New York: your conference survival guide
Where to eat around the conference and how to beat bed bugs
Of all the conference cities in North America, you'll find New York is top of the heap. If you're looking for an excuse to book your trip, mark your calendar for May 19 to 22 when the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension (tel: 212.696.9099; ash-us.org) takes place at the Hilton New York (1335 Sixth Avenue; newyorkhiltonhotel.com).
Bites around the block
There are plenty of lacklustre eateries in Mitown, so don't just hit the nearest sandwich shop. Here are six fresh picks right around the conference.
Prêt à Manger
1350 6th Avenue; pret.com
Right across from the Hilton, this London chain offers fresh, healthy soups and salads, gourmet sandwiches and snacks to eat in or take out.
145 West 53rd Street; remi-ny.com
Around the corner from the Hilton, this Venetian restaurant is popular with the business crowd and has a $24 prix-fixe lunch menu.
346 West 52nd Street; danjinyc.com
A couple of blocks away, this modern Korean resto has a classically trained chef serving down-home small plates. Try the BBQ pork sliders. Set lunch menu for $14.
119 West 56th Street; parkermeridien.com/eat4.php
Hidden in the Parker Meridian hotel two blocks up is a little secret: a convincgly old-school-styled greasy spoon selling Zagat-rated burgers for $7.
Maze at the London NYC
151 West 54th Street; gordonramsay.com/gratthelondon
The more affordable of two restaurants helmed by bad-boy Brit chef Gordon Ramsey. Prix-fixe lunch $29 for two courses; supper mains from $17 to $25. Book ahead.
Café 2 at the MoMa
11 West 53rd Street; momacafes.com/c2/c2.html
The Hilton is two blocks from the Museum of Modern Art. Take the afternoon off to take in the exhibits, but hit the canteen first: the Italian food is simple, fresh and artful.
Don't get fleeced
Come May, budget hotels in Midtown priced around $175 during the winter will have rooms hovering around the $320 mark. So that $275 rate organizers are offering onsite is a good bet. Here are some other options.
Rent an apartment
Not fussy about decor and perks? Try AirBnB.com, HomeAway.com or Roomorama.com for a short-term apartment rental. You can find a studio in Manhattan for $100.
Most apartment rentals will require payment upfront, and that's not a problem if you use a reputable agency (like those listed above). Craigslist, however, is rife with scammers who'll take your payment in exchange for a non-existant apartment. Don't do it.
Pay in advance
While not all hotels offer advanced-purchase rates, paying upfront can knock up to 20% off an already good price, so look for that option.
New York is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and affordable venues fill up fast. Even if you're travelling in low season when you can find rooms at $175, your best bet of finding a bargain is to book months ahead.
Bedbugs are still a problem in New York. Even the Ritz-Carlton has had its share. They're not carriers of disease, but getting rid of them can be costly and complicated, so avoid bringing them home: · Get the app: Bed Bug Alert ($1.99 at iTunes.apple.com) shows a Google map with bedbug-infested sites. Based on addresses reported by the media, governmental agencies and users. · Don't bring bags into the room until you've inspected the bed; bring a flashlight and look at all crevices and seams and the dust ruffle. · Never put clothing or luggage on the bed or floor; use the luggage racks. · Pack all your clothes, shoes and toiletries in large 1L or 2L ziploc-type bags and keep them sealed at all times. · Bring hard-sided luggage if you can; there's nowhere for the bugs to hitch a ride. · If you must use fabric luggage, choose a lighter colour: the bugs are easier to spot. · Before putting your luggage in the car on the way home, place it in a large plastic garbage bag and knot it tightly closed. Inspect zippers, lining, pockets, piping and seams in the garage or outdoors before bringing it in the house. · Back home launder all washables in very hot water, and dry on high heat for 30 minutes to kill any potential stowaways. Freeze anything that can't be washed, and inspect electronics thoroughly.
This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.