Skip the holiday hustle at the airport and enjoy a (mostly) stress-free staycation in New York City. From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade to ice skating in Rockefeller Center, the Big Apple is magical during winter.
So, turn on your “out of office” notification and try a seasonal renewal right in the city.
If you’re feeling too cool for Manhattan, head to this Brooklyn address for a little getaway. The highlight of the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel in any season is the gorgeous, 15,000-square-foot Vale Park. As winter weather creeps in, the attraction transforms with a skating rink that proves perfect for seasonal selfies.
After practicing your pirouettes, head for chef Andrew Carmellini’s two delicious dining venues. Warm up with drinks at Westlight before digging into pizza (we love the OG, which has crisp pepperoni) and wonderful Southern Italian dips (get the sheep’s milk ricotta with hot honey and garlic) at Leuca.
All rooms here have balconies, but we suggest splurging on a Gotham Corner Suite with a wraparound balcony that offers expansive, unobstructed looks at the Manhattan skyline. Your Instagram feed will thank us.
Enjoy some well-deserved self-care with your crew when you book the Girlfriends’ Getaway package at this fabulous Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star classic.
Toast with mimosas upon arrival and prepare to get all dolled up with in-room blowouts and makeup applications by NOMI Beauty — splurge on elite versions of both services to receive a complimentary faux lash application or collagen skincare treatment. Commemorate your trip with a 30-minute professional photo shoot.
Take that makeover on the town and head nearby to swanky Ophelia, a 1920s-themed rooftop lounge offering sweeping 360-degree views of the East River. Enjoy creative cocktails — try the smoky Ophelia’s Ascension made with Jamaican-pepper-infused mezcal, bourbon, Sri Lanka palm sugar and cedar smoke — and attentive service at this impressive (and, surprisingly, not overcrowded) hot spot frequented by locals.
Walker Hotel Greenwich Village
If you’ve ever dreamed of calling New York’s famous “Village” home, book a stay at this charming bohemian find. This gem is passionate about its love for New York, naming rooms after city streets (Hudson, Bedford) and having old-school subway-tiled bathrooms and local nods like bath products from C.O. Bigelow, the Big Apple’s oldest-surviving apothecary.
Even the dining program is an ode to New York — chef Manuel Gonzalez-Charles and pastry chef Lady Ashton collaborate closely with nearby legendary Union Square Greenmarket to bring the farm-to-table concept to new heights. Browse the goods for yourself before savoring the fresh bounty in dinner dishes like Market Risotto (basil pesto, lemon confit, Parmesan cheese) or brunch staples like a fluffy omelet with caramelized onions, Gruyère and beech mushrooms.
For a central location between Bryant Park and the ever-popular Theater District (and far enough away from the chaos of Times Square), this Four-Star boutique beauty fits the bill.
While rooms are on the cozier side, they more than make up for it with character, marrying an industrial feel with a contemporary-chic style. Dinner at Charlie Palmer Steak is worth the trip alone, but the Empire State Building views and classic cocktail menu at Spyglass, the hotel’s 22nd-floor rooftop lounge, are a must.
Celebrate the season with a visit to Bank of America Winter Village just down the street at Bryant Park. Go ice skating on the city’s only free rink, get a head start on your holiday shopping at more than 170 pop-up shops and warm up with tipples and s’mores at The Lodge by Urbanspace.
Live the high life when you check into this modern Four-Star hotel housed in a historic clock tower. This minimalist jewel from nightlife guru Ian Schrager keeps the guest room décor sleek and simple, letting those spectacular Madison Square Park vistas shine.
Get your fill of Big Apple landscapes when you book the Dine like a Clockstar package, which includes complimentary breakfast overlooking the iconic green space and a $75 credit toward lunch or dinner at acclaimed The Clocktower restaurant helmed by renowned British chef Jason Atherton. Don’t forget to save room for pear pie for the table — the decadent dessert comes with brandy caramel and a rich brown butter ice cream.
One of the city’s newest luxury hotels, this October-opened beauty is a must-visit in the city. The nearly all-suite skyscraper’s Midtown location makes it a convenient home base from which to explore the city, especially in the winter. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, browse the legendary window displays at Saks Fifth Avenue and pick up stocking stuffers for little ones at FAO Schwarz.
Speaking of the storied toy store, make your little one’s sugar plum dreams come true with Conrad New York Midtown’s FAO Schwarz Holiday Suite. The festive package includes a spacious accommodation stuffed with larger-than-life toys, breakfast for four, a $100 gift card to the joyful retailer and a private shopping tour with a life-size toy soldier as your guide.
Join well-heeled clientele and celebrities alike by checking into this storied Five-Star stay.
Featuring designer digs imagined by legendary architect I.M. Pei, the property is an art lover’s dream, especially when you pair your getaway with the hotel’s curated Museum Mile VIPs tour. Part of Four Seasons’ recently debuted Take Your Time cultural offerings, the full-day stroll consists of private viewings of Upper East Side mainstays like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.
Between galleries, visit The Met’s chic restaurant The Dining Room, which began a collaboration with celebrity chef John Fraser earlier this year. We recommend stopping by for brunch and ordering the ricotta toast topped with tomato jam, market peaches and chocolate mint.
This Four-Star Park Avenue retreat oozes Old Hollywood glam, from the art-deco light fixtures and sea foam-green furnishings to the black-and-white marble bathrooms.
But the high-end hideaway takes on an extra elegant feel this winter when a Bloomindale’s pop-up shop takes over the lobby from November 29 to December 24. Feel good about squeezing in some holiday shopping — expect seasonally themed jewelry and monogrammed leather goods — by rounding up your purchase at checkout and having the extra change donated to local nonprofit Child Mind Institute.
After your shopping spree, head to The Regency Bar & Grill for a special treat: creamy pumpkin cheesecake from celebrity chef Tom Colicchio’s popular Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery.
Checking into this glamorous Four-Star hotel is like stepping into an Upper East Side townhouse. The property’s unique boutique vibe starts in the lobby, where a bold, black-and-white-striped floor complements colorful pop art on the walls.
But for an ultra-luxe staycation, book the stylish stay’s The Mark Holiday Penthouse Spectacular. An ideal family escape, the package includes Penthouse digs with access to your own private skating rink followed by a four-course feast by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s The Mark Restaurant. A family photo shoot, en suite Nutcracker performance and an after-hours shopping spree at Bergdorf Goodman (plus other perks) round out the exclusive experience.