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The Top 15 Essential NYC Restaurants

top 15 essential nyc restaurants

Photo: Zocha Group – The Top 15 Essential NYC Restaurants

 

Experience NYC Dining

New York City is filled to the brim with quality places to wine and dine. With a diversity of cultures bringing unique flavors to the restaurant landscape, there are a number of options for where to indulge in a satisfying meal during your time in the city. Your cravings will be satisfied as you experience some of the best NYC restaurants.




Olmsted

The fun and fresh menu at Brooklyn neighborhood restaurant Olmsted will make your visit worthwhile with whimsical dishes to enjoy in their back garden for a touch of greenery.




Alta

The airy ambiance of Atla comes from the bright and trendy Noho environment filled with healthy Mexican dishes for a casual yet refined dining experience.




Llama Inn

Head to Llama Inn to take in their quirky design elements fit for the Williamsburg neighborhood as you dine from the Peruvian-inspired menu of delicious and adventurous bites.

I Sodi

For pasta and lasagna that will make your mouth water, I Sodi’s minimalist approach to Italian dining makes the delicious food stand out in this cozy West Village destination.

Oxomoco

The wood-fired oven at Oxomoco adds to the vibrant flavors of their Mexican cuisine served up in the rustic yet modern dining room or the pleasantly intimate front patio.

The Grill

The landmark Seagram Building has gotten an upgrade with The Grill’s menu of chophouse classics drawing in guests for a lively meal amongst the eye-catching interior.

Lilia

A pasta lover’s dream, Lilia is a shining star in Williamsburg for the innovative menu of Italian cuisine in a sophisticated industrial-inspired setting.

Wildair

Don’t be fooled by the unassuming wine bar concept—Wildair delivers a small plates dining menu that will surpass expectations from the memorable tartare to the mouth-watering desserts.

La Vara

Cobble Hill’s La Vara boasts a Michelin-star rating for its Spanish and Jewish influenced cuisine fit for both traditional palates and adventurous tastes.

Flora Bar

After visiting the Met Breuer in the Upper East Side, you’ll have to stop by Flora Bar—a restaurant that oozes cool serving up seafood small plates in an upscale, casual environment.

Win Son

With a selection of Taiwanese dishes with an American twist, Win Son is a lively choice for a restaurant that mixes tradition with innovation in its trendy Brooklyn locale.

Le Coucou

A restaurant inspired by classic elements of French dining, the warmth of Le Coucou can be felt through its stylish yet comforting décor paired with an extravagant selection of tastes.

Aldea

This Michelin-starred destination remains approachable and enjoyable as its Portuguese fare and modern setting impresses guests to return again and again.

Uncle Boons

Head to Uncle Boons for a creative menu of flavorful (and often spicy) Northern Thai cuisine with an eclectic environment inspired by vintage Thai artistry.

The Pool

The former Four Seasons’ iconic pool dining room has been re-imagined through The Pool—a contemporary spot for lavish seafood plates and an impressive wine list.

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For information on reservations and accommodations in New York City, contact concierge@zochagroup.com

 

The 10 Best Cocktail Bars in NYC

Photo: Zocha Group – The 10 Best Cocktail Bars in NYC

 

Best Cocktail Bars in NYC

New York City is known for enlisting some of the most talented bartenders in the world to create innovative cocktails in impressively-designed spaces throughout the city. With nationwide trends like mixology, the speakeasy resurgence and craft mocktails citing NYC as their epicenter, the odds of finding a delicious drink are in your favor. During your next stay in the Big Apple, stop by any of these lauded establishments to experience a quality concoction in the best cocktail bars in New York City.




best cocktail bars in nyc

Photo: Zocha Group – The 10 Best Cocktail Bars in NYC

The NoMad Bar

Created by a James Beard Award-winning group, The NoMad Bar is known for its knowledgeable staff pouring rare spirits in Manhattan’s NoMad Hotel. Catering to a crowd of hotel guests, finance professionals and cocktail connoisseurs, this upscale pub unites extravagance with authenticity for a unique bar experience. Order one of their large-format drinks with your group and warm up near the fireplace in this notable lounge.




Katana Kitten

This eccentric cocktail bar in Greenwich Village takes on a Japanese izakaya style, and has been awarded as one of the 50 Best Bars in the Country. Lounge in the more relaxed setting upstairs or toast drinks after work downstairs holding one of their signature high balls or unique cocktails. The whimsical feel will put you in the mood for socializing at this West Village go-to.




Clover Club

This elegant Brooklyn bar serves up a detailed menu of classic and contemporary cocktails in a venue filled with vintage accents. Marble, leather and mahogany fill the regal space along with the occasional sounds of live jazz and a bustling weekend brunch. Built with conversation in mind, catching up with friends or loved ones will be a breeze in this laid back location.

Death & Co.

A pioneer of the nation’s craft cocktail movement, Death & Co. brings innovative drinks to the East Village, setting the standard for cocktail trends around the country. Their rotating menu of detail-oriented creations are some of the best in New York City, which guests enjoy in the sophisticated, dimly lit dwelling. Slip through the speakeasy entrance to experience the brooding interior with highly limited seating reserved for dedicated imbibers.

