services 12.6.10

Overnight New York
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They're heeeere! Or they will be soon. Family and friends at your door, with luggage, ready to make your holidays merry, possibly. Crowded, definitely.

Head them off at the pass with Overnight New York, an online guide to the city's hotels, written by Terry Trucco.

Sites like TripAdvisor can be useful in picking out the right lodging for you (or imminent interlopers), but you need to use a fair amount of critical judgment yourself in weeding out the cranks and the clueless, the malcontents and the supremely entitled.

Ms. Trucco, on the other hand, is ideal for this kind of guidance since she is a genuine expert on hotels, having written about them for the NY Times, Travel & Leisure, and many others for many years. She brings the same keen eye and brisk, no-nonsense approach to the task of sizing up everything from hostels to deluxe properties. Ms. Trucco visits anonymously and takes no freebies.

No prisoners, either. TV mounted on a wall to the side of the bed? How do you watch that comfortably? Noted.

How's the Gershwin holding up? "Drop-dead clever when we first saw them over a decade ago, rooms today are a rundown version of their old selves."

The Four Seasons gets a lot of the details right: "When the breakfast hostess noticed we were wearing black, the heavy white napkin, a lint bomb no doubt, disappeared and was replaced by a large black napkin." But she's not happy about the prices, resorting to a rare burst of all caps: "A pot of coffee in the restaurant costs TEN DOLLARS, and so does a glass of juice."

Included in each review are her own "What We Saw" photos and all kinds of useful info from pricing to whether or not the windows open. There are direct links to the reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other such sites.

In short, this is the easily the best New York City hotel guide and one of the best hotel sites, bar none, we've ever seen. As the saying goes, the best holiday lights are the tail lights. City sofa corollary: don't even THINK of parking here.

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