A Concierge’s Guide to the Best of New York

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Nov 06, 2017

Discover the little-known hotspots scattered across the Big Apple, as recommended by Waldo Hernandez, concierge at The Carlyle. 

When my friends are in town, I take them for a drink at…

Bemelmans Bar, here at The Carlyle. No other bar in New York City has such 
a rich history. There’s always live jazz and the booths give it a great sense of comfort. Every once in a while, you’ll see a celebrity.

If I’m entertaining a younger crowd, I take them to…

Public, a new hotel by Ian Schrager on the Lower East Side, which is the coolest part of New York. Its rooftop has an incredible view of the city.

A great place for a business meeting is…

Asiate restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental. It’s a “wow” room with wonderful views of Central Park. While it’s great for lunch, it’s even better for a power breakfast. Your clients will be impressed.

The restaurant that best shows off New York is…

The Pool, a classic that really epitomises the city. It has huge windows with shades that shimmer. When you walk into the room, you’re in awe. There’s a pool in the middle, which sounds 
a little cheesy but it creates a magical feeling and people just gravitate to it. The seafood is fantastic and the service impeccable.

And the restaurant that’s a real hotspot for locals is…

The Polo Bar in Midtown. Everything on the menu has been selected by Ralph Lauren – his favourite ingredients, his favourite items. It’s American food, which isn’t spectacular or gastronomically special, but it’s done 
well. It’s a burger but it’s the best burger 
you will have. It’s a steak but it’s the best steak you’ll ever eat.

If you want to kick on after dinner, go to… 


Le Bain, a discothèque and bar with a plunge pool at the top of The Standard, High Line hotel.

My favourite breakfast spot is…

Clinton St Baking Company. They’re known for their blueberry pancakes, served with warm maple butter. They don’t take reservations, though.

And for coffee, go to…

Sant Ambroeus. There are five 
locations in the city but the one across 
the street from The Carlyle is the best. 
They serve coffee in pink cups. The 
texture is beautiful. It makes me feel 
like I’m in Milan.

If you’re after a market experience, visit…

Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. It’s a famous outdoor food market – very hip, very Instagrammable. 
It has a lot of interesting stuff, like zucchini doughnuts and rainbow bagels.

For designer fashion, go to…

Barneys in Downtown. It’s not like the Barneys here on Madison Avenue – 
it’s a younger outlet with cool local and international designer labels.

And the best place to buy a souvenir is…

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the United States. It has a great gift shop with unique little trinkets and artsy things.

SEE ALSO: Toast the Sunset at New York’s Best Rooftop Bars