Hotel Elysee: Pure Elegance

Comments 37 Standard

Not only is Hotel Elysee in a fabulous location (it is close to Central Park), but it also screams luxury and elegance. As soon as I walked into the hotel I was cheerfully greeted by staff and checked in right away. “Welcome, I see you have the Presidential Suite. You have a great room.” He was not lying, it was a great room, indeed! As I opened the door to the room, I was taken aback by the gorgeous design of the room and the beautiful furniture that filled it. I can only describe it as old New York meets Paris.

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Greeting me in the room was a lovely bottle of wine and box of chocolates. How did they know that wine and chocolates is the way to this girls heart? Walking around the main room, I realized it had everything that you’d ever want in your own home. There was a long dining table, couches in front of a fireplace, a writing desk, flat screen television, chairs that were as comfortable as a couch and beautiful paintings around the room. This place is (considerably!) better than my apartment. To top it off there was even a grand piano! I don’t think my child like rendition of Chopsticks was really what it was made for. There was also a full kitchen in case, I felt the urge to cook, which I must admit is a rarity.

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The beautiful decor continued into the bedroom, which was as equally stunning as the main room. Attached to the bedroom was a full terrace with a table and chairs, making it a perfect spot to sit and eat your breakfast, as you watch all the morning hustle of Midtown Manhattan.

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After I got settled in my room, I headed down to the Club Room where guests are offered complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres every night from 5pm-8pm. The Club Room did not disappoint. The room itself was huge, so there was plenty of room for guests to sit and relax at tables or couches while also being able to keep a level of privacy if you so wish. That being said, it is a fantastic area to socialize with other guests. My friend Julia and I sat by two guests of the hotel and ended up exchanging stories while enjoying our wine and food.

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In the morning, guests are also offered complimentary breakfast. It had a great variety ranging from bagels, pastries, cereals, fruit, yogurt and coffee, as well an impressive assortment of tea. Everything was incredibly fresh and delicious. I had to run out early, so thankfully they had “to go” cups, so that you are able to take your tea or coffee on the road. During the day, the Club Room has coffee, tea, fruits and cookies incase you want to grab an afternoon pick me up or hangout and relax as there is also a library filled with books, magazines and newspapers along with a computer which is conveniently connected to a printer incase you need anything.

If you don’t want to lose out on your workout routine, guests receive complimentary passes to the New York Sports Club which is only a few short blocks away from the hotel! Each room has a couple of bottles of water included so you will be all set for the gym!

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Thank you to Hotel Elysee for providing our stay. All opinions are, as always, my own. 

Free mobile apps you need for traveling

Comments 41 Standard

Let’s admit it, we are all addicted to the apps on our smart phones. I use a variety of apps to help me during my travels for booking flights, booking hotels, finding my way around or simply just breaking through language barriers. There’s basically an app for everything, but which ones are worth downloading? My list will give you some useful apps and best of all… they are all free! 

Booking

Sky Scanner – I always use this when booking my flights. It shows you the cheapest flights and you can even choose an “Everywhere” destination if you are unsure as to where you want to go. Great for someone who is trying to decide on a destination to go based on what flight is the cheapest. It also has a pretty nifty feature where it will email you when the price of your chosen flight goes up or down, so you can book at the optimum time  

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Hostelworld – If you need a hostel, this is a speedy way to book if you are on the go. It gives you cheap rates worldwide along with reviews and maps. 

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Hotel Tonight – This is great if you are traveling around and booking hotels as you go or decide to plan a last minute getaway. The rates are discounted since it is considered “last minute”, as the hotel can only be booked up to 7 days in advance.

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Hipmunk – Book and save up to 60% off last minute hotels, you can also find flights, compare prices and get fare alerts. There is also a heat map which allows you to see how close points of interest are to you, such as restaurants, shopping destinations and hotels. 

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Guides

Trip Advisor Offline City Guides – Need help getting around a city? This guides you to restaurants, attractions, hotels, etc. The plus about this, is that it works offline as long as you look it up before hand, as it stores all the information for you to look back on. 

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Viator – Find out what tours and activities to go on, read reviews and see photos. It also has an interactive map that pinpoints things that you can do based on your current location.

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Foodspotting – Not being your typical search app, this tells you the best food in the places around you, as soon as you open it. You can also ask questions for your search such as what is good at a particular place, where you can find a specific dish, etc. You can take pictures to upload and rate as well.

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Helpful

OANDA Currency Converter – You can figure out what your money converts in over 180 countries. What makes this one unique is that it tells you the interest rates from the different banks and ATMs.

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Google Translate – This is incredibly helpful for when you are travelling to countries where you do not know the local dialect. Simply type the words in and it will translate it to the language that you need. 

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Weather Channel – I have found that this is the best app to stay ahead of the weather. You can check out your daily and 10 day forecast along with an hour by hour breakout. It also shows radar in case you are worried about when the rain will hit your area, airport conditions, pollen index and tide reports. 

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Free Wi-Fi Finder – I always have a hard time finding wifi connection. Luckily, this tells you all the places that have wi-fi, if it is free or not and how to get there. 

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GateGuru – All of the flight and airport information that you need is here to help you. You can set it to be based off of your flight itinerary. Some of the information it gives you are real-time flight status, security check wait time, terminal information, and airport weather. You can also can check for restaurants and car rentals.

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Getting Around

Waze – Avoid getting lost or stuck in traffic with this traffic and navigation app. It guides you on a live map with voice navigation, provides you information on delays and lets you know where there are gas stations nearby.

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Gas Buddy – Helps you find the closest and cheapest gas stations. You can also win $100 in free gas if you report the gas prices you find.

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Hop Stop – Public transit plays a big part in getting around. You can look look up different routes, taxi costs and it even tells you how long it takes. It isn’t available for every city yet, but has over 600 cities within it’s database so far.

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Around Me – Anything you need to find is here such as ATMs, restaurants, hotels, taxis, parking, hospitals, even movie theaters. It also give you the website, address, directions  and phone number.

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Personal Use

Photosynth – Like to take photos? This allows you to create panoramic photos and share them through email and social media. Perfect if you need to get a full shot of some scenery or a large group of people.

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