New York City is not a place that you can easily scratch off your bucket list, no matter how many times you have visited. Like London, Paris and Milan, Manhattan forever remains on our list to be explored and experienced in bite-sized portions. We were stopping at the Big Apple for a mere 36 hours this time and wanted to experience as much as we can. So we picked our Times Square Hotel – The Knickerbocker, a legendary New York landmark reborn as the first luxury hotel in Times Square as our base.
We have accepted the fact that till we actually live here for an extended amount of time we will never get to know her many treasures and secrets. Even though it is his third time here, D doesn’t remember anything from previous trips and wanted to visit Times Square and I was wishing for some Fall colors at Central Park.
Here is the story about why New York is called the Big Apple – In the early 1930s. “apple” was used in reference to the many racing courses in and around New York City. Apple referred to the prizes being awarded for the races – as these were important races, the rewards were substantial. A writer for The New York Morning Telegraph, John Fitzgerald, referred to New York city’s races “Around the Big Apple” It is rumored that Fitzgerald got the term from jockeys and trainers in New Orleans who aspired to race on the New York city tracks, referring to the “Big Apple”. In case you were curious, now you know…
A Luxury Times Square Hotel, The Knickerbocker
Affectionately called The Knick, the Knickerbocker is located right between the bright lights of Broadway and the calm of Bryant Park, it is a haven of refined elegance. Created by John Jacob Astor in 1906 and now reimagined into a sophisticated urban sanctuary mere blocks from Fifth Avenue, MoMA, Rockefeller Center and Central Park is perfectly located steps away from Times Square. All the places that we wanted to see during this trip, even if we were only spending a few minutes at each spot.
Filled with fabled legends, The Knickerbocker once played host to legendary political bigwigs, actresses, oil tycoons and sports figures. And guess what… it’s rumored the martini was invented here in the hotel! While historic details like the hotel’s gorgeous Beaux-Arts façade remain unchanged, a new luxury aesthetic is offered within its walls. We loved that the rooms were designed so that every inch of the space was optimized and it was cozy. Located within steps for the busy Times Square, once inside the Knickerbocker Hotel it seems you are worlds away!
We picked a Junior suite with 2 double beds so that it would accommodate the four of us, measuring an average of 600 square feet, and bespoke furnishings include a writing desk, lounge chair, coffee table each Junior Suite was a sophisticated sanctuary of modern comfort.
The hotel has about 330 rooms in different configurations and sizes to suite different travelers – Superior rooms for business travelers to plush Tribute suites for the sophisticated traveler out to explore the city. They have a contemporary meeting and event space that accommodates about 250 people. There was definitely an air of posh authenticity in this New York City’s premier luxury hotel.
A Toast at St.Cloud overlooking Times Square, an iconic rooftop bar in NYC
With its three plush corners Sky Pods overlooking Times Square, stylish indoor and outdoor seating options, the exclusive Waterford Crystal Lounge, an ultra-luxe private room, and lush living walls of greenery, St. Cloud is the ultimate rooftop bar in NYC.
Named for the late-19th century hotel that originally occupied the site, St. Cloud is the pinnacle of The Knickerbocker experience, offering a progressive cocktail menu, craft bottled beers and an upscale, seasonally focused small plates menu. It was the perfect place to kick off our 36 hours in the city!
Breakfast at Charlie Palmer
Our stay included breakfast at Jakes, which included coffee, fresh pastries, fruits, granolas But we unknowingly wandered into Charlie Palmer thinking it was Jake and sat down for breakfast. They had a nice spread of pastries and the famous NY bagels, meats, eggs, fresh fruits, juices and the works… It was about $45 per person but totally worth it. Chef Palmer adds unique twists to his critically acclaimed Progressive American cooking to create unrivaled dining options and serves up an amazing lunch and dinner, unfortunately we didn’t have time to try them.
A walk around Times Square
Did you know Times Square is loving called by New Yorkers as the belly of the beast, Center of the Universe, the heart of the world among many other things! Times Square is a major commercial intersection and neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements, Times Square is sometimes referred to as The Crossroads of the World.
It is one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the world. It was named after The New York Times building that was erected there in 1904 and is also home to the Broadway Theatre District. The Knickerbocker was perfectly located for us to explore the area absorb and observe the hundreds of people passing through. It is also the site where you can see the annual ball drop on New Year’s Eve which again you can see from the comforts of St.Cloud at Knickerbocker!
We relied on the famous New York yellow cabs to get us around and allowed for ample time for traffic and pictures!
Fall colors in Central Park
Fall in New York is relatively mild, temperatures are comfortable to explore the city. October and November are good months to see fall colors in New York City and our favorite place to go leaf-peeping in Central Park. New York in November is gorgeous!
I’m in no way equipped to help plan an NYC itinerary – there is so much to see and do! But I can vouch that November in New York was beautiful! If you are looking for a luxury hotel near Times Square that is a haven of refined elegance and perfectly located to help you accomplish your itinerary then look no further than Knickerbocker.
See here for some of our luxury family travel resorts and hotel recommendations.
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