We’re in a New York state of mind. Our latest travel guide takes us to the electrifying city that never sleeps where fashion, food, art, culture, and history collide on every one of its famous streets. From the epic cityscape (best enjoyed from a legendary rooftop bar) to the beauty of Central Park, the well-heeled streets of 5th avenue and downtown romance of West Village and SoHo, prepare to be stimulated and inspired at every turn during a visit to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, as Alicia Keys would say. Enjoy our curated guide to the best hotels, restaurants, bars, spas, and shopping hot spots in iconic New York City.
Where to Sleep in New York City
The Greenwich Hotel
The boutique hotel co-owned by Robert DeNiro on the cobblestone streets of Tribeca – former warehouse district turned trendy affluent neighborhood and foodie hub just south of SoHo – is like a home away from home. And that’s precisely the point, especially for the many A-listers that discreetly bed down here when in NYC, hanging out in the VIP only drawing room with adjoining patio. They’d almost get away with blending in if it wasn’t for the army of paparazzi out front when a big name is in residence. Perhaps The Greenwich Hotel is best described as New York’s answer to LA’s Chateau Marmont (though we’d argue it’s better) with its old-world ambiance and charming, homey, thrown together design style— English leather sofas, oriental rugs, hand-laid Moroccan tiles, wide wooden planked floors and roaring fireplaces.
Eat + Drink: Locanda Verde is one of those hotel restaurants that stand alone as one of New York’s culinary treasures. Helmed by Chef Andrew Carmellini, Locanda (first name basis) specializes in old-style meets modern Italian (DeNiro’s grandmother’s ravioli is on the menu) and is coveted as much for its food as being a hip bar hangout. It’s all about pulling up a seat, asking the sommelier for a recommendation from the very long Italian wine list, and eating dinner at the bar (in part because scoring a reservation can be impossible at times). Order the seasonal seafood pasta special or try it all by sharing small antipasto plates. Locanda also serves up a good brunch; we doubt you’ll ever get over the crispy garlic potatoes.
Spa + Wellness: The Shibui Spa also barely needs any introduction. Ask any bonafide New Yorker and they’ll name it as their favorite spa in the city. A relaxing oasis, the dimly lit Japanese-inspired retreat has a lap pool and steam room, which you should always take advantage of before indulging in one of their signature treatments which use natural plant-based and organic beauty products. Try the Drunken Lotus Massage or the Natura Bisse Oxygen Awakening Facial.
Baccarat Hotel New York
The hotel debut by the famed French crystal house is an exercise in Parisian glamour. From the show-stopping custom crystal chandeliers, dazzling crystal pieces, LED light displays, rich red accents, and decadent fireplace designed to mirror the furnaces that produce this brands’ opulent crystals — this is French grandeur at its finest. Just off Central Park and Manhattan’s famed Museum Mile, the 50-story five-star luxury hotel has 112 rooms, a $60 million dollar penthouse and it’s own La Mer signature spa and a luxe pool and gym.
Eat + Drink: The Grand Salon is the hotel’s culinary epicenter, specializing in Alsatian-inspired cuisine by Culinary Director and two Michelin-starred Chef Gabriel Kreuther. The elegant platinum and champagne-hued space has Jouffre silk-covered walls, parquet floors, plush banquettes, and a 64-arm Baccarat chandelier. Head here for afternoon tea of boutique blends brewed by the hotel’s renowned tea sommelier paired with chef-selected canapés and petit fours.
Spa+ Wellness: Spa de La Mer is the first dedicated spa for the cult French luxury skincare brand and all of the treatments are customized to incorporate the benefits of its signature skin healing and rejuvenating sea kelp and bio-fermented infused formulas.
This landmark 19th-century hotel, bordering Tribeca and the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, is steeped in history and ornate architecture and detailing. Originally law offices named Temple Court in the Victorian era, this hotel’s highlight is the incredible nine-story Victorian atrium with wrought-iron balustrades and turret penthouse suites (part of the original 1800s design). Today, the luxury hotel is dark and old-worldly with wood-paneled walls, velvet club chairs, and a vast collection of artworks from eras gone by. Rooms feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls, private terraces overlooking the city, and spacious marble bathrooms with a freestanding tub.
