Hotel Beacon, New York
Live like a local in apartment-style suites in the heart of the Upper West Side. Rub shoulders with some of New York's most high-profile celebs such as Seinfeld, Amy Schumer and Tina Fey; grocery-shop at the Fairway market, directly across the road, or Zabar's gourmet deli, a few blocks further up.
As a former apartment complex, there are no fancy restaurants, rooftop bars or other common spaces you'd find in other hotels. Next door, however, is the revered Beacon Theatre, with Jerry Seinfeld slated to return for a residency in 2019. Seinfeld has been known to ride his bike to shows at the Beacon and have a burger at the Viand Diner next door.
Hotel Beacon's space includes the Beacon Bar, which also appeals to the theatre crowd, and the aforementioned Viand Diner. There's also a small gym and a very handy coin-operated laundry.
My room, on the 18th floor, is very comfortable, old-school New York style and not lacking in creature comforts. There's a huge amount of space comprising a lounge, full kitchen and a separate bedroom with a king-sized bed. There are three – yes you read right, three – walk-in wardrobes Sarah Jessica Parker would be envious of, and two big windows perfect for watching those spectacular NYC sunrises. This is a suite made for longer-term stays in New York, with a kitchen you can stock with products from Fairways' famous market across the road.
If it's good enough for Jerry Seinfeld, it's good enough for me. The Viand Diner serves old-school cafe fare from 7am for breakfast until midnight – it's very good food and reasonably priced and is known for roasting turkeys, for its excellent turkey sandwiches, in-house.
This is a big residential area, but there's plenty of action for tourists pretending to 'live like a local'. Apart from Seinfeld's old haunts (on and off telly) and the Beacon Theatre, there are cultural venues by the dozens, such as the Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts and the American Museum of Natural History. There's a comedy cellar around the corner Amy Schumer used to perform in, great boutiques dotted around the streets and of course Central Park is two blocks away. Some classic eateries are within a few blocks of the Beacon, including Gray's Papaya, famous for its hotdogs, Zabar's delicatessen, Fairways Cafe, Shake Shack or Barney Greengrass for old-school classics. The 72nd street subway is a block away.
When it comes to accommodation, this is basically New York's best-kept secret.
The huge sills from which to watch the sun rise over New York. And a laundry!
It's quite a hop, skip and a jump to more happening areas at night such as the Lower East Side.
The writer was a guest of Hotel Beacon and NYCgo