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Langham Place New York

New York Travel

Langham Place New York

July 5, 2016

It’s been over a week since I’ve returned home from New York and I’m still energized to the point of almost glowing from my trip because I had such an amazing time. Today I’m sharing something a bit different than I normally do on The Beauty Look Book because when I have an experience that is out of the ordinary I want everyone to know. During our week in New York my husband and I stayed at Langham Place New York located in Midtown Manhattan and it is the best hotel we have ever stayed at. Prior to our trip it took quite a while for me to research hotels – to date my husband and I plan our trips on our own and my go-to review source for hotels is TripAdvisor which helps me narrow down places by location, ratings, price point etc. I picked out Langham Place New York after much consideration and I am beyond thrilled that I did. The hotel exceeded our expectations in every way. I think it is rare that I can say that something was perfect in every way, but my experience staying here was. The service was top notch right from the time we booked our rooms all the way to the day we checked out. In a city that never sleeps, being able to stay at a place that feels like a relaxing home away from home was priceless.
Langham Place New York is located on 5th Avenue within walking distance from the Empire State Building. We found it to be the perfect location for us even though getting around the city is very easy, we found it central to all the places we wanted to visit. Aside from location, spacious modern rooms, luxurious feel, the best thing about this hotel is the service. Everyone was welcoming, friendly, professional, courteous and each person went out of their way to be helpful in any and every way possible.

The rooms have a residence feel with a very open and spacious feel. A repeated theme on hotel reviews for New York is that hotel rooms are small and expensive. If you read the reviews on Langham Place New York, one thing that will stand out is everyone comments on how spacious the rooms are and most have said the service is phenomenal. I wholeheartedly agree and upon entering our room, both my husband and I were blown away. He did not want to splurge for our trip on the hotel, but this experience changed his mind completely and by the end he agreed that this place is indeed worth the splurge. Our room had a mini kitchen and separate living area near the entrance. Also not shown included a Miele laundry machine + dryer. I did not do laundry on this trip but my husband did as he hates traveling with dirty socks even if he brings extra pairs with him.

A look inside the hotel, mainly our room. After staying here for four nights, I did not want to leave. If you look closely below you will see a Nespresso machine. Heart won! They also leave the most amazing cookies on the nightstands during turn down along with bottled water. Heart won yet again πŸ™‚

View from our room:

A very kind welcome note left by the Managing Director. I’ve never received a welcome note before so this touched my heart to the core!

Can I transport this bathroom to my own home please? 

TV monitor built into the mirror!

Husband’s half of the bathroom:

Travel minis that I brought with me:

Sunset view:

Travel beauty: 

Fully equipped fitness center:

In room breakfast with a view: 

During our stay we had room service for breakfast once which was simple yet refreshing. We wanted to try the restaurant Ai Fiori as it had amazing reviews but we were only in town for a short time and chose to explore the city instead. Everyone on the staff from the doormen to concierge and room service was very helpful – I cannot express in words how impressed I was. Literally everyone greets you in the most welcoming way (this happened throughout our entire stay).  The Langham Place New York hotel takes luxury to a new level and after having such a great experience and I will definitely have this place at the top of my list for the next time I visit New York.

I will have a post tomorrow on packing and how I fit everything into a carry on going to New York, but I wanted to make a quick note that by the end of my trip, I had more than I could carry in a suit case so I decided to ship a large box back home via FedEx. I packed what I wanted to ship in a large bag and was about to hail a cab to a FedEx shipping center when one of the doormen kindly told me the concierge would pack and ship everything for me from the hotel. I was still curious about how much it would cost (and how long it would take) to ship on my own for reference in case some readers are traveling to a hotel or destination that does not offer the same service. He kindly pointed me in the direction of a FedEx that was a lot closer than the one I was headed towards initially. It was within a 5 minute walk and actually inside the Empire State Building (just around the corner from the main entrance). As I was shipping my box I thought was pretty neat to be inside the side walls of the Empire State Building. The shipping process was quick and easy, they measured, boxed and packed everything for me and sat me down at one of the stations to enter my shipping and payment information. The whole process took maybe 5 minutes at most and there was no line when I arrived. It cost me only $40ish to ship a large box about 20 pounds second day which I thought was very reasonable.
Back to a few more thoughts on Langham Place New York. I think there’s nothing that can match a really good hotel experience and if you are able to stay here while in New York, I think you will enjoy it as well. In all the years and places I’ve traveled to there have been very few hotels I’ve stayed at that have made a strong enough impression to be memorable, Langham Place has made the list. You can see more about their rooms and amenities on their website gallery.
If you’re researching New York City hotels for trips I hope you found this review helpful! The number of options are almost overwhelming and it took me hours and days of making lists, checking availability and checking my list again to narrow down which one to stay at. I hands down recommend Langham Place New York. If you have any favorites I would love to hear about where your go-to spots are. It’s been a long time since I’ve last been to New York and after having visited I do think I need to try to go more often. I already cannot wait until my next trip back.
New York Travel

