Gramercy, United States
Some New York residents crave a Birkin on their arm, some court-side seats at the Barclays Center or a front-row bike at SoulCycle, but the most coveted city status symbol is a key to Gramercy Park – only a handful exist, those that do are bestowed on the lucky residents of the brownstones surrounding it. The rarefied, fenced-off patch of trimmed lawns, blossoming trees and ‘watch the world go by’ benches sits amid the bustle of the Gramercy district, just a few blocks from NoMad and the East Village. The neighbourhood has a village-y feel, and a vibrant dining and nightlife scene; although it’s likely you’ll head further afield to party. People who’ve already seen the big city and bright lights and want to feel more at home stay here, and – it so happens – Smith stay Gramercy Park Hotel holds one of those holy grail keys…
When to go
You have access to an outdoor spot that even native New Yorkers struggle to enter – if you don't spend summer in the city you'll be deeply disappointed.
PlanesJFK and Newark airports are between 25–35 minutes away by car (allow for traffic at busy times).
TrainsGrand Central Station is a five-minute drive down Park Avenue. From here, you'll be able to board Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) services to other destinations all over the USA. Penn Station is around the same distance – jump on the Long Island Rail Road (www.lirr.org) to escape to the Hamptons.
AutomobilesFrom JFK, take the Van Wyck Expressway then the Long Island Expressway, before heading over towards Murray Hill in Manhattan on the Queens Midtown Expressway.