By Kristen Shirley
This story originally appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.
New York City – home to 8.5 million residents, nearly 60 million annual visitors and endless tropes about its energy and attitude. What does all of this add up to? In my opinion, if you become bored in New York, you are not doing it right. The city is a must-do pilgrimage for nearly everything under the sun: world-class museums and art galleries, groundbreaking theater productions, a constantly evolving culinary scene, luxurious spas and scores of five-star hotels. Here, we focus on Manhattan, but don’t discount the outer boroughs. Each borough has its own vibrant culture and identity and could merit its own destination guide.
Tata Suite, The Pierre, A Taj Hotel Located on the 39th floor of The Pierre, this 1,980 sq ft two-bedroom suite offers sweeping views of the city and Central Park. The well appointed decor includes a silver-leaf dining table and formal living room with Murano glass chandeliers. If traveling with a group, you are able to rent the entire 39th floor to form a six-bedroom compound. From $20,000 per night. To book, contact Sanela Mrkulic, director of guest relations, +1 212 940 8437, or book online at thepierreny.com
Royal Suite, The Plaza A private elevator whisks you from New York’s tourist-filled streets directly into the foyer of this 4,500 sq ft sanctuary, where you can enjoy views of Central Park and the Pulitzer Fountain. This lavish suite has classic decor throughout – even in its fitness room, with Technogym equipment, and master bath, with 24K gold-plated fixtures. Whether you’re having dinner in the formal dining room or cocktails in the living room with grand piano, your private butler will organize it all from the chef’s kitchen. From $30,000 per night. Book online at theplazany.com or call +1 212 456 5220
Presidential Suite, The St. Regis The crown jewel in one of New York’s most iconic hotels, the Presidential Suite at The St. Regis is an opulently decorated 3,430 sq ft apartment-style suite. It has a living room, formal dining room, wood-paneled library, full kitchen, two bedrooms and separate master suite with spa-style bathroom and private sitting area, all decorated in elegant neutral colors and sumptuous fabrics, topped off with beautiful crown moldings and Waterford crystal chandeliers. From $35,000 per night. To book, contact Senih Geray, general manager, +1 212 754 4500, email@example.com, stregisnewyork.com
Take THREE/// New Hotels
Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown This 82-story building is a welcome architectural change from the glass boxes taking over the New York skyline. In Lower Manhattan, the Robert AM Stern-designed building houses both a hotel and Four Seasons serviced private residences. The luxurious 2,400 sq ft Royal Suite occupies half of the 24th floor. In addition to complimentary massages, butler service and private bar, it comes with complimentary helicopter transfer from the airport, so you can avoid the pesky traffic on your way into the city. fourseasons.com/newyorkdowntown
The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel Perhaps New York’s buzziest new opening, The Beekman is housed in a landmark 19th-century building downtown. Its rooms surround a stunning nine-story Victorian atrium topped off with an enormous glass skylight, making it one of the most photogenic hotels in the city. The 1,200 sq ft Turret Penthouses have 400 sq ft private terraces with incredible city views. The ground floor has Keith McNally’s newest brasserie, Augustine, and the lobby bar is full of chic New Yorkers and discerning tourists alike. thompsonhotels.com/hotels/nyc/the-beekman
11 Howard At 11 Howard, a boutique hotel located in a former post office in SoHo, at the border with Chinatown, you’ll find relaxed luxury, loads of creative energy, comfortable Danish minimalism and two of New York’s hottest spots: The Blond and Le Coucou. Those staying in the Terrace Suite, a 1,890 sq ft oasis with a large private terrace, are guaranteed entry to the former with an additional guest. The hotel also practices “conscious hospitality,” where a percentage of room rates is donated to The Global Poverty Project. 11howard.com
New York has started many culinary trends and food crazes. Right now, people are waiting in line for hours for a milkshake at Black Tap, just a stone’s throw from Dominique Ansel Bakery, where people still wait for a Cronut. However, for fine dining, New York simply can’t be beat. See below for our favorite three-Michelin-starred restaurants.
Per Se Thomas Keller’s landmark restaurant is a mythical experience in the eyes of many diners. Signature dishes like Keller’s lobster poached in butter, or oysters and pearls remain on the menu for a reason – people just can’t get enough. thomaskeller.com/perseny
Eleven Madison Park Daniel Humm’s contemporary American restaurant now has a more manageable tasting menu with fewer courses, but it keeps its seasonal focus using local ingredients. elevenmadisonpark.com
Le Bernardin Eric Ripert’s transcendental seafood restaurant is consistently rated one of the best in the world. Ripert’s frequently changing menu is inventive and fresh, letting the perfectly prepared and sauced fish shine. le-bernardin.com
Andy Hayler’s hidden gem
Little Owl This small bistro in the West Village, serving no more than 30 diners at a time, offers excellent modern American cuisine. Dishes such as their gently spiced pork chop have been drawing in diners since it opened in 2006, but the place is as popular now as it was at its opening, so make your reservation in good time. Friendly staff and a tempting wine list complete the picture at this high-quality neighborhood restaurant. thelittleowlnyc.com