This post is sponsored by IHG Rewards Club. As always all opinions are my own.
A couple weekends ago, my mom and I headed off to New York City for a post-birthday celebration weekend. Every year we like to do something special together around this time, and because it had been a few years since our first visit to the city, we were excited to head back.
One of the main reasons we were both excited to go to New York City was to see Waitress, a new musical on Broadway. After seeing Jessie Mueller perform on this year’s Tony Awards presentation, getting to see the show with her in it was a must. With plans confirmed, I booked our tickets online and downloaded the soundtrack to enjoy before and after the performance.
Of course, while in the city, we needed a place to stay for two nights. Booking hotels in NYC has always made me kind of nervous. (Where’s the best place to stay? Is it going to be nice? Will it be safe?) However, my worries were over when I found the new EVEN Hotel – Times Square South thanks to the IHG Rewards Club.
What’s IHG Rewards Club? It’s the loyalty program for the InterContinental Hotels Group. (IHG includes brands such as Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, and Crown Plaza.) After joining the IHG Rewards Club, which is free, you earn points for staying at any of their hotels. Once you have a certain number of points, you can redeem them for hotel stays, gift cards, air miles, shopping, and more.
I’m a huge fan of loyalty programs like this. Who doesn’t want to earn free rewards for using a brand you already love? What’s even better is that now through September 5, you can sign up with Share Forever and earn at least 65,000 bonus points, plus a free night to share. You can get all the details on that here.
Anywho, staying at EVEN Hotel in Times Square was a no brainer. Since I would be driving into the city (which makes me crazy nervous), I was thrilled to learn that the hotel is located just blocks from the Lincoln Tunnel, keeping city driving to a minimum. Plus, the hotel is relatively close to the theatre and centrally located to everything else we planned to do. Perfect!
I also like the fact that the theme around the EVEN Hotel brand is wellness. The hotel and its rooms are designed to keep you active, allow you to rest easy, and encourage you to eat well. With fitness equipment in the room, ambient lighting, and cooling bedsheets, plus a great little cafe, the place certainly delivers.
After getting settled in our hotel room, Mom and I headed out into the city. To our surprise, we had picked one of the hottest weekends of the summer to visit. Temperatures were in the high 90s, but we made the best of the situation.
One of our favorite things to do in the city is shop, so we took a cab down to Soho and did just that. Soho (which stands for South of Houston Street) is a great shopping area with dozens of well-known brands (and some of my favorites) like Crate & Barrel, LuluLemon, Zara, etc.
We also popped into the ever-popular Balthazar’s for lunch and a couple glasses of rosé in hopes of seeing a celebrity or two.
Checking out all the merchandise in the stores and relaxing over our delicious lunch allowed us to beat the heat until the sun went down and things started to cool down a bit.
For dinner, I took Mom to Eataly It’s one of my favorite stops in the city. While we waited for a table, we walked around the market, which is packed with fresh ingredients. You can find everything you need to create you own gourmet meal, including artisanal cheeses, fresh pasta, seafood, and produce.
After dinner we grabbed gelato (also from Eataly) and ate it in the park just outside the Flatiron Building. Before we headed back to the hotel (and to burn off some of our dinner), we walked to another one of my NYC favorites: Fishs Eddy.
Just a few blocks away, Fishs Eddy is an amazing little folksy-style general store with just a touch of urban edginess. The store is home to artfully styled collections of flatware, dishes, napkins, and glasses. Even if you walk out of the store empty-handed, which neither one of is did, visiting Fishs Eddy is an experience not to be missed.
*Note: If you are in this area during the day, ABC Carpet & Home is just across the street. I highly recommend visiting there as well.
After all of that, we were exhausted. A restful night sleep back at the hotel was definitely in order.
The next day, following coffee and a protein-packed breakfast at the hotel, we headed back out into the city. With temperatures again in the upper 90s, we opted for another indoor activity: Chelsea Market.
I had thought I’d taken my mom there on our last visit, but I was mistaken. I was so grateful that someone on Instagram suggested we go there. Otherwise, it probably wouldn’t have crossed my mind.
Chelsea Market is an enclosed urban-style food court and shopping mall located in the Chelsea neighborhood. We had a fabulous afternoon visiting all the shops and sampling their various treats. We also spent quite a bit of time at the Anthropologie that’s there. It’s one of my favorites.
After that, we went to the The High Line, the 1.5 mile long park that was built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. We walked The High Line back in 2014 when it was first built. It was amazing to see it again two years later. The plants and trees have grown and flourished since then. The High Line is easily another one of my favorite NYC spots. (And yes, in case you’re wondering, I have lots of favorites in NYC. It’s hard not to!)
After that, we headed back to the hotel to clean up for dinner and the show. It was finally time for Waitress.
Before the show we ate dinner at a farm-to-table restaurant called PRINT. Both the ambiance and the meal were outstanding. I highly recommend a visit. It was the perfect way to kick off our evening. Plus, I was able to use a few of my IHG Reward Club points to help with the cost of dinner. I told you those loyalty programs come in handy.
After dinner we window shopped as we strolled to the theatre. This allowed us to kill some time and burn off some of our dinner before the theatre opened.
As expected, Waitress was phenomenal. We laughed. We cried. We had goosebumps nearly the whole time. I also can’t say enough good things about Jessie Mueller, the star of the show. She was magical. And so was the rest of the cast, not only for their talent. but their humor as well. Bravo!
It was approaching 11 pm when the show ended, so we walked a block over to see the beauty and magic of the lights of Times Square. We weren’t disappointed. With another wonderful day behind us, we headed back to the hotel. The next morning, we woke up early, packed up all of our purchases, and made the five-hour trip home.
We couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable time. It truly was a rewarding weekend in NYC. Already, I can’t wait to go back.
Until next time, NYC.