Eat + Drink: Led by Chef Tom Colicchio and restaurateur Keith McNally, The Beekman is a hot, fine dining precinct. Tom Colicchio’s elegant Temple Court pays homage to the hotel’s history, serving old and new classics with his signature seasonal touch. While Augustine is McNally’s latest signature French-style brasserie (he’s the man behind Odeon, Pastis, and Balthazar). Mingle over a handcrafted cocktail at The Bar Room, a luxe lounge bar located underneath the atrium that will transport you back to old New York, one sip at a time.
Spa + Wellness: There isn’t a dedicated spa onsite however, in-room spa services are offered through a curated list of specialists so drop by Les Clefs d’Or concierge desk and book your treatments. Or venture into Tribeca to Shibui.
One of New York’s most iconic hotels, The Carlyle on the sophisticated Upper East Side, a short stroll from Central Park and Museum Mile, will instantly transport you back to the Big Apple’s glory days. From the white-gloved elevator attendant to the decadent lobby, chessboard floors, and ornate ivory walls — if only these walls could talk. Since throwing open its decadent gilt doors in 1930, The Carlyle has hosted presidents, royals, and celebrities in its elegant suites outfitted with Louis XVI-style furnishings and black-marble bathrooms.
Eat + Drink: The Carlyle Restaurant mixes classic American cuisine with a dash of European flavor. Order Roasted Murray’s Chicken with spring peas, braised potatoes, and creamed morels for your entrée. Listen to 1950s and 60s jazz at the legendary cabaret club Café Carlyle, where a dinner jacket is required. Take afternoon tea at The Gallery where the crimson walls, sapphire blues, and velvet cushions evoke the grandeur of a sultan’s palace. And of course, no Carlyle experience is complete without a cocktail at Bemelmans Bar, where the mural painted walls feature whimsical scenes of Central Park and Madeleine by Ludwig Bemelmans himself. Order a Luxury Sidecar, featuring Martell Cordon Bleu cognac, Cointreau, and Calvados with the touch of apple brandy to really savor this Manhattan moment.
Spa + Wellness: You’ll find a signature Sisley-Paris Spa here. Unwind with a Zen Harmony Body Treatment featuring an aromatic essential oil massage. Finish with a mani-pedi at Yves Durif Salon. Voila!
1 Hotel Central Park
1 Hotel Central Park is an oasis of nature and sustainable style amid the urban jungle. Steps from Central Park, the eco-conscious designer property, the creation of AvroKO group and designer Kemper Hyers, is draped in greenery (there’s moss growing from the restroom ceilings) and features reclaimed wood furniture, recycled materials (the hangers are made of cardboard) and a tablet to track your carbon footprint. Think of it as luxury glamping in the heart of Manhattan.
Eat + Drink: The hotel’s Jams Restaurant is a rustic light filled space with exposed brick and open kitchen which serves as the perfect backdrop for chef Johnathan Waxman’s farm-to-fork cuisine. Seasonal ingredients are used to create classic American fare – it’s hard to beat the black bean burger topped with fresh market greens, avocado, and aioli.
Spa + Wellness: The Field House is the hotel’s fitness sanctuary complete with Peloton bikes and yoga mats.
The Inn at Irving Place
If you’re looking for a truly authentic brownstone experience, in Gramercy Park you’ll find this hidden gem of a 19th-century style townhouse. The quaint, romantic 12-room hotel has residences for extended stays and gives you access to stroll through Gramercy Park. This is boutique luxury at its finest with cozy jewel-toned decor and homey black and white tiled flooring and oriental accent rugs.
Eat + Drink: For a charming experience, make a reservation at Lady Mendl, the inn’s tea salon. Enjoy a five-course afternoon tea in the parlor space which features live jazz, craft cocktails, and small plates on Thursday evenings.
Spa + Wellness: Not far from Irving Place in Union Square is one of New York’s top beauty and wellness sanctuaries: Ohm spa. If all that sightseeing has you in need of some restoration, try a deep tissue massage or one of their blissful organic facials.
Bringing a hint of downtown industrial with a rock ‘n’ roll edge to the impossibly cool Lower East Side (LES) is The Ludlow, a hotel for hipsters and cool kids. You’ll find models, musicians, and lots of good looking people hanging out in The Lobby Bar amidst a backdrop of exposed brick walls, low leather sofas, and a roaring fireplace. Rooms are small, but plush with poster beds, velvet chairs, dark wooden floors, and have large windows overlooking the buzzy streets below. Oh and Katz Deli, scene of Meg Ryan’s famous orgasm in When Harry Met Sally is just around the corner if you’re feeling nostalgic and in the mood for pastrami.
