New York City is one of my favorite cities in the world; the crowds, world-class restaurants and chic boutiques make it an incomparable destination to visit. Much as I love it, the fast-paced nature can wear me down. And when it does, I unwind and reboot at one of the city’s many luxurious spas. I just returned from a fabulous couple of days at the Holiday Gift Guide Media Event in NYC and was reminded of some of my favorite hot spots for shopping, hotels, restaurants and, of course, spas. Enjoy!
Where to stay:
My favorite hotel in New York is the Ritz-Carlton Central Park, which has sweeping views looking north onto Central Park. The peaceful rooms are outfitted with the softest linens and beautiful furniture and are void of the incessant honking that can seem inescapable down on the street. I also love that the hotel is located right in midtown, which puts me in close, walking distance to my favorite shopping and restaurants. While the rooms can be pricey, the hotel does offer special rates. Be sure to check their website often for deals.
Where to shop:
The iconic Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue is a must-see. The luxurious department store was a favorite shopping spot for Sex and the City’s main character, Carrie Bradshaw, and she often popped in to pick up a pair of Christian Louboutin stilettos when they went on sale. Keep your eyes open if you make the trip to Bergdorfs as you never know who you may see shopping there.
One spot I am sure never to miss is Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side, just north of the Ritz. Madison Avenue is a shopper’s dream. The wide avenue is teeming with top-tier clothing and jewelry designers such as Gucci and Cartier. In between visits to my favorite boutiques, I make my way over to Rockefeller Center to eat at Brasserie Ruhlmann’s outdoor café. It is the perfect place for people watching while enjoying a glass of fine wine and exquisite food. Try the apple turnover; you have never tried a delicacy such as this.
If a quieter shopping experience is more your style, Manhattan’s NoLita neighborhood boasts a number of low-key, one-of-kind boutiques such as Calypso St. Barth, a unique brand inspired by a love for world travel.
Where to eat:
Whether you’re in NYC for leisure or business, Maialino in the trendy Gramercy Park Hotel is the perfect place for a delicious Italian-style breakfast. I love the house-made pastries—especially the olive oil muffin and brioche—the ricotta pancakes with jam and egg white frittatas with an espresso.
After a shopping spree at Barney’s, Rouge Tomate is the perfect place to grab lunch. The Michelin-rated eatery favors seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and prepares its dishes with the help of a culinary nutritionist.
Before returning to The Ritz to unwind, I love to stop by the bar at Marea for dinner. Marea is known for its fresh, seasonal fish and shellfish, which I enjoy with a glass of crisp white wine.
Where to relax:
If you’re staying at The Ritz, do not miss La Prairie, located right inside the hotel. La Prairie is one of the finest luxury spas in the world and offers a variety of skin care and massage treatments. I always go for the rejuvenating Travel Therapy package that includes a Swedish, deep tissue or aromatherapy massage plus the spa’s signature facial.
O’Live Organic Spa is the perfect place to indulge the mind and body in an environmentally-friendly environment. All of the lotions, creams and oils at O’Live are super nourishing and eco-friendly. Try the Phyto-Greens Facial in which fresh pulp from apples and grapes calm and restore skin’s moisture with the help of organic greens and rosehips.
Take a trip to The Peninsula Spa on Fifth Avenue and you will forget that you are in NYC. The Spa is at once serene and luxurious and combines ancient and modern techniques to create ultra-therapeutic spa experiences. I love to indulge in the Salt and Oil Scrub, which combines sea salts and essential oils to slough off dead skin and restore its vitality. The scrub is the perfect way to prepare for one of the Peninsula’s holistic massages, which range from tension relief to pre-natal massages for mothers-to-be. One of the best kept secrets in New York is The Peninsula’s rooftop pool. The glass-enclosed oasis features a sophisticated look and boasts stunning views of the city.
Rose Retreat Botanic Bath Salt
My last tip: Don’t forget to pack your Rosé Retreat Botanic Bath Salt and an Oh-So-Citrus Soy Candle Tin so that you can transform your hotel room (wherever you stay) into a luxurious and relaxing sanctuary.