Saturday, March 20, 2010

New York Stories...

I have a love/hate relationship with New York City. I hated living there (too crowded, too loud, too cold, too much for me) but I love visiting. I love the luxury hotels in Manhattan as well as the amazing restaurants--not to mention, some of my favorite people in the world live there. I love that there are so many different neighborhoods to explore, and so many options for a luxury hotel junkie like me to check out.

On this particular trip, I chose to stay for two nights at three very different hotels. Keeping in mind that we have clients with a wide variety of style, budget & neighborhood preference, I started my week uptown at the newly redone Surrey Hotel before heading down to the Meatpacking district (which didn't exist as a tourist zone when I lived in NYC. There I spent two nights at the members-only Soho House (which many don't know is also a hotel!) then crossed the street for a stay at the equally cool Gansevoort Hotel.

Loved The Surrey for its elegant uptown charm. The vintage-inspired, grey and white (with touches of black( decor is a refreshing change from your typical five-star hotel, and the unique furnishings, intimate ambience, and Duxiana beds makes it a winner in my book. The proximity to Central Park and Madison Avenue shopping are other selling points, as is the room service by Daniel Boulud.

Just as I was falling in love with The Surrey, it was time to head to the opposite end of the city for my SoHo House stay. Gotta tell you, I liked it equally as much--for totally different reasons. The personality of the small property rivals the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Lounge (which I love). Cowshed spa products and the dresser drawer filled with "minibar" items ranging from guidebooks to accessories to stationary offer much more than your typical bathroom experience + drink/snack set up. Platform beds, a red tub & quirky furnishings add to the fun ambience. Best part about staying here though, is the entree to the hip, members-only Bar/Lounge/Club, where free WiFi is a given and the atmosphere is perfect for everything from breakfast meetings to late-night cocktails.

For those who want to experience the happening Meatpacking district location but prefer a slightly different style of hotel than SoHo House can't go wrong at The Gansevoort. It's steps awway from Pastis (my fave bfast & late night dinner spot), has its own Exhale Spa (with yoga classes) on site, as well as a rooftop pool & one of the most popular night spots (Plunge) in town. Not to mention, I loved my Grand Deluxe room (pictured) with its oversized corner window nook that was a great spot to people watch & check out who's wearing what (as in, do I need an umbrella and/or rain boots). Overall, the chic decor is cool without being cold. The staff was super friendly and the location truly ideal for a "new to downtown" type like me, as the shops of 14th streets, the food & flower-filled Chelsea Market and area restaurants like Spice Market, Fig & Olive & The Standard Grill were all within a two minute walk.

For more information or to book your next NYC trip, contact us at 310.979.9036 or via email stacy@elitetravelinternational.com.

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