Eat + Drink: Dirty French is a super cool American style French Bistro, with such a happening scene and soundtrack it almost doubles as a bar/club. Order the Duck à l’Orange with ras el hanout and preserved oranges or Trout Amandine with sesame and apricots washed down with a glass of French champagne and a healthy dose of Fleetwood Mac and the best of the 80s.
Spa + Wellness: The Ludlow happens to be home to one of the most Instagrammable hotel bathrooms in the world thanks to its gold hardware, marble mosaic floors, and bathrobes by avant-garde French designer Maison Margiela.
Located on the corner of Mercer and Prince street in the trendy boutique shopping hub of SoHo, The Mercer Hotel started life as artist studios. A neighborhood institution and local hangout, the 1890 Romanesque revival building was converted into a hip loft-style hotel by the late French interior designer, Christian Liaigre in 1997. Like all André Balazs properties, the hotel has a handsome, sleek, laidback signature and library-style lobby overflowing with bookshelves and comfy couches.
Eat + Drink: Famed Chef Jean-Georges’s The Mercer Kitchen, in the subterranean level of the historical hotel has long been a go-to restaurant haunt for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (when it becomes more of a lively bar). One of the first to introduce communal tables and open kitchen, the food is focused on market-driven seasonal ingredients and comes with a fresh modern twist. Personally, we’re breakfast fans; think an omelet with baby spinach and gruyere, and decadent avocado toast with Russ & Daughters smoked salmon.
Spa + Wellness: To keep up your workout routine when you travel, ask the concierge for a complimentary pass to a local fitness center or get them to set up an in-room spa session.
Other New York Hotel Favorites
Where to Eat in New York City
Chef Justin Smillie’s take on fresh seasonal California cuisine can be found at Upland on Park Avenue South. Sophisticated and urban, bright natural wood, rich leather accents, and exposed shelving lined with large jars of preserved lemons give it that sunny, healthy SoCal vibe. As for the menu, it’s divided into All Day and Brunch and really, there’s a dish to please every palette. Think pizza, burgers, salads, pasta, whole branzino, roasted chicken, and skirt steak. For our money, try the burger topped with avocado for lunch or Bucatini Cacio e Pepe for dinner, washed down with a Gin Blossom from the six-strong cocktail menu. Make a reservation for brunch well in advance, the house-made doughnuts and pizzas pull a crowd.
This beautiful light-filled dining room across from Central Park is one of the city’s best Italian eateries. Helmed by Michelin Star Chef Michael White, delicious Meditteranean-style pasta and seafood is the order of the day here. The four-course dinner tasting menu is the way to go, but if you prefer a la carte opt for the Fusilli with red wine braised octopus and bone marrow.
Tribe Tip: Nothing starts a meal quite like raw fish Crudo and the Marea menu has 12 different varieties to choose from.
With two NYC outposts, one downtown on The Bowery, the other on the Upper East Side, and yet another in the Hamptons, it’s easy to see why the upscale Japanese Kissaki is the hot name on every foodie’s lips. Honoring traditional Japanese food, culture and design, each restaurant features rustic wooden tables and deep blue wallpaper with hand-drawn goldfish and specializes in omakase cuisine, where the chef selects the menu. Expect playful takes on traditional sushi dishes like Kinmedia with crunchy honey-infused radish and some of the best saki in the city.
Tribe Tip: Experience omakase-style dining and let the chef curate your food, you’ll be surprised and delighted.
The famed French brasserie by esteemed restauranter Keith McNally, Pastis is a culinary icon that recently reopened its doors after a long hiatus on Gansevoort Street, a short stroll from its original locale in Meatpacking. The legendary bistro has long been a fave of the celebrity set and beautiful people and often played a starring rold in Sex and The City. The expansive 8,500 square feet (to be precise) restaurant has 180 seats, a sidewalk patio for alfresco dining, a restroom evocative of an old wine cellar and McNally’s signature subway tiles, distressed mirrors, mosaic floor, gilt lighting and red leather banquette seats. Helmed by Michael Abt, the cuisine is traditional French meets new Americana and we know you’ll find it tough deciding between the moules frites with white wine and garlic, the whole branzino with market vegetables and aioli, and the sea scallops with grand mariner. Or the steak frites filet au poivre…or à l’Américaine burger.
