The nearest airport to the hotel is La Guardia, which has flights from most major US cities on airlines including United (www.unitedairlines.com) and British Airways (www.britishairways.com).
Penn Station, the hub for Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) and the Long Island Rail Road (www.lirr.org) is just a short walk from the hotel. Grand Central Station, where you can hop on the Metro North (www.mta.info) to Connecticut and beyond, is a short cab ride away.
New York can be a driver’s nightmare. If you arrive by car, stow it in a garage for the duration of the trip to avoid traffic and the near-impossible street parking. The hotel offers valet parking for $55 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
In the shadow of the Empire State Building, the Roger is an ideal starting point for an architectural tour of Manhattan. Head there early to beat the crowds and take the elevator straight to the top (+1 212 736 3100; esbnyc.com) to admire a bird’s-eye view of the city. Next, stroll down Madison to the wedge-shaped Flatiron Building, one of Manhattan’s tallest buildings when it was completed in 1902. Pause for lunch at the nearby Eisenberg’s Sandwiches on Fifth Avenue (+1 212 675 5096; www.eisenbergsnyc.com), a charming lunch counter with excellent egg-cream sodas.
This is also an excellent place to go shopping. Stroll straight up Madison Avenue to see some of the biggest names in fashion, from Armani to Yurman.
For an orgy of meat, head to The Cannibal on East 29th Street (+1 212 686 5480; www.thecannibalnyc.com). Order whipped lardo, house-made boudin noir or a slow-roasted half pig head on the back patio. Some of the most delicate and delicious filled pastas in the city are made at A Voce, a chic Italian restaurant on Madison Avenue (+1 212 545 8555; www.avocerestaurant.com). The menu also includes small-production Italian cheeses and excellent grilled fish. Manhattan gets a Texan twang at barbecue joint Blue Smoke (+1 212 447 7733 or www.bluesmoke.com), where the rib sampler, pulled pork, brisket and hush puppies could fool any expert from the Lone Star State. Pop into the restaurant’s Bake Shop for cupcakes, miniature pecan pies and red velvet cake. Diner could probably spend a month at Mario Batali’s massive Italian emporium Eataly without ever sampling the same thing twice (+1 212 229 2560; eatalyny.com). Eat pizza, pasta or sandwiches there, or bring home fresh fish, Italian groceries and cured meats. Upstairs, the Birreria is a beer garden with supreme Gotham City views.
A few blocks away, on Broadway, No 7 Sub (+1 212 532 1680; no7sub.com) fashions creative and delicious sandwich combinations featuring breaded zucchini parmesan with crushed barbecue potato chips, or a revamped cheesesteak with miso-infused cheese whiz. Artisanal on Park Avenue (+1 212 725 8585; www.artisanalbistro.com) channels an old Parisian bistro, with oversize salads, quiches and a fondue menu. In summer, the restaurant parks an ice-cream cart out front. There are few better places for a burger than the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park (+1 212 889 6600; shakeshack.com). Though there’s often a long line, the café will reward patient diners with thick milkshakes, crisp fries and perfectly greasy cheeseburgers.
Flûte Bar & Lounge on East 20th Street (+1 212 529 7870; www.flutebar.com) channels a Paris lounge, with a long champagne menu and French music. After an afternoon shopping at the Chelsea Market, pop down to its basement for revamped classics at The Tippler (+1 212 206 0000), where a frozen negroni (called the ‘snowgroni’) or smoky mescal cocktails are an ideal pre-dinner primer. There are few more inspired spots to order a classic cocktail than the retro Flatiron Lounge on West 19th Street (www.flatironlounge.com). The bartenders serve ideal renditions of the sidecar and the sazerac, and shake up a nightly martini flight in the Jazz Age-inspired spot.