I'll probably use mine either in Saratoga NY at the Courtyard or Residence Inn. Or possibly at the Courtyard in Norwich, CT or the Residence Inn or Spring Hill Suites in Mystic CT, which are near the casinos in CT.
I think he actually want to go somewhere away from NYC, not visit it, and going to EWR just does not cut the mustard, no matter how nice the EWR Marriot has become.
What was once a Cat 4 property and is now a 5 that has gotten consistently great reviews is the Renaissance in Providence R.I. a newly refurbished hotel in what was the shell of an uncompleted Masonic Lodge in downtown Providence, RI -- a destination in itself and near to Newport, RI.
The company that runs the property has vast experience in re-habbing historic properties -- they also manage the Renaissance in Pittsburgh and the Renaissance Blackstone in Chicago.
Just stayed @Residence Inn Mystic... booked award stay when it was still Category 4. Overall, the stay was ok. However, the whole place needs refurbishing.... older furniture in rooms, etc. Plus, they have some quirky policies in the "guesthouse"/breakfast room. There is a sign that states "all food must be consumed in guesthouse" with personnel standing there watching your every move. Second sign along the lines of please be considerate of other guests when taking portions. The food display was lacking too... just a couple yogurts, fruit, etc.... was not an abundant array as in other RIs. However, the location was a good one. Be advised that per housekeeping the only rooms with stoves (not stovetop) are the 2 BRs. I have stayed @other Cat 4 RIs, and do not feel the Mystic RI deserves the Cat. 5 designation.