State: New York. Capital: Albany. Largest City: New York City.
Your holiday to New York, one of the world's most exciting cities can be tailor-made to include time for a host of activities and luxury hotel experiences. Keeping true to its reputation as the city that never sleeps, New York offers exceptional round-the-clock entertainment. It is an incredible destination to visit at any time of year and an ideal choice whether you are travelling with luxury family holidays, friends, or on your own.
A cultural melting pot, the city has a rich and varied array of things to see and do, and is split into fascinating neighbourhoods from Little Italy and China Town, to Greenwich Village with its Bohemian ambience and Soho with its boutique-style art galleries and shops. From the moment you step out of the airport and begin to head towards Manhattan you will almost certainly begin to feel a certain familiarity as the iconic yellow cabs whizz past and you gaze up at the towering skyscrapers and iconic landmarks; scenes we've committed to memory from watching many of our favourite American films and television series over and over again. Although it's a city jam-packed with sights and sounds at every turn, there are plenty of places to escape to including Central Park and, of course, some fantastic hotel spas, should you wish to completely switch off and be pampered for an hour or two. If you are visiting in the winter, perhaps for a Christmas shopping break; do make time for ice-skating at the rink at the Rockefeller Center or Central Park, and if you're staying for New Year, then Times Square at midnight, when the New Year's Eve Ball descends and the fireworks begin to start is a cliche well worth experiencing.
There is no shortage of excellent dining venues at our featured hotels.
If it’s your first time to New York, you will probably want to visit the well-known department stores such as Barney’s and Bloomingdale’s, and, of course, it’s almost a must to shop ‘til you drop in designer boutiques on Fifth Avenue or Madison Avenue – the perfect places to check out the latest collections of truly beautiful fashions. Several of our featured hotels, including The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, New York are located right on Fifth or Madison. But, if you prefer a more eclectic approach to your retail experience, there are all sorts of quirky places to discover. The Peninsula, New York's Peninsula Academy Programme offers private shopping excursions planned by the hotel’s Concierge.
Art and Museums
The Mark is just steps away from the world-famous Guggenheim which is very good, but perhaps even more so, is MoMa (the Museum of Modern Art) – which houses a comprehensive collection of art including masterpieces from Van Gogh, Picasso and Cezanne to Jackson Pollock. If your passion is fashion, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art has a dedicated display of costume through the ages, while The American Museum of Natural History offers an interesting journey into the marvels of nature, our planet and conservation.
There are plenty of guided walking tours of Central Park, take a gourmet picnic with you, find a spot to sit down on the grass and watch the world go by. Central Park’s attractions include a boating lake, a 1950s carousel ride and a programme of open-air concerts. If you’re feeling energetic, you can exercise along one of the park’s jogging trails.
No visit to New York would be complete without seeing a show at one of Broadway’s theatres. Alternatively, enjoy an opera at The Met (Lincoln Center) or a concert at Carnegie Hall. One of the best places for a pre-theatre supper is the Mandarin Oriental, New York's Asiate restaurant.
View the sweeping cityscapes of Manhattan from the Rockefeller Center’s ‘Top of the Rock Observation Deck’ or the Empire State Building. Four Seasons Hotel New York – one of the city’s tallest hotels – offers a selection of room types that take full advantage of the amazing city skyline vistas. Don’t forget to visit St Patrick’s Cathedral, look up at the striking Chrysler Building and take a ferry to see The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour too. For something a little different, take a walking tour of Grand Central Train Station to admire its grand staircases, chandeliers and gold leaf ceiling featuring the signs of the zodiac.
At Mandarin Oriental, New York you can take a dip in the pool where there are floor-to-ceiling windows offering amazing views over New York.
The Carlyle's Cafe in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel is unequalled for its cabaret – performers have included Woody Allen, Eartha Kitt and Elaine Stritch.
Generally, May to June and mid-September to mid-October are particularly pleasant times to visit. July and August can be humid, while snow is common in winter. However, this north east region can experience changeable weather and moderate rainfall at any time of the year. Summer can see heat waves which can feel uncomfortable in the city, but your luxury hotel will provide the comforts of air-conditioning and stylish bars to enjoy a cooling cocktail. Salon de Ning at The Peninsula New York offers outdoor seating on its rooftop terrace where you can enjoy a refreshing drink and sharing plates such as mixed olives, cheeses and charcuterie, and tuna sashimi, while looking down on the hustle and bustle of Fifth Avenue.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for New York.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic direct from London Heathrow to JFK International. American Airways direct from London Heathrow and Manchester to JFK International. British Airways direct from London Heathrow to Newark International. United Airlines direct from London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast to Newark International.
From London Heathrow to JFK International: 7 hours, 40 minutes. London Heathrow to Newark International: 7 hours, 45 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Travel Advice Update
The FCO travel advice for the USA has been updated with an amendment to the Entry requirements section - on 18 December 2015, the US Congress passed a Bill updating the requirements for the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP); under the new rules, with effect from 1 April 2016 all travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP will need to hold a passport with an integrated chip.
The web-based Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) requires all passengers (including infants) travelling via or to the USA to apply for authority to travel a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel. You may be denied boarding or refused entry to the US if you have not registered and obtained authorisation. To apply visit the official website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ A charge of UD$14 per person (subject to change) will apply and must be paid by either credit or debit card.
Customs and Border Protection programme Global Entry gets pre-approved travellers through border control faster at some US airports. If you’re a British citizen and a frequent visitor to the USA you can now register to get a UK background check on www.gov.uk/apply-faster-entry-usa. If you pass the background checks, you’ll be invited to apply for Global Entry.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.