The allure of New York is such that you just have to plan a trip to the City that never sleeps. Also known as the Big Apple and Gotham City, New York is the perfect luxury destination for leisure, fun, and entertainment. There is a lot to see and do in New York City, so don’t just plan a trip to go around Manhattan: sights and sounds abound in Brooklyn and Queens as well, together with great shopping, fine dining, and nights that are full of life.
A Brief History
New York started out as a trading post, established by Dutch colonists in 1624, and they called it New Amsterdam. The English seized control of the area in 1664 and renamed it New York after the Duke of York. In 1785, New York was made the capital of the United States of America, a position it held for 5 years before the title of national capital went to Washington DC in 1790. Probably the most identifying feature of New York is the Statue of Liberty, a sign of freedom that has stood in the New York harbour since it was dedicated in 1886, and has welcomed immigrants who came into the United States via the harbour, giving them a feeling of hope and freedom.
A Few Interesting Facts
New York City sits on one of the largest natural harbours in the world, and it is made up of five boroughs. A borough refers to an administrative division, like a parish or a county. Boroughs are usually found in English-speaking nations, and the five boroughs that makeup New York City are:
- The Bronx, and
- Staten Island
The largest of these by land mass is Queens, while the most populated is Brooklyn, with nearly 3 million people as of 2015.
New York is the major landing place for legal immigrants coming into the United States of America, and as such New York City has the largest population of foreign-born persons in the world. 800 languages are spoken in New York City alone, and it is the most culturally and linguistically diverse city in the entire world. Somehow, it would be difficult not to feel at home in New York.
It goes without saying the New York City, also called the City of New York, is the most populated city in the US, and it is the capital of the state of New York. New York City is a megacity, unique in its cultural, media, and financial influence, and it is also a trendsetter when it comes to sports, entertainment, politics, research, commerce, and, yes, tourism. New York is also the home of the United Nations headquarters, making it very significant when it comes to international diplomacy.
The USA is a democratic republic, and the governor of New York is Andrew Cuomo. Cynthia Nixon, star of the hit TV show Sex and the City, also hails from New York. Also, the show was filmed in New York City!
Life is so fast in New York City that the place has its own unique time, called the ‘New York minute’. So when you hear someone say, “I’ll be there in a New York minute”, they mean they will be there pretty fast.
Several companies offer luxury tour services: you can contact them and book with them via a mobile app or their website on the internet. These services usually include a personal photographer to go around with and taking pictures, a car to pick you from the airport and drive you around the city, a travel guide, and even helicopter rides, powerboat rides, wine tasting, jewellery shopping with a gem expert, and private picnics in the Central Park. Some of these activities are done for 30 minutes or 50 minutes to 2 hours, and prices range from INR5,295 to INR144,730.
Moving Around in the Big Apple
Plan your trip to tour New York City in style and comfort in your own private SUV. This private SUV tour includes a tour guide who is a native of New York, and you get to see Little Italy, Chinatown, Lower, Mid, and Upper Manhattan; the World Financial Centre, and the Strawberry Fields in Central Park. You will get to appreciate the architectural detail of The Cloisters, admire the Chrysler Building, and visit the sites of the famous TV show Seinfeld and the Sex in the City movies. A 3-hour tour costs INR36,536, and the 5-hour tour costs INR58,775. You can book for a morning, afternoon, or evening tour, but the evening tour only has the 3-hour option.
There are several other car services that you can pick one from, such as the New York Finest Luxury Car Service, and they will pick you from the airport to your hotel and drive you around, so you can experience New York in leisurely comfort and style. If you are feeling adventurous, pack a comfy pair of sneakers or trainers for walking. Some say New York is better experienced on foot, so it may be a good idea to take walking tours stroll drink in the sights. Or, you could rent a bicycle and ride around in the cycling-friendly city.
As part of the fun of being in New York City, you could also take a trip on the subway, at least once, to get the experience.
Experience New York City! – The Sights and The Feels
Gotham Dream Cars is a luxury service company that lets you drive some of the best luxury cars in the world for a couple of hours. They take you on a tour of the best roads to drive on, then let you have your pick of Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Aston Martins, and Ferraris to cruise on high speed.
The Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District is a sight to behold, both inside and out. After admiring the geometric lines and glass-panelling, go on inside and gaze at its exhibitions of modern, creative art, including its core collection that holds more than a whopping 21,000 pieces.
Get tickets for a boat cruise on the Circle Line Best of New York City, and experience three hours seeing Manhattan like you never have before, while enjoying refreshments on board and witty narration, which is live. Go the NYC ferry route and take a ferry ride to york city.
Staten Island. The ferry route is well travelled and you will meet a lot of people on it, from Hong Kong and the Middle East and everywhere else. If you want to see more of the US islands, you can book a flight from New York to the US Virgin Islands.
Make sure to take a walk in the Bronx and see what is the called the ‘other Little Italy’ in New York City. There are so many Italian restaurants, bakeries, and delis, but what you are looking for is Mario’s, which is 100 years old and renowned for its stuffed clams and almost innumerable veal dishes. It is recommended that you make a reservation before going to Mario’s.
The Guggenheim Museum is probably more famous for its architecture than the art pieces it has on display, and you can visit the museum for both. The Rockefeller Centre is also a must-visit, one of the historical landmarks in New York City in Midtown Manhattan. You won’t miss a beat going there for dining and shopping.
The Waldorf Astoria New York is home to the Guerlain Spa, a heavenly place of peace, privacy, and quiet. This haven is on the 19th floor of the legendary Art Deco hotel, and you are sure to be pampered well while you are there.
