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city guide: NEW YORK

The Debonair guide to New York takes you to the places where you can experience the high life in the Big Apple

There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless. ~ Simone de Beauvoir

The City That Never Sleeps has it all. Watching The Knicks at Madison Square Garden. World-famous pieces at MoMA. Long strolls across the sprawling Central Park in green summer bloom, orange-tinged autumn and white wonderland in winter. And of course that view from atop the Empire Atate building: It’s time you embraced a New York state of mind.

A topographical monument on the American map and a must-see place the global consciousness demands to interact with at least once in its lifetime, New York inspires a conflation of such disparate drives and desires from poetry to the power-hungry capitalism of Wall Street, that it is of no surprise that everyone wants to take a juicy bite out of the Big Apple.

Our city guide will take you to the places you need to stay, eat, and drink and the things you need to see while you’re visiting the heartbeat of modern America.

There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless. ~ Simone de Beauvoir


The Whitby

18 W 56th Street, New York, NY 10019


Set in the heart of upper Midtown Manhattan on West 56th Street at 5th Avenue and just a couple of blocks from Central Park, the design-centric hotel is surrounded by some of New York’s leading galleries, museums and restaurants as well as international designer shopping and world-class department stores. Broadway is also just a short walk away. With a distinctive design at the helm, it’s brought an oasis of colour, curiosity and calm to the district. We particularly love the design of The Whitby Bar, a rich, colourful and airy room with high ceilings, an impressive 30ft pewter bar and beautifully upholstered banquettes. 

The Whitby Hotel has 86 bedrooms and suites over 16 floors, each designed by Firmdale Hotels owner and design director Kit Kemp, in her award-winning contemporary English style. Each room has its own bold colour scheme and floor-to-ceiling windows. Bathrooms are beautifully designed in granite or marble, complete with double basins, walk-in shower and RikRak luxury bath products. All suites have a free standing bath. The hotel’s top floor is dedicated to the spectacular Whitby Suite, with two master bedrooms, a spacious drawing room and two terraces.


The Whitby Hotel is a celebration of contemporary art and design. There are 86 individually designed bedrooms and suites, each with floor-to-ceiling windows, many with a private terrace and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Interiors, designed by Kit Kemp, acclaimed for her individual and unique way of arranging spaces, are striking and unlike anything else in NYC. There is also The Whitby Bar and Restaurant, a beautiful Orangery, a book-lined Drawing Room and a leafy terrace.


Phone: +1 212 586 5656


Home to everything from cool and quirky to the mysterious and Michelin starred, New York has something to satisfy even the fussiest eaters.


With locations as close as Dubai and far-flung as Bangkok and Miami, Zuma’s globetrotting influences play out in both appearance and its menu. The brainchild of chef Rainer Becker, the 100-seat eatery is centred around the informal Japanese style of izakaya dining. As always, a highlight is the black cod, marinated in saikyo miso with wasabi citrus sauce. 


Voted one of NYC’s best restaurants and conceptualised by chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara, NoMad is known for its laid-back vibe and fabulous food. Inspired by chef Daniel’s time in Switzerland, California and New York, the restaurant is rooted in the same traditions found at his three Michelin-starred restaurant, Eleven Madison Park. The menu is refined and the drinks innovative; the seared scallops with razor clams, spring onion and snap peas is a winner. 

Waverley Inn

Established in 1920, The Waverly Inn was redesigned and reopened by Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter in 2006. Tucked into the ground floors of two adjoining townhouses, the menu features American classics alongside contemporary seasonal dishes — the truffle mac n’ cheese is possibly the best we’ve had.  


Mandarin Oriental 

80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street, New York 10023


Offering a spectacular view of the city and situated at Columbus Circle — the point from which all distances to and from Manhattan are measured — the hotel stands at a cornerstone of Central Park and serves as the perfect meeting point, bridging East and West, North and South. Stay here and enjoy the most stunning setting with boastful views of Manhattan. The hotel is located more than 280ft above ground level with a contemporary design and modern elements that pay homage to its New York location.


A fusion of modern design with stylish Oriental flair, it features 244 elegant rooms and suites that offer user-friendly, state-of-the-art in-room communications and entertainment systems. Other highlights include Asiate, the hotel’s vibrant restaurant, serving contemporary American cuisine with artistic touches, The Aviary NYC, an innovative bar and speakeasy concept and a fitness centre with a 75ft lap pool.  In addition, the hotel provides services to The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, New York — 64 luxury apartments that are an integral part of the development.


Phone: + 1 (212) 805 8800


A city of many talents, New York really knows how to make, serve and sell a drink.

Bar SixtyFive by Rainbow Room

This may seem slightly touristy but the view is worth it. Since opening one year after the end of Prohibition in 1934, the Rainbow Room has significantly influenced American cocktail culture. Located on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Centre, this celebrated spot serves great drinks and food alongside incredible views. And it’s definitely better and no more expensive than paying $40 to ride an elevator to the top of the Rock.

Employees Only

This was one of the city’s first (not-so-secret) super-popular NYC speakeasies and has become a favourite among insiders, thanks to its kitchen that stays open until 3:30am. Coming to market in 2004 thanks to five industry friends, Employees Only serves flawlessly executed cocktails and delicious food. Come here to enjoy a beautiful space without pretence. 

Smith & Mills

One of the smallest restaurants in the city, Smith & Mills is a place where soft lights complement aging materials, from walls wrapped in moulded plaster to a bar and doors fabricated from centuries-old wood. A former horse stable redone by Parts & Labor, the drinks are of the “stirred, not shaken” variety and the food is all about sharing — the oysters match the mix of beverages down to a tee. 


1Hotel Central Park

1414 Avenue of the Americas (at 58th Street) New York, NY 10019


A natural sanctuary in the middle of Manhattan, this is the ultimate retreat from the city. Rooms feature organic cotton mattresses and sheets, custom bath products with natural ingredients, extended window benches, plus the latest fitness accessories and equipment. Conservation is front and centre with water filters in all taps, sinks and showers, while green solvents are used for all cleaning needs. Guests also have access to the hotel’s Tesla for complimentary rides within a 15-block radius.


Set in an 18-storey building, the hotel has 229 rooms and suites, a communal working space, 24-hour fitness centre, and a three-storey exterior living green wall. A pet friendly space, the hotel is designed to bring the outside in with natural and organic materials plus an abundance of plants. A highlight of the hotel is Jam, helmed by critically acclaimed chef Jonathan Waxman, a 100-seat restaurant and bar offering local and seasonal cuisine showcasing market-fresh, local and organic ingredients and purveyors. 


Phone: +1.212.703.2001 

Where to explore

The Big Apple metropolis is a must-explore for those who love culture, history, adventure and experiences. If you’re short on time, these options will give you a well-rounded grasp of the city.  

The Highline

NYC’s elevated park includes an abundance of things to do, art shows and more. This area of the city has been a part of the island since 1934 and, in 2009, the 2-mile-long stroll was transformed into what is now considered one of the most unique parks in New York — complete with wildflowers and outdoor art installations plus amazing views of
the skyline.

Sleep No More

An award-winning theatrical experience that tells Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy Macbeth through a film noir lens, Sleep No More is an experience in the city like no other. An interactive play that takes you through a six-storey house, follow the actors (or your instincts) as you navigate through the ’60s setup. 


The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art is one of the finest galleries in America (and by far the largest) with a collection of permanent exhibitions alongside numerous temporary ones. A current highlight includes ‘Painted in Mexico’, which focuses on the vitality and inventiveness of artists in 18th century New Spain. Entry is free but donations are encouraged. 

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