Local Insights: New York | Summer 2012



Local Insights


Chef Concierge Maria Wittorp-Dejonge and her team share the rich and vibrant summer experiences awaiting guests in and around The St. Regis New York.


By Andrea Landis

Serving guests of The St. Regis New York for 20 years, Maria Wittorp-Dejonge and her expert concierge team have cultivated insider knowledge of all the best places to indulge and unwind in the city that never sleeps. Here are their recommendations for where to pamper and polish, shop for luxurious swimwear and cool off this summer.


Outfit your sunny New York summer in luxurious swimwear from sought-after local boutiques and trusted brands.

“For women’s designer swimwear, look to Norma Kamali on 56th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues or Diane Von Furstenberg’s DVF boutique in the Meatpacking District,” Wittorp-Dejonge says. Kamali’s mixed-material, dramatic-cut and bright-colored bikinis, one pieces, sheaths and accessories exude mid-century modern glamour, while Von Furstenberg’s swimwear selections flatter with simple femininity in the designer’s signature prints. (Norma Kamali, 11 W. 56 St.; 212-957-9797; normakamalicollection.com. DVF, 874 Washington St.; 646-486-4800; dvf.com)

“For men, a classic pair of Vilebrequin swim trunks are always in fashion,” she adds. The no-frills luxury men’s swimwear brand, originated in Saint-Tropez, boasts practical spinnaker canvas material that dries quickly in sun and wind in a variety of classic colors and prints. (Vilebrequin, 1007 Madison Ave.; 212-650- 0353; vilebrequin.com)

“Tom Ford’s line has gotten some serious attention as well,” Wittorp-Dejonge notes. The evocative brief-cut trunks in the designer’s 2012 collection are available in both classic and daring prints. (Tom Ford, 845 Madison Ave.; 212-359-0300; tomford.com)



Get ready for summer from head-to-toe with services from one of the best spas and salons in New York.

“Frederic Fekkai Salon specializes in hair, face and body treatments and has a special line of services and products for pre- and post-sun exposure,” Wittorp-Dejonge says. The Fifth Avenue flagship salon, located within the Henri Bendel building, is a luxurious oasis from the bustling city outside and boasts an unsurpassed pampering experience. (Frederic Fekkai Salon, 712 Fifth Ave., Fourth Fl.; 212-753-9500; fekkai.com)

Wittorp-Dejonge also raves about Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa. “The salon and spa has just moved to a fabulous location at 52nd Street and Fifth Avenue with beautiful treatment rooms and a rooftop deck and dining area,” she says. Behind the crimson portal to relaxation and comfort lie treatments ranging from signature massages and facials to hair and nail care, and even distinct gentlemen’s services, including facials, manicures and pedicures. (Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa, 663 Fifth Ave.; 212-546-0200; reddoorspas.com)



After being pampered and outfitted in summer’s finest styles, indulge in an iced treat— park side, street side or poolside.

“Gelato appears to be the new ice cream,” Wittorp- Dejonge says. “There are great spots for it all over the city.”

One of these spots is Grom Gelato, specializing in the creamy sweet Italian staple as well as sorbets, flavored ices and even hot chocolate. “Grom Gelato has a few locations: 59th Street at Broadway, Bleeker Street at Carmine Street in Greenwich Village, and uptown at Broadway and 76th Street,” Wittorp-Dejonge notes. Choose from 12 classic flavors, including caffè and pistachio, and six special gelato flavors like tiramisu. (Grom Gelato, 1796 Broadway; 212-974- 3444; grom.it)

Eataly, super-chef Mario Batali’s upscale Italian food and wine marketplace, is also has a wonderful gelato
bar, says Wittorp-Dejonge. Eataly’s Gelateria offers the smooth treat in an array of flavors, all made with whole milk and high-quality ingredients like fresh fruit, hazelnuts from Piedmont, Italy and pistachios from Sicily. “Eataly’s decadent gelato can be enjoyed across the street, in the beautifully redesigned Madison Square Park or the small piazza directly in front of the marketplace, facing the Flatiron Building,” Wittorp-Dejonge recommends. (Eataly, 200 Fifth Ave.; 212-229-2560; eatalyny.com)



For a memorable day away from Manhattan filled with one-of-a-kind food and finds, Wittorp-Dejonge and her team recommend a trip to Brooklyn Flea. “It’s not really so much about the brick-a-brack sold by locals and vendors at Brooklyn Flea’s Saturday and Sunday markets as it is about the fantastic food stalls set up throughout the market that offer unique gastropub and fresh market-to-table foods from local purveyors,” Wittorp-Dejonge says. Her team also suggests a visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or Brooklyn Museum afterward to complete an incredible full day getaway. (Brooklyn Flea, 95 Main St., Brooklyn; brooklynflea.com. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave., Brooklyn; 718-623-7200; bbg.org. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn; 718-638-5000; brooklynmuseum.org)