and we were good to go.  The one thing I loved about this bathroom was how they stored the hair dryer.  It was in a white garment bag, hung on a hook.  Simple and clean.  Robes can also be found in the closet and honestly were the most comfortable robes I have ever worn.  We wanted to buy two for us but forgot to ask how to during our stay.  The bathroom is stocked with Malin + Gotez products which were wonderful as well.

King Loft Suite Desk

Just outside the bathroom was the desk which had an iPad on it.  This is where you can browse Royaltons amenities and services that are available to you during your stay.  You can also use this to browse the internet and help you find directions on how to get to the places you want to go to.  On a side note internet is not included but can be purchased at $10/day for each device.

King Loft Suite fireplace at Royalton Hotel

Last but not least is the bedside fireplace.  Yes.  Bedside fireplace.  We highly recommend getting one when visiting NYC during the winter.  It made our nights so cozy.  Honestly we forgot we were in a hotel when it was lit.  A simple call to the front desk and they will bring up the engineer to bring up the log and light the fire for you.  The log lasts for about 3 hours so please don't call and have them light it when you are going to leave for dinner in an hour or two.  It's just a waste.  There is a glass barrier in front of the fire to protect any embers from flying out.

Thank you Royalton!

On our second day, we got a call from room service telling us that there was a plate of cookies that were being delivered to the room.  To our surprise it was a treat from Forty Four (the hotel restaurant) and it came with a note welcoming us to their property.  A simple gesture that went a LONG way with us.  "M" doesn't like cookies and he loved them.  That's how good they were.

Overall, we truly enjoyed our stay at the hotel.  This was the first time we ever stayed at a Morgans Hotel and it definitely won't be our last.  We are already planning a trip back to NYC and with no question, we want to return and stay at this hotel.  It felt like home for us and the staff is just wonderful.  They made our Christmas the most memorable one and for that, we would like to thank you.

Still not convinced?  See what others think here.