Expert Tips From a Concierge Expert
Nobody knows a city like the local concierge team. With the inside track on all the best places to dine, shows to see and things to do, they're a wealth of knowledge for all travelers. We talk with a top local hotel concierge in New York City to get the inside scoop on all their expert tips.
Ryan Lettier, Concierge at Peninsula NYC
WT: Why do you refer your guests to WhereTraveler, and what makes Where Traveler an important resource for you?
Lettier: For the most up-to-date things to see and do while in New York City, WhereTraveler is my go-to resource. After speaking to a guest about the vast array of things to see and do in New York, handing them a copy of WhereTraveler at the end of our conversation lets the guest take the magazine to the room and look it over at their leisure. I find that so many guests are already familiar with Where and often ask for a copy on their own.
WT: What are your best tips for exploring NYC like a local?
Lettier: To truly live like a New Yorker, you must be on foot. This is the best way to see New York. One of my favorite things to do is just get lost walking around the different neighborhoods immersing yourself in the shops, restaurants, and distinct architecture of each neighborhood. Taking the Subway is also a very local way of navigating the five boroughs. You will be amazed at how quickly you can move about Manhattan underground.
WT: What is the best suggestion you can give a first-time visitor?
Lettier: I always tell first-time guests visiting New York they owe it to themselves to visit one of the many observatories New York offers. Visiting New York City for the first time is always exciting, and seeing Manhattan and surrounding cities from the top of a building is mind-blowing. Once that first-time visitor sees how just how many buildings are squeezed into such a small area, it really gives them a sense of how big and dense New York City is.
WT: If someone only had 24 hours in NYC, where would you send them?
Lettier: Just 24 hours! Wake up early and start the day with a walk in Central Park. Walk up to the Bethesda Fountain. Next, a stop at The Met for a quick look around. Then head to Lower Manhattan to SoHo and grab a bite to eat at The Dutch and dine with the fashionable SoHo crowd. After a quick nibble, it’s time to check out the shops in SoHo and the great cast-iron buildings that line the cobblestone streets. Be on the lookout for a celebrity or two. Now it’s back to your hotel to freshen up and head to dinner at King. A small upscale Italian restaurant on the cusp of Soho and Tribeca neighborhoods. An end to a perfect day in NYC, a nightcap at Dante in the West Village.
WT: Where is the best place to take kids of all ages?
Lettier: A walk along The High Line and then from there over to the brand new “Little Island designed by Thomas Heatherwick. Here you can enjoy concerts and programming for all ages among the lush, seemingly floating park above the Hudson River.
WT: Any suggestions for the best under-the-radar sites or uncommon things to do?
Lettier: Fotografiska- It's an entire museum dedicated to Photography.
WT: What is your expert tip?
Lettier: If you see an empty subway car- avoid it.