WiFi Not Included

I’m heading into the city for a couple of days next week, one, to get back on track for The Wednesday Culture Club and two, to shop a bit in the lighting district for chandeliers and okay, maybe Bergdorf’s and Saks too.

The conundrum is where to stay. Our old old old haunt was always the Essex House on CPS, long before it became the Jumeriah Essex House. Blech. The old Essex House wasn’t fancy, but its location was ideal for what we wanted and the rooms were huge, a bit dingy, but huge with great views of the park. Then, like most things we grow to love, it ch-ch-changed with the new ownership. What was once a simple understated hotel became splashy and modern and, oh yes, expensive.

Now, another iteration, the JW Marriott Essex House. I plugged in my dates and this is the ONLY room available. I’ll take two, one for me, and one for Dawg. I see I better hurry and book as they are Almost Sold Out of that room and rate. Such a deal!


I checked other choices.

Um, no. The Four Seasons. Too rich for my cheap blood.

The Peninsula chain is among the prettiest around the world and this one in the city, the rooms are by far the most to my liking decor wise. Comfy, soft colors, plush but not overdone. But I but just can’t see paying so much for a room I’ll only be in to sleep. Not sure I understand why an interior courtyard view room is $110 MORE per night than the one with a view of 5th Avenue. Unless the 5th Avenue room is on a low floor and has lots of noise.

A hotel I’ve never tried seems to have a good rate for seniors, the only hotel I’ve seen with that discount option, The Omni Berkshire. Anyone been there? TripAdvisor reviews are good. And East 52nd is a great location. This is a definite maybe but I’ll wait to hear if any of you didn’t like it. The photos of the rooms looks more like a Hilton than anything upscale.

Our preferred hotel recently is The New York Palace – a great location and stellar views from the rooms on the upper floors. Then it went and got a facelist. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. The lobby is sanitized enough for surgery and the rooms new mod decor has zero warmth. Plus, during all the renovation, they kept all the low toilets. I mean, so low I practically need a chair lift. But, their rates are good, better than most anywhere, or anywhere near where I want to stay. And and and, The Palace has a parking garage attached right to the hotel. Easy. In and out once, $$$$, but convenient.


The Gotcha is as the title of the post says, almost all rooms do not include WiFi, a huge pet peeve for me. Check into a Motel 6 (not that I have mind you) at $79/night, WiFi is free. Our Hampton Inn in Iowa was just about $120/night, Wifi included. But the expensive hotels charge? How is that possibly right?

Any hotel suggestions/comments before I click Book Now? I want to be midtown, midtown east too.

34 thoughts on “WiFi Not Included

  1. I’ve stayed at the Omni Berkshire a couple of times but that was a good number of years ago. Great location. The rooms were quite nice, actually. I think I joined some sort of free frequent guest club to get free wifi. I’d stay there again.
    Recently I discovered the senior rate is better than the AAA rate at some Marriott properties. We have stayed at Residence Inns a few times and found them to be perfectly fine. Not in Manhattan, though.

      1. It was a few years ago, EOS. I saw a good deal with valet parking and booked the hotel. It certainly isn’t the fanciest place in NYC but I think it’s a very nice hotel at a pretty good rate. Its sister hotel in Boston is the Parker House which also seems to fly under the radar and gets very good reviews by those who have stayed there.
        Midtown isn’t the midtown of my youth when Fifth Avenue had the best shopping anywhere. Saks on one side of St. Patrick’s and Best on the other. DePinna, Steuben, Schwartz, Rizzoli.
        So, what cultural event do you have planned for Big Apple Wednesday?

        1. Actually they still offer a car park rate. I’m going to train in. A pitch shot from GCT. I don’t need the car so why pay for days sitting in a garage. That’s another nights room rate!

          Hamilton the new musical for one. Also the Met Chinese clothing exhibit. Shake shack. 😍

    1. I just signed up for the Omni Gold Loyalty plan which gives me free Wifi etc. Thanks for the tip. I’m going to try the Omni and if I don’t like it, it’s all your fault Swanton!! [Kidding!]

  2. Back in the early 70’s whenever my girlfriend used to throw me out — I’m sure the Trumpster could come up with an explanation for why such things happen — I used to stay at a hotel off Madison somewhere around 28th or 30th that was $75 a week. There’s plenty of similar hotels in that neighborhood, or at least there used to be — haven’t been to NYC in over twenty years, so I couldn’t say what’s there now. Very affordable even with breakfast, dinner, and lunch, plus late night snacks in restaurants. I also knew all of the good places in town where you could get a good meal for a couple of bucks. One of my favorites: The Pink Tea Cup on Bleeker where you could get a whole soul food dinner for a buck and a half.

    1. AJ: I’m sure I could find a hotel for $75 a week but I’m not looking to come home with bed bugs or some disease from the only slightly pre-slept-in and unwashed sheets. But thanks for the thought.

      1. Really nice place back then. Not swank (remember Swank Magazine?) but nice. NYC was a different place back then. I gave up my apartment near Chinatown, Delancey St (2 bdrm with separate kitchen, $125 a mo), and yes I ate in every single restaurant there, to move in with my girlfriend, York and 76th (1 bdrm, $200 a month). Back in the 60s I had a studio in the West 70s (a block off Central Park) for only $75 a mo and that wasn’t even rent controlled.

