Consider me your “travel chef”… mixing the components and adding special flavors to create distinctive and “delicious” vacations. Many of my own travel experiences visiting more than 50 countries and, especially, research done to craft unique itineraries has given me an advanced level of travel expertise. My most important client conversation is the feedback after a trip that adds knowledge and allows me to further customize travel for each person or family.
Clients and colleagues honor me with their trust and confidence. Creating Suburban Travel, Inc. in 1982 yielded a great partnership with Rosann Glantz that in a highly competitive and challenging industry rose to a pinnacle of recognition and achievement. Our decision to unite with Lake Shore Travel has created an exceptional opportunity for our clients to benefit from the power and professional network this merger has accomplished.
My personal connections around the globe are used in every possible way to add “sizzle to the steak” and to assure those who entrust precious leisure time to me that the most wonderful and exciting things will happen and that all will go smoothly. Special privilege, special access, and imaginative planning are the ingredients to make delectable travel experiences and memories to last a lifetime.
New York City: Marlene’s Way
My daughter Karen Singer and I had a really wonderful time over the Labor Day holiday in NYC mostly exploring the sites and neighborhoods south of 30th Street.
We stayed the first two nightss at the new GANSEVOORT Hotel (29th & Park Ave. in Murray Hill). It’s a few blocks down from The Morgan Library an interesting, beautiful building always with good temporary exhibits. The decor is modern; rooms are comfortable with nice bathrooms.The hotel has a very “happening” vibe.
Friday began with site visit to the brand new FOUR SEASONS DOWNTOWN that’s about to open later this month. Lovely and in a great part of the city. The location is just blocks from South Street Seaport’s TKTS booth. Unlike the one in Times Square, it opens at 11am rather than 3pm and sells next day matinee tickets whereas the theater district location does not. We easily obtained good seats for the long-running “Something Rotten” and highly recommend it. (Soon to play in Chicago!) At the same time also got “Fiddler on the Roof” for Saturday. That show is always a wonderful piece of musical theater, but it’s at the end of a run and the performance was good.
As we walked the relatively short distance to the 9/11 MEMORIAL POOLS we again were near the Four Seasons and the recently completed OCULUS, a mind-boggling glass-and-steel structure designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to look like a dove in flight. I was last at the site just a few weeks after that awful day when the remains were still smoldering and the acrid scent hung in the air. Very emotional to witness the impressive, elegant commemoration amid the quiet of the tree-filled plaza.
We continued our walk to Battery Park to exchange our pre-booked time tickets for the ferry to ELLIS ISLAND (we skipped getting off at Liberty Island, instead just enjoying views of the Statue of Liberty silhouetted against a beautiful blue sky). The visit was especially meaningful when, with the help of an enthusiastic staff member, we were able to locate both my grandmothers’ (one the great-grandmother for whom Karen was named) entry in 1907 and 1909, respectively.
On Saturday morning we rested our feet and moved for a final 3-night stay at TRUMP SOHO on Spring St. about a mile south of 14th Street and just north of Canal St. The entrance to the Holland Tunnel is nearby, so it’s pretty close to the Hudson River. Sophisticated decor, a nice quiet corner room with floor-to-ceiling glass and a view of the upper floors of the ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER Freedom Tower and a good breakfast made a comfortable stay. The matinee and good guacamole and appetizers at a casual Mexican place in the Theater District followed by a walk with the multitude in Times Square before heading into the subway to the convenient Houston Street stop near the hotel completed another good day!
It’s an appealing mile-long walk from Trump SoHo to the Lower East Side. Our reward was a yummy bagel loaded with hand-cut lox and trimmings from RUSS & DAUGHTERS and worth a 45-minute wait (it was Sunday!). We joined an 11am food tour of the Lower East Side that began at YONAH SCHIMMEL KNISH BAKERY. Not very high-brow, but fun and run differently, so not expensive at all. Great dinner in nearby Chinatown’s PEKING DUCK HOUSE on Mott St.
Labor Day began with a walk thru CHELSEA PIER’s shops and markets and then onto THE HIGH LINE to its end at Gansevoort St. Brunch at BUBBYS was not worth the high prices, but sitting at an outdoor table in great weather visiting with favorite cousins from NJ made it pleasant. The new-ish WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART has mostly temporary exhibits and the 45-minute docent-led tour of one of them was done well. Now housed in a modern building with outdoor spaces on most levels that give expansive views in all directions, it would be recommended for die-hard art museum goers or those who’ve been many times to NYC and want to check-off the next new thing.
Near the Trump SoHo, AQUAGRILLE (Spring St. & 6th Ave.) is Zagat-reviewed: A seafood mecca, this consistently terrific SoHo long-timer is known for exceptionally good oysters and fish so fresh you can almost feel the sea breeze; upscale yet still homey, it’s presided over by a warm crew, and the brunch is one of the best scenes around. The seasonal corn soup with shrimp was dee-licious! Casual, with excellent waiters and staff, they nicely split what we wanted to share. A very pleasant end to a lovely time Karen and I enjoyed together!!
What Marelene’s Travelers Have to Say
Wonderful trip, expert advice!
It was a pleasure working with Marlene who helped my husband and I plan a fantastic trip to the Italian Lake District in Italy. Marlene was knowledgeable, chose wonderful hotels for our consideration and made well-informed suggestions about our itinerary. She was flexible with her suggestions as our ideas evolved. We were the beneficiaries of outstanding service, which we felt followed directly from Marlene’s long-standing professional relationships with the hoteliers we encountered. We will definitely plan future vacations with Marlene!
Exceptional Travel Service and Advice
Marlene Singer made certain our trip throughout Europe was flawless. She went out of her way to make sure that the many connections were tied together perfectly. Marlene’s knowledge of the business is priceless. Her hotel and restaurant recommendations could not have been better. We had a fabulous time thanks to Marlene!
The perfect travel agent
Marlene covers all aspect of a travel from start to finish(plus a call before & after). Our last trip was to Palm Beach, FL and the fourth time to the 4 Seasons. Marlene took care of everything–first class air, full size car rental, hotel up-grade plus helping us get our previous room again. I was upset because your website was down when i took our previous trip and i could not report her great work. Marlene did a marvelous job in a multi-phase trip. To & from different airports. 2) Limos to & from. 3) SUV car rental. 4) Hotel to meet special needs- for example connecting rooms, walk in showers, etc. 5) Theater tickets. 6) Private SUV all day New Your City tour. 7) Suggested list of restaurants. Every aspect turned out perfect. She gave us personal service with phone calls & emails just like a professional & experienced agent she is. Marlene has taken care of us before & certainly will in the future.