For a week in February (and again in September), each year, New York City sees the world’s top models- and many Hollywood A-listers- come to town for the New York Fashion Week. This year, the catwalks are happening at the Spring Studios on Varick Street, but fashion elites and insiders are not one to keep their fun confined to the runway.
They make the whole city their playground, with after-parties, opulent dinners and red carpet events sprawled across NYC. Even their moments of downtime happen at a bevy of luxurious hotels, making this week one of the exciting times to visit the Big Apple.
For a front row seat to all NYFW action happening this February, read on…
Where the celebrities are checking in
The opulent Gramercy Park Hotel
Few hotels attract more celebrities, fashion editors and post-show cocktail parties during the New York Fashion Week than the artsy and edgy Gramercy Park Hotel. Lady Gaga is a fan, and so are the Kardashians, who are often seen unwinding at the hotel’s famed Rose Bar.
Maybe it’s the location of the hotel that’s a major draw… Located near Union Square with access to the private Gramercy Park just across the street, there is no hotel more exclusive this side of New York. Inside, the hotel is just as impressive with a Renaissance-style decor of rich velvets, tassels, and a parade of artworks by the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst.
The Greenwich in trendy Tribeca
Owned by actor and producer Robert De Niro, the Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca is a far cry from the cliché hotels of New York City that are all clean-lined details and imperious, chandelier-hung spaces. Instead, the hotel, inspired by De Niro’s travels around the world, is styled like a country house, with its lush, homey lounges, gorgeous library and leafy courtyard.
The hotel is also home to a Japanese spa, and the A-list hot spot Locanda Verde restaurant , all conveniently located at the heart of one of New York’s most under-the-radar neighborhoods.
This 46-storey glass tower, in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, is another hotel where Manhattan’s power magnates and A-listers check-in for the New York Fashion Week. Maybe it’s the panoramic views of the city, from every room and every level, that draws them in…or maybe it’s the world-class facilities like the full-service spa and rooftop pool area, but it’s the bolthole of choice for the likes of Jessica Alba and celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe.
The hotel interiors are also some of the swankiest you’ll ever see- think a soaring lobby outfitted with Venetian plaster columns and mid-century-style furniture, and rooms entirely furnished by Fendi Casa. For travelers who enjoy larger-than-life experiences, the Dominick is the hotel for you…
Where they will wine, dine and groove
This bright and buzzy vegetarian restaurant, by Michelin-star chef John Fraser, is a celebrity-magnet for all the right reasons. There is the food, of course, with menu items that treat vegetables like meat- think cauliflower tempura, spit-roasted beets and coffee-laced carrots Wellington. Then there is the atmosphere of the restaurant itself, tranquil and earth-motherly with its lamp bases of twisted roots and servers dressed in dyed cotton smocks. It’s an experience that borders on the spiritual…
New York Fashion Week or not, the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel is always a safe bet for a celebrity sighting in New York City. Rock stars, socialites, celebs…everyone swears by it, and around this time of year, it’s bash central for models and anyone who is someone in the fashion world.
The Polo Bar
Old-school steakhouse vibes meet equestrian trimmings at this New York City restaurant by Ralph Lauren. It’s the first of its kind in the city, and the guestbook is studded with famous names, from Rihanna and Naomi Campbell to Departures editor, Richard D. Story. We can understand why… The setting of the bar, with its gorgeous lighting, rich leather and flickering fireplaces is classic American (and Ralph Lauren), as is the menu.
This hip eatery, overlooking the Hudson River, is one of New York’s most secretive late-night party scenes, and there is nothing quite like it. High ceilings, a checkerboard floor, an avant-garde artwork collection and a long marble bar, the Old Rose has all the markings of a celebrity hangout, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better spot for an evening spent alongside fashion’s elite.
While you’re here in February
New York City has it all: countless museums, state-of-the-art galleries, world-class restaurants and watering holes that range from the epic to the downright heavenly. But these are all pretty standard…
This February, discover a different side of the Big Apple with the events happening around the city. There is a sleepover you can join at the American Museum of Natural History on February 15, complete with champagne, live jazz, a buffet dinner and breakfast the next day. It’s adults only and it might just be the closest you’ll ever get to living out a Night at the Museum fantasy.
If that’s not your thing, Manhattan’s Chinatown is celebrating the Lunar New Year in a special way on February 17. Think parades, K-pop, firecrackers and lots of street food… Just head to the corner of Mott and Canal at 1 p.m. and take it from there.