Tribe tip: Ask the sommelier for help. The wine list features an exclusively French curated line up of the best champagne and wines from regions Loire Valley, South of France, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Rhone—so how do you choose?
Gemma, at The Bowery Hotel, is a chic rustic Italian trattoria that has been a much-loved favorite of locals forever for its orate design and good old fashioned food. It’s hip location on The Bowery, an edgy part of town that borders Chinatown, LES, and East Village, makes it a bit of an out of the way New York secret, but it’s well worth it for its Euro interiors, leather upholstered seating, candlelit chandeliers, white exposed brick walls, and hearty delicious cuisine. Order the pappardelle with short rib ragout, tomato, and rosemary with a delicious old world red.
Tribe Tip: The Bowery Hotel is on our best hotel list as is the hotel’s Lobby Bar The Bowery Lobby, a luxe lounge bar with velvet armchairs behind a private red curtain where you’ll find all the beautiful people mingling.
Led by Michelin star chef and NYC restaurateur Jean-Gorges, ABC kitchen is home to the best farm-to-table fare in the city – all produce is sustainably sourced from regional farmers and cooperatives while fresh herbs and microgreens are grown on the restaurant’s rooftop garden. The interiors evoke a sense of rustic farmhouse glamour, predominantly white accented by salvaged and reclaimed natural woods and materials and exposed brick. At ABC, it’s all about elevated classics like a mushroom, oregano, parmesan, and farm egg pizza and salmon glazed with cumin and sumac.
Tribe Tip: There are actually three ABC’s at the location; ABC Kitchen, ABC Cocina, offering a more international experience, and ABC V, an intimate plant-based restaurant. All three are also located inside the coveted ABC Home & Carpet, an expansive multi-level interior design, furniture, and rug concept store where you can lose yourself for hours (and also shop the ABC Kitchen design vibe).
Other New York Restaurant Favorites
The gastronomical experience that awaits in NYC means whittling down our list of top restaurants was also painstaking, so add these to your hitlist too: Frenchette, Le Coucou, Carbone, Jean Georges, RedFarm, Jack’s Wife Freda, Freemans, Soho Diner, JG Melon, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, and The Little Owl.
Things To Do in New York City
A checklist of the best, must-do experiences in the big apple.
Play the Tourist
New York is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for good reason. And well, some touristy things are just worth it. So do: check out Times Square at night (avoid during the day), take a Circle Line river cruise, watch a Rangers game or a concert at Madison Square Garden, check out Rockefeller Center (especially during the holidays when the Christmas tree and ice skating are gloriously displayed) and take in sky-high views of Manhattan at Top of The Rock and The Empire State Building.
Explore the Parks
Spend a day exploring Central Park (renting a bike is a gorgeous way to see it) and finish by indulging in a luxury sunset picnic. While Central Park (The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located inside) is the most famous, today New York is awash with beautiful parks and green spaces. Walk along the piers of the Hudson River starting at Chelsea all the way down to Battery Park (where you’ll find the Statue of Liberty) to see for yourself. And do visit Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to see the replica Arc de Triomphe monument gifted to the city by France (this buzzy park has live jazz, it’s own piano man, large water ffountain, and plenty of lively happenings).
Museum Miles and UES
The Upper East Side is home to the New York establishment (aka the upper crust) and walking the streets will evoke a sense of old-world luxury and history. Stroll along 5th Avenue opposite Central Park from the around 100 Street (the top of the park where it meets Harlem), to see the charming sight of quintessential UES doorman clad in uniform, cap, and white gloves under the awnings outside stately mansions and buildings and to begin your walk of Museum Mile. This famed 5th Avenue stretch is littered with museums and fine art galleries including the iconic Frank-Lloyd Wright-designed The Guggenheim.
Breakfast at Tiffany
Yes, you really can channel Audrey Hepburn and have Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The iconic Tiffany & Co. flagship store on 5th Avenue is home to The Blue Box Cafe (book well in advance if you’re heading to NYC). After your movie star moment, stroll the legendary 5th and Madison Avenue streets to discover row after row of luxury designer flagships. Chanel, Celine, Cartier, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Valentino, they’re all there.