A Week in New York City

June 29, 2016

I’m back from spending a week in New York and am so excited to share all the details from my summer trip. A trip to NYC has been on my wishlist for many years – it’s been almost 10 years since I was last in the city. I was actually only in New York for 5 days with my husband. Our trip was planned primarily for sight seeing fun and for me trying new food places was high on my list. I mapped out approximately 30 spots prior to leaving knowing I would not be able to make it to most of them, but it was very helpful for planning and narrowing down what to see by location. I had such an amazing time and cannot wait to go back – there’s an energy in New York City that can’t be matched anywhere else. Summer is such a lovely time to visit although it was quite a bit more humid than the mild weather in Southern California. Thank you to everyone who took the time to e-mail me and message me recommendations! Today I’m sharing the highlights of my trip. More details to follow in separate posts on what I packed, a review of the luggage I tested out, where we stayed and special spots I visited. A quick note to those who expressed some serious concern about me wearing white jeans in the city. I made quick adjustments to my packing list before I left and thank you to each and every one of you for warning me πŸ™‚

In this post I’m covering sights we saw, places we ate and some thoughts about getting around the city which might be helpful for first-timers or those who haven’t been to NYC in a while and are looking for an updated guide. This post is a long one so grab a cup of tea or a snack before reading.

We took the red-eye to NYC with Delta (my husband’s preference) and while I do really like flying with them, I will say that we both agreed next time we will not do the red-eye again. Neither of us can sleep on planes. We arrived bright and early at JFK at around 6:00 AM (yes, super early!) and it took us about a 25 minutes to wait in line for a taxi and about 1 hour to get to the city.

During our week in New York we stayed at Langham Place New York on 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Much to our surprise our room was ready even though check in wasn’t until afternoon. I spent around 2-3 days researching hotels and online reviews via Trip Advisor – the number of options to pick from in NYC are overwhelming. My husband and I were beyond thrilled with our stay at Langham Place. A dedicated review to follow because this place deserves it – every one was incredibly helpful right from the time we booked our hotel. Upon arrival the service was impeccable –  the concierge, housekeeping, and all the doormen were so amazing. They also leave delicious cookies in the room at turndown – heart won. We found the location was great – although being in NYC it’s very easy to get around the city with the subway and taxis.

Bottom left flats by Chloe, bottom right view from our room

For sightseeing we both had a few places we wanted to see together. Both of us have been to New York before but this was the first time we had been together. It was relatively hot and humid during our week there so we did some leisurely sight seeing and didn’t rush anything. My favorite place was Central Park – we walked about half of the way through from the south end to the middle. Other places we saw included Washington Square Park, the 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, Battery Park, Bryant Park and Grand Central Terminal. We passed through a lot of areas by walking but those were the highlights. If you’re in NYC during the summer I highly recommend you check out the event calendars – at Bryant Park they have the HBO Summer Film Festival going on and they play films on a large screen. We passed by at the end of the one of the films – it was packed but looked really fun.

Night time in the city is an experience in itself. I’m not a huge fan of bus tours but they are a nice way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. We took the Grayline Double Decker Bus Night Tour which leaves from Times Square and enjoyed it – our tour guide was very entertaining. It was about a 2 hour bus tour and goes from the city to Brooklyn. For the day tours you can hop on and off the bus, but for the night tours it’s a continuous ride. A few snapshots of the city at night – some are from the bus tour, some are from dinners and walking around the city.

For the places to eat, we only made it to a small handful of spots on our list, but every place we stopped by was amazing and well worth the extra walking and travel distance to find. Breakfast, lunch and dinner spots included Jack’s Wife Freda on Carmine Street (beyond obsessed), Buvette (amazing!!), Shake Shack (burgers are better than In-n-Out, although I didn’t really like their french fries), Don Antonio’s (pizza is amazing! just like ones from Naples), Momofuku (went twice for the cookies), Laduree Soho (for macarons and tea to bring home as gifts), Cafe Cluny (one of the cutest cozy dinner spots ever) and the Soho House (great views).
If there are any I would deem must visits – it would be Jack’s Wife Freda, Buvette and Cafe Cluny. On my next trip I hope to have time for afternoon tea somewhere in the city.

