Honeymooning in New York with Mr & Mrs Smith; The Roger Hotel | UK WEDDING BLOG

facebook-profile-picture By Rebecca

New York, New York – the city so good they named it twice. Oh, NYC where do I even begin? First up, if you’re wondering whether you should honeymoon in The Big Apple then you’ve come to the right place. New York is such a dream city, you know how the song goes ‘concrete jungle where dreams are made of…’ There is oh so much to do with a constant buzz of new openings but importantly, the beauty of New York is that old school classic feel which will never go away. When you’re walking around the city, half of it still feels like you’ve stepped into the set of Sex and the City or Friends {which believe it or not are over 20 years old now}. A city guide to New York is one of the most popular requests we receive and I was lucky enough to visit for my fifth time a couple of weeks back so I’d love to share some suggestions of where to visit/eat/what to do but also our fabulous stay at The Roger Hotel with Mr & Mrs Smith.

Where to stay;

As you know, we’re huge fans of booking accommodation through Mr & Mrs Smith, the original {and definitely still the best} boutique hotel directory which you can trust to find the best handpicked luxury all around the world. So when looking at the huge minefield of hotel options for NYC, it was Smith that I turned to and thus discovered The Roger.

Location; is everything in New York and this is set in the heart of it all. The Roger sits on the corner of East 31st Street and Madison Avenue, just one block away from 5th Avenue and a two minute walk from the Empire State building. This is in peak Midtown where you can walk to every shop you can think of, visit Central Park or the Rockefeller and you’re an easy walk from both Grand Central Station and 34th st Penn Station which are the two main transport hubs for getting just about anywhere. We used the subways a lot to whizz around to Brooklyn/Downtown etc and you have both 33rd street station and 28th street either side of the hotel. So as locations go, this is hard to beat. If you don’t feel like using the subway, the hotel’s doorman will hail you a yellow cab in classic NYC style!

Style; The Roger is a true New Yorker. Classic on the outside with smart black & white striped awnings and boutique in style. It’s got more personality than larger hotels with friendly staff, complimentary wine in the evening in the exposed brick hotel bar, a tea & coffee station in the morning and a seasonal drink in the lobby. I adored the herringbone floor and classy interiors. It’s understated luxury.

Rooms; We had an Empire Corner room on the 14th floor with impressive windows on two sides that made your legs go a tiny bit wobbly as you could look down on the almost toy-town like city and famous yellow cabs moving below. New York hotels are notoriously known for being teeny and some are so small that you have to almost stand on the bed to get dressed, this room however was the biggest out of all of the New York hotels I’ve ever stayed in which was much appreciated. The wardrobe was big enough to hide our suitcases away and it even had it’s own hallway and the bathroom a window {again this may not seem significant but for a city hotel it makes a difference}. The rooms are smart with a black & white cityscape photo above the bed, a big flatscreen TV, crisp white bedding, a marble bathroom with nice products to use and hotel gowns.

Facilities; There’s a small hotel gym located on the mezzanine level and a restaurant/room service if required. The wine hour is definitely worth a visit but I’d always recommend skipping the hotel restaurant in favour of all the hundreds of other options on the doorstep waiting to be discovered.

N E W  Y O R K  C I T Y

What to do {for first timers};

