DTK is starting 2019 strong! With the design savvy & health-conscious reader in mind, we’ve curated a plethora of vibrant bars worth visiting, hotels nothing short of astonishing, delectable dishes worth feasting on, spas to rejuvenate one’s senses, and the most spectacular vistas and streets worth exploring. Welcome to New York City.

By: Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

There are very few cities as innovative, driven, and as high-energy as NYC. Always on the cutting edge of arts and fashion and with a culinary scene that can rival the best, the city’s frenetic streetscape and world-class amenities have been a tourist magnet. Its relentless pace, neon marquees, and goosebump-inducing museums are legendary. However, new top draws appear year-round. Here are a few of our new favourite hangouts, whether you are a local or a leisure traveller.

 

Gallow Green, just off the Highline, offers exquisite fare and its rooftop is simply one of the best in New York City.

 

As soon as you get off the plane…

A comfortable pair of shoes is the gateway to enjoying Manhattan to its fullest. The High Line offers great vistas over the Meatpacking District and the Hudson River – perfect to catch some rays on a sunny day and to escape from the hectic daily life. The elevated walking platform is dotted with sculptures and various art projects, shrubs, and flowers. The infamous Zaha Hadid’s newest glassy tower in Chelsea is assuredly not to be missed. Hint: Sting rents a 30M condo there, Ariana Grande calls it home, and a slew of other high-profile celebrities are regularly seen entering and exiting the novel glass structure… Sit on a bench and revel in people-watching!

Too crowded? Get off and seize the opportunity to peruse some of the best art galleries located nearby in Chelsea.

 

If you’re in need of a good pampering sesh…

The Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa at Loews Regency Hotel offers anti-aging bespoke facials (the glycolic acid peel and the NaturaBissé moisturizing mask left our skin seriously flawless) by the city’s top practitioners, along with blowouts, manicures, etc. It’s one of the best addresses on Park Avenue (its clientele includes politicians, fashion designers, and elegantly dressed women) but also one of the most professional ones in the city. Outstanding service from attentive staff equipped with earpieces, thus ensuring customers’ appointment timeliness and efficiency, elevated the experience to a perfect 10.

 

Or perhaps something a little more leisurely….

On our way to a 50-minute massage we ran into two Real Housewives of New York City alums – Bethenny Frankel and Carole Radziwill – how ironic! The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown has only been opened for 2 years, yet flocks of celebrities and basketball players are drawn to its expert massage therapists, first-class amenities (such as opulent locker rooms where you can freshen up with every toiletry imaginable), and a discreet lounge where you can relax afterwards. Each of the seven treatment rooms located in this haven of serenity boasts the latest technology, and to top it off, they have on display a selection of natural beauty products. Nestled between a lattice of travertine floors and stone-clad columns, the lap pool is nothing short of breathtaking. Last but not least, they also have a few resident healers! Without a doubt, The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown sets the standard in terms of luxury wellness experiences.

Do like the locals, and explore Brookfield Place in the Winter Garden in the heart of the Financial District. Why? Because it’s truly breathtaking. Think palm trees, a glass ceiling, and a vast array of high-end fashion houses such as Hermès, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, etc. Plus, it’s a great way to ditch the crowds of 5th and Madison Avenue.

 

So much room for activities….

Save for its obvious world-renowned attractions, where do we even begin, since most neighbourhoods host a jumble of places and things to see? It might be hard to choose between a Broadway premiere, for some, or between the Delacroix retrospective and Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again, for others. Should you intend to go museum hopping, make sure to get your hands on a CityPass. It’s essentially a prepaid, discounted ticket booklet which gives you access to the most popular attractions New York has to offer.

 

The Brooklyn Botanical garden is full of formal and informal gardens and full of exquisite gems.

 

Many of you have visited the Big Apple numerous times already, however, very few are properly acquainted with the (truly) grandiose splendours of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens! While living the day like a true local, we escaped to the enchanting and formal gardens for a welcome respite from the typical NYC hustle and bustle. Opened in 1910, its Japanese garden, palm trees, manicured grounds, and greenhouses make for mesmerizing pictures… Hint: it’s unrivaled in the spring, with the cherry blossoms as a backdrop. It makes for a wintry delight, as well. This spot is both iconic and easily accessible by subway.

For something novel: pay a visit to the Empire State Building after midnight. Dreamy cityscapes and a unique take on the Manhattan skyline await, as the street lights twinkle in the distance… Very few are aware that the iconic landmark’s open-air observatory is open until 2 am every night.

 

Cherry Blossoms at their peak are a must at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in the spring.

 

If you get tired of exploring…

In need of some quality respite in the heart of the city that never sleeps? Sirens, buoyant streets, enthusiastic honking- not every hotel offers noise cancelling windows.

Looking for a stylish boutique hotel or something conducive to luxury and quality? Turns out that the spanking new James Hotel New York – NoMad has it all. With its skyscrapers as a sexy backdrop, this 337-room boutique hotel is a great new addition to the urban scene. A minute’s walk from a subway station and three blocks away from Madison Square Park, the warm & contemporary sumptuous hotel guarantees total serenity in such a bustling part of town. Is it the exquisite dining (the newly opened Scarpetta, yes the infamous high-end gem that was first launched in the Meatpacking district by celebrity chef Scott Conant), the first class staff who go the extra mile to fulfill your every wish and greets you by name, the total quietness that reigns supreme in the elegant room, the blackout shades that make one wonder whether it’s day or night, the mid-century furniture and stylish gold minibar, the incredible location and its sultry speakeasy with live performances, or The Seville, where Justin Timberlake has been spotted there a few nights in a row? It doesn’t take long to realize that this is no ordinary NYC hotel. A hit with smartly-dressed crowds, it’s sophisticated yet makes everyone feel welcome. Rooms run from $155-$1,000 per night.

