New York City is a place that we frequent very often throughout the year. We sometimes find ourselves attending shows during Men’s Fashion week, as well as participating in Project which is a fashion trade show. Every time we touch down at LaGuardia, we feel energized and ready to take on its sights, sounds, and food. What amazes us about the city is that you will never end up at the same place twice – there’s always a new restaurant, Broadway show, and hotel to stay in.
On our most recent trip to Big Apple, we teamed up with American Express Canada to experience one of my favourite cities in a new light. As a Platinum Cardmember, both the American Express’ Platinum Concierge and Platinum Travel Service teams helped us plan our trip and discover a different side of the city. The Concierge team pinpointed special places for me to indulge in from trendy restaurants, spa treatments and even our first Broadway show in NYC. For our hotel stay and flights, the Amex Platinum Travel Service team did all of the hard work and booked or reserved everything for us! What I like about these services is that it these phone calls are always very personal and feels like a conversation, which is rare these days. We were asked questions such as what kind of food we liked, what we enjoy doing, and the Concierge team even offered their personal suggestions. Here are a few highlights from our trip!
Seasoned travellers will know that having a streamlined travelling experience is essential whether it’s for business or for pleasure. There are a few key items that are required to ensure that the process goes smoothly every time. Examples of this are having a fully stocked toiletry bag, dependable luggage, a smartphone with an international service plan, easy to wear but stylish clothing, and a credit card you can trust. For us, having an American Express Platinum Card is the best to travel with because of the myriad of services that they offer to their Cardmembers.
Our accommodations were at the Langham Place, a five-star hotel that is just a few steps away from the Empire State building. As soon as we walked through the doors, we were captivated by the modernity of the lobby. The staff took our bags and ushered us towards the front desk where we were given our keys to our room. We were pleasantly surprised to know that we had been upgraded to a suite, which is a Platinum Cardmember perk you’ll receive if you book your stay at the FINE HOTELS & RESORTS (FH&R) rate. The Residence Suite was located on the 22nd floor and it had a sweeping view of Fifth Avenue below. It came complete with a full kitchen, a laundry room, a well-appointed living room, and the marble bathroom had a deep soaker tub. As we passed the kitchen, we noticed a small selection of sweets with a message that read ‘Happy Birthday!’ – it felt amazing to know that the hotel pays attention to each customer. Arriving earlier and staying later (with 4 PM late checkout for Platinum Cardmembers, another FH&R perk, meant we had more time to explore one of my all-time favourite cities. On top of that when I returned to my room, I was craving a sweet snack and used part of my $100 USD food & beverage hotel credit to treat myself to some room service, another great perk of being a Platinum Cardmember with a FH&R booking. We also got our third night free at Langham Place, a special offer for staying at this FH&R property, which was a great way to extend our trip a bit longer and try some truly amazing cuisine.
When it came to dinner in the city, our most memorable experience was at Hakkasan on West 43rd Street. It’s a chic restaurant that serves up modernized iterations of Cantonese fare. As we were seated for our reservations, the waiter welcomed us with a glass of champagne, thanks to thanks to Hakkasan being a part of the Amex Global Chef Program. Now that’s one way to kick off the evening in style. As the plates came in our palates grew with excitement! We feasted on Honey glazed beef short ribs and seasonal Chinese vegetables glazed in oyster sauce. Our New York fine dining experience continued at Beauty & Essex. To get to the restaurant you first have to walk through a non-descript but cool pawnshop. Once you get past the second door, you will be welcomed into a hip environment. One perk we enjoyed, thanks to our Platinum Concierge reservations, was a complimentary amuse bouche before our main course! On the third night, we enjoyed fish and chicken tacos at the ABC Cocina, a Latin American restaurant headed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, a Michelin Award winning chef. The ambience was vibrant and the place was bustling with energy.
Our trip was capped off with a massage at the Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa at The Plaza, another FH&R property. This was a calming break during our trip and it’s cool to find a place within the city that’s not moving at a fast pace. Our last night in New York City was spent on Broadway watching the award-winning musical Chicago. Amex’s Platinum Concierge service secured amazing seats for us and that made it an even more memorable show.
Could you believe that American Express’ Platinum Concierge handled all our dining reservations and the Platinum Travel Service team all our travel bookings? We certainly can. One of our favourite perks is the Centurion Lounge access that we receive in LaGuardia Airport – no matter what class we’re in or airline we are flying with.
If you’re an avid traveller then becoming an Amex Cardmember is a great way to see more of the world and re-visit your favourite cities. Even if the Platinum Card isn’t right for you now, the Gold Rewards Card is another great travel Card option. You can earn two points for every $1 in eligible travel and everyday purchases and 1 point for every $1 in purchases everywhere else, and with the points earned on your Card you can pay with points for travel. The Gold Rewards Card also brings you fantastic benefits at more than 330 participating hotels and resorts in more than 40 different countries with The Hotel Collection from American Express. To learn more about the Amex Gold Rewards Card and its benefits visit amex.ca/goldrewards and start planning your next trip!
Thank You to American Express Canada for partnering on this post. All opinions expressed are my own.