  • See the city from above. There are three main observation decks with incredible views. The Empire State Building, Top of the Rock and the newly opened One World Observatory. If you’re only going to choose one I’d say do the Top of the Rock for views both over Central Park and down the rest of Manhattan with the Empire State building in the photos. It’s got open air access for better photos and queues tend to be a lot quicker than the Empire State. You can book tickets online if you have a time slot you know you want {i.e check the weather forecast} but this will save lots of time in the queue. Going at dusk is a great option as you get to see the city in the day but also then the change in the lights and sky as it begins to get dark and the city starts to sparkle. The newly opened One World observatory looks amazing but seems fairly expensive and mainly looks up the city and out across the water to New Jersey/Brooklyn/Statue of Liberty – the only thing that annoys me about this is the lack of open air access for photos meaning all photos are through glass which gives a lot of reflective glare.
  • Ride the Staten Island Ferry which is free for the best skyline views including passing close to the Statue of Liberty. This goes from the bottom of Manhattan and out to Staten Island where you then get off and get back on again to come back to the city. Go upstairs and sit at the back for the best views. Boats run almost continuously throughout the day.
  • Walk through Central Park and reminisce about all the movies set in the park over the years. Start by the Plaza Hotel and wander your way through the paths surrounded by boulders. Cross the famous bridge and then walk up the Mall. You can rent a boat from the famous boat house. Have a picnic or laze in the Sheepfields for wide open green space with the city towering above. The Jackie O reservoir is great for walking around with beautiful views too.
  • Times Square is very touristy but a must visit if it’s your first trip.
  • Catch a Broadway Show
  • Visit Grand Central Station even if you’re not catching a train, it’s beautiful and very iconic. Google the Whispering Gallery before you visit!
  • Walk the Highline, a recently converted disused railway line which has been turned into a park raised above the Meatpacking district. It’s a relaxing place with cool views down to the streets below and out across the Hudson river.
  • Walk the Brooklyn Bridge for amazing views of the skyline and visit Shake Shack on the other side in Dumbo. Favourite thing to do ever. The best views are walking from Brooklyn back towards Manhattan.
  • Go shopping in Macy’s and around 34th Street along with the designer shops on 5th Avenue and around the Rockefeller Centre or Bloomingdale’s. You can’t miss Sephora either.
  • Bryant Park in Midtown is home to New York’s public library and is worth a visit.
  • Wander around the West Village and stop in Greenwich Park. Carrie’s apartment from SATC is on Perry Street.
  • If it’s Christmas then ice skating is a must. There are magical rinks in Central Park and at the Rockefeller Centre.
  • Watch a sunset from The Standard rooftop bar.
  • Check out the NYC Go pass if you want to visit a few attractions as it may work out cheaper.

What to do {for non-NYC virgins};

If you’ve been before and seen all the must-do touristy bits then like us you may want future visits to delve a bit deeper into the real NYC, or of course if it’s your first visit and you’ve got time to do more;

  • Governor’s Island sits between Brooklyn and Ellis Island and is open during the summer months {I think May-end of October} for picnics/cycling around. You can catch the ferry from downtown Manhattan or Brooklyn for just a couple of dollars and get amazing views of the skyline. We rented bikes and cycled around looking at the historic buildings and enjoying a break from the city.
  • Check out Smorgasberg for all the top NYC eats in one place with amazing views. And the Brooklyn Flea – both only at weekends.
  • Brooklyn has so much to discover. We loved walking around Cobble Hill/Brooklyn Heights/Park Slope to see all the halloween decorated brownstone houses and cute neighbourhoods. Brooklyn Heights Promenade has beautiful views back over the city and Brooklyn Bridge Park is dreamy for sitting staring at the skyline with lots of great restaurants popping up. We liked the piers for a walk by the boats and ice cream from Ample Hills creamery. We also walked around Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens which were designed by the creators of Central Park
  • Williamsburg, also in Brooklyn is the new hipster hang out but this ended up being our v favourite part of NYC. It has a relaxed, Shoreditch kind of vibe without being too hip. Lots of great eateries around here and we watched the sunset from the East River Park one night.
  • Back in Manhattan, SoHo is where we did all of our shopping. It has most of the brands that midtown has but in a more relaxed, less touristy feel. Most buildings have cast iron facades and cobblestone streets with trendy restaurants and boutiques.
  • Chelsea Market for all things food.
  • Union Square Greenmarket is amazing, if you like that kind of thing.
  • Upper West Side/Upper East Side for brunch after a walk around Central Park. Surprisingly good shopping up here too. And Halloween houses!

