Few cities are more romantic than New York, thanks to its luxury accommodations, world-class restaurants and famous theaters. Here are some tips to help you live like a very affluent local on your next trip.
One of our favorite hotels is The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, located right at the southern tip of its namesake park, which is perhaps the city’s most romantic destination. Here, the hotel can organize posh picnics (with champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, a custom five-course meal, a waterproof fleece blanket, an Insider’s Guide to Central Park and, of course, a Frisbee and kite), horse and carriage rides (or if you’d prefer, you can get up close and feed the horses), and tours of any of the museums on Museum Mile, all nearby. Want to skip the culture tour? World-class shopping is also steps away.
Susanne Carter ([email protected]), chef concierge, can organize an urban adventure that suits your tastes; she can also, of course, find highly sought-after Broadway tickets or a table at the city’s top restaurants.
We say The Ritz-Carlton’s Royal Suite is a great option for couples. Located on the 22nd floor and spread over 1,980 square feet, the suite overlooks Central Park. If that’s taken, the Central Park Suite has 1,900-square-foot of space, two living rooms and 13 large windows for park viewing.
Hint: City View Suites, City View Guest Rooms and Deluxe Guest Rooms are the categories that do not have Central Park views. All guestrooms, however, have double vanities and separate bathtubs.
Central Park Suite of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
Should couples want a spa treatment after a long day exploring the park or the city, book them an in-room couple’s massage. We recommend the Ultimate White Caviar Illuminating Facial. This 90-minute treatment helps keep the skin firm, hydrated and illuminated. Also included in the package are hand and feet massages. The La Prairie Spa (the only such spa in the Northeast) has six treatment rooms and requires one to two weeks’ notice for bookings.
As for dining, the Afternoon Tea in the Star Lounge is not to be missed. It’s available daily from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and offerings change seasonally. Tip: The hotel even has its own signature tea inspired by Central Park. The other dining option at the hotel is Auden Bistro & Bar. The best seats are the banquets located by the windows overlooking Sixth Avenue. To get these seats (and to be safe, for any other), book at least one to two weeks in advance through Iwona Luksza ([email protected]), assistant director of food and beverage.
Note: The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park is entering its busy season, which lasts from October through early January. It is especially busy during Thanksgiving, when the hotel offers a great vantage point for viewing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s recommended to book six months in advance during this time.
Five blocks away is one of the city’s oldest hotels and the first of its brand: The St. Regis New York.
The hotel, built in 1904 by John Jacob Astor, has 171 guestrooms and 67 suites. The Presidential Suite has a large foyer, a formal dining room, living room, a wood-paneled library, three bedrooms, four full baths and floor-to-ceiling windows with Fifth Avenue, 55th Street and Central Park views. Good to know: The Master Suite has a dressing room, spa-style bathroom, Jacuzzi tub and a private sitting area. However, the most suitable accommodation for couples is the Royal Suite. It has one king bedroom, a separate living area, a formal dining room and Italian marble bathrooms with double sinks, deep-soaking tubs, a bidet, rain showers and mirrors with in-built HDTVs. Views from the suite are the same as the Presidential Suite. We love the gold-toned walls and silk drapery in the master bedroom.
The St. Regis New York’s Astor Court serves international cuisine.
All guests have access to the St. Regis’ signature 24-hour English-style butlers, the fitness center and spa. If advisors have any questions as to which room is best suited for their clients, speak with Ariel Frankel ([email protected]), marketing manager, or Katie Donald ([email protected]), director of sales.
The most difficult time to book a room is September through December due to the General Assembly of the United Nations, Fashion Week and the holiday season.
The concierge team at the hotel can book guest experiences or reservations that include, but are not limited to, visits to Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Bryant Park.
Guests can experience the immediate area in style through the hotel’s in-house Bentley, available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To match, there is also a Bentley Suite, which was designed in collaboration with Bentley Motors. Other themed suites include the Tiffany Suite and Dior Suite. This winter, event designer Rebecca Gardner will transform the Cognac Room into a “Babes in Playland”-themed pop-up of her one-of-a-kind retail experience, Sugar Plum.
There are two dining options at The St. Regis: Astor Court and the King Cole Bar, the birthplace of the Red Snapper (the original Bloody Mary cocktail). We’re personally not huge fans of Bloody Marys but loved this variety when we tried it.
The Presidential Suite at St. Regis New York has three bedrooms, a large foyer, a formal dining room and a separate living room.
Top Tip: Be sure to reserve Table 55 at the King Cole Bar; it’s one of the most exclusive in New York. Only guests who reserve Table 55 will have access to a menu of rare whiskeys, vintage wines and exclusive craft cocktails. This table may be reserved nightly starting at 5 p.m. with a reservation fee of $2,500 minimum spend. Reservations should be made 48 hours in advance.
Chef Concierge Maria Wittorp-DeJonge ([email protected]) is available to help book any bespoke experience you have in mind. We recommend signing up for private sabrage lessons — what better way to open a bottle of bubbly to kick off the anniversary celebrations?
We’re told The St. Regis New York is seeing increasingly younger and more international travelers, but the hotel remains a popular option for extended stays or a relaxing weekend getaway.
The Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown opened last year as the company’s second New York City hotel. The 189-room, 82-story building is the tallest in Downtown Manhattan, and there are an additional 157 private residences available as well.
Due to its proximity to Wall Street and the World Trade Center, the hotel sees many business travelers during the week, but couples flock in during the weekends. And generally, their stay begins with a surprise: it might be champagne, roses, a cake, or something new — the hotel likes to change it up and keep it secret. If you have a suggestion for your clients, reach out to General Manager Peter Humig ([email protected]), although we’re told Sales Manager Liana Kraushaar ([email protected]) is a better point of contact.
Four Seasons New York Downtown has 189 rooms and suites.
As the hotel put it, “This is New York: we have every type of activity that anyone can think of. Whatever you can dream up, we can organize it.” Suggestions include helicopter rides and sailing excursions. Other options include the Oculus, which contains Westfield World Trade shopping center, and One World Observatory. For couples looking for a local bite, they can try Nobu, Marc Forgione, ABC Kitchen, Tutto Il Giorno or BlackTail, a couple-oriented cocktail bar. For dessert, the Four Seasons says guests must try the gelato from Amorino Gelato.
At the hotel, couples should opt for either the Tribeca Suites or Gotham Suites with terraces. The former is a true one-room that spans 1,220 square feet with a dining room table, heated floors and in-mirror TVs in the bathroom; the latter has the feel of a residential apartment with two 40-square-foot terraces.
The 82-story Four Seasons New York Downtown is the tallest building in Downtown Manhattan.
Note: All rooms have bathtubs; suite category rooms include double vanities; only the Royal Suite has a fireplace and butler service. This top-floor accommodation is 2,400 square feet and comes with early check-in and late check-out, a custom welcome amenity, limousine or helicopter transfer from local airports, complimentary private bar, two 80-minute massages and confirmed access to CUT by Wolfgang Puck, the hotel’s signature restaurant.
Hint: The Wagyu beef is the specialty, and for couples looking for a private dinner, there is a private room in the back they should request. Book a week in advance through [email protected], or 646-880-1995; the manager here is Louis Smeby.
The 6,000-square-foot spa has seven treatment rooms, including a couple’s treatment room; we hear the Luxury Green Caviar Facial by Dr. Burgener from Switzerland is the most popular option. It’s advised to book treatments as early as possible, although a week is usually sufficient. To contact the spa, e-mail [email protected], or call 646-880-1990; Tara Cruz is the spa director and can arrange for spa treatments to be provided in guestrooms and suites.