Like most Americans, you’ve likely spent the holidays in a perpetual state of travel and stress – so what could be more weclome than a January spent staying close to home? And what better gift to give yourself than a pampered, decadent staycation at the New York hotel of all New York hotels…the Waldorf Astoria? Most importantly, this is absolutely the time to do it, as the grandest grande dame will be closing for a long period of renovations come March.
Like so many of our favorite grand hotels, The Waldorf has the ability to romance and entertain you for days without you ever leaving the premises…from its endlessly fascinating historic surroundings to its gorgeously plush rooms and suites to its utterly indulgent dining options to, of course, the fabulous people watching. After all, not only does the glittering parade of celebs continue to this day – Katy Perry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt – but this is also the official hotel of The President of the United States.
With that said, here’s our eight-point guide to the absolutely perfect Waldorf Astoria staycation weekend. Book now, of course.
After checking in Friday afternoon, and spending some time lazing about your lavish Tower room, head down to the hotel’s stylish Chinese restaurant La Chine. Bar Manager Chris Johnson is – would we kid you? – a certified Sake Ninja; and he’ll run you through some unexpected and fantastically refined choices from the well-curated menu. Ask him to whip you up a speciality sake cocktail or two.
Tired of overly-concepted restaurants? Bull & Bear Prime Steakhouse is as classic as they come and fussiness-free: killer martinis, iced shellfish, wedge salads, and, of course, some of the best cuts in all of Gotham. The filet mignon is dry aged for 28-35 days – what more need be said?
We love a hotel that is an attraction unto itself. And over the last decade or so, the Waldorf has mined its history to turn its hallways into a veritable museum. Artifacts, clippings and fascinating photographs tell the very grand story of the hotel through its dazzling guest list, including royals, presidents, Kennedys, Sinatras, McCartneys…you could easily spend a wonderful Saturday morning taking it all in. Don’t forget to pop by the stunningly preserved Park Avenue Lobby – and feel free to be awed.
The English version can be a bit Brideshead Revisited, now can’t it? But Afternoon Tea at La Chine is impossibly chic, looking to Asia for inspiration, making it a very au courant experience. Which means Lapsang teas, raw seafood and a tower of canapés that trades the boring cress sandwiches for the likes of BBQ pork puff pastry and lobster & truffle dumpling. An experience.
Located in The Towers, the Guerlain Spa’s 19th floor views make it a breathtakingly ethereal experience. Choose from such rapturously-named treatments as the Orchid Imperiale Prestige facial, the Refloxology Revival massage and the Urban Island Escape body therapy. There’s also a dedicated menu of treatments for gents.
The astonishing Steve Cohen has been doing a show at the hotel for fifteen years… The Daily News even called him the “The city’s master magician.” We won’t give anything away, but we will promise he’ll dazzle you with his wit, and his illusions will leave you shaking your head in bewilderment for days after.
A partnership with Laurent-Perrier means the bubbles are always flowing. Rev up the romance over a bottle of L-P Cuvee Rose, or order up a couple of rounds of signature champers cocktails like the Cleopatra, with Calvados, Benedictine, Grand Marnier and Campari, or La Vie en Rose, with Aperol and club soda. Clink!
There are almost no words that can do it justice – you have to see if for yourself. Beef Wellington, an apoplexy-inducing cheese selection, several different varieties of caviar, specialty pastas…and anything else you could possibly imagine ever wanting for a decadent, glamorous Sunday brunch – served in the buzzy but elegan-tay Peacock Alley restaurant overlooking the historic lobby. Just be prepared to hit the gym before you check out.