To celebrate the end of a $180-million renovation and removal of construction scaffolding on the building's Manhattan facade, the Sheraton New York Times Square is offering guests an unusual perk in October and November. Guests whose homes, or themselves, have recently had renovations get a $50 per stay “Makeover Celebration Credit.” Overnight guests must present a valid receipt at check-in showing at least $150 in home renovation projects or personal cosmetic procedures to get the credit.
The credit is valid once per trip, on two-night stays on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October and November. Home improvements and makeover procedures must have occurred within six months of check-in date and cosmetic work must have been in-office medical procedures, hotel officials said. You just book directly at www.sheratonnewyork.com, where more details can also be found, or by calling the hotel at 212-581-1000.
The Lake Placid Lodge in Lake Placid, N.Y., is holding its annual “Gastro Getaway Weekend” Nov. 7-10, in conjunction with Lexus. The weekend highlights the combined talents of Executive Chef Nathan Rich of the lodge, and Executive Chef James Hackney of Wequasset Resort & Golf Club on Cape Cod. There will also be eight Lexus vehicles on property, and three will be available to guests to test drive during their stay. The weekend also features products of Miner Vineyards and Taittinger Champagne House.
During the weekend, guests can participate in various culinary and spirits-oriented events, including wine and champagne tastings, culinary demos and pairings, cocktail muddling and mixing classes, one-on-ones with chefs, a brewery tour, craft beer tastings and more. The weekend will also showcase local talent and Olympic-themed activities, including curling.
The lodge is also offering an extra night free when booking three nights for the weekend. Rates start at $799 a night, and include all “Gastro Weekend” events and activities.
For info and booking, visit www.lakeplacidlodge.com
CitySights NY has announced the return of its double-decker hop-on/hop-off tours across the Brooklyn Bridge with a revised Brooklyn Tour, and Gray Line New York announced its new double-decker hop-on/hop-ff tours to the Bronx Tour/Loop. David W. Chien, director of marketing for CitySights, said a lot of people visit Manhattan and never set food elsewhere.
“That would mean they’d miss great treasurers of New York,” Chien said. “Brooklyn and the Bronx are exciting and diverse boroughs of New York City, and we’re thrilled to return the hop-on/hop-off services to Brooklyn, and commence our tours to the Bronx.”
CitySights Brooklyn Tour has a web special of $44 for adults and $34 for children. For details, visit www.citysightsny.com/tourpage.php?item=BT For info on the Bronx Tour, visit www.newyorksightseeing.com/tourpage.php?item=BXL
Conrad New York Hotel is offering an exclusive VIP package for the Tribeca Film Festival this year – if you can pony up star coin. For $7,500 a night, you get a 1,500-square-foot suite, two “Daily Vesey” passes for the festival, valid for all public screenings for Saturday during the stay, and round-trip private-car transfers to each film. Guests also get pampered in Salvatore’s Barber and Salon, a bottle of bubbly in the room and a gourmet dinner with cocktails for two at the ATRO Wine Bar|Restaurant.
Book by April 19 for stays from April 19-21. To book, use code "P9" or the Tribeca Film Festival VIP package. Book online at www.conradnewyork.com/specials-and-packages/tribeca-film-festival-vip-package/, or call 888-370-1936.
One of Manhattan’s first luxury hotels was Hotel Belleclaire, built in 1903 and visited by notables of the day including Babe Ruth and Mark Twain. The 230-room hotel is coming off a recent multi-million renovation that includes a new lobby and public spaces, revamped rooms and designs, and upgraded amenities and technology. To mark the occasion, and in a nod to its Upper West Side digs, Hotel Belleclaire is running a “West Side Luxe Package” through the end of the year, which includes a night’s stay, free bottle of wine, $25 credit towards breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien, and a carriage ride through Central Park. Rates start at $319, and for more information, visit www.hotelbelleclaire.com
Travel between Boston and New York may have gotten a little more expensive (and safer) with the recent demise of Fung Wah bus lines, but that doesn't mean there still doesn't exist an overwhelming appreciation for the memories the company left behind.
The New Yorker channels these emotions in an ode to Fung Wah, inspired by Bob Dylan's "Farewell Angelina." We warn you, it may get misty wherever you may be.
