Like London, you could live in New York City all your life and never experience everything the city has to offer – which is both a good and bad thing. Bad because you simply can’t fit it all in one trip. And good because you simply can’t fit it all in one trip… so you’re just going to have to go back.

This ever-changing city can be difficult to navigate (changing so rapidly that it proves quite difficult to keep a luxury travel guide up-to-date). But for anyone off to the Big Apple for the first time, or anyone who simply can’t get enough of it, we’ve rounded up all our favourite spots to eat, stay and play in which, even if you can only manage a few, won’t disappoint. From of-the-moment hotels and restaurants, to classic NYC sites for the itinerary, here’s our guide to the best of New York right now.

Where To Stay

For travellers in search of a decadent stay, here’s our pick of the most stylish hotels in New York.

For Eco-Chic Stays…

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

To really appreciate the beauty of Manhattan, you have to see it from Brooklyn, and the 1 Hotel’s amazing Dumbo location offers staggering views of the city’s skyscrapers, complete with hammock-laden corner suites that are perfect for staring across the river at the skyline. This eco-friendly hotel is every eco-warriors dream, with reclaimed wood dotted all around and a living plant wall in the lobby. But it doesn’t stop at an earthy look alone – the hotel makes a huge effort to be sustainable with organic sheets, filtered taps and recycled glass bottles in every rooms.

The restaurant, The Osprey, serves a mean breakfast, and in summertime the rooftop bar is the place to be, with incredible views of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Where: 60 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Website: www.1hotels.com

For Extravagant Interiors…

The Baccarat

A hotel created by the prestigious crystal company? Needless to say, it’s going to be extravagant. From shining chandeliers to glittering glassware, over 15,000 Baccarat pieces feature throughout the hotel, and its swankily designed Grand Salon looks like it was taken straight out of a palace.

The central location, which is close to the Museum of Modern Art, Broadway theatres, and the Rockefeller Center, is ideal for travellers who want to visit New York’s most popular Midtown attractions.

Over 15,000 Baccarat pieces feature throughout the hotel.

Where: 28 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Website: www.baccarathotels.com

For The Best City Views…

The Ritz Carlton

The Ritz Carlton’s brand new outpost boasts some of the best views from any hotel in the city. To the north, you’ve got a view of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, and to the south, at the tip of Manhattan, you can gaze at the Freedom Tower. The guest rooms cleverly start from the 14th floor, meaning guests can soak in the views from their beds (or their bathtubs).

There’s also the restaurant Zaytinya, by celebrity activist chef José Andrés, serving up his inventive Mediterranean cuisine from the ground floor.

Where: 25 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001

Website: www.ritzcarlton.com

Stylish yet secretive, there’s a strict no photos rule and many shared spaces are for guests only.

For Celebrity-Owned Stays…

The Greenwich Hotel

This Robert De Niro-owned Greenwich Hotel is everything you’d expect from a discreet celebrity haunt: stylish yet secretive. For example, there’s a strict no photos rule, and many shared spaces are for guests only so you can enjoy your stay in peace and quiet. Unsurprisingly, it attracts an A-list celebrity clientele, who check in to enjoy its relaxing rooms. Japanese-style spa and open-air courtyard.

It also boasts a wonderful Italian restaurant, Locanda Verde, that’s loved by New York locals.

Where: 377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Website: www.thegreenwichhotel.com

For Old-World New York Glamour…

The Beekman

In a city with too many hotels to count, it really takes an exceptional property to wow the people of NYC. And that’s exactly what happened when the wow-worthy Beekman hotel opened. Located Downtown in the Financial District, this area was primarily home to bankers and stockbrokers, until bars and restaurants started opening up and thriving. Shops came next, stylish apartment buildings popped up, and then came the incredible Beekman to what’s now considered one of New York’s coolest areas. Built in the 1880s, the landmark building is home to an impressive nine-storey atrium and art deco bar where locals flock to after work.

All the rooms are a perfect mix of modern and vintage – think dark wooden floors, armoires and velvet furnishings. Downstairs, the hotel is also home to celebrity chef Tom Colicchio’s Temple Court restaurant, worthy of making a dinner reservation – just make sure to do it in advance.

Read our review of The Beekman.

Where: 123 Nassau St, New York, NY 10038

Website: www.thebeekman.com

For The Newest Luxury Hotel In Town…

Aman New York

The newest hotel to open in the city is Aman’s first city outpost in the USA. Offering a chic hideaway in the middle of Manhattan, the hotel combines luxurious design with space and solitude. The huge three-floor spa and wellness centre boasts a pool and two spas to relax in.

