Monday, March 24, 2008

Style on 32nd floor in NYC

I am sad to say that the times of the hotel bargains in the US is over. Until 2003 it was possible to get the most sensational bargains on the net, but as the American economy has heated up, or over heated, the prices of accommodation in the United States have skyrocketed. In 2003 and 2004 I had two stays in the Big Apple with hotel rooms to die for, at affordable prices.

In September 2003 I visited New York City. I had booked two nights at Helmsley Park Hotel, at 36 Central Park South via the German hotel reservation site www.hrs.de. This luxurious hotel is located on the southern end of Central Park with New York Plaza on the right and the Ritz-Carlton on the left.

Even then I knew what bargain this was. USD 150 per night, was dead cheap, even then, but I held my expectations back and waited to be placed in their smallest room. I had kept my reservation secret for Laila, my traveling buddy for the same reason, not to disappoint her.

Helmsley Park Lane Hotel is the most exclusive hotel experience in my long life as a traveler. The lobby with deep soft carpets and huge flower arrangements set the tone. We were offered a Deluxe City view room located on the 32nd floor. These are described as "luxurious and spacious" on approx 250 sq ft". It had two separate, huge rococo style beds with matching furniture a beautiful luxurious bathroom, and a view to die for - overlooking the high rise buildings on the Upper West side.

These rooms also offer two two-line phone systems with data capabilities, voice-mail and bathroom extensions. High speed internet access, television. iron/ironing board, vanity mirror and hair dryer in each bathroom, nightly turn-down service.

Sadly these rooms are now out of reach for most of us. My favourite hotel website www.hrs.de does not offer hotel reservation on US hotels any more. In 2006 the average price for a hotel room in Manhattan reached USD 304, expected to rise in 2007.

Rooms at Helmsley Park Lane Hotel from September 10th to September 14th 2008 would cost you from USD 605 for a city view room with a queens size bed to USD 745 for a room with two beds with overlooking Central Park. Our room would cost us USD 705 in 2008, USD 3000 incl. taxes for 4 nights.

The room we stayed in, is certainly not worth the price charged today. We were however lucky to experience a stay at Helmsley Park Lane Hotel without using all our budget on accommodation.

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