It's surprising how much you can cram into a two day visit to the Big Apple...
So how are we getting there?
I’m flying with La Compagnie, an airline offering business-class-only flights that are actually affordable. There are just 74 seats aboard so this practically feels like a private jet! Each seat becomes a flat bed so you can take a friday night flight and come back Monday morning office ready, having actually slept. Every stewardess has an immaculate updo and a uniform of navy blue with tailored shorts like something off the rail at COS- I approve!
Any other perks?
The food is so good aboard La Compagnie, I forget I’m not back on dry land at my favourite london restaurant. I sip on a gin and tonic and start with the Lobster. It tastes incredibly fresh and comes mixed with a crunchy salad and wedge of lemon for a citrus kick. The next course is braised lamb which is comforting and hearty french food at it’s best. I’m a creature of comfort and like most of us I can’t be without some kind of technology for longer than an hour, let alone an eight hour flight. I’m delighted to see an individual Samsung tablet for every passenger, it can stay neatly tucked away in a case or you can take it out and play. There’s movies, tv shows and some reading to be done too. It’s not a huge library of entertainment, but I prefer this, it feels appropriate to have a select edit. I watch ‘Les Intouchables’ and find myself laughing and crying along as if I were in my own home.
Where are we staying?
Do as I do and check into the Conrad. A very smart looking hotel with a huge lobby to knock your socks off as soon as you walk through the doors and up the escalator (yep, this hotel has an escalator to get you to reception!). The conrad is in a great spot in Tribecca overlooking the Hudson river, an area I’ve never stayed before. If you’re tight for time like me then it’s great, just a 25 minute drive from Newark airport, you can jump in a cab and it won’t cost you a fortune. I want to speed things up even more and download the super cool Concierge app where you can skip check-in, order room service and have a Cosmopolitan ready and waiting!
Is it Instagram material?
Oh yes this hotel is Instagram gold, the Conrad is an art gallery in itself! I don’t just mean a few frames in a Lobby, I'm blown away by the ten-story high installation set against the swirling patterns of Loopy Doopy by Sol LeWitt. This is the hotels biggest piece of art, they love it so much they even named the rooftop bar after it. TIP If you’re planning on watching the sunset with cocktail in hand, make sure you go up early. I wasn’t the only one with that idea and it gets pretty busy!
What about the rooms?
My room is spacious and immaculately done, just like no one had ever stayed before it has a ‘brand new’ feel. Framed paintings hang from the walls and my window view of dynamic NYC buildings is just like another piece of art.
What can we eat?
The restaurant faces out over the river, you can eat and look onto the great view. The vibe is chilled and sophisticated perfect for a quiet dinner. I save the burgers for shake shack and eat quite healthily during my stay at The Conrad. Fresh fruit and granola for breakfast and later for dinner I have a delicious aged goat cheese with roasted beetroot salad.
3 things to do for a weekend in Manhattan
1. If you’re after the classic New York view, but hate the idea of queueing hours to squeeze onto the viewing platform of the Empire State, ‘Top of the Rock’ is excellent and much less busy. Pair it up with your shopping trip uptown or a visit to central park after as you’ll be close by.
2. Take a sailing class on the hudson river. This is an amazing way to see the city from afar and also learn a thing or two about how to master a real sail boat. I try a lesson with the Offshore sailing company, you feel like you’re in safe hands with instructors who’ve been sailing their whole lives.
3. Visit the Brandy Library for a late night drink. Tucked away in Tribeca this dimly lit bar is serving the best brandy the city has to offer plus some pretty great cocktails too. This is one library where it’s actually cool to be seen in.
Sounds perfect, how do I book?
La Compagnie fly business class from London Luton to New York, Newark from £1,100 return. Book by calling 020 3481 1575 or visit lacompagnie.com
Conrad New York, double rooms from £156 (US$239), excluding breakfast with free wifi. Book by visiting conradnewyork.com