In the Know, Q&A Blog

Discovering NYC Series: What to do on Governors Island, NYC

What was once deemed a place for youngsters to gather for music events, has now turned into a must-see New York City attraction. Governors Island’s rich historical past and incredible views of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn have gained the attention of both locals as well as travelers visiting the city. From now until October 1, 2017, escape the midtown crowds and plan a day trip to explore Governors Island. Here is everything you need to know to plan your trip: How to get there: There are two ferries that will get you to get to the island. If you’re coming from Lower Manhattan, head over to the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street and catch the ferry. The Manhattan ferries run Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm, and Saturday / Sunday from 10am to 7pm. On weekends, you can venture out from Brooklyn and take the ferry direct from Pier 1 right next to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Be sure to check out the ferry schedule as there are times you can even ride for free! What to do while you’re there: So. Many. Activities! With over 172 acres, there are infinite things to do. Consider these fun activities: Have a picnic on The Hills—offering breath taking views of Lady Liberty. If you didn’t pack a bite to eat, head over to Liggett Terrace Food Court, offering plenty of scrumptious treats. Slide down Manhattan’s longest slide. Use your Citi Bike pass to ride around the island. Take advantage of Free Bike Mornings with Blazing Saddle Bike Rentals from 10am until noon. Explore the rich history of Fort Jay...

Travel Tips: 5 Ways to Stay Like a Local

From respecting your destination’s culture to saving money, there are many reasons to travel like a local on your next adventure. Tourist spots may still be worth checking out, but your greatest memories often come from full immersion in a new environment.  Here are 5 tips to get you started: 1. Learn key phrases Learning key phrases is essential for navigating the city with ease. It can also help gain trust and respect from the destination’s residents. Download language apps like Google Translate or TripLingo for learning on-the-go. 2. Identify appropriate attire for the destination In addition to researching the weather, it’s also wise to check for any followed dress codes or norms. You wouldn’t want to be traveling through a conservative country with only tank tops and shorts. 3. Read fiction/non-fiction books about the city Give yourself the opportunity to fall in love with the city before you even visit. You’ll familiarize yourself with lay-of-the-land and iconic landmarks through a different perspective. Once you arrive, enjoy forming your own viewpoints! 4. Rent temporary housing or stay in a bed & breakfast If you truly want to travel and live like a local, live with the locals! This option may not be for everyone, but home rental in the community and temporary apartment websites provide a variety of full residence and room-share options. 5. Use public transportation Aside from saving money on cabs, public transportation will allow you to get to know  your surroundings a lot faster. Download travel maps before you depart for your trip and run a few searches. We recommend: CityMapper or CityMaps2Go.   Ready to...

Discovering NYC Series: South Street Seaport

In 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit the South Street Seaport. What was once the cornerstone of social and business gatherings was completely washed out. Over the past few years, the Seaport District has reinvented itself by bringing back the classics while adding new life to the area. Here’s everything you can sightsee while visiting: Explore: Discover the rise of New York as a port city and learn its crucial role in the development of our beloved country at the South Street Seaport Museum. Attend public workshops hosted by Bowne Printers throughout the year. Watch: Experience movies like you haven’t before at iPic Theatre at Fulton Market. Choose from their chaise lounge seating or premium plus sections and order dinner and drinks while watching the latest blockbuster flick. Shop: Shop till you drop! From fresh food and handmade goods at the Fulton Stall Market to custom leather jackets from New York City-based fashion designer Christian Benner, you won’t leave empty handed. Be sure to stop in to Emily Thompson Flowers for unique floral arrangements and unconventional, yet wild, materials. Eat and Drink: First, stop in Dorlan’s Tavern and Oyster bar for a dozen oysters and round of drinks. Then head over to the Italian bistro Barbalu, formerly known as Barbarin— one of the few groundbreaking restauranteurs that refused to let Superstorm Sandy stop them from doing business. While there are many things to do right now at the South Street Seaport, there is so much more to come. Momofuku, ByChloe, and Jean Georges are just a few exciting neighborhood entrants on the horizon. Keep an eye out of a number of...