Dear Irving

Travel throughout some of history’s greatest moments at this Gramercy lounge inspired by the film Midnight in Paris. From the Roaring ‘20s to the Victorian era, each room features a new point on the timeline with elaborate decor where you can sip from the range of cocktails to suit any palate.

Maison Premiere

The dramatic, vintage decor of this Williamsburg staple will transport you to pre-war New Orleans the second you step up to the marble horseshoe bar. With a commendable cocktail program run by experienced bar talent, Maison Premiere boasts an absinthe drip to fuel their dedicated absinthe cocktail menu along with tableside martinis that are sure to impress. Seafood towers also complement juleps and locally-sourced beer whether you’re seated indoors amongst the beautiful crowd or in the lush garden out back.

Pegu Club

Stylized with a British colonial feel, Pegu Club is named after a 19th Century Burmese locale of the same name, bringing forth English tastes to its SoHo neighborhood. The polished domain features detailed drinks like their popular Gin Gin Mule and MarTEAni, made to be sipped in the sleek, second-floor space situated above Houston Street.

Amor y Amargo

Don’t be fooled by the tiny layout, this intimate bar is an industry favorite known for its specialty of amari liqueur and other bitters stirred into delicious cocktails. Order a flight or sip a signature concoction in the colorful space with limited seating, a local go-to in spite of its standing room only exclusivity.

Attaboy

Springing up in the former Milk & Honey space, the speakeasy feel lives on at Attaboy–an intimate sphere of cocktail enthusiasts both behind the bar and in front of it. Veteran barkeeps mix bespoke cocktails without a menu to be seen as a playlist of retro music sets the mood. Ring the doorbell to be let into this walk-ins-only venue focused on serving up personalized cocktails to the Lower East Side.

Bar Goto

From the mind of a Pegu Club alum, the Lower East Side has a refined place to escape the bustle of Houston Street at sleek, Japanese-inspired Bar Goto. The space is intimate and sophisticated, offering plates of Japanese comfort food like miso chicken wings and some of the best okonomiyaki in the city. Pair bites with a handcrafted highball or martini in this minimalist habitat perfect for cocktail devotees.

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The Suite Life: Best Luxury Hotel Suites

waldorf astoria presidential penthouse

Photo: Waldorf Astoria Presidential Penthouse Suite – Best Luxury Hotel Suites

 

Experience the Best Luxury Hotel Suites

When booking a hotel for business or pleasure, comfort becomes a top priority in order to get the most out of your home away from home. Hotels in major cities across the country offer unparalleled luxury suites that allow guests to live like royalty. With spacious rooms, extravagant décor, and breathtaking views, these are the best luxury hotel suites create the perfect escape into a world of lavish relaxation.




Los Angeles

The Waldorf Astoria sits in the heart of Beverly Hills with easy access to shopping, theaters, and fine dining. Their impressive design and impeccable service draws in guests from all over the world to live the lifestyle of the highly acclaimed brand. Their Presidential Penthouse Suite offers some of the best views of the city, with floor-to-ceiling windows to let in the signature California sunshine. With a mini-gym, home theater, private terrace, and fully-stocked kitchen, everything you need will be right at your fingertips as you live amongst the clouds.

Stay at the largest penthouse suite in Los Angeles when you book The Penthouse at The London West Hollywood. With 11,000 square feet of space, this impressive suite was styled by renowned designer Vivienne Westwood. A chic, neutral palette of modern accents creates a sophisticated labyrinth of luxury living space. You’ll have no problem entertaining a group thanks to the 5,000 square foot private rooftop deck complete with a kitchen, fireplace and 360-degree view of Los Angeles.




San Francisco

For a stay in the Bay, the Fairmont Hotel is world-renowned for exuding luxury. Its centrally located neighborhood makes getting around the city a breeze, as it’s the only place in San Francisco where each of the cable car lines meet. The historical three-bedroom Presidential Suite was designed in the 1920s and has been restored to an opulent, 6,000 square foot living space. A billiard room, dining room that seats 60 guests, and a library with a secret passageway are just some of the many perks to booking a stay in this glamourous suite.

San Francisco’s Proper Hotel is also worth booking with a stylish design that sets it apart from its more business-oriented counterparts. Their Premier Suite is filled with eye-catching textures and patterns along with fashionable modern furnishings. The apartment-style suite will make you feel right at home with a spacious living area and luxury bathroom amenities. You’ll also be in the center of the action with rooftop bar Charmaine’s perched at the top of this chic luxury hotel.




Chicago

The Windy City will never feel the same after staying in the Ritz-Carlton’s Presidential Suite in Downtown Chicago. The two-story space features a spiral staircase, media room, and a baby grand piano for their more musical guests to enjoy. Wake up to a view of Navy Pier and get ready for your day in one of the suite’s three marble bathrooms. Lounge on the modern, luxurious decor as you watch the sunset over Lake Michigan.

