With the weather cooling down and summer Fridays a thing of the past, many of us are starting to find ourselves itching for some respite from our day-to-day after the hustle and bustle of summer. Because outside was open, okay?! Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour (and Drake’s concert), day parties, trips to the beach, and everything in between, this summer was one to remember — but likely left many of us drained and ready to settle down this fall/winter.
For New Yorkers in particular (especially post-NYFW), there is often no better form of therapy than a staycation– especially at this time of year. It’s an opportunity to retreat, mentally regroup for the last quarter and rediscover the magic that makes locals and visitors alike fall in love with this vibrant metropolis.
So while hoards of city dwellers start thinking of their end of summer and end of year travel (because for a lot of the fashion girlies, the end of NYFW marks the end of summer) to beaches and bustling southern cities, consider rewarding yourself with an urban staycation instead (or do both!).
Although it’s one of the most sought after destinations in the world, many New York natives (and transplants — including myself) haven’t even fully explored the depths of this city, and it’s time to change that. Trust me –you will find yourself falling in love with the Big Apple all over again.
First things first, the accommodations: In the heart of Manhattan’s historic Times Square neighborhood, The W Hotel is a constant reminder of why it’s hard not to love the New York hotel ‘scene’ — it’s around the corner from Lagos, the new(ish) yet popular upscale West-African fusion restaurant and lounge, as well as a plethora of restaurants, bars and attractions. A brand that is as consistent as it is stylish and hip, the W Times Square is perfect for blocking the bustle outside, but is situated in close proximity to everything New York has to offer.
Despite how much you’ll love the room and hotel, take some time to actually explore — because it is New York city afterall. If you take a walk down the surrounding blocks (or even venture to Meatpacking, Nomad or Midtown, you’ll see streets and buildings filled with shops, restaurants and more.
Post-NYFW, a visit to Clean Market‘s beautiful NoHo space will be the first stop on your staycation itinerary. What better way to relax than to experience a full body detox and lymphatic drainage massage customized specifically to your personal wellness needs.
Next up, you’ll want to refuel and brunch at Popular will do just the trick. The Peruvian restaurant within PUBLIC Hotel is the perfect go-to for locals and newcomers looking for the perfect al fresco dining experience with an expansive open-air terrace inspired by Tuileries Garden in Paris and the Gardens of Italy. Upon entering, you feel like you’ve been transported to Europe. The menu features signature favorites like the Popular Cheeseburger, topped with caramelized onions, blue cheese, mushroom jam, served alongside fries, as well as the Popular Fried Chicken served with Vermont maple syrup, pickled shallots, jalapenos, also served alongside fries.
Hear me out — NYC actually has attractions that you’ll want to do, and The Edge is one of them. Set high above Hudson Yards, The Edge is one of New York City’s most exciting adventures, where you’ll get to ride the elevator 100 stories into the sky, then step out in the open air onto a vast viewing platform, the center of which has a giant glass floor!
The next day it’s time to head to the islands — GITANO ISLAND — that is. A spectacular, waterfront restaurant and beach lounge set in a 27,000-square-foot palm tree jungle with twin wood dining pergolas, beach cabanas and sweeping city views, you’ll still get to enjoy some beautiful weather and island vibes for a few more months. Just a 5 minute ferry ride from downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, this tropical oasis of lush greenery and bohemian brio will bring New Yorkers to the lush tropical jungle of the Yucatan and white sand beaches of Tulum ever leaving New York City.
Malaysian and Michelin Star? It sounds like a match made in foodie heaven, and definitely an experience you’ll want to try. The first concept from the Fungi Hospitality group, Laut is a modern Malaysian restaurant in the heart of New York City’s vibrant Union Square. As one of the first Malaysian restaurants to be awarded a Michelin Star in the city, Laut is dedicated to bringing the best assortment of recipes, dishes, and flavors from South East Asia to its guests. The restaurant’s name, “Laut,” translates to “Sea” in Bahasa Melayu, reflecting the importance of the seas and straits of these coastal cities in South East Asia’s history.
Last, but certainly not least, a trip to New York City isn’t complete until you take this incredible Harbor Lights Cruise. Departing just as the sun sets, watch the skyline come alive at night.