Ho Ho Ho-ing it in NYC over the holidays:: girlfriend getaway review

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I usually try and go someplace exotic for the holidays…beaching it in Bali, shopping the Christmas markets of Prague, or catching the flip season in South America.
But with all the airport hassles this year, not to mention a def downturn in my bank account I decided to stick closer to home this year, and hook up with a bunch of my eastcoast friends and fam.

NYC is perfect Christmas Girlfriend Getaway choice. The city is sparkly, festive, brimming with Santas and good cheer. Each store one-ups the next with spectacular holiday window displays–hoping you’ll then push your way inside to blow your wad on some very tempting sales. So much to do, but since the city never sleeps you’ll have plenty of time to take a twirl (or spill) ice-skating at Rockefeller Center, shop the red-hot NoLiTa area, do some alternative museum-hopping in Soho, treat yourself to a mani/pedi and be sure to keep your ears open for what hotspot the locals are touting.

When planning your visit the most daunting task will be deciding which hotel (about 1,000 at last count) to stay in and where to have a good meal, since trying to narrow the choice down from 20,000 restaurants can present quite the conundrum. The wise Geico Gecko advises keeping things “easy-peezy-lemon-squeezy,” so my following list of faves will get you off to a good start.

    Suite Sleeps

1. The Surrey

This Upper East Sider Surrey ain’t what it used to be after its $60 million facelift and WE ABSOUTELY LOVED THE NEW LOOK!

I don’t say this often but there wasn’t a single thing I’d change. (Okay, maybe just one. I wish they would put espresso makers in the room.) The Art Deco makeover, best classified as hip-opulence, is sprinkled with many whimsy touches provided by contemporary artists Jenny Holzer and Rechard Serra, among others.

Our glam suite was spacious and comfy with Duxiana beds outfitted with Sferra linens, Samsung LCDs, and a Denon iPod dock. The bathroom offers Carrera marble, Waterworks rain showerheads, Pratesi robes and Laura Tonnato bath amenities. Since we’re name dropping here, dig this: if you order room service it’s provided by Michelin-starred Daniel Boulud, since he oversees both the hotel’s Bar Pleaides (creative cocktails and small bites offered in a chic Coco Chanel-esque setting) as well as the popular Café Boulud, located off the lobby.

Girlfriend Getaway bonus points:

– Super location near Museum Mile and Madison Ave.’s primo boutiques.

– The new rooftop garden will be a delightful addition when it opens this spring.

– Small, but immaculate, fitness room so you have no excuses.

Double points for The Spa at the Surrey, under the fastidious direction of Cheryl Jacobs. There are five beautifully appointed spa suites that are the size of most hotel rooms, each with a private shower (no tacky shared locker rooms). You can’t miss with any of their tailor-made treatments; however, for a blissful 60-minute mini-vaca. I highly recommend their unique Kodo Massage, based on ancient massage techniques passed down by Aboriginal Elders. My therapist set the mood with a ritual smoke ceremony and rhythmic Didgeridoo music. The spa’s exclusive line of Australian products, Li’tya, which means “of the earth,” left me feeling and smelling great.

G.G. HotTip:

Don’t drag your feet because The Surrey is offering some incredible packages including gal-pal specials or some great romatic Valentine’s interludes.

Please continue…

Posted by Janice Nieder on January 25, 2010 in Travel

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