Travel Tips: Best Publications and Sources for Travel Inspiration

Do you have that one friend who travels to the most obscure places you’ve never heard of? You sit there, vigorously sifting through their recent batch of Facebook photos, wondering how the *** did they come up with the idea of traveling to BLANK? Two words: travel inspiration. It’s everywhere; on the internet, on your social accounts, billboards and more. The trick is finding what source best works for you! Here are a few outlets we recommend for travel inspiration: Blog Inspiration Be My Travel Muse. We roll out the red carpet for Kristin. As a former investment banker from Southern California, she sold all of her belongings to travel the world. Kristin is also an advocate for solo travel, something many find imperative for self-development and discovery. But enough about how awesome Kristin is—her website and blog are truly informational and dare we say, inspirational. From tips on what to pack to properly to budgeting funds for a trip, she tells it all. Nomadic Matt is another great source for planning your next adventure. Once you land on his home page, click on Start Here and then Get Inspired. Matt takes a ‘no excuses’ approach to traveling and will answer any doubt or question you have about why you shouldn’t say ‘no’ to traveling. Media Inspiration Turn your attention towards the experts. From Conde Nast Traveler to Trip Advisor, there are literally thousands of articles sprawled across the internet waiting for you to digest their information.  Travel & Leisure supports anyone’s wanderlust. With slideshows featuring the most detailed photographs to pages of vacation ideas, spend hours perusing their...

Discovering NYC Series: Best Holiday Markets in NYC

‘Tis the season to get together with friends, family and loved ones and enjoy each other’s company. ‘Tis also the season to buy everyone gifts for the holidays! Instead of dreading mall crowds or busy streets in SoHo, adventure to one of the many holiday markets in New York City. Here are our top favorites and what each has to offer: Winter Village at Bryant Park (Now until January 5th; Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue, New York) Probably one of the most iconic and picturesque markets in New York City, Bryant Park’s Winter Village not only provides a variety of shopping stalls but also free ice skating ($20 rental for skates), food and warm beverages to soothe your holiday soul! Union Square Holiday Market (Now until December 24th; Union Square at 14th Street, New York) Spend an entire day here at this funky, European-styled winter market full of local and national goodies. Whether you need leather goods, artwork or something sparkly for that special someone, Union Square Holiday Market has it all. Stop by Momofuku Milk Bar’s stall for a quick snack break. Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market (Winter season; Chelsea Market, 88 10th Avenue, New York) While the Artists & Fleas Market normally resides in Williamsburg, every winter season they take over a portion of Chelsea Market to spread the holiday cheer, Brooklyn-style. Shop for a variety of unique craft items—perfect for that quirky friend. Columbus Circle Holiday Market (Now until December 24th; West 59th Street and Broadway, New York) After perusing through Central Park’s wintery sights, head over to the...

4 Fun Things to Do in Lower Manhattan During November 2016

The holiday season is the best time to visit New York City. Bryant Park Holiday Shops are open, The Rink at Rockefeller Center is welcoming skaters and Macy’s is preparing their seasonal displays. While all of this is exciting, there are a lot of cool new and fun things going on in Lower Manhattan! Here are 4 ways to spend the month of November without ever leaving the Financial District: Apple World Trade Center (185 Greenwich Street, New York) The largest Apple store in New York City is now open in the Westfield World Trade Center Mall! Located on two levels of the mall, venture through dozens of the latest and greatest tech gadgets and accessories. While you’re there, check out the other recently opened shops in Westfield Mall or take a walk around the Oculus. iPic Movie Theater (11 Fulton Street, New York) One of the first of its kind to come to Manhattan proper, iPic Movie Theater is more than just a night out at the movies, it’s an experience. Aside from popcorn and candy, order a meal or a few beverages while relaxing in their extra-cushioned leather seats or ‘sinfully decadent’ reclining chairs. Canstruction (Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street, New York) Canstruction, a surprising annual design competition located in the heart of Brookfield Place, challenges teams or architects, engineers and contractors to build sculptures made of canned food. After the art installation, everything is donated to City Harvest to distribute to those in need. While you’re visiting this charity exhibit, knock out some holiday shopping or grab a bite to eat at Le Bar. Fulton Stall...

Discovering NYC Series: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

The leaves are changing colors and the crowds are starting to die down – it must be fall in New York City. Before the wintery weather takes over this concrete jungle, spend a few days outdoors visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  When is the last time you took the opportunity to explore our nation’s gateway to culture and immigration? Here’s what to expect when visiting: Statue Cruises is the official provider authorized by the National Park Service to take visitors to and from Liberty and Ellis Island. Through their official website, you can purchase different levels of tickets from visiting both of the islands’ grounds to making your way up to the crown. Every ticket includes a pass to Ellis Island Museum. Statue of Liberty Take a stroll around the grounds of Lady Liberty and then, depending on the type of ticket you purchased, head into the pedestal. The pedestal was actually constructed and paid for by the American people and is roughly half the height of the entire monument. Pedestal tickets allow visitors to access the museum as well as the Fort Wood Level. From the pedestal you can take the stairs or elevator to the top of the Statue. You can experience 360 degree views of Lower Manhattan by walking around the crown. Self-guided, as well as Park Ranger guided tours, are available for purchase. Ellis Island Ellis Island was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States from 1892 until 1954. Before heading into the museum, walk along the American Immigrant Wall of Honor and search for your family’s name....

