Think the Financial District is a snooze and that downtown is dead on the weekends? Think again. Stunning river and harbor views, manicured waterfront parks, fascinating historical sites, niche museums, and an abundance of excellent eateries combine to make lower Manhattan an enticing getaway option. And this uber-cool, all-suite luxury hotel is the perfect jumping-off point to explore the newly revitalized Battery Park City. From the first striking view of its soaring sculptural granite staircase to the more than 2,000 pieces of modern art showcased throughout, the Conrad is an inviting address to make your weekend home. Most striking is its dramatic, 15-story-high atrium lobby dotted with jumbo charcoal-gray pod seating and anchored by the huge—100 feet by 80 feet—blue and purple graphic painting Loopy Doopy by Sol LeWitt (fun fact: it required 100 gallons of paint and 3,000 hours to complete) and featuring moving steel and cable, mobile-like “veils” or sculptures overhead. Your one-bedroom suite with a separate living area has all the latest electronic gizmos, and a standout marble rain shower, will make you fantasize that this is more than just a temporary pied-à-terre.
Dine: Offering a casual-chic yet sophisticated vibe, the hotel’s signature restaurant, ATRIO, offers excellent contemporary Mediterranean cuisine and personal pizzas from its wood-stone oven, all accented with fresh herbs and veggies from a rooftop garden. Afterwards, do pop up to the hotel’s Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar (seasonal through October 7), and order a fruit-flavored Boozy Icepop served in a brandy snifter of Prosecco from its own tap while you enjoy the 180-degree views of New York Harbor and the Hudson. For even more casual eateries, check out the lively pedestrian-only, café table-filled street right off the hotel’s back entrance for fun choices like the wildly popular Shake Shack offering up iconic burgers, shakes, and fries, or Blue Smoke, for authentic pit barbecue.
Explore: The hotel’s Discover Downtown package includes a fascinating two-hour Wall Street Walking Tour (if you book on your own, it’s $25 per person; wallstreetwalks.com). Offered twice a day on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, it’s filled with little-known tidbits about the area, tracing its history from its beaver-pelt trading days to its current resurgence and comeback from 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy. The tour ends up right by the beautifully compelling 9/11 Memorial, so don’t forget to take your complimentary passes (911memorial.org/visitor-passes) and photo ID with you when you leave the hotel.
Insider tip: Valet parking at the hotel’s front door is $65 per night. Save money and park yourself at one of several nearby garages including Gateway Plaza at 339 South End Ave (nyc.centralparking.com) where 24 hours costs $35. Or, better yet, pocket the extra cash and skip the traffic headaches and take Metro-North.
Conrad New York
102 North End Ave
New York, NY
Details: Rates start at $329 per night, but we recommend the hotel’s super Discover Downtown package that starts at $359 per night with a two-night minimum, and includes continental breakfast for two in ATRIO Wine Bar/Restaurant, late (2 pm) check-out, two complimentary tickets to a “Wall Street Walks” walking tour, and two passes to the National 9/11 Memorial. The Family Fun package includes an express water taxi tour and admission tickets, to the recently reopened Statue of Liberty, starting at $326 for a family of four.
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