The Best Breakfast and Lunch in The Hague, Netherlands

| November 10, 2017 8:48 am

I recently came back from a trip to The Netherlands and while I love the country, the food (especially breakfast) doesn’t always suit me.   After spending a few days in The Hague, I was really craving bacon, eggs and toast.  I had been out for a walk when I ran across a place called Palmette.   The dish I ordered came with eggs and bacon stacked on a large slab of sourdough bread garnished with arugula.   The blend of bitter, sour, salty complemented with a sweetened coffee really lifted my spirits for the day.  It had been the best breakfast I had while in The Netherlands.

Later in the day, I stopped by at a restaurant named Zebedeus which is attached to an old church.   The menu features a wide range of dishes but curiosity got the better of me and I ordered a burger.  I did not intend on ordering a burger but was intrigued by palmesteyn beef which I had not tried before.  The hamburger (beef) was amazing and I will definitely return to this restaurant next time I am in The Hague – it is officially my favorite restaurant in The Hague.   Don’t forget to add the award winning “39 Bloedbroeder” beer to your meal!

 

 

United Ruined My Family Vacation To Amsterdam – August 2017

| August 5, 2017 6:05 am

It’s 3:55 p.m on Friday, I eagerly board UA flight 20 from Houston to Amsterdam for a non-stop flight to reach my family that’s currently waiting for me in Amsterdam.   They’ve made reservations for us at La Perla Pizza (the best pizza in the world) on 7:30 p.m. Saturday and I tell them that I’ll be there Saturday morning.

It’s now 4:15 p.m. and the flight finally starts boarding and as I walk past the flight attendant, I whisper to him, “red wine please” and quietly walk to my seat in 4L.   After settling into my seat, he joyfully brings me my red wine and jokingly says, “I understand there was a red wine emergency over here” and hands me my glass.   I think to myself, “it’s going to be a great flight.”

As the rest of the passengers board I decided to watch a movie and select John Wick 2.   The flight attendant comes back and asks what I want for dinner and breakfast.  I tell him I want to go to sleep right away so I can land refreshed and ready to go as I’m visiting my family in Amsterdam so I advise that I’ll need a couple of more glasses of wine and will pop some Aleve to help me drift away.

It’s 4:45 p.m. and I get an alert on my phone that my flight will now leave at 5:30 p.m. – mechanical issues with auxiliary power unit.

It’s 5:32 p.m. and I get an alert on my phone that my flight will now leave at 6:30 p.m. – still same mechanical issue.

It’s 7:21 p.m. and I get an alert on my phone that my flight will now leave at 7:21 p.m. – still same mechanical issue.

It’s 7:49 p.m. and I get an alert on my phone that my flight will now leave at 8:10 p.m. – still same mechanical issue.  I now have finished watching the whole John Wick 2 movie.

It’s 7:55 p.m. and I get an alert on my phone that my flight will now leave at 9:00 p.m. – still same mechanical issue.

It’s 8:24 p.m. and flight attendant tells everyone to get off the plane, new gate is now E20.

It’s 8:25 p.m. and I get an alert that my flight will now leave at 9:30 p.m.

It’s 8:26 p.m. and the flight now leaves at 10:00 p.m.

It’s 9:00 p.m., after sitting 4 hours in a hot plane, I decide to go to United Club and take a shower to rinse off the sweat and be clean for a good nights sleep after this fiasco.

It’s 9:40 p.m., United sends me an alert that my flight has been cancelled.   Technically, I think they’ve fixed the plane but now the flight crew will exceed the number of hours they can work.

I walk over to the customer service desk to find out what can be done however there are hundreds of people there and only TWO agents and the business class / premier desk is NOT manned.    I am next in line in the premier queue but it never moves because the reps are on the phone for 20+ minutes and nothing is getting done.  I realize based on the conversations I am overhearing that getting to the Netherlands anytime on Saturday is going to be impossible.

I decide to cancel the flight since the weekend is gone at this point.  I head down to baggage and am told that no baggage is getting pulled from planes for at least 3 or 4 hours so I should just go home and come back to the airport tomorrow as  a 40 minute drive for me to and from the airport isn’t an inconvenience.

It’s 11:45 p.m. and I finally get home.  I get an email from United apologizing for the cancellation of the flight and they offer me 15000 miles or $300 voucher.   Knowing that miles get diluted almost every year with United I opt for the travel voucher but it doesn’t ease the pain of missing time with my family at all.

