Manhattan knows how to make Christmas come alive with the decorations and sparkling lights. From the tree at Rockefeller Center to the windows of Lord and Taylor and the outside decorations of Tiffany, New York makes one feel the season. Shopping at Bendel’s where the entire first floor is full of Christmas gifts and amazing decorations to the restaurant at the top of Bergdorf’s, one has to be a true Scrooge to not be infected with the spirit.
This year I stayed at a new hotel for me, The NoMad located at 28th and Madison, which turned out to be very nice with large rooms and a very attentive staff. The two flaws I found were: no Christmas decorations and they charge $7 for one cup of weak brewed tea. So just don’t order tea and go at a different time of year to enjoy the hotel, its Library Bar (only open to hotel guests), and its restaurant. If you’ve ever been to Hotel Costes in Paris, there is a reason – Jacques Garcia is the interior designer for both so if you love the Costes, as I do, you’ll feel right at home.
Plus the walk up Fifth from The NoMad is one of the most fun promenades at this time of year. Building after building is decorated both inside and out. This year Lord and Taylor’s windows with moving animal figurines were the best on Fifth. When you get to the mid-fifties, the jewelry stores such as Bulgari and Tiffany decorate the outside of the buildings so magnificently it takes one’s breath away. When you reach Bergdorf’s, stop and go into the store and upstairs to the 7th floor where there is a great Christmas Shop and a wonderful restaurant with windows overlooking the Park. We had the lobster salad and the Asian beef salad. Both were superb but if you eat meat, go for the Asian salad.
I like Manhattan all year but at Christmastime, it is magical and to top the magic off, always stop at FAO Schwarz to really feel like a child again!