6 Romantic Things to Do in New York
Featured destinations: New York
Published 27 March 2017
Paris may be the stereotypical city of love, but if there was prize for second place I’d award it to New York. Whether for a birthday, proposal, honeymoon or anniversary, New York oozes with possibilities for romance. I recently celebrated a milestone birthday in New York and was bowled over by how charming the city was. And at any budget; I spent my birthday enjoying a US$15 boat ride in Central Park followed by a lavish lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
To create that special moment, here are my recommendations for making your next trip to New York romantic.
Stay in 5-star luxury
Where you stay in New York can truly make or break a holiday. We’ve all experienced, or at least heard of, those infamously tiny Times Square hotel rooms which are barely comfortable let alone romantic. So to make your visit to the Big Apple truly special, you’ve got to stay in truly special hotel. Below are just some of our favourite 5-star hotel recommendations. Our USA Experts can add these hotels to your tailor-made USA holiday, or offer you more hand-picked suggestions.
- The Langham, 5 Avenue in Midtown
- The Surrey, 30 East 76Street, Upper East
- The Gansvoort Park Avenue, 420 Park Avenue, Midtown
Dine in a Michelin-starred Restaurant
Nothing says ‘special celebration’ like a lavish and indulgent meal. For such an occasion, New York has plenty of options to offer, but for something that extra bit special you can’t beat a Michelin-starred restaurant. If you’re a foodie you’ll know these vigorously reviewed restaurants offer more than just great food. They are experiences in themselves where service is impeccable, ingredients are unique and the food presentation is akin to a work of art. A perfect experience to mark such a special occasion.
Some of the city’s best restaurants include:
- Eleven Madison Park: a three Michelin-starred contemporary American restaurant located in the Flatiron District
- Le Bernardin: a three Michelin-starred seafood restaurant located near Times Square
- Café Boulud: a one Michelin-starred French restaurant at The Surrey on the Upper East Side
- L’Appart : a one Michelin-starred French restaurant in Le District in downtown New York
Top tip: if you’re on a budget, opt to dine at lunch instead of dinner. Often the lunch time tasting menus are up to half the price they are at dinner.
Go for brunch at the Rainbow Room
Located on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Plaza, the Rainbow Room features the lavish Bar Sixty Five, a private dining room and of course, incredible views of Manhattan. Harking back to the 1930s, the legendary Rainbow Room dining room still maintains its vintage glamour complete with glass chandeliers, grand piano and a revolving dance floor. It’s iconic style and million-dollar views mean it’s continuously booked out for weddings of the rich and famous, as well as private celebrity events – everyone from Joan Crawford to Barbara Streisand and Lady Gaga have been here.
The only time the private dining room is open to the public is on Sundays for a very decadent brunch. Far from your typical buffet brunch, the Rainbow Room features a range of breakfast stations specialising in everything from benedicts to omelettes, Greek yoghurt parfaits and even a bacon bar offering six types of bacon. To accompany the incredible food and view, a live jazz band plays while the revolving dance floor is put into action. Isn’t it romantic?
Drink Champagne at the top of the One World Trade Centre
There a plenty of romantic views to take in in New York but none are higher than at the top of the One World Trade Centre in downtown New York. Featuring 104 stories and reaching 546m high, the building features an observation deck on the 100th floor that offers 360 degree views of New York covering Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey and the Statue of Liberty.
To put an even more romantic twist on the experience, I recommend visiting in the afternoon at sunset and opting for the Your City Lights, Champagne Nights ticket which includes entry into the One World Observatory as well as a glass of Champagne at One Mix, the onsite bar located on level 101.
Enjoy a romantic boat ride in Central Park
New York’s sprawling green space of Central Park is one of the city’s most romantic spots at the best of times. Over the years it’s played as the setting to countless proposals and romantic gestures in both real life and in movies such as You’ve Got Mail to Serendipity. To up the romance levels even more, you can’t beat a row boat ride around the lake in Central Park.
Located adjacent to East 75th Street, the Loeb Boathouse offers a fleet of 100 rowboats are available for rent from 10am till sundown for USD$15 an hour. The lake features a number of bridges to sail under, as well as fantastic views of the park and Upper West Side.
A winter alternative: Too cold to go rowing? You could always go ice skating instead. Central Park’s Wollman Rink runs seasonally and is located nearby the 59th and 6th avenue entrance.
Toast with a rare drink at Rarities, Lotte New York Palace Hotel
If you’re looking to toast to a special occasion and not just any glass will do, you’ll love the drinks menu at Rarities, one of the world’s most exclusive hotel bars. Located within Lotte New York Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue, this intimate and decadent saloon features a collection of the world’s rarest spirits, wines and cigars. On the unique menu you’ll find everything from pre-prohibition bottled spirits to one-of-a-kind wines, many of which you can peruse via the bar’s impressive glass displays.
Entry to Rarities is only available by reservation or membership. To arrange your visit, talk to your Expert.