What's New in New York City: Hotels, Restaurants & Culture in Manhattan – Spring 2022

The Empire City is reopened, with nothing and everything to prove as it sheds its winter layers for the effervescence of spring and summer. Locals and culture arbiters alike have speculated on a second coming of the Roaring Twenties—a New York brimming with uninhibited excess and sparkling good times. Though the last six months have seen the arrival of establishments dripping in enough Art Deco allure to elicit an approving nod from even Dorothy Parker—or have Fitzgerald calling for more Champagne—we ought to know by now that New York’s gaze will never be fixed on the past. Her eyes are cast forward, and ever upward. In a burst of creativity and sophistication that is entirely of the new era, a glittering parade of luxuries, from landmark hotels to cutting-edge restaurants and exhibitions, are proof that Manhattan’s upcoming season is one you won’t want to miss. (Due to the sheer volume of items, we've focused this report on just one borough.) Below are the openings and happenings to keep on your radar.

Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare, if you are not yet a member, to start planning a trip to New York City. Our team can match you with the accommodations, reservations and activities that are right for you.

Where to Rest & Revive: New Hotels

Photo courtesy of Aman New York

The arrival of the first Aman retreat in New York—and the first property from the brand ever on the East Coast—in May (fingers crossed) represents the most anticipated addition to the city’s hotel offerings. The design-forward wellness haven will be located within the Crown Building, a Gilded Age jewel on Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park that was the original home of MoMA. The property has been transformed by Jean-Michel Gathy to restore the original architecture while fusing the sleek and serene minimalism of the Aman brand with the glitz of the location. The three-story, over 7,500-square-foot indoor-outdoor spa is the reason to come here (the pièce de résistance: a dramatic indoor swimming pool circled by firepits and daybeds), but guests are sure to linger at the underground jazz bar, wraparound garden terrace, Japanese and Italian restaurants and wine library (nor will the 83 rooms and suites disappoint).

Another titan wellness brand is landing in 2023—with a lofty perch above the High Line in the buzzed-about XI Towers by Bjarke Ingels. The Six Senses New York (as with Aman, this is the portfolio’s first address in North America) will soothe urban minds and bodies with contemporary interiors by Parisian firm Gilles & Boissier and floor-to-ceiling river views. There will be two seasonal restaurants and the signature Six Senses integrated spa program, housed within an 18,000-square-foot space (including a modern bathhouse with cold, warm and saltwater plunge pools). An additional feature unique to the Manhattan location will be access to ​​Six Senses Place, a 45,000-square-foot social club.

Photo courtesy Park Lane Hotel, by Yabu Pushelberg

From Billionaires’ Row to Battery Park, other openings are serving up enough style and scene to shake up the established set. At 36 Central Park South, the Park Lane Hotel, open now, has been conjured up by acclaimed firm Yabu Pushelberg to bring some Alice in Wonderland–like whimsy to its storied corner, along with murals by En Viu, 611 rooms and elevated dining and beverage concepts by insider Scott Sartiano (including a one-of-a-kind rooftop lounge with spectacular park views—and all within walking distance of the top uptown venues for shopping and culture). Just as singular is Casa Cipriani, designed by Thierry Despont and housed in the Beaux-Arts Battery Maritime Building—alongside a fashionable members’ club (to which guests have access). The property is intimate, with just 47 polished, understated, gently nautical rooms—the best of which have terraces with views of the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge; amenities include see-and-be-seen Cipriani dining venues and a modern spa and wellness center.

Photo courtesy The Fifth Avenue Hotel, Flâneur Hospitality

NoMad is another neighborhood to watch, thanks to a new Ritz-Carlton that is set to debut this spring in a shiny high-rise designed by architect Rafael Viñoly—and softened with plenty of outdoor terraces and greenery. Foodies will rejoice at the dining program, which is anchored by new outposts of José Andrés’s acclaimed D.C. restaurant Zaytinya and the Bazaar in Miami; there are also rumors of a Champagne bar. On its heels, scheduled to open this summer, The Ned—the snappy London-based sister to the Soho House brand—will launch its second hotel and members' club, along with a restaurant and bar that are open to the public, in the former NoMad Hotel space. Across the street, the list of choices grows longer thanks to a fresh debut from Flâneur Hospitality, a brand-new concept from real estate ​​entrepreneur Alex Ohebshalom (opening in the fall). Within a historic building that was once the Second National Bank (as well as a former home of Gilded Age socialite Charlotte Goodridge)—and with an expansion into a new 24-story glass tower—the Fifth Avenue Hotel will bring color, panache and texture, masterminded by Martin Brudnizki, that will be sure to delight any visitors seeking novelty. Lovers of bold patterns, bright wallpapers, funky fixtures and objets d’art will be quite at home in any of the 153 rooms; standout accents include a mother-of-pearl-inlaid bar cart with reptilian handles, a fruit-filled blown-glass chandelier and lamps in every form, from Chinese pagodas to Fabergé eggs.

