To say our journey to New York started with drama would be accurate. First off the car that was to drive us south towards the airport ran out of battery. This was followed by Fraser’s seat on the plane having bed bugs and him not feeling well enough to eat once we’d landed. Not the best start to the holiday we’d been hoping for but hopefully meant all the problems were out-of-the-way early on.
Upon arrival at Newark International Airport we located the shuttle that would transport us to our first hotel, the Country Inn and Suites, just a 10 minute transfer from the airport. We stayed here mainly for ease as we arrived quite late in the evening and just wanted a cheap and convenient place to crash for the night. The transfer was smooth and the customer service at the hotel was top quality. Fraser stays in hotels for work and had a membership card which granted us a free goody bag (drinks, crisps and chocs) on arrival and a room upgrade to junior suite, nice perks to begin the holiday. There were also free cookies at reception for all guests.
That evening we had dinner at “Ruby Tuesdays” the restaurant next door which served adequate food, nothing ground breaking before hitting the sack for the night.
The next morning we were up early due to the jet lag; however with it being a Sunday the local amenities did not open until late so we decided to make use of the hotel pool before having a leisurely breakfast. The breakfast was a good standard with the added bonus of being able to cook our own waffles (it kept me amused anyway).
The hotel is a 5 minute walk from Jersey Gardens Mall, the largest discount shopping outlet in New Jersey. This provided shopping on a massive scale, took up a whole day and filled our suitcases to bursting point. As a place to shop when visiting the area I would highly recommend it as there are some great savings on offer, the shopping is generally much cheaper than Manhattan but still with a wide range of stores.
Following shopping we went and picked up our bags from the hotel storage ready to transfer to our next hotel in Newport using the shuttle and PATH train. The hotel was the Westin New Jersey off Manhattan as it is far cheaper than staying on the island. A friend had sorted the booking for us and we did not have many expectations of the place as it was so cheap but it blew our minds. The room had panoramic views of lower Manhattan from both the bedroom and bathroom. It was just spectacular.
That evening we had dinner in the hotel restaurant “Fire & Oak” which was not cheap but was delicious; Fraser even claiming it to be one of the best steaks he’d ever tasted. So far I was loving the holiday and we still hadn’t even stepped foot on Manhattan!