Located on Fifth Avenue, there are 83 suites in total, all generous in space (by New York standards anyway) with fireplaces for cosy winter nights in the city. Come summer, there’s a Garden Terrace Bar as well as outdoor seating at Arva, their signature Italian restaurant.

Where: The Crown Building, 730 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Website: www.aman.com

For Brooklyn Warehouse Vibes…

Ace Hotel Brooklyn

If you’ve ever worked from the lobby of London’s Shoreditch’s Ace Hotel when it was around, you’ll know the lobby is the place to be for freelance creatives, and Ace Hotel’s Brooklyn outpost is no different. There are public workspaces galore, including long tables table, plants galore, and a bar area with low-lighting and cosy seating.

In the rooms, the design offers both form and function, with local art decking the wall, and pops of green colour. Think industrial architecture with exposed concrete and warehouse-style windows.

Where: 252 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Website: www.acehotel.com

Where To Eat

The New York dining spots where the interiors are as glorious as the food.

For Brunch…

Sunday In Brooklyn

Contrary to what the name suggests, Sunday in Brooklyn is open for brunch and dinner every day of the week. The three-story space is home to an outdoor patio, marketplace, private dining room and rooftop garden to hunker down in when you’re hungry, and the brunch menu includes both lighter bites and heartier fare. Think Sunday pancakes with hazelnut maple praline and brown butter; the Sunday burger with cheddar cheese, special sauce and pickles; and smoked salmon toast with scallion crème, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garden pickles and sourdough.

Delicious signature cocktails are on offer all day long too. Think Honeybear On Holiday with rum, Montenegro, apricot, pineapple and honey; and Coast of Bohemia with Greek Gin, Watermelon, Green Chile, Peach, Olive and Cava.

Where: 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Website: www.sundayinbrooklyn.com

For Street Food…

Chelsea Market

Iconic culinary destination Chelsea Market has become internationally-renowned and is considered one of the greatest indoor food and retail marketplaces in the world.

And rightly so. It’s hands-down one of best food halls in New York. From tacos and thai to doughnuts, cheese and gelato, you can find excellent options for pretty much anything you’re craving.

Where: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Website: www.chelseamarket.com

For An Iconic Afternoon Tea…

Palm Court at The Plaza

Tea at The Plaza is a rite of passage when it comes to afternoon tea in New York City. But with all the ingredients of a tourist trap, is it worth the hype? Our answer is absolutely. 

Situated directly across from Central Park, the luxury hotel’s location can’t be beaten. Towering majestically over the tree-lined lake, it’s a sight to behold for tourists and locals alike. Meanwhile inside at Palm Court where afternoon tea is served, the room is draped in gold leaf, crystal chandeliers and extravagant floral arrangements on every corner. It’s opulence on another level.

The Plaza’s signature afternoon tea is available daily and is served by attentive wait staff under an extravagant glass ceiling. With four different menus to choose from, you can expect to tuck into the likes of applewood smoked pearl salmon served with dill crème fraiche, pickled shallot, trout caviar, affilla cress and brioche; freshly baked warm cherry and truffle scones; and lemon verbena egg custard, rooibos des vahines tea jelly, almond pain de gene cake and preserved apricot – all washed down with a delightful glass of champagne.

 

Is the iconic afternoon tea worth the hype? Absolutely.

Where: 768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Website: www.theplazany.com

 

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For Paris-In-SoHo vibes…

Balthazar

This beloved Big Apple institution is the flagship eatery of restauranteur Keith McNally (you might recognise the interior and exterior from his Covent Garden outpost). Set foot through the doorway and find yourself in a warmly-lit space with high ceilings and mirrored walls reminiscent of dinner in Paris. The menu includes classic bistro options like oysters, steak frites, and burgers.

If you want to avoid the table hustle, they also run a bakery to go, but if you are wanting to nab a table, make sure to book well in advance as this is an NYC fave.

Where: 80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Website: www.balthazarny.com

For Art-Deco Italian Fare…

Legacy Records

Brilliant chef Ryan Hardy cooks up seaside Italian fare at this gorgeous art deco spot in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. The cocktail menu is also under the direction of Jeff Bell from renowned cocktail bar P.D.T. (Please Don’t Tell) so you know you’re in for a treat on both the food and drink front.

The space once housed a legendary recording studio of the same name and the art lining the walls is reflective of its musical heritage.

Seaside Italian fare in art-deco surroundings.

