Monday, January 7, 2013

Staycation at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel

I'm not sure if this is something unique to NYC, or if it happens in other tourist cities as well. Living here, it's difficult to justify enjoying it the same way as someone who is just visiting for a special trip. Why spend the big bucks for tickets to a Broadway show when you can find an interesting Off-Broadway show? Why make reservations at a high end restaurant when you've got a great pizza joint on the corner? Why spend a night at one of the amazing hotels throughout the city when you've got a comfy bed at home? But sometimes, we just want to break out the camera and "I Love NY" sweater and enjoy the city in the most extravagant fashion possible.

One of the benefits of a "stay-cation" is that you can be flexible for when you do it. Many of the best hotels offer deals "off-season" after the winter holidays. We picked a nice central location: the Waldorf Astoria in Midtown Manhattan. For us, it was the perfect choice. It may lack some of the modern touches, but the atmosphere of historical decadence added to the special treat of the weekend. 

Over the course of the weekend, we found the time to stop off at both bars in the hotel and have a few drinks, amidst all the other fun activities we'd planned. Sir Harry's Bar was our favorite: dark, quiet, and cozy, it was easy to enjoy a cocktail by ourselves, even though it was very busy. The Waldorf Bar might not have been any busier, but sitting so close to the main floor of the hotel, with brighter lighting and a more open floor plan, it certainly felt busier. The handful of NY wines tempted us, but we stuck to cocktails there as well, and watched the crowd go by, before dinner and a show. 

It was the perfect weekend, almost "quiet" after the holiday rush of tourists had cleared out of the city. A light snowstorm gave the city a special winter glory, almost as if Mother Nature were helping us celebrate the city we call home.

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