The loft-style Penthouse Suite at The Thompson Hotel will also whisk you away into extravagance with their chic, modern accommodations. Views of either the lake or the city mean you’ll have a stunning backdrop no matter where you look. A pool table and soaking tub are just a few of the perks you can expect when you book this suite in Chicago’s Near North Side neighborhood.

New York City

In a city with a sky-high cost of living, hotel suites are especially extravagant for those wishing to live in luxury. The Mark Hotel boasts one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world with its two-story, 12,000 square foot Penthouse Suite. Cozy up by one of the four fireplaces and enjoy the decor designed by master architect Jacques Grange. With five bedrooms and a breathtaking view of Central Park, this opulent space is fit to make any guest swoon.

The Four Seasons New York offers an unforgettable luxury experience, with their Ty Warner Penthouse also being one of the world’s most expensive hotel suites, along with being the highest in the city. The elegantly-crafted design is filled with antiques and artwork, as well as furnishings made from fabrics imported from all over the world. The four separate glass balconies are sure to impress as you look out onto unobstructed panoramic views of New York City.

Miami

Take a trip to the perfect city for a beachside escape and fall in love with The Faena Hotel in Miami Beach. There’s nothing but glamour in the Penthouse Suite, which overlooks the sparkling, Atlantic shoreline. The art-deco style, designed by filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his wife, embraces animal prints, velvet, and gold details to bring an eccentric feel to the extravagant space. With four bedrooms, a chef’s kitchen, media room and an elevator, guests can explore the grand layout with an oceanfront view.

Book the Sorrento Penthouse at Fontainebleau Miami Beach for a vacation you’ll never want to leave. The crisp, clean styling is the perfect setting for taking in the ocean breeze with almost 10,000 square feet of space for you and your guests to make yourselves at home. Five bedrooms, a private pool and jacuzzi mean that your entire group will get to enjoy the good life among stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Las Vegas

With a reputation for lavish nightlife and hotels, Las Vegas is the place to go for a luxurious getaway. Booking a stay at the Nobu Villa will have you living large. The three-bedroom, rooftop suite has a serene, Japanese design perfect for rest and relaxation. Outdoor entertainment will be a breeze with the sky deck offering a full bar, barbecue pit, and Zen Garden. Your private view of the strip will be one-of-a-kind as you enjoy a lavish stay on the 83rd floor.

You can also indulge in a lavish stay when you book the Penthouse Suite at The Bellagio. The vibrant interior overlooks The Bellagio’s iconic fountain displaying a continuous water show throughout your stay.  His and hers bathrooms are perfect for pampering, offering spa-like features like a steam shower and spa jet bath. The living space comes complete with a wet bar for you and your guests to toast drinks before a night on the town.

Dubai

Dubai is well-known for extravagant living which means luxury hotels in the area reach beyond the ordinary. The largest hotel suite in Dubai can be found at The Waldorf Astoria. Their palatial Royal Suite spans almost 17,000 square feet, taking up the full top floor of this luxury hotel. Take in beautiful views of the skyline from the private terrace or lounge in the indoor living space with butler service for a lavish experience.

The Four Seasons Jumeirah has its own Royal Suite where you’ll be pampered by marble floors, stoic columns and a baby grand piano for an added touch. This impressive, fifth-floor suite brings an airy ambiance to an expansive living space. The master bedroom overlooks stunning views of the gulf from two separate balconies, and guests can also take in the view from the furnished terrace.

London

No discussion of luxury suites would be complete without The Rosewood London’s Manor House Wing, the only suite in the world to have its own dedicated postcode. Enter through a private entrance to experience this seven-bedroom habitat filled with sophisticated furnishings in an expansive layout. This elegant destination allows guests to reside in comfort with a lounge, library and soaking tub all contributing to an unprecedented luxury experience.

With just the right amount of glitz and glamour, the Shangri-La Suite at The Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard will whisk you away into a world of refined prestige. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a breathtaking view of the London skyline from the 39th floor, while the spacious interior makes this luxury suite the perfect site for entertaining. Marble accents, a private elevator and dedicated butler service all allow you to indulge during your world-class London stay.

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How to Spend a 21st Birthday in New York City

21st Birthday New York City

Photo: Zocha Group – 21st Birthday in New York City

 

Celebrate your 21st Birthday in NYC

The City that Never Sleeps is the perfect description of a destination fit for a 21st birthday. New York City is packed with adventure with trendy hotels, inviting restaurants and unparalleled nightlife that will turn your birthday plans into the trip of a lifetime. Pack your bags and get ready to enjoy the best venues when you spend your 21st birthday in New York City at these cool, party-ready destinations.

 

how to spend a 21st birthday in nyc

Photo: Zocha Group – How to Spend a 21st Birthday in New York City

Book Your Hotel Room

Reserve a room for you and your friends to indulge in the high life at a luxury hotel with a dazzling view for your NYC 21st birthday. The Dream Hotel will be your playground with a stylish design and vibrant social scene to match the trendy rooms with portholes looking out onto the city. An expansive view of the Manhattan skyline will be the backdrop to your vacation when you stay at 1Hotel Brooklyn, known for its signature organic feel.