By Necee Regis, Globe Correspondent
LEGO lovers traveling to New York and the lower Hudson Valley area can add a new destination to their itineraries. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester opens March 27 in Yonkers, N.Y. Geared to children ages 3-10 and their families, the 32,300-square-foot attraction features more than 3 million LEGO bricks, hands-on play areas, 4D cinema, LEGO building classes, and two LEGO rides. Don’t miss MINILAND, a re-creation of nearby landmark locations and buildings made out of more than 1 million LEGO bricks. Adults $19, children 3-12 $15. Book online for discounts. 866-243-0770, www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester
By Kari Bodnarchuk, Globe correspondent
Sites of Memory, an unusual new smartphone tour, guides you to locations that played a part in notable disasters, mysteries, and dark events in the history of New York. Visit the site on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the first recorded motor vehicle fatality in the Western Hemisphere occurred in 1899; see where the 1904 General Slocum steamship disaster happened; or follow in the final footsteps of Mary Rogers, known as the Beautiful Cigar Girl, whose disappearance inspired the first-ever mystery story, Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Mystery of Marie Roget.” Authors Kurt Andersen, Lewis H. Lapham, Angela Riechers, and Luc Sante narrate the free tour, accessible from a computer or from a smartphone as part of an audio-guided walking tour. Works on Apple and Android devices. www.sitesofmemory.com
By Kari Bodnarchuk
Download Smartsave’s New York for Less app on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad, and you will get a comprehensive guide to the Big Apple that features more than 10,000 points of interest. It also offers discounts at many New York restaurants and attractions, an ad-free experience, a fully searchable street map, and an interactive subway map. Best of all, the app works when you are offline, so you don’t need to track down a hot spot to access all the information. Download it from iTunes. www.forlessguides.com
By Necee Regis
Step inside the famous wizard’s magical world with Harry Potter: The Exhibition, recently returned to New York’s Discovery Times Square with updated artifacts from the film series, including the final film. In this 14,000-square-foot experiential exhibition, see hundreds of original props and costumes from the Harry Potter films, including a new vignette dedicated to the epic battle of Hogwarts. Open seven days a week, including Christmas and New Year’s Day, through April 7. Adults $27, children ages 4-12 $19.50, 65 and over $23.50. 226 West 44th St., 866-987-9692, www.discoverytsx.com
Ink48, in New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, is running a "Giving Your Shopping Bags a Lift" this holiday season, with a selection of services and offerings. In addition, the 11th Avenue hotel, in the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants chain. has developed shopping guides for guests checking in, created by the hotel's "Retail Therapist."
Through Dec. 24, guests get $10 towards a taxi ride for a day of shopping; a $10 gift card for either Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts; a welcome amenity; and rates starting at $270 a night, using SHOP as the booking code.
The hotel also has a "Many Happy Returns" package, should you want to bring back presents someone didn't like or didn't fit, from Dec. 26-Feb. 28. This deal, booked witih code RETURN, has rates starting at $230 a night, and gets you the $10 taxi reimbursement, welcome amenity and 20 percent off the best available rate.
For information, visit www.ink48.com/new-york-city-hotel-promotions/index.html
By Kari Bodnarchuk, Globe Correspondent
Only 233 of New York’s 13,000 taxis can accommodate wheelchair travelers. That’s why the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has launched Accessible Dispatch, a service that provides wheelchair-accessible taxis to passengers. The service is operated by Connecticut-based Metro Taxi, which tracks those 233 taxis by GPS and then dispatches the one closest to your location. Request a lift anytime day or night, 365 days a year, by phone, text, Internet, or by using a new iTunes app, WOW Taxi. No extra charge for the lift or service, and no need to make advance reservations. Trips must originate in Manhattan and end anywhere in the city’s five boroughs, Westchester and Nassau counties, or the three regional airports. All taxis are rear- or side-entry minivans. 646-599-9999, www.accessibledispatch.com
Normally bustling 24/7, New York City's subway system had a decidedly different look Monday as Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast, forcing a widespread closure of the MTA. Here's a look at how stations across Manhattan looked in anticipation. Eerie.
