Experience the high life on the Upper East Side
We stayed at…
The Carlyle (00800-8767 3966), a classic hotel on Madison Avenue that opened in 1930. Rising to 35 storeys, its art deco interior and sumptuous style embody the classy side of Manhattan. Most rooms have Central Park views, while Bemelmans bar – a location in the Sex and the City film – is ideal for a cocktail. Woody Allen often plays jazz in Café Carlyle, and a new Sense spa opened last year. In December, double rooms cost from £492.
We also stayed at…
The Four Seasons New York (001 800 6488 6488), a Manhattan landmark designed in 1993 by IM Pei. At 52 storeys, it’s the tallest hotel in the city, and has 368 luxurious rooms, featuring bathtubs that fill in just 60 seconds. Double rooms cost from £428, or you can just pop in to enjoy the Garden, the hotel’s new restaurant and wine bar that has around 200 wines available by the glass. Virgin Atlantic flies from London Heathrow five times a day; in December fares start at £349 return including taxes.
While you’re there…
1. Catch the heart-warming Christmas Spectacular at Radio City, a classic NYC show with seasonal tunes and high-kickin’ Rockettes.
2. Thanksgiving (26 November) kicks off the holiday season with top stores like Macy’s, Saks and Bloomingdale’s decorating their windows and interiors with fabulous displays. Try Barneys Co-op for cutting edge brands.
3. Go ice skating under the stars – there are rinks in Bryant Park and Central Park.
4. Check out Topshop’s flagship store in SoHo (478 Broadway).
5. Dine with the locals at Geisha and Orsay. For more ideas, buy Hg2 Eat New York (£9.99).
6. Central Park is gorgeous in winter, and the Carlyle in particular is well placed for visiting the Frick, Guggenheim and MOMA museums.
7. Visit 42nd Street’s Sunday market for vintage goodies.