In ever-trendy Tribeca, the iconic French brand Barrière (with respected properties in Paris, Cannes, St. Barth's and beyond) will add a dash of l'art de vivre to the city grind this summer, with the opening of Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s New York at 456 Greenwich Street. Highlights will include a rooftop garden terrace, private cinema, spa, French vegan café and a traditional brasserie, with 97 rooms and suites and interiors also by Martin Brudnizki, centered on a vibrant color palette of French blue, canary yellow, pistachio, mauve and coral. Plus: A 15-minute walk south (10, at a New York pace), on Warren Street, the final beams have been placed for a new outpost of the Firmdale Hotels brand—the name behind Indagare-adored Manhattan mainstays The Crosby and The Whitby—from designer Kit Kemp and her husband and business partner Tim. And keep an eye on our newsletter for an exciting announcement of a boutique treasure that will bring fresh style to the Lower East Side.

Related: Indagare’s 7 Most-Booked Hotels in New York City: 2021-2022


Where to Taste & Imbibe: Restaurant Scene

A handful of dazzling contemporary fine-dining restaurants are recharging the phrase “big night out” in New York—while also bringing a degree of gravity to a scene that can sometimes appear stuck in a revolving door of Instagram trends. These newcomers invite you to dress up, sit down and put your phone away (fine, perhaps after a picture or two).

Photo by Adrian Gaut

On the 63rd floor of Art Deco skyscraper 70 Pine Street in FiDi, SAGA was unveiled at the end of August, but is still one of the top tables to get. It is helmed by the team behind Crown Shy (which has one Michelin star and occupies the ground floor of the same building). The space was originally designed as a lavish private apartment, and the dining experience manifests the spirit of visiting the home of a friend with excellent taste (as the restaurant states, a bon vivant). The elevator opens directly into the 56-seat dining room, while the entire restaurant spans four floors, with two reserved for private dining and one dedicated to Overstory, a cocktail lounge reached by a staircase, with a wraparound terrace that provides 360-degree views of the skyline. While dining, guests are welcomed into an interactive and convivial atmosphere that operates at the highest level yet feels far from stiff: There are no print menus; expect to hear current music; some courses are plated individually, others are served family-style—and still others, like a Moroccan tea service, are to be enjoyed throughout other areas of the dining space altogether. This is a reflection of the heavy global influence of the founders’ travels and lives in New York City, though the foundations of SAGA are based on European artistry. For the overall wow factor, SAGA takes the crown.

Photo by Nicole Franzen

In Tribeca, another August arrival, One White Street, likewise combines the unique homey-ness of New York City architecture—this time, in the form of a cozy town house once used by John Lennon and Yoko Ono—with stellar seasonal cuisine. The majority of ingredients are organic and sourced locally from the restaurant’s own farm upstate, Rigor Hill, and this relationship touches every element of the meal, including cocktails like the Farm Stand and Heirloom. Downstairs, an à la carte experience is available on a walk-in basis only, while reservations can be made upstairs for the six-course chef’s tasting. Every detail of One White Street is filled with soul and love—from the unbelievably friendly and accommodating staff to the 1980s rock that plays throughout the space and the warm, earthy décor (and very enviable tableware). Imagine, a place to make your local haunt and cherished special-occasion venue.

Photo by Giada Paolini

Across town, longtime friends and colleagues Raymond Trinh and chef Samuel Clonts opened Sixty-Three Clinton within a relatively unassuming building with just a hint of Lower East Side grit. The seven-course New American tasting experience, with à la carte options, demonstrates clear Japanese and Mediterranean influences, with one-of-a-kind dishes including the ajitama breakfast taco, the roasted tomato agnolotti with Calabrian chili and the caviar hand roll. The chic yet casual décor and contained size of the menu allow guests to truly relax—and focus on the wealth of flavors. Try to snag one of the 10 chef’s-counter seats facing the open kitchen (while you can—Michelin has already given its nod to the venue).

Photo by Eunji Paula Kim

Last but certainly not least, Le Pavillon by Daniel Boulud in the One Vanderbilt skyscraper at Grand Central is unquestionably the new address to seek out in Midtown. The most grand of the four, Le Pavillon encompasses 11,000 square feet of dining space that has been transformed into a verdant plaza of sensory delights; there is also a luminous bar with great views of the station and the Chrysler Building, and a semi-private Garden Table where unique tasting experiences can be booked. With a seafood-and-vegetable-forward menu, Boulud aims to bring the beauty of classic French fine dining into the present—hence, the notion of a restaurant within “a New York skyscraper living in harmony with nature.” And after all, there will always be a little bit of Paris in New York.

For atmospheric after-dinner libations, another Midtown name making a splash (to all of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn's surprise) is Pebble Bar, a contemporary concept hidden within a historic four-story townhouse (above Magnolia Bakery), whose expertise in playing host to the drinking crowd dates back before Rockefeller Center even existed (when the bar was an Irish dive known as Hurley's). Brought to life by the team behind Celestine and Ray's, and backed by a list of investors that includes Mark Ronson, Jason Sudeikis, Nicholas Braun and Pete Davidson, Pebble Bar is cool but not pretentious, and jazzy yet intimate. And while you're sipping on a Ginny Fallon or a glass of orange wine, you might just catch a glimpse of an SNL cast member sneaking off to the alleged secret passage into 30 Rock.