For a mesmerizing night out and an interactive experience you are not about to forget (our fav outing/show/activity of 2018, so mark our words, and just trust us here!): Sleep no More. Think of a super dark hotel circa 1939, live music, and a sensually charged interactive play. The atmosphere is akin to a film noirand the play is based on William Shakespeare’s Macbeth (and also contains some references to the 1697 Paisley witch trials). Ooof – Say no more! In other words: Sleep no More reminds us of Eyes Wide Shut on steroids. Passer-by’s are donning a mask, evolving to a mysterious soundtrack, and going from room to room, without being allowed to say a single word. The show is seamless, unforgettable, hot, and sexy. Attendants can make their own adventure, cocktail in hand. Exhilarating. Immersive plays are all the rage in high-income American cities such as LA and San Francisco. Dark, sultry, intriguing, the award-winning Sleep no More is bound to set pulses racing.  Tickets range from $9.50-$300 per person.

 

Sightseeing makes us hungry…

Dining out and eating is what the Big Apple does best.

 

This carnal and over-the-top mouthwatering crudité bowl is worth every bite and penny, at Gallow Green.

 

Lunch:

This wonderful discovery also doubles as a romantic outing: Yellow Magnolia Café. Vegetable-centric, farm-to-table fare, this full-menu “café” set in the heart of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is anything but mundane. With delectable textures, sensational plating, and strong flavours, this hidden gem is in an iconic setting. It’s easy on the wallet as well, for such a world-class metropolis. It’s gluten-free friendly, with sustainably-sourced meat and fish to boot.

 

Pre-dinner drinks, mid-day rosé, dinner on a rooftop by a hot summer night:

This one has it all: Gallow Green.  This rooftop lounge offers the most scrumptious veggie bowl we have ever seen, offers prime views over the High Line, and is way more than just about chic cocktails. Including floral arches and sunken booths on a terrace, we’ve rarely come across such a lovely rooftop garden – it’s simply outstanding. Make sure to order the Gallow Green crudité bowl for the best IG shot in town ($28). Magnificent, the foodie destination also turns into a lodge during the cold season.

 

Late night, indie:

Tokyo Record Bar is nestled in Air’s Champagne Parlor basement, (another one of our faves for a romantic night out!). This newcomer is already making waves. The 16-seat joint boasts one of the coolest vibes in Greenwich Village, cherry blossom ceilings, a $50 izakaya menu, meticulously curated sake, and inventive cocktails. The lucky diners get to choose their own songs from a vinyl playlist. It’s perfect for late-night dining and a fun night out. RSVPs are a must.

 

Veg-friendly:

by CHLOE offers some of the most scrumptious vegan treats in town. It’s super trendy and a celeb fave.

 

See-and-be-seen, scrumptious fare:

With an abiding connection to the product and some of the headiest dishes we’ve ever sampled (don’t get us started about the sexy décor), Scarpetta  could easily serve as the polestar for high-end Italian cuisine. A critically acclaimed team, a vibrant and trendy yet elegant space set in Midtown make this newcomer simply… outstanding.

 

A quirky yet chic cocktail destination Gallow Green is a roof lounge with green garden vibes.

 

Bold & trendy:

The Llama Inn proves that you haven’t fully experienced NYC until you experience Brooklyn, which has become a hub for natural wine lovers and gourmet-eaters on the lookout for the best new culinary sensation. This eatery offers a creative twist on small, roll-your-eyes-back-delicious Peruvian dishes and boasts plenty of vegetarian options to choose from. Sit at the chef’s table, sip on a pisco-based Latin drink, and let the talented brigade entertain you. The dainty sauce drizzled over the anticuchos (grilled skewers) makes for an obscenely good appetizer and the ceviche and its bold flavours will wake up your palate like never before.

 

For a chic mid-day break or lunch on the run:

Le District makes for a trendy yet convenient dining option (or divine post-shopping cocktails & nibbles). This is a massive, posh French food hall with several restaurants to choose from. Stock up on the freshest produce and sample the best ingredients all together.

 

Yellow Magnolia Cafe is part of Brooklyn’s artisanal food movement, a delectable farm-to-table destination.

 

Elevate your stay

Want to travel in style and ditch old, overbooked planes? We were recently tipped off by avid travellers that Porter Airlines offers free beer, wine, and snacks – but it is the beverages served in elegant glassware that got us raving (a rarity nowadays!), its sleek cabins, outfitted with leather seats, and the fact that there is plenty of leg room since there are no middle seats. Last but not least – it lands in Newark, NJ – an airport that offers free shuttle access to downtown Manhattan and is way less crowded than JFK or LaGuardia. Round-trip flights start from $145 per person – for that price, we have a hard time going back to no-frills crammed, old planes, and paper coffee cups…

Planning on visiting super swanky Long Island or spending the afternoon at Bedell Cellars, one of its best wineries? Do like New Yorkers do and hire a private chauffeur to take you around the Hamptons and sightseeing. Mark of Elegance Limousine Service is the epitome of white glove service, impeccable rides, attentive, and professional drivers. They offer NYC & winery tours but also custom itineraries.

 

Manhattan keeps rewriting itself daily. One thing is undeniable: from exhibits to historic enclaves to culinary newcomers, no one leaves NYC without stars in their eyes.

 

A must-see – the Highline. The elevated linear park will inaugurate a new overlook and public spaces in April 2019.

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