An Insider's Guide To NYC | SLMan

An Insider's Guide To NYC

Nicky Kelvin, head of The Points Guy UK, is a man you can count on for travel recommendations. With the US set to start taking British visitors again next month, we asked Nicky to share his tips for a long weekend in New York City. From his favourite hotels and restaurants to the hidden gems you need to know about, here’s what to add to your itinerary when the time comes…
Photography CLAY BANKS; FILIP MISHEVSKI/ UNSPLASH
CLAY BANKS; FILIP MISHEVSKI/ UNSPLASH

WHERE TO STAY

Highline Hotel

Originally built as student housing, the Highline Hotel is a peaceful sanctuary in Chelsea. I love using one of the complimentary Shinola bicycles to ride along the Hudson River Greenway and finishing the evening with a cocktail in the front garden.  

Visit TheHighlineHotel.com

Kimpton Hotel Eventi

Kimpton Hotel Eventi is another strong Chelsea option. Because Kimpton is the sociable and playful brand within the InterContinental group, there’s a secret password that unlocks free goodies and upgrades in every hotel, as well as wine nights to join and other fun quirks.

Visit HotelEventi.com

1Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

It’s all about Brooklyn for me these days. Right on the waterfront by the Brooklyn Bridge, this is a beautiful property built with sustainability in mind. While modern and artistic, it’s also designed to blend into the surrounding nature. The result is some amazing scenery – and a rooftop bar with spectacular views.

Visit MrAndMrsSmith.com 

Hotel 50 Bowery

This is a fantastic spot with very reasonable rates. Even the basic rooms are not as small as in some mid-range NYC hotels and I love the location right by Chinatown, the Lower East Side and the Manhattan Bridge. There’s solid space for remote working in the hotel and a fun rooftop bar. It’s a Hyatt property so you can also earn and burn Hyatt points during your stay.

Visit Hyatt.com 

WHERE TO EAT

Russ & Daughters

Russ & Daughters Café on Orchard Street serves up traditional Jewish fare. I can’t resist the lox and cream cheese bagel.

Visit RussAndDaughtersCafe.com

Taverna Kyclades

I always try and swing by this place in the East Village on 1st Avenue for incredible Greek food in a relaxed low-key atmosphere. Order the grilled octopus – you won’t regret it.

Visit TavernaKyclades.com

Tavern On The Green

If you’ve got the weather to dine al fresco, there’s no better place to do it than Central Park’s iconic Tavern on the Green. Sitting outside, looking up at the stars, it’s easy to forget you’re in the middle of Manhattan.

Visit TavernOnTheGreen.com

Lilia

If you’re lucky enough to get a reservation, it’s worth the trip to Williamsburg to dine in the renovated auto body-shop that is Lilia. It does some of the very best Italian food in NYC, and that’s saying something.

Visit LiliaNewYork.com

WHERE TO GO OUT

Cecconi's Dumbo

Grab a table outside at Cecconi's in Dumbo for amazing views of the NYC skyline while sipping a negroni.

Visit CecconisDumbo.com

Death & Co

Death & Co is a must-visit. A speakeasy bar with just a few tables, it can be hard to get in but is worth the wait; their cocktail list is long and super creative. They literally wrote the book that helped define the craft cocktail movement.

Visit DeathAndCompany.com

Apothéke

This speakeasy in Chinatown serve incredible cocktails with the occasional live music performance.
 
Visit ApothekeMixology.com

Maison Premiere

Maison Premiere in Williamsburg is the go-to spot for oysters and absinthe – quite the combo.

Visit MaisonPremiere.com

The Campbell

Tucked away above Grand Central, this hidden gem of a lounge is the restored private office of American financier John W. Campbell. Order John Campbell’s Martini and get lost in the history.

Visit TheCampbellNYC.com

WHERE TO SHOP

Saturdays NYC

Saturdays NYC has its flagship store on Crosby Street in Soho. You can shop its stuff online, but I always find awesome items in store that you don’t see anywhere else. At the back of the store, there’s an outdoor terrace where you can drink a top-notch coffee from the in-house café.

Visit SaturdaysNYC.com

Strand Book Store

A trip to NYC isn’t complete without a visit to Strand Book Store. Founded in 1927, this reader’s paradise carries over 2.5m new and used books. Make sure to explore the rare book room on the third floor.

Visit StrandBooks.com

John Varvatos

I always try to stop by John Varvatos on Bowery at the former home of legendary punk music club CBGB. The store still hosts rock gigs, known as Bowery Live. Shop the clothing collection as well as vintage and contemporary vinyl records for sample listening and purchase.

Visit JohnVarvatos.com

WHAT TO DO

FILIP MISHEVSKI/ UNSPLASH
Soho, NYC

Soho

SoHo is my favourite neighbourhood for lazy strolling on cobbled streets and weekend shopping. Look out for If, one of Soho’s first fashion boutiques and a favourite of artists like Warhol and Basquiat. Don’t miss Schott NYC for the best leather jackets.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

You can’t beat a day at The Met. Not just for what’s on display, but also for the building itself and its Central Park location. After losing yourself in the art collection, I like to walk through the park to the Loeb Boathouse and grab a drink with a view of the rowboats.

Visit MetMuseum.org

MARTIN OLSSON/ UNSPLASH
CLAY BANKS/ UNSPLASH

Hudson Yards

See the city from new heights at The Edge at Hudson Yards. This new development is full of interesting things to see, do and taste. The Shed is an amazing moveable structure that functions as a gallery, performing arts space and much more. There are also loads of high-end luxury brands like Dior and Fendi, alongside more affordable options such as Uniqlo and Zara. A great food scene includes the first New York outpost for world-famous chef José Andrés.

Visit HudsonYardsNewYork.com

Elizabeth Street Garden

Elizabeth Street Garden is tucked away in Nolita amid many delicious restaurants and bakeries, independent flagship stores and unique small businesses. It’s a peaceful reprieve from the bustle that overflows from Soho to Nolita, and it’s home to both big and small community moments – Selkie just hosted its fashion week show here.

Visit ThePointsGuy.co.uk

*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice and entry requirements to the US before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information.

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