Affinia Manhattan in New York City is offering a "Miracle on 31st Street" holiday package, Nov. 1 through Feb. 26, with rates starting at $209 per night. The hotel is located at 7th Avenue and 31st Street, and the package includes a VIP ice-skating package for two at Bryant Park; 10-percent off your tab at Celsius Restaurant at Bryant Park; a free bottle of wine; 20 percent off holiday dinner at Niles NYC Restaurant and Bar at the hotel; a Macy's 10-percent off savings pass; two winter "rescue kits" with lip balm, ear warmers, hand sanitizer and hand warmers; and an in-room DVD of the classic film, "Miracle on 34th Street."
Affinia Manhattan recently underwent a $25 million redesign with Rockwell Group, transforming the historic, pre-war property into what hotel officials called an urban retreat. Check it all out at www.affinia.com/miracle, or call 866-246-2203 and mention promotion code 31st.
This sale continues this summer's trend of deals with tightly limited dates and destinations. For this one you must book by midnight for travel July 9 - Oct. 3. Blackout dates include Aug. 29, Sept. 5, and other restrictions vary by route. Here are some sample one-way fares from Boston: $50 to Buffalo, N.Y.; $59 to Newark, N.J.; $66 to Nantucket; $85 to Washington, DC (Dulles); $110 to Raleigh-Durham, NC; $120 to Tampa; $130 to Ft. Myers; $143 to Bermuda; $160 to Phoenix; $174 to Santiago; and $223 to Aruba.
Lords South Beach, the first gay boutique hotel in the country, is taking over the Hotel on Rivington in New York City as part of Pride 2012, June 18-24. And it's not a hostile takeover, but part of what is being called the first Pride pop-up hotel, dubbed Lords New York. Lords founder Brian Gorman, who will be in NYC to welcome Pride-goers, and Hotel on Rivington owner Paul Stallings got together to create the event.
The Lords New York pop-up hotel lobby will be painted hot pink, and display art from the Lords South Beach lobby, including work featuring Liz Taylor -- whose portrait graces every guestroom in the Miami hotel. Rates for the week star at $268 a night, and to reserve, visit www.lordsny.com. Use booking code LORDS to get 15 percent off.
Each guest during the takeover gets a Lords Pride itinerary featuring events the hotel is hosting, along with events at popular gay nightspots including Industry and Party Calypso, event organizers said. There will also be a new Lords Pride art installation at the hotel and coming along is the Lords South Beach mascot - a nine-foot inflatable polar bear holding
a beach ball. For a full listing of events, visit www.lordsny.com
This sale appears to be pretty targeted -- many routes from Boston are excluded. Here are the basic rules: You must book before May 31 for Travel June 5-Sept. 26, with blackout dates June 28-July 7. From Boston it appears that all the fares are only good for Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and there is a seven-day purchase required. Here are some one-way fares from Logan International Airport: $54 to Newark; $55 to Buffalo; $60 to New York (JFK); $60 to Washington, DC (Dulles); $66 to Nantucket; $110 to Denver; $115 to Fort Lauderdale; $140 to Phoenix; $150 to Austin; and $223 to Aruba.
Prices are pretty good, but the window for travel dates is not wide, and sale fares don't appear to be available on all routes. You must book by midnight on the JetBlue site for flights May 22-June 21. There are blackout dates and flights are not available for every day of the week. Here are some sample one-way fares from Boston: $49 to Buffalo; $55 to Newark, NJ; $60 to New York; $120 to Dallas / Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale; $130 to Denver; $140 to Phoenix, Austin, Texas, New Orleans; $147 to Bermuda; $150 to Tampa; $154 to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; $160 to Seattle; $166 to Cancun, Mexico; and $223 to Aruba.
This is not for summer prime-time travel but the prices are pretty good if you have plans. You must book before April 19 for travel April 24-June 20. Blackout days and other restrictions vary by route. You can find the details here.
And here are some sample one-way prices from Logan International Airport:
$46 to Nantucket; $49 to Newark, NJ; $60 to Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC (Dulles and Reagan), New York (JFK); $90 to Raleigh-Durham; $95 to Chicago; $105 to Jacksonville, Fla.; $120 to Denver and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; $130 to Orlando, Fla, San Francisco, and Phoenix; $140 to San Jose, Calif., and Austin; $147 to Bermuda; $170 to Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles; $179 to Santo Domingo and Santiago in the Dominican Republic.
