Summers are made for venturing out, winding down, living it up, and trying exciting new things. Looking for your next happy place? Here are BELLA’s very best venues to wine, dine, mix, mingle, make a splash, or plan to dash off to–with winners in 15 categories!
Just 50 minutes from New York’s Lincoln Tunnel, the Asbury Park Boardwalk has been referred to as “Brooklyn on the Beach” by Vogue and one of the “Best Places to Travel Worldwide” by Travel + Leisure. The 1.5 mile oceanfront boardwalk is an iconic, authentic, and popular summer anchor serving as a connection to Asbury’s storied past. Weekly bonfires, seasonal fireworks, an arcade of vintage pinball machines, bike rentals, and carnival rides further set the scene. A truly thriving cultural community, this “city-by-the-sea” enjoys unparalleled architecture and a rich history as one of the most famous resort destinations of the 20th century.
1300 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ – APBoardwalk.com
Best International Dining Experience
Located in Murray Hill, guests at Hakubai at The Kitano Hotel New York are transported to Japan as they enjoy authentic Kaiseki cuisine (a distinctive cuisine with roots in Zen Buddhism and the traditional Japanese tea ceremony) crafted by Executive Chef Yukihiro Sato. The Japanese architecture and décor is equally as delectable! Groups can book private Tatami rooms, constructed using shoji (translucent paper dividers), floor seating, and rice straw mats, where they will remove their shoes to dine as in Japanese custom.
The Kitano at 38th Street, 66 Park Ave, NYC – Kitano.com
Best Outdoor Terrace
At 8,000 square feet, Rock & Reilly’s NYC at the Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel is one of the largest outdoor terraces in the city with the only retractable roof. The gastropub boasts three bars, live music, and private cabanas. If you’re seeking a good seat, a great view, and are eager to take happy hour to new heights, this is the spot. (Oh, and their refreshing Rose Sangria is simply divine!)
218 West 35th Street, NYC – RenNYCMidtown.com
Best Urban Oasis
Need a great escape without really escaping? The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown is the perfect place to leave your troubles behind. Featuring seven treatment rooms, including a couple’s spa suite, a nail room, eucalyptus steam room, outdoor terrace, 24-hour fitness center and 75-foot indoor lap pool, The Spa is the ultimate sanctuary of wellness and pampering in the heart of the city.
27 Barclay Street, NYC – FourSeasons.com/NewYorkDowntown
Best Wine Garden
Open rain or shine and all year long with unobstructed—and fantastic Hudson River views and where the wine flows freely is City Vineyard at Pier 26. The city’s shimmering lights are in full view as leather seating and oak tables complete the rustic and elegant, wine country-inspired decor. The elevated culinary menu can be enjoyed outside in the wine garden when weather permits, allowing you to sip on your favorite libations waterfront beneath live sweeping grape vines. There’s no better way to drink in NYC!
233 West Street at Pier 26, NYC – CityVineyardNYC.com
Best Italian Dinner
Newly opened Angeline by Michael Symon at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is the spot for the ultimate Italian feast. Named for “Iron Chef” and “The Chew” co-host Michael Symon’s beloved mother, Angel, and inspired by the nostalgic family recipes Michael grew up enjoying, Angeline features classic Italian-American dishes in a welcoming setting reminiscent of a timeless Sunday dinner.
1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ – TheBorgata.com
Much more than just a coffee house, the 5,000-square-foot Coffeemania in New York City’s Bryant Park is sleek and modern while casually comfortable with communal tables, an open kitchen, and long bar. Seasonally focused, ingredient-driven menus enhance the 105-seat restaurant’s convivial yet elegant walk-in dining atmosphere. The artisanal cocktail menu, developed by Coffeemania’s head mixologist, complements a diverse beverage program, which includes delightful fruit and vegetable blends, tonics, and spritzers.