        1. Best show ever — 1967, I think. I was sitting on a park bench in “Needle Park” — 72nd and Broadway, you know, where the subway station is, where the bums wrap themselves up in newspaper for the night — the one that smells like urine and salami — around midnight catching a little cool night air, and this transvestite ball starts letting out, probably one of the first of its kind, and there they are, maybe a hundred of them, drag queens emptying out into the street. And all of the sudden a dozen or more cop cars come screeching to a halt, they all traveled with partners back then, leaping out of their cars, and all started mercilessly beating the shit out of the young beauties with their night sticks for no reason at all. Memorable to say the least.

        2. Geez, what an awful story. But probably happened more often than we know. DeBlasio’s New York has a big homeless problem, and cops who can’t do their job because of such a PC world, but I shudder at the thought that those drag queens got beaten just because. Sad.

    1. I’m not sure where I would stay if money were no object. St. Regis is pretty swell. So too The Pierre. I’ll never know though, unless you are offering to treat???? I’ll bring a stack of your books and leave them in the lobby. Deal?

      1. You need Walt to be your sugar daddy. I bet HE’D treat you to a suite, and not one on the lower east side either.

      2. My book is only available on Kindle right now. 99 cents or free if you have Amazon Prime, or Kindle Unlimited or something like that. “Quitting is Easy” — anybody buys a copy, I thank you for your 35 cents in advance.

    1. Ah, yes. Leona Helmsley and Martha Stewart, birds of a feather. Jailbirds, that is. Sisters in common on the low road to great wealth.

        1. The Queen of mean had a lot of enemies and was universally hated by her employees. Keeping that in mind, it was not too smart to openly deduct obvious personal expenses as business costs — stupid. Could she have made it without her husbands vast fortune (keep in mind almost every real estate sign plastered on the side of a NYC building read Helmsley Spears back in the day)? I don’t know. BTW, three and four story brownstones with their own ground floor garages and court yard gardens, in the best upper east side neighborhoods were asking only a quarter of a million back in the early 70s. That’s right, only two hundred and fifty grand.

          Martha Stewart was self-made, but not smart enough to keep from falling into a “you can smell it from a mile away” trap. Was it a setup? No, but like tar pits and sink holes, not all traps are. She made a stupid inside trade that anyone with half a brain could have figured out they were going to get nailed for. And for what? To keep from losing some pocket change: nickel and dime stuff. But that’s what happens to master of the universe control freaks: they just can’t let it go.

        2. My 4:54 post is not an assessment but fact. Both committed and were convicted of criminal acts and went to prison for it. Jon Corzine outdid them in a way that any criminal could only envy. But he had protectsia. Martha and Leona did not.

    2. I’m late to the party here, and rather irrelevant, but I’ll add a thought or two for fun. My life in the ’80s was surreal. We lived in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere. But shopping was necessary, so we (my family) made annual trips to NYC. We usually stayed at the Stanhope, but one year we had a gorgeous suite at the Helmsley Palace. A limo would follow us around town while we shopped. They we walked to Broadway for a show–long way from the Stanhope for kids! Dad said it “builds character!” One year my 9 year old brothers were approached by prostitutes on fifth avenue after the show😬 crazy times, the Eighties!!

      1. You have such an amazing life. I love every one of your stories, this one is a gem, especially your brothers seeing their first hookers!!!! 🙂

        The Stanhope was such a great hotel in its day, practically across the street from The Met. Then some developers thought it should be trillion dollar apartments. I haven’t kept up but for a while those apartments sat empty for years. The maintenance was through the roof, even by NYC standards.

  3. The Conrad in Battery Park City.
    Next door to Goldman 200 West Street.
    Huge rooms. Used to be Embassy Suites before Goldman took it over.
    You might want to begin shopping downtown?

    1. BPC is in the middle of nowhere. So hard to get to. The kids have some married friends who live in BPC and no one wants to go to their house. Pretty, good value, but might as well be in Jersey City. I’m a midtown girl.

      1. For midtown, my peeps only stay at the Chatwel. It’s essentially an art moderne private club. Of course their clients pay the pricey freight, way above my pay grade!
        While in town you ought to check out the new BPC. No longer an outpost since Goldman and Conde Nast moved in. World Financial Center is now Brookfield Place, with Le District (French version of Eataly), El Vez, Parm, and adjacent to Tribeca.

  4. This won’t solve the immediate lodging issue, but over time does it remotely make economic sense for you to join the Penn Club? Room decor style is somewhat fuddy-duddy, but it’s fresh enough, it’s a small-ish place, it’s midtown, and the people who work there are lovely (unlike the Yale Club; don’t get me started).

    1. For decades my parents belonged to The Union League on E. 37th so we had that if we chose. When my father died my mom remained a member but decided recently she didn’t need it either. No one has a club presence anymore. Not my BIL with Princeton. Just not ever used. I always have the option of staying free with my sister but I admit to liking my own space. I think it’s cheaper for us to hotel it for the few times a year we stay longer than a few nights. If money were truly no problem, I’d buy a squeeny teeny one bedroom apartment in midtown. I think I’d go more often with my own little place. Mr. EOS. Is a country mouse so it would be when I need some city time while he’s in RI.

      1. True, if you’re not interested in going to the city frequently, and making use of the various speakers, programs, events, excursions, etc. offered by the (insert university name here) club — independent of the business of spending the night there — there is no $ value to belonging. The signup is not costly, but the baseline annual dues can well eclipse the less expensive room rate. (Which maybe isn’t so “less expensive” anymore.)

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