TRAVELS & PLACES

The Lucerne Hotel, NYC.

 

Hey friends! I’m back from NYC. Oh what a short but wonderful trip that was! I mostly stayed over the weekend plus a few days more. Barely even a week, sigh… I just love New York, I can’t wait to come back.

Anyways, you might have wondered where I stayed. Well, I spent my few days in NYC at The Lucerne Hotel located in the Upper West Side. It’s a beautiful European/Victorian style four-star hotel. Why The Lucerne? I wanted something that has good ratings as per Tripadvisor.com, could fit in my budget, especially on a short stay, and that it should be in close proximity to a lot of stuff. It’s all about location location location. The hotel itself has an old-world feel and the building is unique because it has a clayish red color. Something that you don’t see a lot with the buildings around it, and it does seem to stand out. 

This hotel is just walking distance to Central Park, American Museum of Natural History, The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Columbus Circle, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frick Collection, Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue etc… It’s really convenient!

 

the lucerne hotel review

 

With all its proximity to a lot of places and things to see, I feel like it’s already worth the stay in this hotel. However, upon arriving, I was a bit disappointed because there was a lot of construction happening beside the building and I was placed in a room with a wall for a view. On top of that, it’s so close to the construction site itself. It was kinda hard to rest during the day because I could hear the loud hammering and drilling. The best option was to go somewhere until the construction stops at 6 pm. Which was exactly what I did. In fact, I didn’t spend a lot of time wandering around the hotel like I usually do to check their amenities. Since I’ll be staying only for a few days, I decided to take my adventure somewhere. After all, it’s New York, right? 

However, I could speak for the room itself and some other things I’ve availed. First of all, the bathroom is nice and clean. Though I still wonder about the window with blinds above the tub. 🙂  Second, the room where I stayed is spacious with a king-size bed, even though there was no view on the outside. Third, the bathroom is of decent size with enough supplies. Fourth, housekeeping is prompt and there’s enough towel to use. Fifth, the hotel’s restaurant is just beside it, called NiceMatin. Also, across the street is a 24-hour pharmacy and convenience store, Duane Reade. Lastly, the concierge and the rest of the staff are friendly and polite. For the drawbacks: The AC was loud and not well-regulated. No refrigerator nor microwave. The elevators are tiny and have a bump upon arriving at any floor, which kinda startled me and made me felt a bit dizzy at the beginning. The lobby is tiny and the restaurant beside it posh and expensive. 

 

the lucerne hotel interior review

 

I didn’t do any room service from this hotel, simply because there’s a lot of food and restaurants to choose from when you’re in NYC. Overall, I like this hotel for its convenience to so many NY attractions and museums. I would definitely stay here again and hope that by that time there will be no more noisy construction and that I will be situated in a room with a much better view.

 

the lucerne room

 

 

If you need a hotel to stay in NYC, give The Lucerne Hotel a try and see for yourself. If you plan to stay longer in NY or if you live outside the country, it won’t hurt to get a New York City Pass

Ciao folks! stay tuned for my next NY attraction review.

 

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CityCenterDC, A Great Place To Shop

Hey All! now that I’ve come back from the dead, after two weeks of hanging out at the purgatory, LOL!!!! I’d like to present to you about one of the places I’ve been lately. In fact, I didn’t actually expect to go to this place at all. It just so happens that I needed something quick and fast to chill around in D.C. Yes, I went to D.C., no it’s not exactly the purgatory, and no I didn’t chill at the White House.

I present you “CityCenterDC”  at Downtown Washington D.C. A truly nice little place to shop.

 

citycenterdc

 

 

 

If you’re in Washington D.C and you’re planning to shop, not just visiting the White House, well, I’ve got a great place to shop for you. Mind you, it’s high-end shopping though. So be prepared to “drop it like it’s hot!” 🙂

CityCenterDC is a new development shopping area located at the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. It’s not large, it’s 2 blocks of buildings with one passage lane for shoppers to stroll around shops like Hermes, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Burberry, Carolina Herrera, etc… I’ve never really seen one like it before. I thought the entire setup or arrangement was unique. In fact, I liked the way the stores were organized as I was able to find the ones that I was looking for. Not that I bought a lot from there, and also, not that there’s a lot of stores in there. Actually, there’s really not much, which makes your shopping quick and easy. Basically, you’d go, buy and leave. Cabs are everywhere around D.C., so you can definitely expect to find at least one in CityCenterDC.