A former clock tower, the Times Square EDITION places you right in the middle of the hustle and bustle while offering a lavish retreat into birthday pampering. The Sixty LES is filled with eye-catching design including a Warhol filmstrip pool, a lush rooftop hot spot Make Believe, and crisp room stylings that are sure to impress.




21st Birthday New York City

Photo: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge – 21st Birthday in New York City

Birthday Experiences

There is an endless amount of activities worth exploring in New York City, and your 21st birthday getaway will be the perfect time to explore each nook and cranny of the vivacious metropolis. See the entirety of Manhattan from a bird’s eye view with a helicopter tour over the island. NYC is known worldwide for its Broadway performances, with a variety of plays to choose from each week bringing supremely talented actors to the stage.

You can also take in some entertainment by seeing an intimate music performance at Gramercy Theater or Irving Plaza, or joining a sea of sports fans at Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden. Take in a spirited experience at SPiN, a ping pong social club, or head to Magic Hour rooftop bar for a game of their mini golf at Foreplay.




21st Birthday New York City

Photo: Zocha Group – 21st Birthday in New York City

Dine at the Best Restaurants

Celebrate the kickoff to your 21st birthday in New York City with a reservation at some of the hottest havens for lively dining. The world-renowned Tao has an awe-inspiring design with an expansive layout filled with Chinese accents. Vandal’s graffiti artwork creates a vibrant backdrop to a menu of global creations, and boasts a matching nightclub for post-dinner partying.

The same goes for LAVO, with their Italian menu offering flavorful eats before heading to the underground club. The attractive nightspot Catch is known for its crowd of socialites who dine at the seafood restaurant before hitting the town for a night out. 




Day Partying

New York City may not have as much sunshine as Los Angeles, but it does still come out on top for the sheer amount of quality rooftop bars to sip a drink on your 21st birthday with a view of the skyline. Mr. Purple is one of the city’s favorites at the top of Hotel Indigo with a lively social scene and a stylish atmosphere. Head to Le Bain in the Meatpacking District for an unparalleled penthouse view with quirky, artistic interiors and plenty of seating.

If you get a room at the Dream Hotel, you’ll have the perk of being just below the luxurious PH-D Rooftop Lounge, a spot with a youthful crowd that embraces the day drinking lifestyle. Westlight is also an attractive daytime destination for Brooklyn, where you can watch the sunset while enjoying the start to your evening on the expansive rooftop.

| Read More: 10 Best NYC Rooftop Bars |

Bars & Lounges

Start your NYC 21st birthday night with your first drink at one of the city’s many bars and lounges offering sophisticated places to imbibe. Learn what an expertly-crafted cocktail tastes like at The Nomad Bar, an industry favorite with an award-winning bar program. The 360-degree view at Fleur Room makes for the perfect backdrop for a 21st birthday photoshoot at the top of the Moxy Chelsea.

Head to the speakeasy Blind Barber to enter through a barbershop and dance with the crowd in this lively bar. Head to the exclusive bar at the Jane Hotel Ballroom to be entertained by the mix of vintage decor and a dancey crowd. Bathtub Gin is known for its speakeasy vibe and iconic bathtub in the middle of the room, while you’ll be partying in a hair salon when you visit the historic Beauty Bar.

 

Photo: Fleur Room

Party at the Best Nightclubs

Enjoying your first nightclub experience is a must, with New York City being the site of some of the world’s best nightlife destinations. Book 21st birthday bottle service at 1OAK to experience a buzzworthy night at one of the most exclusive hot spots in the city. Avenue can also be the site of a lively 21st birthday in the multi-level space with a celebrity clientele.

Party the night away at Up&Down in a flashy domain with plenty of live performances by internationally-known artists. Take things up a notch by visiting House of Yes, a cabaret-inspired nightlife spot known for entertaining dancers and vibrant performances in Brooklyn. You’ll also have the experience of a lifetime at Marquee, a haven with sky-high ceilings, entertaining musical guests and a bold design.

 

21st Birthday New York City

Photo: 1OAK NYC – 21st Birthday in New York City

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Where to Watch the Fireworks this Fourth of July

Photo: Zocha Group – Where to Watch the Fireworks this Fourth of July

 

Where to Watch Fireworks

Whether you were born in the USA or just visiting for the summer, the Fourth of July is an essential holiday to celebrate across the country. From barbecues to pool parties, the day’s festivities involve merrymaking with friends and family and most importantly, ending the night watching a sky full of fireworks. This popular travel day has a variety of ideal destinations with each offering the perfect view of the sparkling night sky. Take your Independence Day trip to new heights with these great places to watch the fireworks this 4th of July summer night.




New York City

The East River is the source of NYC’s biggest show known as the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. If you’re lucky enough to have a clear view of the river, you’ll get the full experience with an accompanying music score to put you in the patriotic mood. Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn have the best view with barges also giving Midtown and South Street Seaport a good sightline. Hotels like 1Hotel, The Bowery, The Freehand or The Nomad make for great vantage points, or make the trek to the river to see the 45-minute event up close.