Where: 517 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018

Website: www.legacyrecordsrestaurant.com

For Seasonal Plates…

Serra by Birreria

A chic greenhouse on the rooftop of the original Eataly, Serra is a seasonal space that completely transforms several times a year with the changing of the seasons. And the transformation isn’t just in the décor – the menu changes with the seasons too, however no matter the month you can always expect hearty plates influenced by the Italian countryside.

Come winter, the cosy Alpine-themed transformation captures the cosy atmosphere of an après-ski experience, with snowflake-covered trees bowing over the tables.

Where: 200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

Website: www.eataly.com

For Manhattan’s Socialite Scene…

Waverly Inn, West Village

The beautiful main room at the Waverly Inn is lined with murals of famous poets, First Ladies, authors, composers and the like, creating a captivating space with the help of caricaturist and cartoonist Edward Sorel. The food is delicious too.

Tables at this West Village hotspot are some of the most sought after in the city. Nab a spot at this dimly lit supper club and you know you’ll be brushing shoulders with the who-knows-who of Manhattan’s socialite scene. 

 

Tables at this West Village hotspot are some of the most sought after in the city.

Where: 16 Bank St, New York, NY 10014

Website: www.waverlynyc.com

For Dramatic Chandeliers…

Le Coucou

American-born chef Daniel Rose brought his fine-dining culinary genius to New York with Le Coucou in 2016, and six years on from opening, this is still one of the hardest reservations to nab in town. The restaurant itself is as well known as the food, thanks to dramatic chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a sprawling mural of a rural scene that wouldn’t look out of place in a French château.

 

 

Where: 138 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013

Website: www.lecoucou.com

Where To Drink

From rooftop bars to basement cocktails, the opportunities for a tipple in New York City are endless. Here are some of our favourites.

For Tropical Tipples…

The Sunken Harbour Club

Fancy visiting a brand new opening in NYC that’s filled with nautical fairytale vibes? The Sunken Harbour Club lies upstairs at Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn and boasts the immersive tropical bar of dreams.

Originally a weekly pop-up, it’s now a permanent nautically-themed bar where you can sip all night long on a tropical cocktail or three. So drop anchor here for the evening, and prepare to be swept away by the incredible décor.

The immersive tropical cocktail bar of dreams.

Where: 372 Fulton St 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Website: www.gageandtollner.com

For Floral Interiors…

The Fleur Room

Located at the top of the Moxy Chelsea, this cocktail bar hasn’t been on the NYC scene for long, but it’s become a local hotspot for those in the know. A particularly popular after-party spot, it even played host to THE after-party of the year when the Met Ball carried on here last year.

Views of Manhattan can be seen out of every window, but the the interiors just as gorgeous, with fabulous flowers decking out every corner, as well as the furniture.

Where: 105 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001

Website: www.moxychelsea.com

For Sunset Sips…

The Panorama Room

Roosevelt Island, NYC’s narrow, two-mile-long island nestled in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, got its first rooftop bar recently, and its design is just as stunning as its views.

Because of its unique location, it offers beautiful views on all sides across four different boroughs. Meanwhile, iinside is vintage-inspired, with a red marble-topped bar and plush velvet sofas. The perfect place to catch the sunset after a long day of touristing. 

Where: 22 N Loop Rd, New York, NY 10044

Website: www.graduatehotels.com

For The Coolest Cocktails In Town…

Ophelia

To sip the coolest cocktails in town from a seat in front of the skyline, look no further than Ophelia and its delicious concoctions.

The lounge, situated on the 26th floor of the Beekman Tower, has wraparound patios, art deco design and velvet banquettes. If you’ve overdone it on the cocktails, the food menu will come to the rescue, with carby comfort food like grilled cheese and truffle fries to save the day.

Where: 3 Mitchell Pl 26th floor, New York, NY 10017, United States

Website: www.opheliany.com

For Aperitivo Hour…

Dante

A lovingly revived Greenwich Village restaurant, Dante has been a stylish hangout for over a hundred years and it’s still going strong. Today however, the espresso bar is more famous for its cocktails and small plates than its coffees.

Fancy a magical Manhattan aperitivo hour? Nab a spot on the terrace and watch the world go by, where you can choose from no fewer than 11 variations of Negronis.

Nab a spot on the terrace and watch the world go by.

Where: 79-81 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

Website: www.dante-nyc.com

What To Do

Get the most out of your visit with our guide to the best sightseeing in the city.

Spend A Day In Central Park

Step off the crowded sidewalks of 59th Street into Central Park and you’ll hardly realize what lies before you: 693 acres of man-made gardens, meadows, forests, and rolling hillsides.