Getting around; We walked for miles. Being on a grid, the city is very easily navigable by looking at the block numbers and avenues which all run straight {except for Broadway which cuts diagonally through the city at an angle}. E.g. Times Square is on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue so to walk there from the Empire State building on 34th Street and 5th you’d go north for 8 blocks and then walk West {left} across two avenues. We also used the subway a lot, each ride is $2.75 whether you go just one station or go the whole way across the city. If you’re there for a few days consider buying an unlimited pass which will be better value if you take more than about 3 trips a day. From the airport we used the app LFYT {similar to UBER but a bit cheaper}.

When to visit; This city never sleeps so there’s no right or wrong time to visit however the prices and weather can vary a lot. January and February are the cheapest time to visit both airfare and hotel wise as it’s likely to be icy cold, reducing visitor numbers. Most of what there is to see is outside so think about if you want to be all wrapped up walking on icy pavements. Spring can be a really nice time to visit, the city tends to thaw out from April onwards. July and August can be especially hot and a lot of New Yorkers escape for the Hamptons at this time of year. September and October are when hotel rates are highest because the weather tends to be fair with crisp bright blue skies and warm temperatures. October is a fun time to visit with all things halloween and pumpkins on every street corner but you will pay more at this time of year with lots of events going on and leaf peeping season. November has Thanksgiving so avoid that weekend but November and December are magical with ice skating rinks and Christmas decorations, perfect for shopping!

Combine; New York is perfect for a multi-centre honeymoon if you want some chill out after a few days in the city that never sleeps. There are short, cheap flights from here to the Caribbean islands which is just a couple of hours away, likewise The Bahamas or other parts of America like California/Florida.

Must Eats; There is such an incredible food scene in NYC but most popular places come with a no booking policy and New Yorkers tend to queue for anything that’s good! You can get any food you can imagine in this multicultural city but some of our favourites;

  • Shake Shack for the best burgers, fries & shakes. Multiple locations but we like the one under the Brooklyn Bridge or the original in Madison Square Park.
  • Mortorino Pizza, we visited three times as the pizza was so good! But also look at Joe’s Pizza, Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s.
  • The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel.
  • Jack’s Wife Freda for brunches/all day dining
  • Sarabeth’s for iconic brunches
  • Brooklyn Diner
  • The Butcher’s Daughter, instagram friendly vegetarian brunches/lunches
  • Egg Shop
  • Milk Bar {the soft serve cereal flavoured ice cream is like crack}. Multiple locations.
  • Black Tap for burgers & shakes
  • Morganstern’s ice cream.
  • Brooklyn Crab
  • Levain bakery for cookies
  • Cronuts from Dominique Ansell’s bakery

{Walking the Brooklyn Bridge}

{Views from Brooklyn Bridge Park}

{Halloween brownstones in Brooklyn}

{Upper West Side does Halloween}

{Pumpkins everywhere}

{Views from the Staten Island Ferry}

{Top of the Rock}

{Top of the Rock}

{Central Park}

{Jackie O Reservoir in Central Park}

{Bloomies’}

{Times Square}

{Greenwich Park}

{Greenwich/West Village}

{Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture}

{Sunset views from The Standard}

{Governor’s Island}

{Cycling Governor’s Island}

{Dumbo, the trendy area below the Brooklyn Bridge}

{Street art in SoHo}

{Shake Shack}

{Milk Bar}

Where have we missed?! Please let us know your NYC favourites! And if you have any other questions about my very favourite city then do drop us a line.

You can find more on The Roger hotel here and by booking through Smith Hotels you’ll get competitive rates, two signature cocktails and a seasonal gift from the chef as a little extra.

R <3 xx

{We were guests of The Roger and Mr & Mrs Smith but as always I would only ever feature somewhere that I truly loved. I’ve been using Smith Hotels for years}

  • Love this post & I loved seeing all your Insta pics when you were away! It’s making me super excited for my wedding eek!