The thoroughly British Firmdale Hotels first crossed the pond in 2009 to open the Crosby Street Hotel in Soho (their second NYC hotel, The Whitby, opened in 2017). Almost a decade later, the hotel, which sits off Soho’s main shopping thoroughfare, still feels like a fresh face, thanks in part to Firmdale’s design director Kit Kemp and her never-boring mix of patterns and prints. Each of the 86 rooms has floor-to-ceiling windows letting in natural light, charming fabric-covered headboards and original artwork. 

Splurging for a deluxe one-bedroom suite on the upper floors will get you not just more space and more design elements to copy for your own home, but also jaw-dropping views of downtown. The Crosby Bar is a cosy place to take in a meal or afternoon tea (especially during the winter months) while the back patio during spring and summer is an idyllic respite from the city hustle.

The Park Hyatt New York, located in Midtown across from Carnegie Hall and a block from Central Park, wowed even the most jaded of hotel observers when it opened in 2014, largely because of its gorgeous rooms (designed by Yabu Pushelberg) and its distinctive ribbon facade architecture (envisioned by Christian doe Portzamparc.) Yet this being Park Hyatt, Hyatt’s top-tier luxury brand, the high-end touches don’t stop there. A personal attendant will greet guests at the entrance and whisk them up to the second floor lounge to do the check-in process.

The 210 guest rooms and suites start at a spacious 500sq ft, and have both rainfall showers and deep-soaking tubs as well Rivolta Carmignani linens, the use of iPad minis and Nespresso machines. A treatment room at the hotel’s Spa Nalai will most likely overlook Central Park while views of the Hudson River can be glimpsed from the spa’s reception area. Guests who opt to do laps in the large indoor swimming pool will be treated to music from Carnegie Hall via underwater speakers

The ITC Grand Central has a palatial feel, modelled on the architectural styles of the British Raj in India. Marble floors, plush carpets and gold touches throughout provide an elegant vibe, while nods to the city’s heritage are evident in its architectural features and artworks. Spot a replica of the Rajabai Clock Tower in the courtyard between the main hotel and the restaurant, and note the old photographs and drawings of Colaba in the lobby and hallways.

Located at the top of Time Warner Center, this hotel is a 2-minute walk from Central Park. It features a 75-foot indoor pool and offers rooms with panoramic views of Manhattan.

Every room at Mandarin Oriental, New York features floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests can enjoy the 55-inch flat-screen TV. A mini-bar is included and a chocolate and bottle of water are provided each day.

The Mandarin Oriental, New York offers a full-service spa with a sauna and massage rooms. The spa features a Tea Lounge where guests can relax before or after treatment. The hotel also provides an on-site fitness center. New York City tourist information and ticket services are also available.

Restaurant Asiate, located on site, serves contemporary cuisine and has wall-to-wall views of Manhattan. The Aviary NYC bar from Chef Grant Achatz, provides an interactive journey for guests, where inventive cocktails and small food plates complement the experience. Adjacent to The Aviary NYC, The Office NYC, a speakeasy-style bar, offers classically-inspired food and cocktails.

The small scale, quiet, and personalized feeling makes it worth the lack of extras.

How did it strike you on arrival?

The Lowell is anything but flashy, tucked away on a quiet side street on the Upper East Side. And once inside, you’ll find an art- and antique-filled oasis, with nooks perfect for sinking into plush sofas and chairs while having a glass of wine by the fireplace.

The smallest rooms here are still a spacious 400 square feet, and all are designed by President Obama’s White House decorator Michael S. Smith. The color scheme is one of soft neutrals and pale blue, which complements the polished oak floors and wood burning fireplaces.

Featuring Baccarat crystals in every room, the Baccarat Hotel and Residences is located in New York. Guests can relish in the intricate architecture and design features while enjoying the indoor pool, fitness center and on-site French restaurant. Free WiFi access is available.

Each room at the hotel is furnished with contemporary Parisian décor and offers a flat-screen TV, sofa and desk. Private bathrooms include a hairdryer, free toiletries, slippers and a bathrobe. An iron, coffee machine and safety deposit box are also provided.

A 24-hour front desk welcomes guests to New York’s Baccarat Hotel and Residences, which provides a personal host with every reservation. Additional amenities offered at the hotel include a spa and wellness center, laundry and concierge services.

The hotel is 100 m from Museum of Modern Art, 200 m from St Patrick’s Cathedral and 200 m from Radio City Music Hall. Newark Liberty International Airport is 12 mi away.

The luxury Italian brand is well known in Europe for its extremely soft cashmere pieces. This is the first US flagship for the label, which uses the natural fibers of Mongolian goat wool to create its threads. Shop the line of skirts, blazers, jumpers and T-shirts, and take a peek at the store’s “cashmere museum,” which explores how Falconeri wool is sourced and features it in its raw state.

This chic, eco-conscious clothing brand has been a staple of the downtown shopping scene since launching in 2011. With this boutique, Reformation heads uptown—bringing along its signature slip dresses, cutesy prints and frocks made from sustainably sourced fabrics. The 3,000-square-foot space also houses the brand’s bridal line.

Fans of this men’s footwear brand include actor Ryan Reynolds and former NBA star Dwyane Wade (who is also an investor in the company). At this flagship, the first brick-and-mortar entry for the Utah-based brand, you’ll find stylish and affordable boots, handmade in Spain and Portugal. The inviting store features vintage and rugged furniture pieces meant to evoke a living room atmosphere.

This brand specializes in products for the design-conscious outdoorsman. Think handcrafted leather briefcases, clever camp gear, hunting knives and axes, and handmade sweaters. The location carries all the goods its Manhattan counterpart does, plus furniture from Soma. You’ll also find limited-edition specialty items.