Los Angeles

With the sprawling city offering up a range of events from Marina del Rey to Pasadena, you’ll be sure to find an impressive display no matter your neighborhood of choice. The Hollywood Bowl hosts an annual Fourth of July party with The Go-Go’s being this year’s artist to perform during the celebration. Dodger Stadium will be lit up even brighter than usual with an all-American game to round out your evening. One of the biggest LA events is the Rose Bowl’s Americafest which boasts rides, crafts and tailgating outside the stadium in preparation for the eye-catching show.




San Diego

San Diego makes for a great Fourth of July destination with its perfect weather and beachside locale. Their numerous shows of the night take place in Old Town, Ocean Beach, SeaWorld, and their most popular, the Annual Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show. The largest in the county, this fireworks display lights up the sky from multiple locations along the North Bay. Having four barges placed along the water means you’ll have no problem finding the perfect view with a stay at hotels like Omni, Hotel del Coronado, or Pendry San Diego.

Chicago

Any Chicago resident knows that Navy Pier is the place to go for a fireworks show during the summer. Their 4th of July Aon Summer Fireworks, presented by Miller Lite, is the biggest of the season with a dazzling display over the lake. This unofficial yet fully embraced Independence Day show allows locals and visitors head to Millennium Park to see the explosive festivities up close. For those searching for a rooftop view, bars like Streeterville Social, Apogee, Upstairs at The Gwen or Cindy’s offer up the perfect perspective for the spectacular event.

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Summer Guide to the Hamptons

summer guide to the hamptons

Photo: Zocha Group – Summer Guide to the Hamptons

 

Summer in the Hamptons

One of the hottest annual destinations for an East Coast getaway is The Hamptons, where visitors venture into a luxurious and sophisticated summer vacation. With picturesque seaside resorts, extravagant shopping, and plenty of wining and dining, this East End locale is one of the best places to go to escape the city and enjoy some much-needed R&R. With new, trendy restaurants and activities arriving to the shores each summer, there are a number of ways to keep your Hamptons experience fresh during your lavish summer holiday.




person running on beach at sunset in southampton

Photo: Southampton – Zocha Group

Southampton

If summer sports excite you, the Southampton Inn will have all your needs met with amenities like shuffleboard, tennis courts, croquet and complimentary bike rentals available for guests. The Inn’s new indoor/outdoor eatery Claude’s is also a great place to grab a delicious bite of their seafood specials in between workouts.

Head to Tutto il Giorno for a light and airy Italian brunch in their pristine indoor space or breezy patio seating. Night owls can get a taste of the luxurious Hamptons’ nightlife scene at the Southampton Social Club, a restaurant and cocktail lounge where guests come to party alongside live DJ sets and fine dining. Another lively nightclub experience, AM Southampton boasts music lineups with a variety of celebrity guests each weekend.




Sag Harbor

Baron’s Cove is the place to be when it comes to booking a sophisticated Sag Harbor stay. Live music is a common occurrence, along with a saltwater pool and a delectable attached surf-and-turf restaurant so that you’ll never have to venture too far for your entertainment needs. You can also try out Marc Rowan’s new lounge, Main Street eatery Lulu Kitchen & Bar, which features a wood burning oven for delicious wood-fired pizzas. Seafood lovers will also appreciate the bistro’s all-you-can-eat mussels option to get in the seaside spirit.

The former Meeting House has been revamped into Wölffer Kitchen, a new hot spot featuring enticing dishes like lobster Cobb and tuna tacos, created with locally sourced ingredients. Their extensive wine list is one of a kind, with 60 percent of the selection being from Long Island wineries. Nightlife in Sag Harbor is limited, but for a trendy place to watch the sunset, Beacon’s beer and wine list will satisfy your craving for a refreshing drink.




East Hampton

You’ll feel the fresh and airy ambiance when you book your stay at The Maidstone Hotel, a Scandinavian-inspired destination with a cozy, comfortable style. It wouldn’t be an East Hampton stay without booking a reservation at Nick & Toni’s–the local mainstay that’s been serving up delicious Mediterranean cuisine for decades.

Made popular by its Sag Harbor location, Dopo La Spiaggi in East Hampton is also a great option that offers up a vibrant array of signature, Italian flavors. For a change of scenery, you can take a quick trip to nearby Amagansett to visit Hamptons’ classic venue Stephen Talkhouse. You’ll enjoy a laid back night of notable live music acts while mixing and mingling with visitors and locals alike.

Montauk

Book a room at Gurney’s to take indulge in some R&R at this luxurious spa resort where your days will be filled with massages and aromatherapy as you overlook the water. You’ll want to stop in for brunch at South Edison for hearty, local seafood and a delicious raw bar from Chef Todd Mitgang. At the end of Lake Montauk, you’ll be able to watch the sunset from your dinner at The Crow’s Nest–a hot spot that mixes a refined menu with a relaxed, beachside location.

Nightlife lovers will have to stop by Ruschmeyer’s, which is filled with locals and visitors enjoying the indoor-outdoor space and partying the night away on a bustling dance floor. For those looking to rub elbows with A-listers, Surf Lodge is a classic celebrity hotspot overlooking Fort Pond. The venue draws in plenty of travelers looking to enjoy their many live music performances and events.

