Overnight New York
Heading to New York City and don't have a CLUE as to where to start your accommodations search? Well, we've found the answer...Overnight New York -- The Smartest New York City Hotel News & Reviews. Created by Terry Trucco, this site is a gem for finding - and learning about hotels in New York City. It's also a cultural treasure trove - like going on a treasure hunt for unique places in the city, hotel trends, tips - all with an insider to accompany you. Love it!
Waldorf Hall of Mirrors
We caught up with Terry and asked her about her site, hotel reviewing, favorite places, digging deeply into NYC, and more. Here's what she had to say...
WE: Please tell us about your site, Overnight New York...
TT: Overnight New York covers everything relating to hotels in New York City, from news, reviews and deals to the culture swirling around them. The site launched a year and a half ago, and so far I’ve reviewed more than 90 hotels, from budget offerings to the Four Seasons. The site also includes a twice-weekly blog featuring news, tidbits, deals, interviews – anything interesting. My blogs have ranged from a look at the Jane Hotel, where the Titanic’s surviving crew members were taken, to the five best hotel bathrooms in Times Square. I also blog about new hotels so readers get an early peek inside.
The Jane - Ballroom
WE: What was the genesis of your site?
TT: I’m a hotel nerd. Hotels fascinate me. They’re a window into a city’s style, culture and history. I love that hotels give you the opportunity to try on a different life. Choose with care, and you can feel like a captain of industry or a rock star, a performing artist or a hipster, if only for one night. I’m a long-time travel writer, mainly for newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Travel & Leisure and The International Herald Tribune. Hotel reviews became a specialty for me, and friends were always asking where to stay when they’d come to town. Starting a website with reviews seemed a natural, and once it was up I realized I needed a blog for all the cool hotel news I unearthed.
WE: What led you to travel writing - and reviewing hotels?
TT: Early in my career I spent nine years reporting from overseas; I lived in Tokyo, Manila and London and traveled widely. I wrote about everything from business, science and sports to fashion, design and culture. Along the way I added travel. My first hotel story was from Hong Kong. Two vastly different properties – the Peninsula and the YMCA – stand side by side overlooking Hong Kong Harbor; same breathtaking view but wildly different styles – and prices. The Peninsula picked me up in a Bentley, a porter unpacked my bag, and I was greeted with wine and chocolates. At the YMCA I ascended in an antique metal elevator that looked like an elaborate birdcage, and when I asked for coffee I was given a pot of hot water and a packet of instant. Each property in its way excelled at hospitality, and I loved them both. I began snapping up all hotel review assignments I could get. When I moved back to New York I continued to sleep around, as my husband calls it, reviewing hotels mainly for the Times.
WE: What are your favorite places in NYC?
TT: I start most days with a run or a bike ride through Riverside Park along the Hudson River. It’s the closest you can get to nature in the city, and the path is terrific, extending from Manhattan’s southern tip to its northern reaches. I’m a huge fan of the Metropolitan Museum but drop in on off hours, like Friday or Saturday evenings, when the museum stays open until 9 pm. You can have a glass of wine, listen to live music and if you’re lucky, have the permanent collections almost to yourself. I’m also a ballet fan and hang out at Lincoln Center when New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater are in town. Lincoln Center looks terrific following its recent overhaul and in summer months has an inviting gelato stand near the refurbished fountain – which is not as spectacular as the fountain at the Bellagio, but is still pretty dramatic.
WE: How can travelers best dig deeply into visiting New York?
TT: I think one of the best ways to visit New York is to choose something you want to explore and delve deeply. A friend had a great time fulfilling his goal of seeing baseball games and visiting Irish bars. Another friend comes to town twice a year to see theater and crams in as many plays on and off Broadway as possible (she fills the rest of her time watching indie films she can’t see at home). It’s easy to choose something – museums, parks, cool clothing shops, dance performances, small plate restaurants, art galleries, food trucks, bike trails, libraries – and zero in for a few days.
WE: What's your advice for someone coming to New York for the first time?
TT: My best advice for first-timers is to find a way to get an overview early in your visit. The hop-on, hop-off buses do a great job. But a cool -- and at $2.25 a pop, cheaper -- alternative is to score a window seat on a city bus like the M5 that runs from the bottom tip of Manhattan near South Ferry Station to Washington Heights way uptown. An agreeable alternative is the M4, which starts at 34th Street/Penn Station (and Macy’s) and wends its way up to the Cloisters museum. Once you’ve got the lay of the land, the city is yours. (And don’t miss the High Line elevated park.)
WE: How can readers best utilize your site?
TT: Check in daily (kidding). I designed my site as an online guidebook and blog that’s web friendly, updated frequently, and delivers a taste of New York to your screen (I love armchair travel). Each review is broken into bite-size chunks, so readers can swoop in on what they want to know, whether it’s an overview of the property, a room description, a look at the restaurant or neighborhood, or the hotel’s history (I love knowing what each property was in a prior life, be it an Art Deco palace or a parking lot). I also link to crowd-sourced reviews like Tripadvisor and Yelp for each hotel -- knowledge is power – and consolidators like Expedia, Hotels.com and Quikbook, since I don’t do bookings. In addition, the site features a search engine, so you can see the full menu of hotels or choose a hotel based on criteria like style, price, location and whether it has free WiF or not. My hope is you’ll to have fun reading the reviews and blog even if you’re not planning a visit to New York at the moment.
WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
TT: When you check out the Overnight New York logo, look for the little white rectangle in the left corner. That’s your hotel room.
WE: Thanks so much, Terry! I love your site and highly recommend it to our Wandering Educators.
To dig in, head to: www.overnightnewyork.com