NY Marriott Eastside - A FlashPerks Winner

Discussion created by erc on Nov 16, 2014
Latest reply on Nov 19, 2014 by pluto77
Like when you catch a string of green traffic lights one after another, sometimes the stars align and everything goes in your favor. Our recent trip to New York, (where I unknowingly, essentially channeled pluto77) was one of those situations.
  First off, I was fortunate enough to be available back in September, noon central time when this flashperk was offered, my specific date was listed, and I was one of the 'lucky ten', allowing me to snag a well regarded full service Marriott in The Big Apple at the price (20k pts. per night) of what many suburban SpringHills cost.
Although little time was spent in our room, we had a very quiet room and nice view from the 29th floor. Here's a good shot of a jerrycoin hangout Smith and Wollensky. As a repeat diner myself, I share his opinion - nice steaks.
  My usual mode of DC/NY transportation, Vamoose bus was offering a 1/3 off deal reducing my cost from $120 to $80 for two RTs.
  In spite of the polar blast, our days were lovely, a crisp 50 plus degrees with sunshine, making for an enjoyable walk all around town (having torn ACLs, cartilage, and floating bone chips, anytime I can walk, I do in appreciation for the ability to still being able to do so ).
  We started off with an excellent meal around the corner from the property at Sea Fire Grill. Booking through OpenTable, we were fortunate enough to land a J. Edgar Hoover/back against the wall spot which enabled us to see the entire dining area and on top of that, the restaurant comped us a nice glass of Prosecco in recognition of our OpenTable loyalty. By dining at lunchtime, we were able to bypass several of the NY based entree prices. A delicious opening to our NY experience.
Good gestured prosecco offering. We were next to some UN big shots (who offered us some of their huge lobster dish), so I was discreet with my photos (although they weren't with their discussions).
  After swinging by the new, impressive (length of the building, spacious) and well run Marriott M Lounge (hotel web site photos under Dining, are accurate - plenty of room) gathering some waters, used for walking and improving our in room coffee, we walked to 60th and 2nd (from 48th and Lex) to the tram to Roosevelt Island. Our luck continued as we met the tram operator on the platform, who lead us through the purchasing of our $5.50 pp RT ticket, saving us a load of time and anxiety (I would have easily missed rides trying to figure out the ticket machine).
Southern end of Roosevelt Island with the Freedom Tower in the background

  Along the East River, Freedom Tower, UN Building, Empire State (this is a lovely walk in the spring under the blooming cherry trees).
Upon our return, a trip to their top floor, above average, fitness center (in anticipation of my upcoming caloric intake) with a nice selection of machines and a pleasant view, with not a soul in sight, a pleasant, private workout.
  We then headed out to dinner at the Glass House Tavern, exactly next door to pluto's Scarlotto. The Glass House had a terrific $38 Prix Fixe dinner offer for theater goers and I enjoyed an excellent Caprese salad, a tasty hangar steak with potatoes, and a delightful pineapple bread pudding dessert. The Mrs., lightweight that she is, got by with a duck salad ($15), so we did just fine in food quality, timing, and value.
  We walked around the block to see the play Once (which, yes, still on a hot streak, I had captured a discounted deal from which can often be hit and miss with offers). Seeing the movie, I wasn't that gung ho on the play, but, all together now, "Prince of a guy that I am", I went with the Mrs.' choice.  The play (including the pre-show) was quite entertaining with above the always impressive Broadway talent, since performers were not only acting, singing, and dancing, but playing musical instruments as well. We had excellent seats with an empty seat next to us, allowing for some stretching out space - the winning streak continues.
  After an energetic show, we easily dodged the sprinkling mist (later, while at the hotel, it rained significantly) en route to the Marriott where we dropped in on the M Lounge in time to enjoy delicious and perfectly baked macaroons and cookies including the tasty black and whites. At this point (post cookie consumption), I sprang on the Mrs., delivering my best Al Pacino performance, "hey, I almost forgot, as part of the FlashPerks deal we also get two free desserts at 525 Lex downstairs". Knowing I was lying through my teeth about 'forgetting desserts', but unable to definitively prove it (it's a DC thing ), she agreed to go down and check it out, the closer was the $10 F & B credit magnanimously applied toward a glass of wine for her.
  Now even yours truly can only take so many desserts, but luck was on my side again as they offered an excellent cheese plate as a dessert item and we had a marvelous close to our evening (even in spite of their midtown Manhattan priced $22 glass of Franciscan/Napa Valley Merlot !).
Our man Enzo kept yours truly loaded up with the nut/pretzel dish...mmm, pistachios.
Up early and prepared to do battle in the M Lounge for a peaceful breakfast, our good fortune continued as we sailed easily through the lounge having an excellent breakfast (they have it all, eggs, meat, oatmeal, yogurts, fruits, and a grocery store style aisle of takeout beverages). As it turns out, this may not have been attributed only to good luck, but rather excellent management, as the lounge was effectively staffed throughout the morning and was visited by at least two hands-on managers, keeping it running smoothly. And yes, we met pluto's pal Margaret, who was thrilled about the Insiders recognition and made clear to welcome all Insiders to her property, which scored well in all service categories as far as we were concerned.
  Wrapping up the successful trip, we had a very pleasant, non-rushed (even on NY streets) stroll back to the bus stop (30th & 7th) where we saw the first blooms of the upcoming Christmas decorations.
Lord and Taylor on 5th Avenue - Home Tweet Home, a birdland (not Charlie Parker) holiday

Kids reading the headline, "Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus and a star (Natalie Wood) was born.
Full blown window decorations begin Friday November 20th
Construction in the Lincoln Tunnel even lead to the benefit of a different route downtown via the Holland Tunnel. A post morning rush hour trip through the Village with nice views of The Freedom Tower and The Statue of Liberty.

  We landed great seats on the bus, I enjoyed my papers (Times, Journal) provided free by the Marriott in their lobby and yes, caught the very next Metro back in Arlington as we hit the platform. Wow, what a trip!