We took the Megabus to New York. It was both of our first experience with Megabus and it was about what you'd expect. Although having read and heard horror stories, it seems like our experience was pretty good. It was long and uncomfortable and boring, but it was cheap and got us where we needed to go and was on time. So no real complaints.
Hudson Hotel, having gotten an incredible deal on Priceline. I was a little apprehensive. I booked it using one of the Name-Your-Own-Price deals where you only find out which hotel you're staying at after you've paid. Once I found out it was Hudson, I read some less-than-favorable reviews online, but none of them turned out to be true (other than the room size).
-The location was great. Hudson is located just across the street from the Time Warner Center, so there is an easily accessible subway stop and a lot of taxis circling the area. You're just across from the south end of the park and far enough from Midtown that you don't feel like you're a part of the crowds, but close enough to walk to all the sights within a few minutes.
-Unlike many of the reviews I read, we found all of the hotel staff we interacted with to be friendly and helpful. They all seemed genuinely happy to help and answer any questions and easily cracked jokes with us when I lost my MetroCard (uggggghhhh), when our room key wasn't working at 3am, and when we needed scissors to cut tags out of a sweater.
-Whenever any of our friends in the city asked where we were staying, their first response was, "Oh great bar scene!" They are correct. Hudson has several bars on the property, plus a nightclub. We went to two of the bars: The Library Bar, which has an old school men's club vibe, and Lodge, which is made to look like an indoor après ski lounge. We didn't make it to the nightclub, but on the aforementioned evening when we returned at 3am, the club was packed and the DJ sounded great.
-TINIEST ROOMS EVER. Even by New York standards, our room was laughably small. There was hardly enough room to walk around the bed, let alone have a place to put our luggage and get dressed. The bathroom was even worse. You couldn't use the sink and have the door open at the same time. There was not enough room to stand in front of the mirror and dry hair or put on make-up. The room had a weird window to the shower, which was all glass, so unless you closed the shower curtain at all times, the person in the room could watch you use the bathroom. Awkward. And the shower was worst of all. While our sink had hot water in record speed, you could run the shower for 10 minutes and never get it above lukewarm. Add in nonexistent water pressure and showering was just a totally unpleasant experience.
That's pretty much the only con. The good news is that we didn't come to New York to spend time in our hotel room, so we really weren't there very much. Overall, I liked Hudson and considering the insanely good deal we got on it, I don't have any complaints about our stay.
On to the fun part! Once we were settled in our teeny tiny room and had freshened up in our teeny tiny bathroom, we walked down to the theatre district Shake Shack and got down to the business of burgers.
While I thought the burgers weren't all that great (In-and-Out is way better in my book), those cheese fries...wow. I would happily eat them every day for the rest of my life. So simple, but so good. Sometimes when you order cheese fries, it's the same nasty sauce they use for nachos, but this sauce reminded me of the cheese fries of my youth, eaten at the pool snack bar every summer for years.
Then it was on to 'Book of Mormon'. I'm not even sure what to say about it except that at the end of the show, we were like, "Well can we just sit here and watch another performance of it?" It was so wonderful! We spent all weekend talking about our favorite parts and singing bits and pieces of it, "Baptize Her" being our favorite. I'm not much of a showtunes person, but I'm planning to download the entire original cast recording. Just so well done and hysterical. I'm hoping the national tour makes its way to Burlington some day so we can go see it again soon!
When the show was over, we were exhausted from a long day of travel. We headed back to the hotel, grabbed a drink at the Library Bar, and GrubHub'd some pizza, inspiring many Elf and Seinfeld references for the rest of the trip.