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1 Hotels: Where Hospitality Meets Sustainability

Photo: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

 

The 1 Hotel Experience

As the hospitality industry moves further into the 21st Century, bringing unique and forward-thinking elements to your brand means staying ahead of the game. At 1 Hotels, their message relies on transforming the industry into one that connects people through thoughtful design and sustainability. From New York City to Miami, and soon to include Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas and more, the success of the brand stems from guests’ modern priorities of creativity and mindfulness.




Rooms

Each of the 1 Hotels properties provides an attractive location with rooms that embrace both comfort and style. Nature is brought into the space through the use of reclaimed wood accents, in-room greenery, and organic cotton sheets and mattresses. Each of the rooms have walk-in showers complete with a 5-minute sand timer to help you minimize your water consumption. The Brooklyn Bridge location features unobstructed views of the Manhattan Skyline while the Central Park location allots you an unmatched view of the iconic park. The South Beach property sits along the Atlantic Ocean and affords a breathtaking view of the waves.




Sustainability

The brand takes a strong in-house stance on going green across the board. They pride themselves on utilizing energy saving initiatives, recycling and waste reduction, and low water usage. They also have dozens of partnerships with eco-friendly companies to fulfill the needs of the guest. The paper-free Pressreader technology is available for guests to digitally keep up with their favorite publications. The Tesla Model S acts as the complimentary house car for guests to use when they’re on the go. Even the smallest details are accounted for, like partnering with Ditto Hangers—a company that provides clothing hangers made of 100% recycled materials. They also make use of wooden room keys to reduce plastic consumption and make for a signature brand accent.




Dining

The mission of sustainability also extends into the kitchen with dining options in each hotel to satisfy guests’ craving for healthy and well-made meals. The Central Park Location boasts the food stylings of James Beard Award-winning Chef Jonathan Waxman with a menu of California-inspired cuisine at Jams. Their Lobby Farmstand also provides seasonal fruits, nuts and granola for guests to snack on something fresh. The upcoming West Hollywood location is expected to have two venues run by hospitality mavens h. Wood Group. The first Chinese 1 Hotels property in Haitang Bay will include an onsite farm for organic ingredients to be used in the property’s various hospitality venues.

Amenities

The unique selection of 1 Hotels’ amenities reflects the needs of an urban and contemporary traveler. They embrace all members of the family with pet-friendly accommodations at the NYC properties, including a dog-friendly Concierge team to provide recommendations for your pup. If you’ll be travelling on two wheels in the city, you’ll have no problem finding a place to lock up with a bicycle valet to house your ride. From guided sunrise workouts on the roof of the Brooklyn Bridge property, to a Beach Social Club with premium benefits at the South Beach property, there are perks at each location to fulfill your every need.

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The Secret Life of Modern Speakeasies

secret life of modern speakeasies

Photo: Zocha Group – The Secret Life of Modern Speakeasies

 

The Modern Speakeasy

One of the hottest nightlife trends in recent years is the resurrection of the secretive speakeasy bar. Made popular during the 1920s prohibition era, hidden craft cocktail lounges are making a comeback all around the U.S. From New York to LA, these intriguing establishments channel the aesthetic of America’s historical 13-year dry spell with contemporary (and legal) takes on the drinking atmosphere. The lack of advertisement and a sign out front means you may need to be ‘in the know’ to know these destinations even exist. So what exactly is going on behind the doors of these modern, covert hot spots?




bar with alcohol

Photo: Zocha Group – The Secret Life of Modern Speakeasies

Los Angeles Modern Speakeasies

If you’ve spent time out on the town in Los Angeles, you may have heard some buzz about at least one bar under the Houston Hospitality umbrella. Each of their ten speakeasy locations boasts a whimsical theme allowing patrons to step into another place and time. A visit to No Vacancy will take you back to the roaring 20s in a vintage houseparty environment. La Descarga acts as an homage to Havana, Cuba, with impressive performances matching the detailed cultural décor, and an even more secretive cigar room.

If the 80s is your preferred era, you can stop by the group’s most recent venture, Break Room 86. With a wall of retro TV sets, fully-functioning arcade games, and karaoke rooms hidden beyond secret doors, the speakeasy concept is brought into the 21st century with a touch of nostalgia. Each location is preceded by a mysterious and theatrical entrance that’s sure to make a lasting impression on your night out.




Chicago Modern Speakeasies

The Windy City is fully-stocked with exclusive underground hot spots for you to duck into during your visit. The Walk In boasts a unique cooler door entrance where a live DJ keeps the vibe flowing on weekend nights. Keep an eye out for Three Dots and a Dash, where you can find an upbeat Tiki bar at the end of an alley. With strong tropical drinks and servers adorned in Hawaiian dresses, you’ll completely forget you’re in the middle of Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

You can also head to the nearby Blind Barber, known for its barbershop storefront, to party all night in the secretive lounge hidden away by an unmarked door. For a truly exclusive experience, you can head to Room 13, a members-only speakeasy located beneath The Old Chicago Inn. Complete with an ever-changing password and strict dress code, a membership grants you live jazz music to go along with the 1920s-style craft cocktails.




