The GTO team hit New York recently to help stage the first American Group Travel Awards with partners, online group hotel specialist HotelPlanner.com. The evening at the Hudson Theatre on 11th November was a resounding success, and when we weren’t busy ensuring everything ran smoothly on the night, we were also able to take time out to explore the delights of New York City itself. You can read a pick of the team’s favourites below, writes Abbe Bates.
The high life for Peter
GTO Editorial Director Peter Stonham had a great time visiting the vibrant and full on city – which amazingly, he says, he’d never got round to seeing previously. His special pleasures ranged from all the iconic and famous buildings such as the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Broadway theatres to traditional daily New York experiences like eating at the old fashioned deli/diner in the next door Edison Hotel, riding on the subway network and taking the cable car service to Roosevelt Island, which Peter says is really New York City’s equivalent to the Emirates Air Line, giving you a wonderful high level view on a normal public transport service! Another great place to see the city from is on foot on the High Line, the former railway line now a pedestrian walkway linking Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. All in all, Peter says there is a seemingly unlimited activity in this amazingly lively and vibrant city.
At the Top of the Rock
GTO‘s Business Development Manager, Sarah Jeffery, took time out to visit one of the city’s most iconic attractions. Located in midtown Manhattan at the historic Rockefeller Center, The Top of The Rock is 70 floors high and offers an unobstructured 360° view of the city. Sarah particularly liked the mezzanine exhibit, a fantastic collection of photos and artefacts telling the story of the building and its creator John D. Rockefeller as well as the accompanying films, which visitors can watch as they wait to board the Sky Shuttle, for the journey to the first viewing platform on the 67th floor. With amazing views across the city’s iconic skyline, it was a fabulous experience.
At liberty on the Hudson
GTO’s Commercial Director Adrian Gates’ most memorable experience was getting up close and personal to the Statue of Liberty during an evening cruise on the Hudson River, when the boat circled the statue several times to get the full and imposing impact of it lit up at night. As well as enjoying a buffet meal, there was also the chance to dance the night away at a late night disco onboard.
On the run in Central Park
My favourite experience in New York was being able to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and explore the beautiful Central Park, where I went for a run, discovering the city zoo, the reservoir and the Bethesda Fountain amongst its acres of green space. It’s a wonderful place to get lost!