By Terry Trucco
It’s early November, a great time to scope out a hotel room with a view of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – for next year.
Nearly a dozen midtown hotels are blessed with rooms that overlook New York’s 2011 parade of parades replete with floats, marching bands, balloons and Santa. But prime real estate – a room that plants you eye-to-eye with Snoopy, Spiderman and Kermit the Frog – gets snapped up months before the bands strike up. You can still get a room if you’re not too picky. But it will cost you.
Parade-view rooms are sold out at the Marriott Marquis, the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers and the Manhattan in Times Square (a special parade coordinator oversees reservations at the latter two properties).
A few park view rooms remain at the Trump International Hotel and Tower on the 11th and 12th floors — the third to 11thare considered prime viewing — from $1,100 a night, three night minimum and at the Mandarin Oriental, where rooms start at $1,150.
The Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square also has parade-view rooms (from $1,499 a night) as do the Michelangelo (from $1,050 a night, three night minimum, breakfast included) and the Park Central ($775/$575 for partial views, $1,275/$1075 for full views and $1,950/$1250 for multiple views, two night minimum for all).
Even hotels whose Web sites claim parade-view rooms aren’t available often have a few if you
call, as we discovered. You can snap up a remaining three-night package at Residence Inn New York Manhattan Times Square from $1,300 to $3,000 depending on room location (breakfast is included). Ditto the Renaissance New York Times Square with a handful of parade view rooms on higher floors at $899.
Prefer a different take on the parade? Farther uptown, the Excelsior’s street-view rooms face West 81st Street, where the balloons are inflated the night before the parade. Rates for November 23 start at $413.
Scary pricing. You can book a king-bed room at the Park Central for $149 a night this weekend (too bad there’s no parade).
But the 2011 parade is a last gasp for some hotels. As reported in March, Macy’s plans to change its parade route next year to run up Sixth Avenue instead of Seventh. If that happens, pencil out the Park Central, Sheraton New York, Manhattan Times Square, Doubletree Times Square, Michelangelo, W Times Square, Renaissance Times Square and the Marriott Marquis.
Pencil in the Jumeirah Essex House, the Ritz Carlton Park Avenue, the Warwick and the New York Hilton. Trump International, the Mandarin Oriental and the Residence Inn Times Square are safe, as is the Excelsior. But the real losers are the visitors fighting for a shrinking share of November 24’s most coveted windows.
“We get requests the day after Thanksgiving for the following year,” says Kathleen Duffy, director of public relations at the Marriott Marquis. Most hotels take names from interested guests and contact them during the summer to finalize reservations once prices are firmed up.
Bottom line: Never book a parade-view room online. What you see online isn’t always what you can get. And always call the hotel to discuss the room’s location. Even if the hotel hugs the parade route, you won’t see much if your room overlooks the airshaft. On the other hand, that airshaft room could be a lot cheaper (and it costs nothing to watch the parade on the street).