It’s easy to experience a romantic getaway in New York City. However, you can make your trip even more sultry by visiting some of New York’s “hottest” spots. Some of New York Magazine’s top romantic things to do in Manhattan are visiting Central Park, dining at Masa restaurant, having a cocktail at La Esquina and ending your night with a stay in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Nothing is more romantic than a picnic in New York’s biggest park on a beautiful, sunny day. The park features a zoo, radio boat races, your choice of tasty ice cream and snack stands and a gorgeous antique carousel that is perfect for a quixotic ride. For English buffs on a romantic getaway, visit the Literary Walk which includes statues of Shakespeare and Sir Walter Scott. Snuggle next to your loved one on a scenic carriage ride along the paths. Enjoy a dreamy boat ride from Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, which offers paddleboat rentals. You can enter Central Park at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue across from the Plaza Hotel. For a guide with access to other entrances, visit the Central Park Conservancy at 14 E. 60th Street. For more information about the park, call (212) 310-6600 or visit centralparknyc.org.
For a superb romantic dinner, visit Masa, New York Magazine’s Best Romantic Dinner Pick 2006. Offering a plethora of Japanese cuisine including sushi, white truffles in tempura batter, risotto folded in uni and shabu-shabu style boiled foie gras, Masa prides itself on being shibui, or “devoid of unnecessary elements … [with an] honest presentation of materials.” Meaning, there are no frills or gimmicks; simply delicious delicacies and a gorgeous, warm setting. Masa offers an extensive champagne and wine list, as well as cold sake and mouthwatering cocktails. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and lunch is served Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. To make reservations, call (212) 823-9800 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit masanyc.com.
After a fantastic romantic dinner, take your date or significant other to La Esquina, picked Best Date Bar by New York Magazine. This small, secretive bar gives the impression of sophistication and class, making you feel like VIPs as you walk past the kitchen into an ambient-lit Mexican-tiled bar. This celebrity-ish entrance needn’t worry you, however; La Esquina may seem showy on the outside, but inside it’s really a down-to-earth Mexican bar that serves delightful taco-stand food and delicious margaritas. New York Magazine recommends the chorizo quesadillas and one of the 100 specialty tequilas this charming nightspot offers. The brasserie and tequila bar is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and serves full dinner. La Esquina is located at 114 Kenmare Street. For more information or to make reservations, call (646) 613-7100 or visit esquinanyc.com.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
New York Magazine recommends the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel for the perfect weekend getaway with your spouse or significant other. With gigantic wrap-around windows that reach from the top of the ceiling to the bottom of the floor, rooms at this sumptuous hotel offer breathtaking sunrises and phenomenal views of Central Park. The rooms also feature velvet chaise lounges, lovely purple orchids and hanging lanterns. New York Magazine recommends booking the 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. block in the VIP Spa Suite, where you can receive toe-curling massages and relax in a stone Jacuzzi. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is located at 80 Columbus Circle. To make a reservation, visit mandarinoriental.com or call (212) 805-8800.