1065 Ave of the Americas, NYC – CoffeemaniaNYC.com
Best Entertainment Venue
Consistently among the top venues in the world, Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut is a mecca for live music, entertainment, and premier events. The 10,000-seat arena is the leader in the entertainment business, with show-stopping performances by today’s hottest artists and performers. Summer 2017 lineup includes Neil Diamond, Journey, New Kids on the Block, Ed Sheeran, The Who, Queen & Adam Lambert, Kings of Leon, Linkin Park, Goo Goo Dolls, and more.
1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT – MoheganSun.com
Best Staycation with Your Pet
Doesn’t your pet deserve a swanky getaway? Both Gansevoort Hotel NYC locations in the Meatpacking District and Park Avenue offer Lord Jameson dog treats, a pet bed, a mat with a monogram of your pet’s name, Fiji water ad dog food, plus water bowls, toys, and wee wee pads, as needed. Your furry BFF will swoon with this kind of VIP—Very Important Pet—treatment.
Need a quick bite? Street Taco is a casual corner bar and taqueria that features heritage-driven Mexican street food in a thoughtfully designed space in Gramercy. The menu fuses Mexican culinary traditions with contemporary fare, and has a beverage program that boasts classic palomas, wine and beer, margaritas on tap, and lots of fun, frozen offerings. Additional highlights include a custom mural installation by famed New York City tattoo artist Mike Rubendall of Kings Avenue Tattoo, a Volkswagen van that offers guests a glimpse into the kitchen, and much more.
358 3rd Avenue, NYC – StreetTacoNY.com
Best Place to Stay in the Hamptons
If it’s ultimate Hamptons luxury you’re seeking with that charming home-sweet-home appeal, look no further than The Baker House 1650. This luxury award-winning boutique inn offers casual luxury with a nod to 17th century history. Nestled in East Hampton Village, the Baker House 1650 offers several amenities for a relaxing and comfortable stay any season. From the beautiful grounds and stunning common areas inside the inn to the gorgeous on-site spa and fresh and bountiful homemade daily breakfast, the property is unsurpassed in its accommodations.
181 Main Street, East Hampton NY – Bakerhouse1650.com
If you love a spicy cocktail, be sure to put Clancey, a new restaurant on the Lower East Side, on your radar. That’s where you’ll find the “Big Trouble in Little Jalisco” spicy raspberry margarita that is simply the ultimate summer sip. This must-try cocktail is made with Espolón Reposado Tequila, Ancho Reyes Chili, Raspberry, Lime, and Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters. It’s certifiably delicious and the name even plays on the birthplace of tequila in Jalisco, Mexico.
79 Clinton Street, NYC – ClanceyNYC.com
Best Picnic Pickin’s
Each summer, Épicerie Boulud, Chef Daniel Boulud’s eat-in and take-out market and café, offers premade picnic baskets, as well as housemade charcuterie and cheese plates, baguette sandwiches, salads, chips, cookies, and sweets. Given their immediate proximity to Central Park, there’s no better place to purchase your French chef-approved picnic fare!
1600 Broadway + Plaza Food Hall, NYC- EpicerieBoulud.com
Best French Restaurant
A lively and stylish brasserie with a distinctive New York vibe, Vaucluse is a new concept of its kind. By embracing a variation of traditional French culinary sensibilities that are fine-tuned to an urban palate, Chefs Michael White and Jared Gadbaw’s collaborative menu features a balance of approachable, classic, and innovative dishes. The culinary hotspot also boasts a prominent bar at its core thanks to its extensive French and American wine selection, avant-garde cocktails, and a newly introduced bar menu. Ooh-la la, for sure!
100 East 63rd Street at Park Avenue, NYC – VaucluseNYC.com
Best NYC Suite
With its distinctive glass atrium ceiling, The London Atrium Suite feels as if it’s suspended in the Manhattan skyline. Amidst plentiful natural light and iconic views of Central Park and the Hudson River, designer David Collins has fashioned a living space with a vantage point unlike any other, seeming to float poised in an eternal state of elegance above New York City. Signifying contemporary, urban luxury, The London NYC is a midtown property that proves high-style glamour can be eminently livable.
151 West 54th Street, TheLondonNYC.com