How to Escape the Hustle and Bustle of NYC


Frederick Bigler, chef concierge at The Peninsula New York, shares his top picks for guests wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City and instead spend a peaceful weekend exploring.


A Trip to the Spa

PNY Spa Reception- The Peninsula New York

“The first day of indulgence would begin at our award-winning Peninsula Spa,” says Frederick Bigler, chef concierge at The Peninsula New York. Offering a retreat away from everyday stresses, the spa helps guests relax through treatments like massages, facials and beauty services. For the ultimate relaxation, the “Escape from the City” package features a four-hour treatment that includes a body wrap, holistic massage, facial, spa cuisine lunch and access to the sun terrace and pool. Yoga, Pilates and spin class also are offered, Bigler adds. (700 Fifth Ave.; 212-903-3910;


One With Nature

Top of the Rock - Bart Barlow
(Bart Barlow)

“That afternoon, visit Central Park for a beautiful walk,” Bigler says. Visitors may explore the 843-acre expanse, an oasis in the middle of the metropolitan city. Guests can sign up for a guided tour to learn more about the park’s history and its growth since the land was dedicated by the New York State Legislature in 1853. Welcome tours are complimentary, but to discover the most notable highlights, sign up for the ticketed iconic views tour to visit the famous statues and buildings. (Fifth Avenue at 59th Street; 213-310-6600;


Retail Therapy

“Head up and down Madison and Fifth [avenues] for some luxury shopping therapy,” Bigler says. Whether you’re looking for the latest trends or timeless fashions, you’ll be sure to find it on these two iconic roads. There are tons of flagships and boutiques to peruse, but also two landmark department stores for one-stop shopping. On Madison Avenue, find Barneys New York for designer threads for every family member. While strolling along Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman is one store not to be missed during your trip to this fashion capital. (Barneys New York: 660 Madison Ave.; 212-826-8900; (Bergdorf Goodman: 754 Fifth Ave.; 800-558-1855;


Time for Supper

Clement Mirror and Color Rooms- The Peninsula New York

“That evening, guests [should] enjoy an exquisite dinner at the award-winning restaurant Clement,” Bigler says. Chef de Cuisine Brandon Kida uses ingredients from local purveyors to present diners with the freshest tastes. To start, order the mushrooms, which hail from Shibumi Farm in New Jersey and are served with Carolina heirloom rice. For the main course, both the sea bass and duck travel just an hour from Long Island. The dessert menu features seasonal sweets like fig balsamic sorbet, apple spice cake and fruit confit with chestnut streusel ice cream. (700 Fifth Ave.; 212-903-3918;


Wind Down

“The night concludes with a midnight cocktail at our rooftop bar and terrace, Salon de Ning, taking in fantastic views of the city skyline,” Bigler says. Open until 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and until midnight Sunday, Salon de Ning overlooks Fifth Avenue with two terraces surrounding the inside bar. Visitors may enjoy the breathtaking vista while unwinding with a signature drink. The Ning Sling is a standard cocktail option, mixing Absolut mandarin, Soho lychee liqueur and fresh mint leaves. (700 Fifth Ave.; 212-903-3097;


—Written by Kirsti Correa