Q: In February, we're heading to New York state for a weekend with our in-laws, and want to do a side trip to New York City. Do you have any recommendations for where to stay? We will be four adults, three young kids and two babies!
TRAVEL CONCIERGE: And I thought I had my hands full. At least that's what everyone tells me when I roll into the airport, Justice-League-style, with my party of five.
As you may have heard, short-term apartment rentals are a bit of a no-go with a law coming out in May against what the state deems "illegal hotels." But this is the slow season, so you may find a suitable deal through the city's "Get More NYC" promotion ( nycgo.com). Or consider the Affinia chain ( affinia.com).
"For larger families, two hotels immediately come to mind," says Carol Cain, who writes the NYCityMama blog. "Specifically, I would consider Affinia Gardens and Affinia 50, as they have the largest rooms at decent prices."
Both are centrally located and feature suites with dining rooms, full kitchens and kid-friendly amenities, upon request, such as cribs, baby bathtubs and childproof power sockets. This is the chain, after all, that provides a milk-and-cookie turndown with some of its packages.
For a group your size, Affinia suggests two one-bedroom junior suites (starting at $299 a night per room in February), or a two-bedroom suite (ranging between $580 to $899 a night, depending on the hotel) if you want to bunk together.
Both properties also facilitate that classic money-saver - the in-room hotel picnic - with a "BYOB Kit" that includes a blanket and wine boutique coupon, so the grownups can relax with a glass of cabernet franc while the kids play picnic.
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Karan Smith is a former Globe Travel editor. Special to The Globe and Mail