No tour of New York City is complete without visiting the historical landmarks, like climbing the Empire State Building, going into the Statue of Liberty, visiting Time Square at night, and going to Broadway during
NYC Broadway week. Don’t let the long queues for the 86th floor deter you at the Empire State Building: the scenic views at the top are worth the wait below. Visit large green spaces such as Central Park and
Prospect Park, and catch a major league baseball game (go New York Yankees!). Attend live music sessions and visit art museums, some of the best in North America. Don’t forget to go to Wall Street, the most famous financial district in the world!
Lake George is a town and a lake that is hidden up in the mountains of New York. This major tourist attraction would be a place you wouldn’t want to miss seeing, and you can get 3-star hotels to stay in when you get there. The official website for Lake George lists the attractions and activities, and you can check related links for other interesting information.
Experience Shopping Like Never Before
Alessi in SoHo sells designer objects that you may think you would never need until you see them. From designer toothbrushes to coffee pots designed by world-famous designers, Alessi accepts credit cards, in case the urge to buy Zaha Hadid’s vase comes upon you.
The high-end store that is Roman & Williams Guild sells luxury household items and has a chic cafe in the store where you can relax with a drink after shopping.
Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks in East Village is the place to shop for, well, cookbooks. The cookbooks in this store are special, however: there are all antique and out-of-print, so the chances of buying an exclusive first edition copy of a Julia Child cookbook here are very high. The likelihood of bumping into New York’s finest chefs in this store is also high.
Need something for your pup? Doggystyle NYC is a high-end store that sells doggy cashmere sweaters, tags, beds, leashes, feeding bowls, and even bags that are perfect for hiding what you pick up after your pet throws down.
Bird has three locations in Brooklyn and is totally eco-friendly. Jen Mankins owns Bird, and the shop in Williamsburg is also an art gallery. Bird sells clothes for both men and women and sells pieces by fashion designers such as Band of Outsiders and Alexander Wang.
The Tastes of New York City
Balthazar in SoHo is the child of top chef Keith McNally. Balthazar has an excellent wine list, a splendid breakfast, and a bakery: it is like you are eating in Paris but in New York. Reservations are a must if you want to dine in Balthazar.
Legacy Records in Chelsea is run by Ryan Hardy, who serves up delightful Italian seafood in a lovely building with Art Deco vibes. Ryan Hardy isn’t the only celebrity here though: Jeff Bell runs the cocktail bar, and multiple award-winner Arvid Rosengren commands the wine. Reservations are not essential but recommended.
Mexican cuisine doesn’t get any better than at Cosme, with top chef Enrique Olvera presiding over the food. High-end Mexican dishes such as tacos and duck carnitas are served here, and reservations are recommended.
Santina is just under the High Line, another must-visit place in New York, and a stroll away from the Whitney Museum. This chic restaurant is a slice of Italy in America, with beautiful plant-life covering the ceiling to the floor on the inside, and brightly coloured umbrellas and chairs on the outside. Enjoy such Italian classics like spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce with a glass of Aperol Spritz.
The Lower East Side offers an eclectic mix of restaurants and museums and shops, where you can go and eat traditional meals in places such as Katz’s and Russ & Daughters.
No New York food experience is complete without eating pizza. The Industry Kitchen is an elegant restaurant that offers a luxury pizza eating experience. The elegantly designed place is completely eco-friendly, and the professional chefs need at least 2 days’ notice to prepare you a wood-fired pizza that is garnished with some of the world’s best caviar, French truffles, and foie gras. For INR141,200 you can enjoy this luxurious feast, with an extra INR14,120 for the optional Almas caviar. Also, make a note of visiting the Flatiron District to check out its bars and varieties of food trucks for food and drink.
Experience New York City at Night
Make a reservation to visit Mezzrow in Greenwich Village for some jazz while eating charcuterie and sipping on Manhattans. Another reservation will get you into Le Poisson Rouge, where Aretha Franklin was discovered, and you listen to music, view art, and sip cocktails.
Recommendations are essential to get into Joe’s Pub, which is actually a place for music and performances: Alicia Keys and Leonard Cohen have performed here. The food is great, and you must try a cocktail called Frozen White Sangria, which contains white wine, strawberry, peach, and rum.
The Top of the Standard is at the top of the Standard Hotel in Chelsea, a place that enchants you with its luxurious interior, enchanting views, and a high-class nightlife experience.
The Best Hotels to Stay in New York City
There are several boutique and luxury hotels in New York City that ensure your comfort and cater to your every need, such as:
- The Whitby, which is right in the middle of Manhattan, offers luxury service that isn’t stuffy, in rooms colourfully designed with an eye towards art. Room prices start at INR42,007 a night. Its location is supremely ideal, as it is just blocks away from Central Park, Broadway, and The Rockefeller Centre. Shops like Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales are about two blocks from The Whitby, and top-rated restaurants such as Ma Peche and Nobu are just three blocks away.
- The St. Regis New York is a luxury hotel of great repute. The Theatre District and Times Square are just minutes away from the hotel, and fashion boutiques are but a stroll away. There is a gym if you are concerned about keeping fit after trying all those bagels, and the butler service is 24 hours. Room prices start at INR56,127 a night.
- The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park is a step into the past: you get to ride in a horse carriage in the park! The Ritz-Carlton boasts a La Prairie spa and an acclaimed restaurant that serves dishes fresh from the farm. Rooms start at INR50,479 a night.
Other luxury hotels include the Four Seasons Hotel, The Greenwich Hotel, The Mark, The Mercer, and Crosby Street Hotel. All boast luxury service, competent staff, and soft, comfortable beds to ensure you have a good night’s rest after a day on the town.
There is really no ‘best time’ to go to New York City: all-year-round this city is still magical, still alluring, and still with so much to offer to luxury travelers.