7 Luxurious Experiences in New York Worth the Splurge
An avid Italophile, Laura is always on the hunt for the next great travel trends, luxury hotels, best places to eat and drink, and hidden gems. Her writing has appeared in dozens of publications. She also co-wrote "New York: Hidden Bars and Restaurants," an award-winning guide to the city's speakeasy scene.
Check into the Mark Hotel
In a city where every hotel seems to out-luxe the other, one stands out from the rest. The Mark Hotel, on the Upper East Side, is a bastion of class, with a chic design by Jacques Grange featuring graphic black-and-white striped marble floors in the lobby, a restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, a swanky cocktail bar, a Frédéric Fekkai salon, serene rooms, and a private sailboat for spins around the Hudson River and New York Harbor. For the ultimate power move, splurge on the 12,000 square-foot Penthouse Suite. With five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a massive living room, two wet bars, and a spacious terrace overlooking Central Park, it's the largest hotel suite in America—and all of it can be yours for a cool $75,000 per night.
Schedule a Shopping Spree at Bergdorf Goodman
After dropping your bags, hop into the Mark’s adorable pedicab bound for Bergdorf Goodman, Fifth Avenue's most venerable shopping mecca. Here, you'll find a curated selection from fashion's biggest luxury labels including Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent. Unlike Bloomingdale’s and Barney’s, Bergdorf only has one location—on the site of a former Vanderbilt mansion—and is so legendary that it became the subject of a documentary called Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, which features commentary by Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, and more fashion royalty. Bonus: Mark Hotel guests are granted 24/7 access to the store, so if you want to go before it opens, you can.
Lunch at Eleven Madison Park
After a morning of shopping, surely you’ll need some sustenance. What better place to wine and dine in this city than Eleven Madison Park? Though it fell to number four on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list this year, the temple to gastronomy is still ranked as the best restaurant in North America (and a facelift in 2017 renewed its shine). Charismatic co-owner Will Guidara is the host with the most, while Chef/owner Daniel Humm serves a sublime ten-course tasting menu that fuses classic French techniques with New York flavors and flair.
Take a Helicopter Tour
After an epic lunch, get ready to see the city from new heights—literally. Take a cab or an Uber downtown to the launch pad for Liberty Helicopter Tours. Flights range from 12 to 20 minutes and can accommodate up to five people (excluding the pilot). Don’t forget your camera—you’ll want to shoot plenty of photos as you soar above the Hudson River, pass by the Statue of Liberty, and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city’s most famous landmarks. For the ultimate afternoon, you can even combine your helicopter tour with a harbor cruise, which takes in the skyline from the water's perspective.
See a Broadway Show
If you can’t get tickets to “Hamilton,” don’t fret. There are plenty of other great shows running on Broadway, and attending a play is one of the most quintessential New York things you can do. Aside from Lin-Manuel Miranda's smash-hit, the most popular shows right now are “Dear Evan Hansen,” which won six Tony Awards including Best Musical, “The Lion King,” “Frozen,” and “Aladdin”—not to mention the highly anticipated adaptation of “King Kong,” which arrived on Broadway last month. The reviews are mixed, but that might just be even more reason to see it and judge for yourself.
Enjoy a Late Dinner at Le Coucou
After the show, head downtown to grab a bite at Le Coucou, which finally earned a coveted Michelin star in the guide’s newest edition. Since it opened in Soho in 2016, the chic restaurant designed by Roman and Williams has been one of New York’s hottest tables. Chef Daniel Rose puts his experience at the helm of Spring in Paris to good use here, turning out French classics like pike quenelles, dover sole, and chicken with foie gras.
Cap the Night Off at Attaboy
If you still have enough energy for a night cap, it's worth the ten-minute walk east from Le Coucou to grab a stool at Attaboy. The legendary speakeasy is a favorite among New York’s top bartenders, who often head here when their own bars close for the night. Located in the former Milk & Honey space, Attaboy was founded by two of legendary bartender Sasha Petraske’s protégés, Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy. The tiny, seating-room-only bar is barely the size of a subway car, but its bartenders have a repertoire of hundreds of cocktails. Don't worry about not finding a menu—just tell them what you like and they’ll shake up an expertly crafted drink.
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