Highline and Whitney Museum
In the heart of Manhattan’s hip Meatpacker District, you’ll find The Highline, a defunct railway line converted to a public landscaped park that spans 10 blocks north into Chelsea and the Hudson Yards. The Highline starts at The Whitney Museum (a must for modern art aficionados) and The Standard Highline Hotel (home to The Standard Grill and luxe 1940s Top of the Standard and Boom Boom Room which has 360-degree views over the city).
Discover Lower Manhattan and WTC
Lower Manhattan is where you’ll find TriBeCa (the triangle below Canal) one of Manhattan’s most salubrious neighborhoods characterised by renovated warehouses, artist lofts, cobblestone streets, and an elevated restaurant and bar scene. It’s also a short stroll to One World Trade (do go up to the observatory deck), 911 Memorial and Museum, luxury shopping, dining precinct Brookfield Place and the gateway to the Financial District where you’ll find Wall Street, The New York Stock Exchange and Seaport District another burgeoning dining, shopping and entertainment hub.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
Just off Chambers Street in TriBeCa is the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge which is well worth walking over (watch the bikes) for killer views over the East River, Manhattan (behind you) and Brooklyn in front. The historic suspension bridge, established in 1883, took 14 years to complete and is considered one of the 19th centuries greatest engineering feats. If you do make it all the way over (a 20 min walk), you’ll be in DUMBO, another hotspot worth exploring that’s home to 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge and the chic private members club DUMBO House.
Meander Through the West Village
For your own SATC, Carrie Bradshaw moment, and just because it’s gorgeous and quaint, spend a morning or afternoon meandering through the cobblestone streets and brownstone townhouses of the West Village. Do the tourist thing and check out Bradshaw’s stoop on Perry Street, get a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery and just stroll to marvel at the unbeatable charm of it all, especially on W4 and Bleeker Street. You can also keep venturing east into Greenwich Village which is also adorable. Add these West Village hotspots to your NYC itinerary: Buvette, Little Owl, Smalls Jazz Club, The Stonewall Inn, The Spaniard, The Jane Hotel.
Party in the LES
The eclectic Lower East Side (LES), the former gritty neighborhood where tenement-style buildings now languish alongside luxury lofts and apartments, is known for its chic boutiques, vintage stores, trendy cafes, bars, restaurants, and pulsating nightlife. Start at Hotel Indigo for a sunset cocktail on at the rooftop bar Mr Purple, head to The Flower Shop for a bite and drink, then hit Justin Theroux cool dive bar Ray’s, before dancing until morning light at Rumpus Room, a seriously chic retro-inspired boutique lounge bar and club with a red hot DJ lineup.
The Best Spas in New York City
In the city that never sleeps, escaping to a luxury spa for pampering and restoration is a must.
AIRE Ancient Baths
An underground haven in TriBeCa, AIRE Ancient Baths is filled with rejuvenating hot and cold thermal pools, spas, steam, and indulgent massage and body treatments.
Sisley Spa at The Carlyle
The iconic Upper East Side hotel The Carlyle is home to a signature spa by luxe French skincare brand Sisley, which specializes in phyto-aromatic treatments that harness the restorative powers of aromatherapy.
The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental
One of our favorite hotel spas in New York City for the views, pool, Oriental Tea lounge, and pure indulgence, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is on the 36th floor offering stunning views of Central Park while you indulge in ultimate relaxation.
The Peninsula Spa
Cornelia Spa at The Surrey
At Manhattan’s majestic The Surrey on the Upper East Side, this intimate spa is a sanctuary in the city. The extensive menu of restorative rejuvenating massages, compresses, facials and peels can be personalized to fit your needs.
Where to Shop in New York City
New York City shopping, like its energy, people, food, and culture, is enough to make your head spin. From its iconic 5th Avenue luxury designer streets and famed department stores uptown to the downtown cool boutiques of SoHo and West Village, and every hidden gem in between, retail therapy in Manhattan is an experience unto itself.
Tribe tip: Make sure you wear comfy kicks, NYC is a walking town and on foot is the best way to explore the city and its heartstopping stores. And yes, black is the unofficial fashion uniform.