This morning I get online and come across this article that states under EU rules, flight cancellation from EU based airlines that delay you longer than 3 hours entitles the passenger to 600 euros in compensation.  So now I’m left wondering why I should ever fly a U.S. based airline over an EU one if one offers double the compensation of the other in the event of delays or cancellations?

As for my family, they’re still in Amsterdam going to have La Perla Pizza tonight while I’m sitting at home 🙁

Thanks United for ruining peak holiday time for 300+ people this weekend.

 

Golden Nugget, Lake Charles Review

| April 19, 2015 10:01 am

This past weekend we visited the Golden Nugget hotel in Lake Charles Louisiana.   It has been almost a decade since we visited Louisiana.   Our last visit was ironically when the L’Auberge du Lac resort opened in 2005.   I recall that when we arrived, we were disappointed that the pool has yet to be finished and was not open at L’Auberge du Lac.

And that seemed to be the parallel case with the Golden Nugget 10 years later although this hotel had opened in November, there was a few issues with some of the hotel amenities.   For starters, the jacuzzi in the men’s spa was not functioning and under repair.   The spa attendants however advised we could use the “couples” spa so we (my wife and I) went over to the couples spa and the jets were not working in the pool.   It was interesting to see repair men hauling tubes and pipes through the side door of the pool while we were there.    The men’s spa had a Keurig coffee maker that lacked water and the nearby milk for coffee smelled rancid.   Both problems remedied by talking to the attendants but I went there to relax not point out problems to be fixed.

Overall we had a good time however we had a bit different expectations than what we received.   For one, the restaurants around the hotel are all chains including Vic & Anthony’s, Grottos, Cadillac Bar, Landry’s,  Saltgrass and the Buffet.    We had hoped for authentic cajun creole food and none was to be found in the entire place!   Not even French flavored cuisine was offered!

We ate dinner one night at Saltgrass and I asked for medium rare Prime Rib and 45 minutes later I got a cold slab of meat.  When I complained, they took the steak back and did heat it up but unfortunately it became a well done dry steak and I couldn’t finish it.   To give credit to Saltgrass management, the did comp me the steak and apologized for the mess up but they clearly have some things to sort to run the place more efficiently.    We did eat at a Sushi place called Lillies (ironic since Japanese don’t have an “L” in their language) and the food there was decent and problem free.

There were several bars and lounges in the complex yet those too didn’t offer any zydeco or cajun music.   The live bands played top 40 from the 80’s and 90’s so while entertaining it was a bit disappointing that all local culture was ignored.    The hotel didn’t leverage any of the local culture for food, music, entertainment or even shopping as most of the shops featured “mall” chain items.   I would have been happy to buy a CD of local music from local bands since that is one of the few items that doesn’t come with a  “made in China” stamp underneath it.

The hotel was nice with fairly large room and very nice bathrooms with separate tub and shower and the pools and spa was very nice but that’s what you’d expect to find at almost any hotel resort these days so nothing unique and as stated before, no local ambiance was leveraged into the theme of the hotel (i.e. jazz, zydeco, cajun, etc).

I did win about $300 at the poker table playing texas holdem against other gamblers and lost $100 at blackjack.   Overall a good weekend but would have preferred more local culture otherwise I may as well just go visit any major city which has basically the same “chain” entertainment.

Will we go back?  Probably not unless local culture is added to the complex.  Our next trip to Louisiana will likely be New Orleans for more authentic food, music, and culture but Golden Nugget is worth a one-time visit if you’re in the area.

 

Spring Break in Iceland 2015

| March 27, 2015 8:36 am

We just got back from Iceland!   Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting about some of our adventures there but for now I wanted to do a summary about Iceland in 2015.

The people are warm and welcoming which is a bit surprising given the eternal coldness of this place.  The youth seem to have a bit of a rebellious streak in them and quite a few buildings in Reykjavik have graffiti on them.   In speaking to a variety of people there seems to be an equal split between the “socialism” factions and the “capitalism” factions and debate ensues about what is the correct approach to economic and social policy.   Almost all of the natives have pale white skin and blond hair as you might expect but with some variety thrown in.  Icelanders are all related going 7 generations back and there is an app that will tell you how closely you are related to that person you are dating….