It’s easy to spend a whole day of your itinerary here – along the way you’ll pass fountains, monuments, sculptures, bridges, and arches, plus 21 playgrounds, a winter ice-skating rink, a zoo, and even a castle. 

Feeling peckish? Pop into The Plaza across the street for an iconic afternoon tea.

Where: Manhattan, New York, NY

Website: www.centralparknyc.org

Walk The Brooklyn Bridge At Sunset (Or Sunrise)

When the Brooklyn Bridge was constructed in 1883 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, extending 1,595 feet across the East River, connecting lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights. Now, it’s a historic staple of the New York City skyline, transporting commuter car traffic underneath and tourist foot traffic above.

Walking through its arches with the city skyscrapers rising in the distance, really gives you that New-York-from-the-movies feeling. Sunset is the most picturesque time to walk over it, but if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, then sunrise is ideal.

Stroll Brooklyn Heights Promenade

It’s one thing to be in the middle of Manhattan, but it’s really quite something to look at it from across the river. A hop, skip and a jump across Brooklyn Bridge and you’ll make it to Brooklyn Heights, where the city skyscrapers loom before you. Arguably the best view of the skyline in the city, the peaceful, tree-lined walkway makes for a lovely morning walk taking in the views.

Whilst you’re in the picturesque neighbourhood, make a stop at the New York Transit Museum, or take that coveted Instagram shot in front of the Manhattan Bridge.

The best view of the skyline in the city.

 

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Visit The Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center sits in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Whether you want to check out a performance on the plaza outside the TODAY show, visit the Christmas tree, or practice your best moves on the ice skating rink (which turns into a rollerskating rink come summer), you’re in for an iconic, family-friendly experience.

You can also buy a ticket to Top of The Rock. There are many viewing platforms in New York City, but you only really need to do one. Tried and tested, Top of The Rock is the viewing platform to beat them all, with spectacular views of the city on all sides.

Where: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111

Website: www.rockefellercenter.com

See A Broadway Show

Seeing a Broadway show is always a special experience, both for tourists and locals alike. Whilst we’ll be the first to admit that Times Square is not our favourite place, it makes it so much more tolerable when you’re moseying through to catch a dazzling show.

Meander Down The High Line

A clever repurposing of an old railway line, the High Line has become one of the best public parks in New York since its launch in 2009. Perched 30ft above Midtown Manhattan, its unique amalgamation of walkways, family-friendly art installations, green spaces and food trucks offer great views of the Hudson River from the city’s west side. Entry is free, just make sure you reserve a timed-entry slot at weekends.

Take A Sunset Cruise Around Manhattan

There’s just something about the sunset against the NYC skyline. Enjoy the moment from the water by booking a Harbour Lights Cruise around the island of Manhattan. Narrated by informative and entertaining guides, this sunset tour is an unforgettable experience.

Sail down the Hudson River passing the colossal Hudson Yards, impressive Chelsea Piers, and the towering One World Trade Center, before rounding the spectacular tip of southern Manhattan and cruising only a few feet yards away from the magnificent Statue of Liberty. Get your camera ready for some of the best selfie opportunities in NYC. 

If you’re feeling thirsty, the boat includes a full bar serving beer, wine and cocktails plus some light snacks.

Where: 83 North River Piers West 43nd Street and, 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036

Website: www.circleline.com

 

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Explore The Met Cloisters

Located on four acres in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, the Met Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is America’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the art and architecture of the Middle Ages.

The building overlooks the Hudson River and incorporates five medieval-inspired cloisters into a modern museum structure, creating a historic backdrop to view the art.

Where: 99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040

Website: www.metmuseum.org

Visit The 9/11 Memorial and Museum

This museum pays tribute to the devastating, enormous loss of 9/11, both physical and spiritual. The museum itself is underground – lying within the foundations of the former Twin Towers – and has been constructed on a huge scale, whilst still managing to feel personal and provide space for reflection on the events of that day. Everyone should visit.

Where: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007

Website: www.911memorial.org

Discover Rare Artefacts At The Morgan Library & Museum

Imagine a wonderful place where you can find Charles Dicken’s manuscript of A Christmas Carol, Milton’s manuscript of Paradise Lost, Mozart’s handwritten score of the Haffner Symphony, and a copy of the original Declaration of Independence. That place is the Morgan, housing rare artefacts, books and paintings that form part of financier, collector, and cultural benefactor Pierpont Morgan’s personal library. Pretty impressive.

Where: 225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

Website: www.themorgan.org


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