Phoenix Modern Speakeasies

If your travels lead you to Phoenix, you’ll have a number of hidden watering holes to choose from—if you can find them. To get to Honor Amongst Thieves you’ll have to head up a back staircase where a door with a peephole awaits. Knowledgeable bartenders help you choose your evening spirit with guests enjoying the seductive velvet seating. Just outside of Phoenix, you can visit Kazimierz World Wine Bar in downtown Scottsdale.

To get a taste of one of the over 1,800 selections from their wine list, your only clue to the entrance is to look out for a sign with the prophetic message, “The Truth Is Inside.”  For a bit of exclusivity, you can head to Phoenix’s former red light district and journey into the basement of the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel to find Melinda’s Alley. With a maximum capacity of only 45 guests, this cash-only tavern will have you feeling like a lawless VIP in the middle of prohibition.

New York City Modern Speakeasies

New York State, once home to 100,000 of the nation’s speakeasies during the 1920s, has brought the trend full-circle in the 21st century. Tucked behind a coffee shop’s storefront, Bathtub Gin is easy to miss but worth the find to taste the elaborate, Victorian cocktails or take a photo in the copper bathtub decor piece. You’ll receive a dash of insight with your cocktail at Employees Only, a West Village hot spot with a glowing “Psychic” sign out front hinting at its presence.The house psychic will forecast your future as the eclectic food and drink menu keep you satisfied ‘til dawn.

To live out a truly authentic night, you can visit former prohibition-operated speakeasy the Back Room. Don’t let the “Lower East Side Toy Company” sign distract you, this bar hides beyond a gate and down a flight of stairs—the original entrance used by law-breaking patrons almost 100 years ago.

Experience a Modern Speakeasy

As this vintage form of nightlife finds a resurgence in the coming years, there are sure to be more unique speakeasy locales showing up on your city’s radar. The concept has even garnered an international appeal with new American-style hideaways popping up in Paris, London, Rome, and Amsterdam.

Whether you’re looking for a seductive night-cap, a unique craft drink, or an energetic dance floor, the endless possibilities for creativity allow the speakeasy concept to thrive. So keep your eyes and ears open the next time you pass by what seems to be a simple barber shop, storage room, or furniture store, because it might just be the doorway to your next favorite hot spot.

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Contact concierge@zochagroup.com to arrange your next Speakeasy experience or inquire in the chat box below.




The Top 15 Essential New Bars to Visit in NYC

15 essential new bars to visit in nyc

Photo: Zocha Group – The Top 15 Essential New Bars to Visit in NYC

 

Essential New Bars in NYC

The nightlife scene can be difficult to keep up with in any city, and with New York being a bustling playground all hours of the night, it can be especially tough to know which spots deserve a visit. The ever-changing landscape has plenty of new bars to visit in NYC that will have you toasting your drinks in style within the variety of innovative settings.




Gibson + Luce

Beneath the NoMad’s Life Hotel sits a former speakeasy that now houses a contemporary hideaway lounge. Choose a record from the expansive library of vinyl while you lounge on modern banquette seating in this sleek venue.




The Polynesian

Tiki culture makes its way to the Big Apple with this ode to the tropical 1940s style. Located within the Pod Hotel in Times Square, the expansive cocktail menu offers up Polynesian flavors as guests get a view of Midtown from the third-floor venue.




Peachys

Head to Chinatown to try out this cocktail bar in the downstairs room of popular eatery Chinese Tuxedo. With Gucci wallpaper and lush floral accents lining the space, you’ll stay cozy while you sip from the drink menu stocked with superfood ingredients.

The Woodstock

A trendy spot in the Meatpacking District, this spacious bar attracts patrons who live for the tasty pizzas and eye-catching Salvador Dali originals hanging on its walls. The welcoming locale has a relaxed, ‘70s-inspired vibe where you won’t have a problem stopping in for a casual cocktail.

The George Washington Bar

This former library has a dark, vintage style with a fireplace and wooden accents to round out the feel. The cozy drinkery, a part of the Freehand Hotel, serves up sophisticated sips in the presidential-worthy space.

Rose Gold

One of Bushwick’s newest spots to dance the night away, Rose Gold will have you descending into the basement of a seafood spot for a late night escape. The neon accents and artsy feel draw in a crowd of lively guests who come ready to take in sounds from live DJ performers.

18th Room

The people behind Bathtub Gin have ushered 18th Room onto the scene, hiding this time behind the façade of a coffee supply shop. Art deco elements are brought into the 1920s-style venue where bartenders create customized drinks for each guest who walks through the door.

Banzarbar

Take a trip across the seas at this intimate speakeasy bar above Freemans restaurant. The theme of Antarctic exploration gives the reservation-only space a niche atmosphere where they’re free to let the sophisticated menu change with the journey.

Make Believe

The rooftop of the SIXTY LES is transformed into an artistic and glamorous escape where your imagination is the key to a good time. The pops of color in the velvet seating, tropical foliage, and neon lighting transport guests to another place and time.

