City Escape: New York City

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Get pampered at the Trump SoHo.

New York City, 5 Ways

Whatever your travel personality, find a hotel to match.

Settle in at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park South.
Sample the 17 new food-themed shops in the Plaza Food Hall.

By David Hochman

1. Style Seekers
Who doesn’t like a Big Apple bargain? Especially when The Donald himself is kicking in the discount. Every guest checking into the 391-room Trump SoHo receives a shopping card featuring exclusive offers at neighborhood stores, including Diane von Furstenberg, Bloomingdale’s SoHo, and Ivanka Trump’s jewelry shop—all just steps away.

  • Out of the closet: Hunt for vintage Chanel at überchic thrift shop What Goes Around Comes Around. 351 W. Broadway; 212/343-1225.
  • Be seen scene: Andreas Oberoi, Trump SoHo’s general manager, recommends the terrace at Cipriani Downtown for great people-watching during lunch. 376 W. Broadway; 212/343-0999.
2. Gourmets
Its history, reputation, and location make for a lot to live up to, but still The Plaza continues to dazzle. The 282-room hotel’s Plaza Food Hall, run by Todd English of the Figs and Olives empire, recently unveiled a $3 million expansion, and 17 new food-themed shops opened in April, including La Maison du Chocolat, Sant Ambroeus desserts, Luke’s Lobster, and Sushi of Gari. Poor Eloise will need to hit the treadmill.
  • Where to sit: In the revamped food hall, find a spot at the 21-seat Carrara-marble pasta bar, presided over by executive chef Michael Suppa.
  • Black-and-white case: Few confections are more New York than the black-and-white cookie, and nobody does them better than William Greenberg, whose shop just opened in the hall.
3. Families
The shortest distance between two points is definitely the happiest one for families visiting Manhattan. The 259-room Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park South is so close to so many iconic attractions, there’s really no need for the in-room telescopes provided for kids to peer at the birds and horses in the park across the street. FAO Schwarz is four minutes away on foot, not counting time dancing across the “walking piano” Tom Hanks played there in Big.
  • Call of the wild: A newer add-on to the legendary Central Park Zoo, Tisch Children’s Zoo is particularly suitable for younger kids.
  • Sweet tooth: The Ritz-Carlton is within stroller distance of Dylan’s Candy Bar, home to more than 5,000 sugary treats, sundaes and milkshakes, and candy-inspired spa products and adult drinks (such as the Strawberry Nerds Mojito). 1011 Third Avenue; 646/735-0078.

4. Romantics
Many are the ways to sigh away the hours together at the Mandarin Oriental, New York: jasmine tea in the 35th-floor lobby lounge, laps in the 75-foot pool overlooking the Hudson, Thomas Keller’s Per Se restaurant a mere elevator ride away. The hotel also offers the city’s first-of-its-kind VIP Spa Suite (with fireplace) in the 14,500-square-foot spa, and its 248 guest rooms, particularly the roomier 00- and 16-series suites, float cloudlike over Central Park.

  • Date tip: Skip the overpriced, cliché carriage rides and hop on the Central Park Carousel instead.
  • Concierge’s pick: A cozy dinner for two at La Boîte en Bois (“The Wooden Box”), discreetly tucked away on a tree-lined street. 75 W. 68th Street; 212/874-2705.
5. Art & Culture Fans
Situated in a famous old Stanford White-designed building formerly known as the Lambs Club to Great White Way types like Fred Astaire, the 76-room Chatwal is the only true luxury hotel in the Theater District. With a kitchen run by chef Geoffrey Zakarian (Le Cirque, ‘21’ Club) and more charming turns than a Cole Porter tune—behold the Kashwére robes and rain-shower baths—it’s a Broadway memory in the making.
  • Added perk: Hotel guests score preferred access with ticket brokers through the Chatwal’s concierge desk.
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, March 2012.