For our full list of the best new restaurants in New York City, from an exclusive piano club to an iconic Spanish revival, click here.

Related: The Top 26 Spring Destinations: Where to Go This Spring

Where to Wander & Wonder: Culture & More

The city’s culture centers are finally back in full swing, and there’s no shortage of entertainments to discover in the worlds of art, design, music, dance, theater and beyond.

Photo courtesy Summit One Vanderbilt

Architecture and graphic design lovers may wish to pay a visit to the ambitious Summit One Vanderbilt, which includes immersive observatory experiences like suspended glass viewing boxes and elevators and a multisensory Kenzo Digital art installation. For similar stimulation, the latest exhibition on at Chelsea's ARTECHOUSE, "Trust," uses 360-degree audiovisual effects to examine, through data, how the concept of trust has changed in the 21st century (through May 30). And to experience the foundations of this technology in their first form—nature—don't miss the New York Botanical Garden's annual Orchid Show, this year featuring the work of Jeff Leatham, and hundreds of fantastical blooming beauties, in the breathtaking exhibition Kaleidoscope (through May 1)—or for a floral twist on a night out, try Orchid Evenings, offering select viewing dates accompanied by dance performances, bites from the Bronx Night Market and cocktails.

The Orchid Show. Photo courtesy of New York Botanical Garden

The Whitney Biennial returns April 6 – September 5 for a review of the most significant contemporary American artists of the moment, and viewers can expect polemic issues like the pandemic and the U.S.-Mexico border to be primary topics of discussion. At the Brooklyn Museum, the career of the late Virgil Abloh will be celebrated holistically, from Louis Vuitton to Off-White, with "Figures of Speech" (July 1, 2022 – January 29, 2023). The Africa Center, at the crossroads of Harlem and Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue, presents "African/American: Making the Nation's Table,” which spotlights the significance of Black cuisine in American food culture—from agriculture to media—with highlights including the chance to explore the preserved Ebony test kitchen (through June 19). Meanwhile, the male gaze is challenged at Fotografiska through "NUDE," a collection of contemporary photographs examining the human body and its forms through the lenses of 30 female photographers hailing from 20 different countries, from Australia to Uruguay (through May 1). And at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a few exciting exhibitions will round out the calendar. The Costume Institute’s "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion" (through September 5, 2022) will shed new light on the beauty and complexity of the patchwork quilt, while "Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room" will bring aptly deconstructed perspectives.

In the latest edition of Indagare Magazine, arriving in to members' mailboxes next month, contributor Mario Mercado reports on Broadway's latest: "James McAvoy assumes the title role in an audacious reboot of Cyrano de Bergerac. The Olivier Award–winning production arrives for an extended run this spring at Brooklyn Academy of Music (April 5 – May 22). Daniel Craig stars in the Shakespeare tragedy Macbeth, with Oscar-nominated actress Ruth Negga in her Broadway debut as Lady Macbeth and Hadestown’s Amber Gray as Banquo (Longacre Theatre; March 29 – July 10). Lincoln Center Theater marks the 125th anniversary of Thornton Wilder’s birth with a new staging of the allegorical Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, The Skin of Our Teeth (April 25 – July 10)." Fall/winter titles that are still on and of note include: "Six, a pop musical about the ill-fated wives of King Henry VIII (Brooks Atkinson Theatre), MJ, which tells the thrilling story of the life, music and creative process of Michael Jackson (Neil Simon Theatre), and the long-awaited Broadway revival of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman in the title role and Sutton Foster as Marian Paroo; Jerry Zaks stages the production, with sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto, and choreography by Warren Carlyle (Winter Garden Theatre)." Plus: Don’t miss the show-stopping debut of the Museum of Broadway this summer.

Live performances have returned to the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York City Ballet is back at Lincoln Center. The lineup reflects a range of choreographers, from cofounders George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins to Sidra Bell, who made history in 2020 as the first Black woman to create an original work for the company. The first City Center Dance Festival is exhibiting local talent after a two-year hiatus, with shows from Paul Taylor Dance Company, Ballet Hispánico, Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Martha Graham Dance Company (through April 10). Looking ahead, the New York Philharmonic will, unexpectedly, move into its new state-of-the-art home at the renovated David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center two years ahead of schedule (in October, with upgrades including HVAC systems, a Grand Promenade on Broadway for public performances, and an in-the-works “patrons lounge")—while the grand opening of the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center in 2023 at the World Trade Center will create a new platform for both emerging and well-known artists in theater, dance, music, opera and film.

Plus: For a bit of family fun, Rockefeller Center will trade in ice skates for roller blades on April 15 for the first time since the 1940s, with the help of Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace.

And that’s all just the beginning.


Related: Travel Outlook 2022: Indagare Travel Sentiment Survey Results

Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare, if you are not yet a member, to start planning a trip to New York City. Our team can match you with the accommodations, reservations and activities that are right for you.

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