My husband had the waffle sandwich at Buvette and I stole a bite, it was amazing!

These were the only pictures I was able to get of Don Antonio’s, the pizza was THAT good and literally gone within minutes. More on them and their menu on Yelp – it can get very crowded, it appeared to be a very popular spot. We were seated right away because we took the spots right by the window instead of the main dining area – but it was cozy and perfect for people watching. Among the top 2 best pizzas I’ve tried since visiting Italy last year with the soft and fluffy crust.

I will have a separate post on shopping spots that I stopped by. This trip I wasn’t able to get much shopping in – there was a lot on my list that I missed this round but there is always next time! Soho is just absolutely adorable – I could spend forever and the rest of my life there. For those who want a sneak peek of what’s coming next, I will be covering Bergdorf Goodman x Edward Bess, Space NK in Soho, Birchbox Soho, Diptyque at Grand Central Station and the Away Travel. A quick peek at some snapshots from walking around Soho – it’s so charming, I wish I could have spent more time here exploring and shopping. Many of the stores did not open until 11, I was in the area early in the morning so most were not yet open to go inside but it was fun to window shop.

A few thoughts to share on getting around the city and budgeting for transportation from a newbie perspective. It’s been a while since I’ve been in New York but I’m familiar with the metro and subway systems of other cities and also outside the US. Since it has been almost 10 years since I’ve been to NYC I reached out to a few friends who are New York locals, friends who travel to NY frequently for work and also looked at reviews online.

There are a number of websites and reviews that help break down the cost of transportation between taxis, Uber, or the subway. I’m one of those people who often gets confused about direction and since WIFI can be spotty in larger cities, it takes me longer to navigate my way through new surroundings so I thought worst case scenario was that I would have to take taxis everywhere. I am happy to report that navigating NYC is indeed relatively easy to figure out. In general both my husband and I found the subway easier and faster. The areas I went to were all very safe (even to and from Brooklyn late at night, late as in past 10:00 pm). I took the advice of friends who assured me the subway was safe and just to make sure to be in areas where there were lots of people versus the isolated areas with nobody around.

On budgeting for transportation, we each bought a $20 metro card that we used up almost all the way. For taxis getting to and from the airport runs at a flat fee and with tip it’s about $75 to $80 each way. For our taxi trips rates ranged from $8.19 to $33.54 (these numbers included 20% tips). I took the taxi from NYC to Brooklyn once which was the most expensive trip. On taxis – it was recommended that I stick with the yellow cabs and I would highly recommend you do so as well. Total spent on taxis for 5 days (excluding airport transportation) was $160 (including tips), the average taxi ride cost $15ish. Now that we know how to navigate the city next time we will probably use the subway more. I have friends who use Uber every time they go to NYC. This trip we did not try it.

One last note on timing for travel leaving the city to get to the airport. My flight left from JFK at 4:55 pm and the airport guidelines said to arrive at the airport 2 hours prior to take off which meant I would have to arrive at the airport by 2:55 pm. Several assured me I would be ok leaving the city at 2:00 pm but I gave myself an extra 45 minutes since I was leaving on a Friday and I’m glad I did. At around 1:15 pm a traffic surge happened and it took 20 minutes for the doormen to find an available cab. They were so nice about it too, one made several calls to try and find one while the other ran around the block trying to find one with working AC. It was really so impressive how much they went out of their way. Once I was on my way to the airport there was traffic – it took 60 minutes. There was a quick line for airport security – all in all, giving myself the extra time was worth it so I did not have to rush or feel anxious about missing my flight.

A few more snapshots:

One final photo because I know beauty lovers will appreciate this. Net-A-Porter has same day delivery in the city which is so cool. If this showed up at my door to deliver a package I think it would the coolest thing ever. I also wanted to mention that Edward Bess is now carried online at Net-A-Porter!

I hope you enjoyed this roundup of my trip highlights! There’s so much to see in New York City and even though there’s so much I didn’t get to, I enjoyed the week there. I can’t wait to go back again. More on the beauty, shops and packing in the upcoming days! I know many of you are eager to see how I packed carry-on style again.

For those who visit NYC either frequently or occasionally, what are you favorite places to go to? We didn’t make it to any museums this round since we had a short trip. It’s definitely on our list for next time along with places like The High Line, Top of the Rock, the One World Trade Center Observatory (we hope to go inside next time) and for me so much more for the beauty spots πŸ™‚

For those who follow me on Instagram @beautylookbook, thanks for following along!