The country itself has some remarkable infrastructure given the total population is 300,000 people.   There is however definite room for improvement as most roads connecting cities are two lane highways one for each direction with most of the roads in the open country made with gravel or dirt road.  If you come here I would strongly suggest you get a 4 wheel drive vehicle with high clearance.  During our visit we used a Toyota Land Cruiser with 4×4 drive.  I will also add there were a great deal of snow storms with 40+ mph gusts, fast snow drifts and ice as well as rain, hail, and sleet during March.   If you are NOT comfortable driving in these conditions you should consider a guide tour via bus.   Be forewarned gas is expensive here, the price we paid varied from 2.10 to 2.50 euros per liter.   At the time we were there the Euro dropped dramatically against the dollar so 3.78 liters x 2.18 = $8.24/gallon (diesel).

 Reykjavik is a modern city with all the amenities you will find in almost any large city with a few exceptions.  There is no McDonald’s in Iceland!  There are Subways, KFCs, TacoBell, and Dominos Pizza restaurants to name the more common American fast food brands.  There are Indian, Thai and other varieties of food but they are a bit harder to find.  Food here is expensive as it is in many island economies that need to import goods.  Whether cooking in your flat or dining out, expect to pay 30% more for food than you would in the United States.    A nice dinner out for four at the Fish Market in Reykjavik will run about $120 sans wine.

 The bed and breakfast inns are modest but very warm.  My biggest complaint is Internet access was very slow in most places even in our flat in Reykjavik.  Cell phone coverage was worse than you should expect for a modern city but understandable given the remoteness of the location and the sporadic weather.

 About Iceland Photography.  My most frustrating experience was photographing in Iceland.  The dramatic weather changes from snow, rain, hail, sleet, fog, overcast and sunny made it very difficult to photograph anything.   The crown for frustration in Iceland however goes to Reykjavik for light pollution.  Thousands come here to see and photograph the aurora but it is next to impossible in the city with so many lights on all the time.  Even traveling out to the peninsula is not a sanctuary because too many cars drive there with their headlights on drowning out the darkness.    If you want to photograph the aurora I suggest you drive at least 20 km out of the city.

What is there here to enjoy?  Music, food, culture, and of course the many sites from ice caves, waterfalls, black beaches, lakes and lagoons to museums, clubs and restaurants.   You are only limited to your imagination and ability to get off your butt and do something.    I will say that I was EXTREMELY disappointed that Uber is not available in Iceland.    Taxis are very hard to find and expensive.   If you will NOT be renting a car be sure to stay in the downtown area as that is where most of the action is and if you DO rent a car, be forewarned that parking is sparse and expensive.   The flat we rented came with a parking spot and that was worth its own weight in gold.    At one point, we went to the volcano house to see a brief 1 hour movie on Iceland and came out to find a $10 parking ticket for not putting enough krona coins in the parking meter.    The meter maids are out in full force during the day happily handing out citations.   If you do get a ticket, take it to any bank to pay it.   I suspect this is how Iceland is trying to recover from their financial crisis – one parking ticket at a time.

 How would I improve Iceland?   I would start by extracting value from the countries natural landscape.  Add ski resorts, snow tubing, snow biking, snowboarding to start.   I am told there are fishing tours in the summer but add on to that boating, cruising, water skiing,  jet skiing and other.   I don’t know if any of this is practical, perhaps the water is too cold or too hot because of the geothermal heat but I think it would bring in a ton of tourist money and add to the attractions.  Appeal to the ever growing photographers market by implementing light pollution controls or designate no light areas to enable photography of the natural landscape in Iceland.

Iceland please add Uber or your own version of it, this would help tremendously to get around Iceland.

Alaska Cruise Photos Uploaded!

| June 17, 2012 5:40 pm

Well we finally caught a break to upload thousands of photographs.  They can be found here.

New Mexico – Spring Break 2012

| March 16, 2012 7:45 pm

We’ve just concluded our Spring Break 2012 trip which took us to various parts of New Mexico.  We had a great time and the summary is listed below.

DAY 1

We landed in Albuquerque mid-day on Monday and headed straight to Sadie’s Restaurant which was featured in the Man vs. Food television show.   We didn’t know what the big deal was until we ordered some “lunch” sized plates and had a mountain of food delivered at our table.