36 Hours in Lower Manhattan

You’ve stayed in midtown, maybe even in Upper West Side – hell you might have rented a 200 sq. ft. studio in Chinatown for the experience but have you stayed in the Financial District in New York City? Lower Manhattan holds the most history, offers some of the best shopping in town and borders the Hudson Harbor providing some of the island’s best views. Here is a guide on how you should spend your weekend getaway in Downtown NYC: Friday Visit the monuments, 3pm. Start your adventure at the iconic Charging Bull (between Broadway and Morris Street).  After taking a few pictures for your Instagram, head towards Battery Park with the Statue of Liberty in sight and enjoy a nice leisurely stroll through the park. Lower Manhattan is particularly serene during the warmer months (June – October), especially alongside the water. Ariel views of Lady Liberty, 5pm. Enjoy 15 minutes of never-been-seen views of NYC and the Statue of Liberty with New York Helicopter Rides. Check out what Ellis Island looks from above while passing from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Happy hour then dinner, 6pm. The Dead Rabbit, one of lower Manhattan’s most iconic bars, offers libations and an assortment of small and large plates. Enjoy live performances every Friday night from 9pm to 2am. Saturday Coffee and pastries, 9am. Visit Black Fox Coffee Co., the Australian owned coffee bar, on 70 Pine Street for a robust cup of joe and a delicious pastry. World Trade Center, 10am. Spend a bulk of your morning touring the memorial site where the Twin Towers once stood tall. Now, One World Trade Center,...

4 Best Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn Museums

Discovering NYC Series: Best Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn Museums While summer is coming to an end, the hot, humid weather remains! Stay cool and discover something new in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn’s best museums. Here‘s our suggestions: 9/11 Memorial Museum A 10 minute walk from 70 Pine, explore the 9/11 Museum as it takes you on an emotional journey through archives, narratives, interactive technology and a collection of artifacts from 9/11. While you’re in the area, meander through the 9/11 Memorial and take a trip up 1 World Trade Center for one of the best views in Lower Manhattan. Museum of Jewish Heritage Explore multiple perspectives of modern history, life and culture within the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The museum’s mission is to educate people of all ages about the intricate details of Jewish life in the 20th and 21st century – before, during and after the Holocaust. Museum of American Finance Visiting the Museum of Finance isn’t like sitting in a college finance lecture; it’s about discovering what Manhattan was built upon. Learn more about how gold has influenced our lives from science and technology to entertainment and pop culture. Brooklyn Museum Head over the Brooklyn Bridge from Downtown NYC and visit the Brooklyn Museum. Located in a diverse, creative and exciting urban center, the museum offers a mix of collections that include ancient Egyptian artifacts, African art, European paintings and contemporary art. While staying at Q&A Residential Hotel, be sure to venture outside of our comfortable, fully furnished apartments and explore more of what Downtown Manhattan has to offer. If you’re looking to dine after sampling a...

Business Tips: 3 Best Credit Cards to Receive Travel Benefits

Choosing the right credit card is like choosing the right suitor. There are a few non-negotiable qualities one must consider before investing in a long-term relationship. For example, is this person willing to make compromises? This is similar to: does this credit card offer flexibility (more opportunities for redemptions – no blackout dates, multiple partners, etc.)? Or, does this person have good qualities that outweigh the bad qualities? This resembles: are the annual fees justified by the rewards and benefits? All are important points to keep top-of-mind when choosing your next credit card. Here are our top credit cards to receive travel benefits: Chase Sapphire Preferred One of the most alluring benefits for signing up with Chase is if you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening an account, you will earn 50,000 bonus points. Another attractive benefit for travelers is there are no foreign transaction fees. There is a $95 annual fee associated with the card after the first year; however, when you calculate all the money saved using bonus points, the fee doesn’t alter your bottom line. Capital One VentureOne Rewards The first advantage for using the Capital One VentureOne Rewards card is there are no annual fees.  Next, you’re not limited to redeeming with one airline or hotel brand. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees and most importantly, you earn 1.25 miles per every dollar spent on any purchase! Depending on your credit, APR averages from 12.24%-22.24%, which kicks in 12 months after opening an account. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Aside from the most important benefit, no foreign transaction fees, Barclaycard...

What is an Aparthotel?

