A New York State of Mind

Trump International Hotel & Tower (www.trumpintl.com) deserves every kudo it’s received for its high level of luxury and service. The intimate, heavily staffed lobby provides tight security: no one goes up the elevator without being keyed in by hotel personnel. Executive Suite 1706 on the top floor is an apartment in its own right, with breathtaking views of Central Park and the East Side skyline. One amazing plus: most accommodations at the hotel have a full kitchen.

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Trump International’s suites

The three-room spa is busiest on weekends, so book ahead of time. The Trump Liquid Gold Body Wrap and the Swedish Massage (request Theresa) are the most popular treatments at the spa, which is overseen by Mindy Apfel.

Chief Concierge Carlos Friere once rented out Central Park’s Wolman Rink for a celebrity guest who wanted to ice skate with his family in complete privacy. However, he and his staff can also perform less demanding feats, such as arranging for a personal shopper. For VIP bookings, go through the reservations manager or General Manager Tom Downing’s office. Five-star restaurant Jean Georges provides room service here; with in-room dining like this, breakfast never tasted so good.

For a bit of New York nightlife, check out the new Jazz at Lincoln Center (33 W. 60th St.; www.jazzatlincolncenter.org). Ian-Schrager’s Hudson Hotel (356 W. 58th St.(www.hudsonhotel.com) is brimming with bars and clubs and a great place to see—and be seen—late in the evening.

Access:

The restaurants at the new Time Warner Center (10 Columbus Circle) are a who’s who of chefs. Be sure to book ahead for each!

Asiate (at the Mandarin Oriental), 212-805-8881; Chef Nori Sugie

Per Se, 212-823-9335; Chef Thomas Keller

Stone Rose, 212-823-9796; A Rande Gerber nightclub

Masa and Bar Masa, 212-823-9800; Chef Masa Takayama

Cafe Gray, 212-823-6338; Chef Gray Kunz

V Steakhouse, 212-823-9500; Chef Jean-George Vongerichten 


For a sophisticated nightcap, try Flute Bar (205 W. 54th St.; www.flutebar.com) and for fine Italian cuisine sample Abboccato Ristorante (136 W. 55th St.; www.abboccato.com).

Because the Mandarin Oriental, New York (www.mandarinoriental.com/newyork) occupies floors 35 through 54 of the new Time Warner Center, every view from its floor-to-ceiling windows is a winner. Book Premier Central Park View and Premier Hudson View rooms on floors 50 through 54 for optimum scenery. You’ll need to bypass the GDS to secure the Presidential or Oriental Suites—both require direct booking through the hotel.

Insider Tip: While traditional butler service does not come standard, agents can request unpacking/packing services for their clients. Contact agent liaison Holly Rosenblum for special requests, or go straight to General Manager Rudy Tauscher’s office for VIP concerns.

This hotel is hot among sophisticated locals, who imbibe at the crowded MoBar and dine at Asiate Restaurant. Book tables as far in advance as possible, as this is a popular New York eatery.

The seven-room spa, overseen by Denise Vitiello, is often filled to capacity, as is the VIP Spa Suite. The popular two-hour Time Ritual allows clients to customize their treatments.

The two new, I.M. Pei-designed Presidential Suites are the hot topic at The Four Seasons Hotel, New York (www.fourseasons.com/newyork). While the suites are similar in size, Suite 5102 boasts a beautiful grand piano. Each has bay windows that jut out over the 51st floor of the hotel to provide unmatched views of the city. At a cool $15,000 a night, these suites are the most expensive, and the highest, in New York, until the penthouse suite opens upstairs in mid-2006.

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Presidential Suites 5101 (left) and 5202 (right) at the Four Seasons

Not in the market for a suite? Try the tower rooms on floors 31 through 52 for the best views of the city’s skyline. Plasma televisions have been added to all of the hotel’s guest rooms and bathrooms. The nine-room spa, under the direction of Sharon Bramburt, is busiest at the end of the workday and on weekends, so book ahead. General Manager Christoph Schmidinger’s staff watches over VIP clients, as does Sean Casserly, who works exclusively with travel agents.

Advisor Insight:

Amy Glass of Protravel International in New York City recommends
Hotel Gansevoort (www.hotelgansevoort.com) in NYC’s trendy
Meatpacking District. The hotel’s spectacular rooftop pool and
Japanese restaurant, Ono, draw a glamorous crowd, and its location is
convenient for shopping in SoHo. For discerning diners, Glass says upscale Dévi (8 E. 18th St.; 212-691-1300), featuring home-cooked Indian cuisine, is tough to beat, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s downtown
restaurant, 66 (241 Church Street; 212-925-0202), has fine Chinese dining.
The newly expanded Museum of Modern Art, with a new selection of
eateries, Glass says, is a “must see.” Before a night out on the town,
spruce up at Julien Farel Salon (605 Madison Avenue; 212- 888-8988). 


At the venerable St. Regis (www.stregis.com) request an “–03” suite above the 10th floor for Park Avenue views. Some suites here include a kitchen, formal dining room and connecting bedrooms, ideal amenities for families. And, for those who don’t want to leave, floors eight through 10 will be converted into condo suites. Butler service is offered around the clock at the St. Regis, which is overseen by General Manager Scott Geraghty. Contact Joycie Lewis to book the four-room spa, and Chef Concierge Maria Wittorp-Dejonge for special services.

The newly expanded Museum of Modern Art (11 W. 53rd St.; www.moma.org) is just blocks away. Consider signing clients up for the museum’s annual membership ($75 single; $150 family), which grants unlimited admissions and allows them to bypass long ticket queues.

When booking a Grand Luxe standard room at The Peninsula, New York (www.newyork.peninsula.com), managed by Niklaus Leuenberger, request a room overlooking Fifth Avenue, the higher the better (guest rooms go up to the 20th floor). Bathrooms throughout are impressive not only for their spaciousness, but also because of their hands-free telephones and the plasma TVs inset above the bathtubs. The hotel’s Grand Suite is worth its $5,000-a-night price tag, if only for its seemingly endless view up Fifth Avenue.

With 14 treatment rooms, the spa here, which is directed by Nadine Shelf, is one of the city’s largest; travel agents must call the spa directly for bookings (212-903-3910).

Insider Secret: The hotel’s hidden open-air Pen-Top Bar & Terrace is ideal for a romantic rendez-vous.

Formerly the head aesthetician at The Peninsula, New York, Cornelia Zicu has just opened her own spacious luxury spa, Cornelia Day Resort (663 Fifth Avenue; 212871-3050), just blocks away. Butler service is available at the spa, and Cornelia’s $500 facials are already legendary. She also offers a 10% commission to agents who book clients for $500 or more in facial and body treatments rendered in a single day.

The Ritz-Carlton, Central Park (www.ritzcarlton.com) is increasing the size of eight of its Parkview Suites and will add another eight Premier Suites to its room inventory by the end of February. Contact Jodi Saiki (jodi.saiki@ritzcarlton.com), director of travel industry sales, or General Manager Rick Evanich for special arrangements. Sandra Sadowski, (Sandra.sadowski@ritzcarlton.com) oversees the lavish La Prairie spa, which has six treatment rooms.