No one that ordered any food could actually finish a plate and when we got the tab it wasn’t too bad but unfortunately we couldn’t take the food with us since we had no storage so about half of it went to waste….

After lunch we headed to a nearby winery called Casa Rodena which was established way back in 1995.  We tried a few wines here and ended up buying one for the trip back home – a very smooth port wine which we’ll enjoy with the family later.

 

From the winery we headed over to Skip Maisel’s place in downtown Albuquerque.    This is an absolute must go place if you want to do shopping.  We visited many, many sites and by far the best deals on jewelry, nick-knacks, clothing, blankets and such can be found here.  These guys are WHOLESALERS so you won’t be paying retail.  If you go up to Santa Fe (which we did), you’ll find prices 30% to 50% higher for the EXACT same items!    We purchased a whole lot of stuff here and don’t regret it one bit!

From Skip Maisel’s it was a short drive to our next stop over to old towne Albuquerque where we found some more shopping items and some very historic buildings in the area.

After our tour of old towne we decided to drive up to our hotel for check in.  The hotel is located about 20 miles north of Albuquerque in a secluded area.    We opted to stay at the Hyatt Tamaya Resort which turned out to be a hidden gem in the southwest!    The hotel features three nice pools, heated spa, on-site stables, golf and fine dining so we had a great time relaxing after our day trips.

DAY 2

We started our second day in New Mexico early because we had a surprise for the kids which included a hot air balloon ride that started at 7:00 a.m.  We drove to the location where the balloon lifts off from and the kids got to help with the setup.   We chose to go with World Balloon for our ride as they were highly recommended on TripAdvisor.

It literally goes without saying but the balloon ride was pretty impressive.  We glided over the rio grande inches from the water, we then glided over cotton wood forest trees occasionally scraping the basket below.  We then climbed up to 1000 feet which seemed much higher as the moon became bigger and bigger (note: Albuquerque 5000 ft above sea level).

The hot air balloon ride really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience but I highly recommend it.  We’ve now scratched this off of our bucket list!

After our hot air balloon ride we ate a quick breakfast at a nearby diner where we didn’t get 10% off as the World Balloon flight operator suggested 😉

From breakfast we headed over to see the native American petroglyph parks.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have any water with us and since it’s the desert and safety comes first, we only took a brief tour of the main park before we headed off to the other (water available) parks. We did manage to catch a few photos.

Upon finishing our petroglyph excursion, we headed back to the hotel to do some horseback riding.   The clan saddled up and went for a 90 minute ride-about in the New Mexico desert along the Rio Grande!

Needless to say, it was beautiful country, the weather was sunny but cool and the views were majestic.   The kids handled the horses well and aside from a sore ass we fared very well on the horses.    The four horses we had were Dude (dad), Buckey (bart), Chief (mom), and Stuball (lisa)

After a long day of hot air balloon, petroglyphs and horses, we headed back to the hotel suite for pizza and pool.   The heated jacuzzi was exquisite.

DAY 3

We opted to eat at the hotel for breakfast (since it was included with the stay) because we slept in after having awoken early the previous few days for activities but we ate quite a mouthful after a heavy week of fun.

After breakfast, our mission was to take the kids snowboarding at Sandia Peak.   We managed to make it before the ski resort shutdown for the season.   Friday would have been the last day so we got lucky snow had fallen the weekend before we arrived.

After the ski affair, we headed back to the hotel to rest for a bit.    In the evening we headed out to KIMO Theatre to see a rendition of a play called “La Llorona” which means the “wailing woman” and had a good time in the strange type of performance which involved a great deal of audience interaction.

We ended the night with a drive back from downtown Albuquerque to our hotel a little disappointed yet intrigued by what we had just seen….

DAY 4

The fourth day of our trip started with a drive to the train station so we could take a train to Santa Fe.   The train ride was fun and the views were spectacular.  Unbeknownst to me, we weren’t supposed to be taking photos of the native American lands we were crossing but I didn’t see what the big deal was since it was mostly desert terrain and nothing you can’t get from google earth anyway.

Upon arriving at Santa Fe, our first stop was the state capital.   We seem to always land in the capital city so we opted to take a quick look at the site.   As usual, the building was nice and posh, my..my what we can buy with taxpayer money!

After seeing the newest and likely most expensive building in the city, we headed to the oldest (and likely poorest) building in the city (and oldest church in America) the San Miguel church.

