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Bucket List / Budget List: New York

Theatrical speakeasies, Art Deco icons, hot restaurants and floating gardens – there’s nothing like a trip to New York City. Make it yours, whatever you’re spending.

Best for luxury

Where else but New York could you wander through a 100-room theatrical experience, complete with speakeasies, detective agencies and taxidermists, and still get a great dinner after? Sleep No More is the city’s immersive theatre sensation – a film noir version of Macbeth with a cast of hundreds and stories unfolding on five floors. The restaurant is just as dramatic – New York’s favourite chef Lee Hanson has turned vintage railway carriages into the city’s latest must-visit eatery.

The Beekman for Jazz Age vibes

Nothing says New York quite like a skyscraper and The Beekman is a shining example. It’s a ten-storey masterpiece topped with a glass pyramid that looks over some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Inside, the décor says 1920s glamour but the restaurants are bang up-to-date. New ventures by two of the city’s most talked-about restaurateurs, Tom Colicchio and Keith McNally, have New Yorkers queuing round the block.

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca for old-school cool

Maybe it’s the classic design pieces in the guest rooms, the live jazz in the cocktail bar, or the bijoux guest-only private screening room, but there’s something very 1950s Madison Avenue about this NYC hotel icon. In reality, Midtown is blocks away, Tribeca is right down at Manhattan’s tip and is one of its coolest art gallery and shopping districts.

11 Howard for Scandi calm

Nestled between the hustle of Little Italy and the bustle of Chinatown, 11 Howard blends member’s club pampering with hi-tech touches. Rooms are cool, quiet and minimal with tablets and organic minibars. There are serious people watching opportunities from the sumptuous Blond bar or let New York come to you with the weekend Wine Hour – complimentary wine and the coolest pop-up shops in the plush library.

Best for budget

The freshest view of the city comes from New York’s islands. Try the cable car ride over to Roosevelt Island. It offers million-dollar views for the price of a subway ticket. But, this summer is all about the Floating Farm island. This city-block sized sustainable orchard is moored outside pretty Brooklyn Bridge Park doling out fresh and free organic produce (and knock-out skyline views).

The Jane for sunsets and sailboats

The golden age of travel is still alive at this evocative waterfront hotel. From the retro rooms kitted out like cabins to grand ballroom with its speakeasy-style bar, everything here smacks of a more romantic era. Join the local crowd who line the rooftop bar to watch sunsets over the river skyline (and sink some seriously good old fashioneds). The very Wes Anderson-esque bellmen can point you in the direction of the Highline elevated walkway routes, then Lower Manhattan is your oyster.

Hudson New York for an urban oasis

Even locals don’t know about the secret garden hidden away in this cool Hell’s Kitchen boutique hotel. The Hudson boasts surprises around every corner. The raised lobby garden rings to the chatter of urban explorers. Hammocks swing in the shade at the rooftop sangria bar (with views as far as the Statue of Liberty). Guests sip cocktails and browse art books in the library bar with its antique billiards table and comfy sofas. All making this ivy-clad urban oasis the perfect base for exploring one of NY’s hippest districts.

Pod 51 for premium skyline views

Visitors to New York spend a lot of time looking up, but Pod 51’s vibrant roof terrace lets you see central Manhattan from a different perspective. Times Square, Fifth Avenue and Broadway theatres are just blocks away but if you you want to get the most out of Manhattan try one of the hotel’s free walking tours – local guides bring you insider tips from SoHo to Brooklyn.