Question: What is an Aparthotel or Apartment Hotel? Answer: Well, it is exactly as it sounds: an apartment that uses a hotel-style booking system and has the great amenities you’ll find at a hotel. Instead of staying in a 325 square foot room with a bed, a desk and (if you’re lucky) a kitchenette, you’re staying in a fully equipped apartment. We understand in New York City some may try to sell you a closet and call it an apartment; however this is not always the case. At Q&A Residential Hotel, we’re offering much more. Here are some of the advantages you will find when you stay at an aparthotel like Q&A: Aparthotel Advantages Size: Aparthotel suites are much larger than hotel rooms, offering more room to live rather than just sleep. For example, at Q&A Hotel, residences start at 500 square feet and expand up to 1,400 square feet in studio, one or two bedroom configurations. To put that in perspective, most suites are around three times the size of a typical Manhattan hotel room.  Every apartment is also equipped with a full sized kitchen that is stocked with all the necessary cookware and utensils you would find in your home. Stay: A guest can stay anywhere from 1 to 29 nights. Unlike typical apartments or corporate housing, there is no need to fill out any contracts or leases while booking. An aparthotel has the exact same booking system as a hotel available for all last minute reservations or requests. Amenities: Amenities at an aparthotel are the same as a hotel. Guests can take advantage of concierge services,...

Five Myths and Tips for Purchasing Cheap Flights

Myths and Tips for Purchasing Cheap Flights We’ve heard them all: the cheapest flights are sold on Tuesdays; the best time to buy a flight is at the last minute; clearing your browser’s cookies results in cheaper fares. Unfortunately, these myths are all FALSE. There is no specific day of the week to purchase a flight and airlines aren’t desperate to fill empty seats. Here are a few tips to help you find the best, most affordable flights for your next business trip or vacation at Q&A Residential Hotel in New York City. Tip 1: If it seems like a great deal, it is! Do not wait to purchase the flight because chances are the price will increase as time goes on. Tip 2: Book far in advance. Researchers discovered that on average a flight ticket will cost $200 more when booking within seven days of departure. The more time you allow between the date you purchase your flight to the date of your departure, the cheaper the tickets will be. Tip 3: Check other airline prices. Don’t be afraid to shop around as you may find a less expensive flight through another carrier. Skyscanner is a user-friendly, flight comparison website (for domestic and international travel) that won’t plague your computer with five pop-up windows. Tip 4: Flexibility is key. If you live in an area with multiple airports near you, research the cost of flying to your desired destination from each local airport. Or if you’re flexible on which dates to travel, choose a timeframe and browse various flights within those dates. Remember though, if you’re planning on flying to Florida...

Hotel Living in a New Era

Q&A Hotel App As the travel industry moves further into the technology arena, Q&A Residential Hotel is staying ahead of the game with new and innovative tools to advance your experience visiting our hotel. While staying at Q&A, guests are encouraged to download the Q&A Hotel App (free and available for all iOS and Android devices) to access all hotel and stay related information. Improve your stay at Q&A with these cool app features: Access to Hotel and Stay Related Information As a part of our green initiatives, the information normally found in a guest room binder or folder is now contained in the app. Whether you need to find out the check-out time or pet policy, simply open the app, click “The Hotel” and instantly gain access to all hotel and facility information. Since Q&A is an aparthotel with a full kitchen, the app provides step by step instructions on how to operate and troubleshoot any issues with the appliances in your suite. If you’re still experiencing difficulties, you can call the front desk from inside the app and speak with someone directly. Submit Requests When visiting Lower Manhattan for work or pleasure, it’s likely you’ll be on the go. By utilizing the Q&A app, you can submit a housekeeping or maintenance request in less than one minute. Q&A also provides expert concierge service available through your mobile device at a touch of a button. Submit a request or call instantly through your phone to speak to a live person. Transportation New York City is a big place and easy to get lost in. By using the app,...

Hotel Technology Trends for Travelers

It’s no news that business and leisure travelers alike have fully embraced technology. So why should that experience be limited when travelers go on a business trip or visit a new city? Technology offerings have become an increasingly important factor when consumers consider where to stay, pushing hotels to raise the bar on the new standard of technology offerings. Free WiFi: Everyone is so used to having free access to a strong WiFi connection, which is why free WiFi is in high demand by guests—especially in their rooms. App-Based Room Keys: Hotels are leveraging mobile apps to allow guests to use their mobile phones as room keys. Giving guests an app-friendly code simplifies the experience for hotel guests while improving security. Tech-Friendly Business Services and Conference Centers: As part of the tech explosion, travelers expect business centers and conference rooms within hotels to have the latest technology equipment. This includes computers, printers, and private boardrooms with Internet access and top-of-the-line AV operations for meetings, screenings and presentations. Mobile Services: Travelers are on-the-go, meaning they’re on their mobile devices much more than they are on a desktop. Requesting guest service from mobile, such as room service, concierge assistance, payment, and virtual check-out, makes guests’ experience easier and more streamlined. Many hotels are also providing digital newspaper access, local travel directions and maps, and recommended attraction information. Smart Entertainment: There’s nothing like relaxing at the end of the long day in front of the tube. Hotels are raising the bar with smart HDTVs. Smart TVs letguests connect to the Internet and access streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Learn More About...