(Free) Advice from a Luxury Attache: 5 Excellent Winter Activities in NYC

by  Alex Schechter | Nov 12, 2013
Winter in NYC
Winter in NYC / Susanne Neumann/iStock

When it comes to crafting the perfect NYC itinerary, few are as skilled as the agents at Luxury Attaché, a high-end concierge service which prides itself on helping visitors experience the best of New York, whether that means nabbing a last-minute reservation at Per Se, or an after-hours art gallery tour. The agency has been around since 2005, though unless you own a suite at Madison Square Garden, or a multi-million dollar Park Avenue penthouse, most travelers have never even heard of them.

That's all changing now, as the company expands into the hospitality sector with a series of hotel partnerships. This month, The Quin became the first New York hotel to employ a dedicated team of Luxury Attachés, available 24/7 to all guests, from the minute they book their reservation to the minute they check out. But with rates starting at $599 a night, it's designed with a particular (ie, wealthy) traveler in mind.

Luckily for you, we recently sat down with one of the Quin's top Luxury Attachés, Susy Schieffelin, who happily offered up her tips on New York's best wintertime activities. Here's what she had to say:

Go to an all-season rooftop bar
"Skylark is a really fun cocktail bar that just opened last week in the Theater District. Unlike most rooftop bars, which close down in the winter, this place stays open year-round, with an indoor-outdoor space overlooking the whole city. Plus, it has a wonderful food by Abigail Kirsch, a well-known caterer in the city. My client was going to dine at the Marriott's revolving bar, The View, and I said, 'We can probably do better than that.' Skylark definitely lived up to his expectations."

Cozy up in a Viennese cafe
"One spot on the Upper East Side I love is Cafe Sabarsky, located inside the Neue Galerie. They have amazing Austrian pastries, and in the winter  they have Glühwein, which they brew themselves with all the spices and everything. It's not cheap, but it's also not extravagant for what you get – your coffee is served on a silver tray, designed by Josef Hoffmann. Right now they're having an exhibition on Kandinsky. If you want to have the perfect winter afternoon, this is it."

See a holiday show
"Something that's fun for families is American Girl at Radio City: Christmas Spectacular. You go see the Rockettes, bring your American Girl doll, and everything is American Girl-themed. Of course, going to see the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center is a classic New York experience for anyone; we can even arrange for people to go backstage and meet the ballerinas afterward."

Take a cooking class
"I love De Gustibus, a cooking school on the 8th floor of Macy's. It was founded by Arlene Sailhac, the wife of famous French chef Alain Sailhac. Chefs like Floyd Wise (North End Grill) and Damon Wise (Lafayette) show up, do this whole presentation, teach you how to make the dish, and then you sit down and eat it! There are also interactive cooking demos at Eataly, where they'll do seasonal dishes like winter risotto, or holiday baking – those are great because Eataly is an experience in and of itself."

Hire a tour guide at MoMA
"People try to cram so much into their trip. I try to make sure people have enough time to enjoy the activities that I schedule for them. Yes, you're here and you want to see it all, but it's not going to be worth it if you're rushing to the next thing. For example, take the time at MoMA to get a tour guide who can point out the pieces that are going to really speak to you, and have a conversation about the art. That way, you're not just wandering around, saying 'What is this Georgia O'Keefe exhibition about?'"

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