The updated NYCWay, from the MyCityWay collection of Apple apps, has just been released. The updated app lets you peruse lists from locals and visitors on the best places, and there's a new Quick Guide with insider tips to the city which includes a "Know Before You Go" section on the best times to visit and how to budget for trips. Created in 2009, MyCityWay apps (which includes Boston) are free and downloadable to iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices. They list places to eat, subway maps, lists created by locals and visitors, traffic camera views, attractions and itineraries. The apps list keeps growing, and now includes more than 40 urban markets across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Check it out at http://www.apple.com/itunes/affiliates/download/
One-way fares from Logan International Airport begin at $39 (to Baltimore, Newark, Buffalo, Washington -- Dulles and Reagan -- Pittsburgh, and Richmond, Va.) for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only between Jan. 23-April 3. A seven-day advance purchase is required. Click here for all the details.
Here are some other sample one-way fares from Boston: $59 to Charlotte, N.C.; $69 to Raleigh-Durham and Chicago; $99 to Jacksonville, Fla., and Denver $109 to
Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Santiago, DR; $114 to Phonix; $125 to Nassau and Turks and Caicos; $129 to San Juan, PR, Santo Domingo, DR. Seattle, and New Orleans; $134 to Austin; $149 to Los Angeles and San Diego; $159 to Las Vegas and San Francisco; and $199 to Aruba.
The Transportation Security Administration admitted in letters to two New York lawmakers that agents violated procedures when they demanded two elderly women show them medical devices hidden under their clothing at JFK Airport checkpoints.
In November 85-year-old Lenore Zimmerman and 88-year-old Ruth Sherman reported that they had been effectively strip searched while traveling separately through the airport.
TSA agents asked Sherman to lower the top of her trousers so they could inspect her colostomy bag and Zimmer was told to remove a back brace, which was sent through an x-ray machine.
Federal officials told Schumer and Gianaris that agents at the New York airport will get refresher courses on handling passengers with medical conditions.
After the initial complaints by the two women surfaced, the TSA said on its blog that the agency "does not, and has never, conducted strip searches and no strip searches occurred in any of these incidents.'' Bob Burns, the agency's blogger, went on to say that the agency was sorry that the elderly "passengers feel they had a bad screening experience,'' but stopped short of admitting any errors. Burns then detailed the agency's policy:
TSA officers do not ask passengers to remove clothing to expose a sensitive area or to remove a medical device or brace. We have special procedures that allow us to safely screen passengers with disabilities.
Turns out they did.
This latest promotion features one-way fares as low as $39 and purchases must be made before Thursday Jan. 5. There are a number of restrictions: Sale fares are limited to Tuesdays and Wednesdays for travel between Jan. 10 and April 3 with blackout dates of Feb. 16-27 and between Jan. 10-Feb. 15 for routes to/from Florida; Austin, Texas; Phoenix; Puerto Rico; or any international city. A 7-day-advance purchase is required. Here is all the fine print.
Some sample one-way fares from Boston's Logan International Airport: $34 to Baltimore; $39 to Buffalo, Washington, DC (both Dulles and Reagan), Newark, N.J.; Pittsburgh, and Richmond, Va.; $59* to Charlotte, N.C.; $69* to Chicago and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; $99 to Tampa, Denver, Jacksonville, Fla., Phoenix, Orlando; $109 to Fort Lauderdale and Santiago, DR; $129* to New Orleans, Seattle, San Juan, PR, and Santo Domingo, DR; $134 to Austin; $149* to Los Angeles and San Diego; $159 to Las Vegas and San Francisco; and $199 to Aruba.
Amtrak suspended its service between New York and Boston this morning after a tree fell onto the overhead wire system in Connecticut, the train service said.
Passengers who have already paid to travel on this route can get a refund or rebook for the future without any fees, according to an Amtrak advisory.
The tree fell at about 8 a.m. today in Guilford, Conn., not far from the tracks, the advisory said. This resulted in a loss of power to trains.
Though Amtrak is performing repairs, it is uncertain how long the service suspension will last, the advisory said.
Service between New York and Washington, D.C., was not affected.
Kaime Lutz can be reached at email@example.com.