November 30 2010
Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue still exercises a deeply romantic allure – not only on foreign tourists but also on certain hoteliers, who have been busy populating its environs around 34th Street for the past couple of years.
The most recent to début is The Setai Fifth Avenue (www.setaififthavenue.com; from $630). The Italian developers seem to have taken the American “bigger is better” adage to heart: the Gwathmey Siegel & Associates-designed tower is a full 60 storeys, and most of the sleek wood-and-glass-walled rooms are over 700sq ft. Aim high and book the 11th-floor suite; its 11ft x 20ft terrace gives onto a killer Empire State Building view. The hotel’s Ai Fiori restaurant (pictured) flaunts impressive creds – Marea chef Michael White will oversee the kitchen – but there’s also the new John Dory Oyster Bar a few blocks down at the Ace Hotel (www.acehotel.com/newyork; from $296), where Spotted Pig chef April Bloomfield has consultant mixologist Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey training the bartenders and a menu of chowders, crudités and bar snacks.
Whatever your choice of nosh, make haste to 53rd Street to see Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures at MoMA (www.moma.org), where his seminal black-and-white short films are being shown en masse, opening on the 19th and running till mid-March.