 

As churches go, there wasn’t anything different other than the really old construction with large wooden beams across the top of the ceiling to hold up the old style adobe roof.  Next door was one of the oldest houses in North America, an adobe mud home built in the mid 1600’s.

From there we went over to see the Miracle Staircase built by a carpenter for the nuns of the church.   The staircase is called a “miracle” because no nails or glue was used in the construction of the spiral staircase.    The picture shown however has a banister which was added later for safety (and it does include nails).

From the miraculous staircase, we walked over to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis (hey, it’s an old Spanish town, whad’ya expect?).

After the church, we passed through the town square plaza which had many shops and street vendors selling a variety of items.  We confirmed that the prices here were 30% to 50% higher than Skip Maisels so if you want to do a lot of shopping and save money, go to Skip’s!  From the plaza we headed to the Georgia O’Keefe museum.  Did you know Georgia O’Keefe was from New Mexico?

 

After being erotically tantalized by O’keefe’s flowery imagery we headed back to the train station and took the train back to Bernalillo where we picked up our car and headed to Albuquerque for our last stay.

We had an uneventful dinner at Applebee’s then checked in to our hotel near the airport.   We were all very tired and had a very early flight the next day so we didn’t do much but repack our purchases and items for the journey home.

The lasting image I will have of our trip was seeing the sun set through the metallic statue at the car rental drop off location.    We had a great time.

 

 

Hotel Review – Hotel Kabuki Joie de Vivre

| January 8, 2012 12:35 pm

We chose the Hotel Kabuki because of the proximity to many of the areas we wanted to visit and because this hotel received high ratings on TripAdvisor but I must say I was a bit disappointed.   After a few things went wrong, I started keeping a list of issues on my iPad because I want to avoid this hotel in the future and wanted to remember why we didn’t want to stay here in the future.

First, we paid extra to get the club king which included a jacuzzi and unfortunately the jacuzzi would only work for 5 minutes at a time after which the jets would stop functioning.   As already mentioned, the hotel service at Izakaya Lounge was pretty bad and that added to the negatives for Kabuki.

The bed and room temperature were too uncomfortable and there seemed to be no way to adjust the temperature settings.

The internet, while free, didn’t work too well and I suspect there were too many users sharing the same connection.

The room had a bit of dated decor and carpet and is clearly in need of some investment and refresh.

I ended up getting a japanese massage down next to the hotel and was a bit disappointed as well.

Unfortunately, there are too many better choices to stay in San Francisco so if you don’t mind the items above it may be to your liking but otherwise you may be best staying elsewhere.

San Francisco Holiday Getaway

| 12:27 pm

After Christmas this year, we went for a quick visit to San Francisco to get away for a few days.    Our day started on Tuesday night when we got to our hotel, the Kabuki, in Japantown.   We chose this hotel to try something different and to be closer to some of the activities we planned on doing the following few days.   A review of the hotel will be posted in a separate post.

Since we were staying in Japantown, our first stop was to a non-traditional Japanese restaurant, Bennihana’s.   As you might expect, the food there was the same as to any other Bennihana’s in almost just about every city.  We had a drink at the bar then headed to our table where we met a couple that was staying at the same hotel and planning on going to Alcatraz the next day.

The next day we awaited our tour bus from Extranomical Tours to take us to Meir Woods and Sonoma for some wine tasting tours.   The bus ended up being 30 minutes late and had we known that we would have slept in a little bit.   I was surprised that the tour bus was quite full and there weren’t too many empty seats.   Next time, we might take a private limo tour for a bit more flexibility in the tour.

Our first stop was the Meir woods where we got to explore the amazing redwood forest.  Those trees were gigantic and the ambient temperature was quite cool as the trees provide ample shade and are nestled in a valley.  We spent about an hour at the woods and purchased a few souvenirs to take back home.

 

Our second stop was the Jacuzzi wine vineyards where we sampled some decent wines but not enough to buy any.  Actually, we didn’t buy any wine because we didn’t want to check luggage and the TSA no longer allows liquids on board a plane.  The facilities were quite nice but it was clearly far too touristy as the whole environment seemed to be geared toward selling items but we had a good time nonetheless.

After visiting Jacuzzi, we headed over to Sonoma to have lunch and tour the town.

