Wednesday, August 5, 2009

NYC Back to School shopping - Champagne style

I've been thinking about heading up to New York for some back to school shopping lately. OK, so I'm not going back to school - but I was just trying to justify the trip (like I have to justify a trip to NYC).

Actually, I was thinking that since all of the Winter items are probably already showing up in stores, that I'd be able to grab some GREAT BARGAINS on summer clothes and accessories. Living in South Florida, I dress in summer clothes year round (with the exception of a few long sleeve tops and a light jacket/blazer on cool nights).

The airfares tend to be cheap, especially if I drive down to Ft. Lauderdale (Delta, AirTran and Jet Blue all have flights to NY for $79). I have some hotel points that I can cash in, but I'm thinking that I might want to stay somewhere a little more FUN!

I'm checking out the new Oyster Hotel Reviews to see what others have to say about the cool and trendy hotels in the city. The reason I like using that site vs. the traditional travel opinion site is that it includes reviews that include out-of-the-ordinary type of feedback such as best place to stay to spot a celebrity,worst place to take a family, best looking pool scene among others.

Since I'm thinking about traveling solo (Mr. S. HATES shopping), I did a search for
Best Party Hotels in New York on Oyster.

Here's what I came up with -

  • The Bowery Hotel:Guests and locals alike hang out in the cozy, dimly lit lobby bar that serves creative cocktails and boasts a well-selected wine list. If you're lucky, one of the hotel's celebrity guests might stop by for a drink.
  • Gramercy Park Hotel: The Gramercy Park Hotel's velvet-heavy Rose Bar is one of the hottest places in the city for the hip, beautiful, and famous to meet over drinks. Just don't casually stroll into the Rose Bar after 10 p.m. and expect to get a table -- unless, that is, you've been on the cover of a fashion magazine or won a Grammy in the past year or so. Hotel guests do at least have an edge: They're entitled to jump the line if people are actually waiting to get in. And they can book reservations for a table through the concierge -- which is strongly suggested if you hope to sit down, though even that isn't a guarantee.
  • Hotel Gansevoort: Five years after it opened, the Gansevoort's rooftop lounge, Plunge, continues to pull in a nightly parade of short-skirted and high-heeled twenty- and thirty-something women and their male counterparts. The skyline views are superb.
  • The Cooper Square Hotel: The Cooper Square Hotel bar Table 8 is packed on weekend nights with revelers standing shoulder-to-shoulder. The windows often fog up from the intensity of the scene. The bar's specialty cocktail is the Basil 8, with vodka, muddled grapes, basil, simple syrup, lime juice, and ginger ale.
  • W New York - Union Square: The W Union Square is the most "downtown" of all the W's, and its Olives bar (and the Underbar in the basement) is hip but not exclusive, drawing crowds of young professionals for $11 cocktails.
  • 60 Thompson: A60 is one of the city's most exclusive rooftop bars -- its open only to card-carrying "members" (read: celebrities, fashion types, and other bold-named New Yorkers) and hotel guests. For the price of a room you just might gain access to some of the best celebrity gawking in Manhattan.
  • Soho Grand Hotel: The music at the Soho Grand gets upbeat and loud in the evenings, as the lounge fills with twenty- and thirty-something scenesters -- men in dark skinny jeans, women with chic bobs -- and you often have to push your way to the bar. The scene is particularly frenetic on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, when a DJ spins the tunes.
  • W New York: The hotel bar Whiskey Blue is the most happening bar in the not-so-happening area of Midtown East. The swank David Rockwell-designed space features expensive drinks, pictures of rock stars on the wall, and waitresses in tight black dresses. As the most stylish bar in the area it's a magnet for many business travelers, but it's not as popular with locals, who take issue with its high prices and heavy dose of attitude.
Hmmm....maybe I should be looking at Best Shopping Hotels... Well, off to make my list and see if I have any time available to travel.


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