 

citycenter dc downtown

 

citycenterdc shopping mall

 

If you ask me what’s my favorite shop in CityCenterDC? As far as my experience is concerned, I gotta say it’s Dior. I like their customer service better than Hermes for sure. I haven’t gone to all the stores there, but sometimes they can be a little to uncomfortable. It’s high-end, what do I expect, ya know?

Another thing I like about this place? it’s the decorations! just look at it! pink is my favorite color, and I love cherry blossoms. So if you’re around the area during the cherry blossom’s blossoming time, around spring, you gotta give this place a try.

 

citycenterdc review

 

citycenterdc shopping center washing dc

 

P.S. If you’re not satisfied with CityCenterDC, because you wanna see more, try the shops in Friendship Heights like Chevy Chase in Maryland or Mazza Gallerie which is still part of Washington D.C. If you really want more “super dooper” high end, try the Rodeo Drive of the East: Tyson’s Galleria in McLean, Virginia. It’s all purging with high-end stuff, left and right, wherever you go. 🙂

 

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The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter “Diagon Alley” Universal Studios Florida

Work, work, work, work, work, see me do mi, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt…Oh hi there! it’s me Riri, 🙂 LOL! Tamagotchi is still stuck in Epcot, hahaha…

if you wanna read my review about the “other Harry Potter” theme park or Universal’s Island of Adventure The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade, you can read it here.

As I told ya, I was about to cross to Universal Studios Florida using the Hogwarts Express to see Harry Pottah Potter’s Diagonally Diagon Alley, and let me tell you, it was really impressive. The design of each building, with its unique architecture and engineering will really put you in Harry Potter’s world. It’s so haunting and quirky that you can tell everyone’s really thrilled to be there.

There’s just a few thing I didn’t like. First, being on a Tuesday afternoon, it was really crowded, with a capital C! it’s not as crowded as Universal’s Island of Adventure Hogsmeade, but this particular park is still quite excruciating to walk around. The streets are too narrow and the stores are so tiny, you’re literally walking sideways so as not to bump on other people’s arm. Like Hogsmeade, this park has definitely been reaching its maximum occupancy. Second, I didn’t like that they were selling/promoting a lot of replica wands, or should I say, magic wands. Yeah I know a visit to Harry Potter won’t be complete without brandishing a wand or that Harry Potter won’t be Harry Potter without his magic wand, but I can definitely tell you that you’re gonna be fine without buying those hyped magic wands. They’re everywhere! kids pointing at things using the wand, saying some magic words then voila! something moves, lights magically turn on. Well, for all I know, they’re just preprogrammed/timed moving objects that Universal plotted to entertain the kids. For kiddos, yeah, it’s fun, but if you’re not a kid anymore, well, just forget about it. Plus they’re quite expensive, specially if you’re buying the interactive wand.  Third, don’t even get me started on   Harry Potter’s graduation costume..

If you ask me which ones I like between Universal’s Island of Adventure “Hogsmeade or Universal Studios Florida “Diagon Alley?” Well, personally, I kinda like Diagon Alley more. Simply because there’s more things to see and I like the building’s design, better. Also, it seems like there’s a lot more things to do here.

FYI: This place is kinda hard to find. If you’re entering Universal Studios Florida for the first time, well, keep walking and keep looking for a weird hidden alley towards your left. It’s gonna be dark and dingy-looking, but that’s the beauty of it. Also, if you want to buy those replica magic wands, they’re available just around there, practically everywhere, and you can use them for both parks.
harry potter universal diagon alley

universal harry potter show

diagon alley harry potter

universal studios harry potter

 

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