From a new skyscraper hotel and Michelin-starred food tour to an exhibition of rarely seen paintings by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, New York never ceases to thrill with new experiences, places to stay, dine and drink. Armed with a New York CityPASS, which includes free admission to many of New York’s top attractions and a seven-day subway pass for $33, you can do a remarkable amount and make new discoveries along the way.
New hotels in Manhattan
Chic boutique hotel Modern Haus in Soho is a design marvel, with 114 unique rooms and suites. Each room features a carefully thought-out color palette, reclaimed wood floors, custom furnishings plus unique sculptures and paintings by artists such as George Condo, Jean Dubuffet and Hans Hofmann. The top suite is the 1,315 square foot penthouse, overlooking the Freedom Tower and the East River. Key to comfort in all rooms are Le Labo toiletries and Frette high thread count cotton bedding. If you’d like to take some of this luxury home with you, the hotel has a shop selling hoodies, caps, bathrobes, slippers, toiletries and candles.
Food and beverage options are excellent, from all-day dining options, Jumpin Jacks, on the second floor, to Chef George Mendes’ sophisticated Veranda restaurant, and for great sunset views and great cocktails, the rooftop pool bar , Jimmy. Modern Haus does not have a spa, but does partner with AIRE Ancient Baths, five minutes from the hotel. Housed in a textile factory from 1883, six thermal pools with different temperatures, a jet pool and a salt water pool offer a truly relaxing experience.
New to Midtown is the Ritz-Carlton New York NoMad, near Madison Square Park. The 50-story building, designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, has 219 luxurious rooms, including 31 suites. The top Ritz-Carlton Suite is spectacular. Spanning 2,100 square feet with stunning 360-degree views, the suite features a private wellness area, separate living and dining areas, a media room, and a huge walk-in closet.
All rooms and suites feature 400 thread count Frette linens, while the terrazzo marble bathrooms feature luxury toiletries from French brand Diptyque. Below the lobby you will find a spa and a well-equipped gym. Food and drink offerings include the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge upstairs on the 36th floor, the chic Zaytinya with a Mediterranean mezze menu from award-winning chef José Andrés and Nubeluz, the newly opened rooftop bar on the 50th floor.
The bustling 446-room Hard Rock Hotel opened on Music Row earlier this year, paying homage to the recording studios and music stores that once lined 48th Street. For music lovers, this hotel is a paradise with live music in all public areas and guests can enjoy Crosley record players and Fender guitars in their rooms. Music-inspired memorabilia can be found everywhere from a classic Joey Ramone leather biker jacket to a pair of silver patent leather boots worn by Lady Gaga.
The hotel’s flagship suite is the 150-square-foot luxury Rock Star Suite, a two-story penthouse with an open-plan living and dining area, wet bar, private terrace and direct VIP access to the RT60 rooftop bar and lounge . Food and drink is on the 34th floor RT60 Rooftop bar and lounge with great views. Downstairs is an excellent steakhouse, NYY Steak, while Sessions offers fresh seasonal dishes in a musical setting.
New restaurants and culinary tours
Visit New York City’s top restaurants, including hard-to-reserve Michelin-starred ones, on a decadent food tour of the Flatiron neighborhood with Avital. A three-course Michelin experience visits three top restaurants steeped in history and fascinating anecdotes from exuberant guide Sophie Brubaker. A food and culture tour with Avital offers an outstanding fine dining experience in the Flatiron area, including hard-to-reserve restaurants such as vibrant Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse Cote, Red Snapper ceviche at Italian seafood specialist Scampi, finished with Cioccolato paired with Vintage port at Fifth Avenue favorite Ai Fiori. All three are excellent, but the star of the tour was Chef David Shim and Simon Kim’s hot spot Cote, an inspired combination of a classic steakhouse and a Korean table barbecue spot. The menu features USDA Prime and Japanese and American wagyu cuts and delicious side dishes such as egg soufflé and kimchi stew.
Themed historical walking and foodie tours from Devour Tours are brilliant. While Little Italy may have the name recognition, many Italian immigrants in Manhattan over the years have called Greenwich Village home. The tour provides a comprehensive insight into the Italian history and culture that have shaped the area, with stops for tastings at nine family-run eateries in Greenwich Village. Meet the owner of a local pasta shop and see the pasta machine her family has used for over a century. Discover the birthplace of New York’s first cappuccino and. enjoy a slice of what has been rated New York’s best pizza.
Arva at the new Aman hotel Arva, led by chef Dario Ossola, pays homage to the rustic, raccolto’s kitchen tradition (harvest kitchen) while most ingredients are sourced locally, in partnership with initiatives such as Grow NYC and Our Harvest, which together represent more than 750 farmers and 100 farmers’ markets in and around New York City. Fulton Fish Market offers the seafood.
James Beard Award-winning chef José Andrés oversees dining at the Ritz-Carlton Nomad, including the bustling ground-floor Zaytinya, which serves a delicious mezze menu inspired by Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisine.
This year’s flagship New York exhibition has been extended to January 1, 2023 due to popular demand. Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure, a brilliant show of unseen works by the late great artist, opened this spring and has been extended due to popular demand. Organized by the artist’s family, this carefully curated exhibition showcases more than 200 never-before-seen and rarely-seen paintings, drawings, music, film and ephemera, telling the story of Jean-Michel from an intimate perspective, his artistic endeavors intertwined with his personal life, influences and the times in which he lived.
Art lovers can also use a New York Citypass to skip the lines at major museums such as the Guggenheim and MOMA. Current major shows are from painter Alex Katz and photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. The photography museum Fotografiska New York is also a must, with its current exhibition of works by David LaChapelle.
Uptown, there’s a glamorous new jazz club in the basement of the Aman Hotel with the same sound system as at Lincoln Center. Enter this glamorous speakeasy through a discreet staff entrance at the side of the hotel. The current owner of hip West Village club Fat Cat (now called Cellar Dog) oversees The Jazz Club at the Aman. In the same area is the small Japanese restaurant Tomi, where you will probably have to queue, but inside they host excellent live jazz every night.
Head downtown to Cellar Dog in the West Village and some of the best jazz clubs in the world. Arthur’s Tavern, one of the oldest, opened in 1937 and has been thrilling jazz aficionados ever since with top live jazz and blues music from the likes of Charlie Parker and Roy Hargrove. Small’s, a small basement bar, is just great. It is a true labor of love, on a small budget, with emerging talents and international acts. Small’s, along with nearby Mezzrow’s, is run by jazz pianist Spike Wilner, who keeps the entrance fee affordable for avid jazz fans. Also essential for jazz lovers is the legendary Village Vanguard where many of the greats have performed and recorded albums, including John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon and Wynton Marsalis.