Family Travel, Food & Drink, Hotels & Resorts, United States

New York City With the Kids

November 20, 2014

As our black SUV careened through rush hour traffic on our way from New York’s JFK Airport to TriBeCa, I began having second thoughts about New York City with the kids. I knew our ultimate destination was The Greenwich, Robert de Niro’s 88-room luxury hotel in TriBeCa, but I was having serious doubts we would survive the white-knuckle ride in our private car. We have been driven around in many cities, and if shooting through five lanes of traffic around the Arc de Triomphe is pas de probleme then NYC traffic shouldn’t be scary – right? It wasn’t until I glanced behind me and saw an EMT uniform on a hanger that the pieces began to fall into place. Oh great, our driver as an off-duty EMT and likely used to driving an ambulance with lights and sirens blaring. Unfortunately, our SUV didn’t have these ‘extras’ so the other cars weren’t yielding. Our driver didn’t notice or possibly didn’t care. After what seemed liked hours, the Greenwich hotel was in sight.

Stay

We love a luxury hotel with a pool and were excited to stay at The Greenwich. I was worried I had compromised on a less than central location, but was willing to trade off this for large rooms, relaxed private-club vibe and the gourmet on-site restaurant Locanda Verde. It turns out that what I thought of as a limiting factor, the location, was actually a bonus. It was fantastic to be able to escape the hoards of people around Times Square at the end of a busy day and return to our tranquil haven.

We really treasured our downtime at the luxe Greenwich Hotel and thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous indoor pool, sumptuous spa, relaxed vibe, on-site dining, complimentary in-room snacks and beverages, Red Flower bath products and fantastic service.

See

From The Greenwich – We were able to walk to some key sites with the boys and Nana including the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Ground Zero Memorial, One World Trade Centre and the Chelsea High Line. An added bonus was the close proximity to a pier and amazing playground on the Hudson River; this was perfect for evening strolls and early morning walks or runs.

Skyline – We are fortunate to have a friend with an office ‘in the sky’ so stopped in for a visit and a view with Alexander. If you don’t happen to have a friend with a rock star office, the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Centre is another great option for a dramatic view of NYC.

Times Square – We had a quick peek at NBC Studios, a lengthy visit to the adjacent Lego store, lunch on the outside terrace at Bouchon Bakery and a much-anticipated visit to M&M’s World on Broadway.

Broadway – I wanted to surprise the boys with tickets to a Broadway show and decided on the award-winning musical The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre. I booked the tickets months in advance and was able to reserve amazing seats (row E, centre section).

Central Park – A visit to New York City with the kids wouldn’t complete without a stroll through Central Park followed by shopping on 5th Ave.

Eat

We had a few must-visit restaurants on our list including Mario Batali’s Babbo where we opted for the Pasta Tasting menu with the wine pairing. The boys were happy with a child-friendly pasta dish and were well cared for by the attentive staff. I would highly recommend this restaurant if you are looking for a memorable meal in New York City.

Locanda Verde is located within The Greenwich hotel and we enjoyed a fabulous meal and aascene. The upside to staying at the Greenwich is you are able to opt for the busy Locande Verde location or dine off the same menu in the comfort of a tranquil lounge and garden reserved for the exclusive use of hotel guests.

We love Indian food and were excited to find Tamarind, a Michelin star restaurant located within ‘high-heel’ walking distance from The Greenwich.

Travel Tips – NYC

• We usually book a private car to travel from the airport to the hotel and had arranged the private car service from JKF to The Greenwich through a private travel agency. My free advice is that if you see an EMT uniform hanging in your private car, you need to find another car. Seriously, find another car.
• The Chelsea High Line is an elevated public park built on an historic freight rail line about Manhattan’s West Side.  The High Line Park is gorgeous and apart from eating and strolling, ‘we’ even managed to do a bit of shopping on the walk from The Greenwich. I highly recommend the Chelsea High Line for strolling, eating and shopping.
• It can be difficult to get dinner reservations at the popular NYC restaurants so I used Open Table to book Babbo and Tamarind well in advance of our arrival. I have used Open Table to book the reservations in many different cities and it is a great service.
• If you go to The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre, try and book seats at the end of a row because cast members come down the aisles when The Lion King performance begins.
• Use the subway to sightsee. It is an efficient and convenient way to travel around New York City.

Regrets

Not one.

Would Luxe Travel Family Return to NYC?

Yes, in a New York minute.

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