Alley Cat Amateur Theatre

You’ll get the best of both worlds at this part-theater-part-speakeasy experience. The mix of modern furnishings and industrial décor create a unique lounge space with a theatrical touch. Japanese flavors enhance the food and drink menu and will please your palate as you take in a live show.

Broken Shaker

This rooftop cocktail bar sits at the top of the new Freehand Hotel, and has successful predecessors in Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles to vouch for its buzz. The beachy style pairs nicely with the tropical-inspired drinks and Mediterranean and Caribbean bites.

The Seville

This modern, underground lounge lives beneath the James NoMad Hotel and boasts a chic style perfect for a night of partying. The live DJs draw in a celeb-studded patronage with guests dancing the night away inside the luxurious design.

Patent Pending

Slip into this hidden locale that acts as a coffeehouse during daylight hours and transforms into a cozy speakeasy after dark. With a menu inspired by Nikolas Tesla, who used to live in the building, you’ll be able to feel the energy in this tucked away space.

Ophelia

At the top of Beekman Tower sits this glamorous, feminine cocktail bar with an art deco-inspired setting to complement its history. Formerly a women’s social club in the early 20th Century, guests can lounge with drinks while witnessing the breathtaking view.

Harriets Rooftop & Lounge

The 10th floor of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is reserved for this sophisticated spot filled with greenery. Craft cocktails and waterfront views of the Manhattan skyline create a contemporary space fit for a lavish night out, complete with live DJs bringing vibrance to the evening.

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For information on accommodations in New York City, please contact concierge@zochagroup.com or inquire in the chat box below.




 

Bachelor and Bachelorette Party Destinations for a Wild Weekend

bachelor and bachelorette party destinations silhouette

Photo: Zocha Group – Bachelor and Bachelorette Party Destinations for a Wild Weekend

 

Bachelor and Bachelorette Party Destinations

When you’re tying the knot, it isn’t just about finding the prime location for your wedding ceremony. Bachelor and Bachelorette parties have flourished in popularity as the wedding party’s way to give the soon-to-be bride or groom a ‘last hurrah’ to remember. These group getaways can involve a number of lively activities that mix wild nights out and quality bonding with friends and family. Finding the perfect bachelor and bachelorette party destinations to celebrate will take your weekend of festivities to the next level.




 

bars cocktails disco party neon sign

Photo: Zocha Group – Bachelor and Bachelorette Party Destinations for a Wild Weekend

Head to Las Vegas

Vegas is a classic Bachelor and Bachelorette party destination with its nightlife and ‘Sin City’ reputation that lead wedding parties to flock there for an exciting trip. Use the opportunity to splurge on a lavish hotel suite like The Chelsea Penthouse at The Cosmopolitan or the Sky Villa at the Palms Casino Resort.

Nightlife is always the main attraction for those looking to go hard or go home during their bride or groom-to-be’s last single night. Start your night at Park MGM’s speakeasy lounge On the Record to toast to a weekend of excitement. Bottle service at XS, Marquee, TAO or one of Vegas’ many favorite nightclub hot spots will give you a home base to call your own as you dance the night away. Stop by Hakkasan to lose yourself in an energetic multi-level nightclub. Make the most of your weekend and reserve a table at a day club like Drais or Encore to have fun in the sun at the lively poolside destinations.




Celebrate in Los Angeles

World-renowned for its star-studded streets, Los Angeles may be the perfect place for your group to enjoy a wild weekend. With unrivaled views of the breathtaking LA skyline, hotels like The West Hollywood Edition, 1Hotel West Hollywood and The Dream Hotel Hollywood each offer up a quality stay.

Bars and lounges throughout the city boast bartending talent to take your palate on a journey whether it be through a whiskey tasting at Seven Grand or a rum craft cocktail at La Descarga. Your LA trip won’t be complete without booking a table at one of the city’s exclusive nightclubs like Warwick, 1OAK or Poppy to complete your Bachelor or Bachelorette adventure.

Plan a Trip to NYC

The hustle and bustle of the city might be just what you need to get a little crazy for the weekend. Indulge in a penthouse experience at the James Hotel for your group to live the high life overlooking the skyline. Take in some fresh air while you day drink at Magic Hour or Mr. Purple.

Later in the night, duck into one of the city’s many speakeasy-style hot spots like Bathtub Gin or Employees Only or Blind Barber. If you’re ready for a night of partying, get bottle service for your group at PHD Lounge or head to 1OAK NYC if you’d prefer to dance the night away.




Party in Miami

Take advantage of the sunshine by choosing Miami as your destination for partying and relaxing on the beach with the future bride or groom. You’ll have a private pool and breathtaking ocean view if your group chooses a luxurious penthouse suite at The W South Beach.

Your trip won’t be complete without a little day drinking–visit Broken Shaker for a handcrafted cocktail or Jaguar Sun to toast in a refreshing indoor-outdoor space. Miami’s nightlife will have you dancing ‘til dawn at places like E11EVEN, LIV, Rockwell or one of the many other exclusive Miami Beach hot spots, including day party destination Hyde Beach.

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For information on hotel accommodations, restaurant reservations, or bottle service tables at any of these locations please contact concierge@zochagroup.com or inquire in the chat box below.