We did a some shopping there and tasted some more wines.  Unfortunately not too many were to my liking.

After spending a few hours in Sonoma we headed back toward San Francisco and stopped at Cline winery where we did find two good wines, “House Reds” was one of my favorite wines and will be ordering online from them sometime soon.

After the Cline visit, we headed back to San Francisco and made a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge to take some photos but unfortunately the fogged rolled in and obscured any view of the bridge except for the pointy tips of the bridge.

 

We got dropped off back at our hotel and had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant Izakaya Lounge where the food was mediocre and the service was equally the same.   There was only one waiter for a full restaurant and the bartender was new and didn’t know much.   We did get comped a free glass of wines after all the screw ups with our order but we were quite tired to complain too much however we won’t be eating there again.

 

On Thursday we decided to explore San Francisco so we walked a few blocks to Van Ness Ave & California where we boarded the San Francisco cable car.  We took that all the way down to the financial district and visited the area but ultimately took a ferry to Sausalito where we did quite a bit of shopping for clothing and other items.

After spending the better part of the morning and afternoon at Sausalito, we took a different ferry back and ended up at Pier 39.  The area was full of very specific shops such as a market for KeyChains, Socks, and Lefty’s!  We did get to see the famous seals that lazily lay on the pier all day long as well.

After Pier 39, we took a cab over to Chinatown where we walked through the area looking for some good bargains or interesting items but didn’t find too much that we could easily carry back home with us that day.    We ended up back on California Street where we once again too the cable car back toward our hotel and walked the rest of the way.

For dinner on Thursday night, we took a walk over to Woodhouse Fish Co. which is a quaint little restaurant with great food and great service!

On Friday, we headed back home seated in first class…this last one bit is for the kids 😉

Hotel Review – Embassy Suites Washington D.C.

| June 26, 2011 9:37 am

During our stay in Washington D.C. we stayed at the Embassy Suites on 10th street.

Embassy Suites Washington D.C. – Convention Center 900 10th Street Northwest, Washington D.C., DC 20001 (202) 739-2099

We chose this hotel because it was one of the few “kid friendly” hotels in Washington D.C. which offered a separate bedroom and a living with a sofa bed.   The room also had a fridge and microwave.    In addition, this hotel had a fitness center, a pool and a jacuzzi.

The hotel is also located about five blocks from the White House and a few blocks from shopping, restaurants and in close proximity to many of the main Washington monuments.   In theory, everything was within a 20 minute walk but we often took taxis or drove because of the sun and heat.

The hotel rate was $294.76 per night and a room tax of $42.74 per night.  We also had to valet our car which was an additional $35/day charge.  Oh and there is a parking tax on top of that of $4.20.   The grand total for each night stay was $376.70 per night!  Our final bill here was $1700 which included a couple of $100 dinners.

 

 

Hotel Review – New York DoubleTree Hilton Times Square

| 9:28 am

Our time in New York was considerable fun and during our entire stay, we stayed at the DoubleTree Hilton Times Square and the hotel was great.   It is located right on time square close to shopping, restaurants, the gray line buses and broadway shows.

Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square 1568 Broadway (at 47th Street), New York, NY 10036 (212) 719-1600

The hotel does have a few quirks:

First, you take two elevators to get up to your room.  The main entry way has a guard and you need to show your hotel room key to get up the first elevator which takes you up to the lobby.    From the lobby, you take a second bank of elevators that take you up to your room.   We were on the 27th floor and Marge complained of headaches while we stayed there until another guest mentioned opening the windows to let fresh air in which seemed to do the trick.    There *may* be some type of mold in the recirculated air so my advice is to OPEN THE WINDOW when you get there periodically to clean the air out.

The biggest con of course is the cost of the hotel.   The room rate was $421.52 per night.   Add State Sales tax of $37.41 and a city sales tax of $24.76 per night in additional to an occupancy tax of $4.00 and Javits Center tax of $1.50 and you’re looking at a real night rate of $489.19 PER NIGHT!

Of course, it all depends on how you look at it because if you stay at a hotel further away from Times Square and you’re taking taxis back and forth then the rate quickly becomes comparable to other potential expenses.

I’d also add that this hotel included a separate living room and bedroom and had a sofa bed so having two rooms was a benefit as well.   The room also had a fridge to keep drinks cool.   Our final bill here was close to $2500 for a five night stay.