Friday 9 December 2016

Big Apple Blow Out: How to properly spoil yourself in New York City

American Holidays

Published 27/11/2016 | 02:30

New York City sunset. Photo: Deposit
New York City sunset. Photo: Deposit
Manhattan in New York
Governers Island
Beauty Essex in New York
Intercontinental New York Barclay in Midtown
Eataly, New York

Sometimes only the best will do. Katie Byrne has a luxury lover's guide to New York City...

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When it comes to accommodation, there's nothing as luxurious as space - especially in a city where hotel rooms tend to be tiny.

Rooms at the InterContinental New York Barclay in Midtown (intercontinentalbarclay.com) are generously sized and designed in an understated Federalist style that honours its history as a 1920s 'Railroad Hotel' (it used to house its own platform for VIPs in the basement). A recent $175m renovation has upped the ante considerably.

Sink into one of the plush armchairs in the sweeping marble-floored lobby after a day shopping on Fifth Avenue, or kick back in the old-world gin-and-cigar elegance of the Club InterContinental lounge.

Intercontinental New York Barclay in Midtown
Intercontinental New York Barclay in Midtown

Rates start at $249/€232 per room, or $549/€513 for a suite.

Sail Away

If you want to see New York from a different vantage point during the summer months, take the short ferry ride across the harbour to Governor's Island.

The bucolic, 172-acre oasis is the antidote to the hubbub of high-rise life. It's also the venue for plenty of events, including the Jazz Age Lawn Party - a glamorous summer soirée that harks back to the decade of decadence. Ticket prices range from $65 to $5,000 for a double private VIP cabana (jazzagelawnparty.com).

Elsewhere, New York Sightseeing offers a three-hour upscale dining cruise with views of the skyline from a glass-enclosed deck from $186/€174pp (newyorksightseeing.com).

Governers Island
Governers Island

Top tip

Fancy a bit of five-star shopping? Fashion concierges are a growing trend, with Soho's Dream Downtown Hotel offering a 'sneaker concierge' service for sourcing rare sneakers. A call to the concierge at The Mark Hotel, meanwhile, will hook you up with the personal shoppers at Bergdorf Goodman.

Chef's Table

At 45,000 square foot, the newest outpost of Italian food emporium Eataly (eataly.com), in World Trade Center Tower 4, can be a little overwhelming. Take it all in at the Chef's Table, where you can enjoy four courses, prepared with step-by-step instructions by a leading chef, along with wine pairings. From $110/€103pp.

Eataly, New York
Eataly, New York

Insider Intel

For a luxurious take on the New York institution of brunch, visit Beauty & Essex (beautyandessex.com), a plush restaurant and lounge hidden behind the facade of a functioning pawn shop on the Lower East Side.

The champagne brunch costs $55/€51pp, including two glasses of champagne, and the red velvet waffles have to be tried.

If you arrive later, there's a slick cocktail list from $17/€16.

PS: Anyone for tennis?

The US Open takes place in Flushing Meadows between late August and mid-September. It's less formal than Wimbledon - think beer and chilli dogs over Pimms and strawberries - but much more fun.

Beauty Essex in New York
Beauty Essex in New York

For a buzzy after-party, and a more adventurous menu, join the Taste of Tennis gala in the W Hotel on Lexington Avenue (usopen.org/tasteoftennis; from $275/€257pp, excluding US Open tickets). New York's top chefs cook up a storm and the stars of the tennis world make appearances.

Get me there

Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) commenced a new daily service from Dublin direct to Newark, New Jersey on September 1 of this year.

Newark is a great option when visiting New York, as the AirTrain takes less than 40 minutes to Penn Station in downtown Manhattan. Fares from Dublin start at €219 each-way including taxes and charges (or luxury lovers can splurge on the new business class from €899 each-way).

For more ideas, including shopping, dining, tours, museums, sightseeing and green spaces, see nycgo.com.

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