Experiences… Your guide to all that’s happening between the shows of the New York Fashion Week

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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 hotel interiors

Look at all the dark wood paneling…

The Rose Bar is a star in her own right

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.


Just how homey is this lounge, with its working fireplace and plush sofas

The rooms are just as cozy…

The central courtyard is as leafy as they get this side of New York

The Dominick

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…


The Dominick’s double-storey lobby…

The rooms are just as impressive

Did we mention the rooftop pool and lounge area?

Where they will wine, dine and groove

NIX

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…

Rose Bar

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.

Old Rose

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.


About Nimah Koussa

The best part about being a travel writer is bringing cities and destinations to life: their stories, secret addresses, luxurious gems and unique holiday moments. And I have been one for a little more than 10 years. From the best bars and restaurants in different cities of the world to hotels where you can check-in to get away from it all, this Magazine is all about making every trip just a bit more meaningful.

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