The $1,000 NYC Weekend

Posted 10/06/2010

In the continuation of the series, traveler writer Jennifer Langley explores the perfectly romantic New York City weekend for just around $1,000

We already know that New York City can be ultra high cost, but as we showed in the previous NYC weekend article, it can be done - and done well - for as little as $500. While our last NYC weekend had to focus on fairly tight budgeting, a $1000 spending limit will give you added flexibility and options. Your $1000 NYC weekend getaway can add a dash of luxury to a limited budget weekend. With the cultural mecca of New York at your fingertips, $1000 can really go a long way.

You can have the full NYC weekend experience - complete with lovely lodgings, memorable meals, and a great dose of the local culture - for just $1000. You might think it seems impossible to get the most out of one of the world's priciest cities while on this budget, but after we did a great NYC getaway for just $500, it was easy to plan a $1000 budget conscious getaway while throwing in some really great luxuries and extra experiences.

To really enjoy the best of New York, you will find the convenience of a centrally located hotel or bed & breakfast is a major priority. Even though some NYC hotels can be sky high in price, there are some comfortable and somewhat luxurious options for reasonable prices. To maximize your budget, you'll want to spend no more than half of your money on accomodations. With a $1000 budget, you can afford to go for hotels which are higher end than we chose for the last article. The hotels we offer for your consideration here all have great locations, and those extra touches which bare bones hotels can't offer. For about $250 a night in NYC, you can even get a room with a few added luxuries. Here are a few of the top picks.

The Ivy Terrace is a beautifully decorated B&B on the upper East side, and has won many loyal fans with it's comfortable and unique decor, and it's charming hosts. Here you will find a really personalized experience in the heart of NYC for rates starting at just $225. If you have questions or need direction, just ask the hosts over the free daily breakfast: they truly enjoy helping. The Ivy Terrace is close enough to the action to allow you to be at the theatre district or Times Square in minutes, but far enough away as to feel like a secluded oasis.

The Hotel At Times Square is another excellent option, and is located mere moments from Times Square. Rooms are quite large, clean, and well maintained. You will find some nice touches including a free continental breakfast, use of the fitness center, and high speed internet all included in your stay. Rates average in the $250 range, at times lower depending upon season. The theatre district surrounds the hotel, and the location is close to every type of entertainment.

The Broadway Plaza Hotel is ideal for those who are looking for the maximum amount of space in a hotel room, and are willing to give up plush decor as a trade-off. With some of the largest bedrooms and bathrooms to be found anywhere in the area, the Broadway Plaza Hotel offers clean, simply decorated spaces for about $250. Boasting striking views of the Empire State building, and a location which will have you anywhere in central NYC in minutes, this is a great choice if the ambience is not your top priority. Continental breakfast is included, but rise early to beat the crowd.

One of the best thing about visiting NYC is the food. From the street vendor hot dogs to the 5 star restaurants, NYC has it all. When you are on a limited budget, but have some room to splurge a few times, why not go for the best? Since you are going to have breakfast provided at your hotel, you'll have more money to spend on a really memorable meal. Of course, most of your meals can be in the more reasonable range, but here are a couple of standout options.

For a meal which you will always remember, choose Per Se for a special splurge. Famous chef Thomas Keller serves up his unique take on Napa Valley cuisine here, with daily menu changes. Be prepared for more than a meal: this is an experience, and you'll be savoring the prix-fixe menu for a couple of hours. Prices begin at $125 for the prix-fixe menu, and $150 for the tasting menu. You can't go wrong with either, and you will leave knowing you've just experienced one of the city's most highly rated restaurants. Expensive, yes, but this is a special meal for a special weekend. With it's midtown location, you'll find it easy to get to. Make sure you make reservations, since Per Se is often booked months in advance.

If you love French cuisine and want to taste it in the purest form, give Daniel a try. Located on the upper East side, Daniel Boulud's signature restaurant specializes in fine French cuisine with a prix-fixe menu. Daniel, much like Per Se, focuses on the best and freshest ingredients of each season, and changes menus periodically as a result. Prices start at $85 for a 3 course prix-fixe menu, and reservations are required.

After you've splurged on your expensive meal, you may think that you'll have to eat fast food for the rest of your weekend. Not at all! Actually, this is an opportunity to experience one of the best things about NYC: the ethnic cuisine. Some of the best choices are often the Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Greek restaurants so prevalent in the city. Your options are virtually unlimited, and the prices are often just as cheap as you'd find at the local fast food joint. Go out on a limb and give a unique restaurant a try! You may find that some of your favorite meals are in those tiny places you discover all on your own.

Since you're in the heart of NYC, it's important that you don't forget to enjoy some of the things which have made the city so famous: the theatre district, the shopping, and the culture. Ask at your hotel about a Broadway play they like, and you may find some really helpful tips. Don't be afraid to see something you've never even heard of before, because the discovery can be half the fun! With shopping in NYC, you don't have to spend a penny to enjoy yourself. Window shopping alone can be fun. Connect with your inner Audrey Hepburn and stroll past the diamond displays at Tiffany's, and enjoy the people watching all over the famed 5th avenue. Keep your eyes open for interesting and unique small shops: they're all over the city, and these tiny stores sometimes offer the best prizes to take home.

While the $500 NYC weekend was focused on getting the best out of the city while paying the least, the $1000 NYC weekend takes it to the next level. As we've discovered, the next level means remaining budget conscious while making a few really great indulgences. A wonderful New York weekend on a $1000 budget is more than possible. It's a fun challenge, and it's a perfect way to have a weekend full of discovery, joy, and cultural experiences that will stay with you long after you've left the city behind.

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