Dream destinations: the Virgin team's favourite NYC hotspots

New York
by Limara Salt
21 March 2024

Whether you call it the Big Apple, The City, or NYC, New York, New York remains one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. Made up of five boroughs with endless things to do, the melting pot of food, culture, music, and fashion is just a Virgin Atlantic flight away. Need more convincing? Virgin Red members can earn from 3,400* Virgin Points or unlock a discount by spending 20,000 points** on their journey.

And if a trip to NYC is on your wishlist, now is a great time to unleash the holiday you with Virgin. Bringing together the best of Virgin travel, you can book an exclusive holiday package*** that includes a Virgin Atlantic flight and a stay in Virgin Hotels New York.

  • Book: Virgin Holidays to earn Virgin Points and bag all the latest exclusive offers

  • Fly: Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow or Manchester to JFK. Virgin Points for the lead booker and free seat assignment seven days before departure

  • Stay: Virgin Hotels New York City, NoMad. Free room upgrade to Chamber King (subject to availability), waived daily resort fee ($35 value per night), daily food and beverage credit ($25 per night). Total value for 5-night trip $300

  • Plus: Pay with points plus money. Dedicated concierge line. Bonus 10,000 Virgin Points for the lead booker

But what to do when you get there? Virgin team members shared their favourite spots to hit when in town, so if you’re after some hidden gems to discover in NYC, read on. 

Go East  

“If you’re looking for a quintessential NYC experience, Mona’s is a cosy unassuming bar with amazing live music located in the East Village.  

“There’s never an entrance fee, drinks are really cheap, and it stays open until the early hours. The bar has themed nights (Tuesday is jazz night) and the bar is full of regulars. The line-ups are usually New York bands, but solo musicians and locals have been known to also join in and start jamming together.  

“Last time I was there, a guy walked in with a violin case and asked me, “They’re playing bluegrass all night?”, I nodded, and he went up and started ripping his violin with the band and then after a few songs he just left. It’s what I imagine the East Village felt like in its heyday a few decades ago.” 

Angie, Communications and Events Officer 

A view to a thrill 

“If you’ve never visited New York City you’ll want to spend a good amount of time on observation decks. 

“While Rockefeller’s Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building are classics, you should check out the new kid on the block – the appropriately-name Edge NYC. Jutting out of the sleek 30 Hudson Yards building it’s the tallest observation deck in the Western Hemisphere and boasts a glass floor as well as outward-angled glass panels, allowing you to lean over the edge. The great thing about this side view is that you can capture all of Midtown’s iconic buildings in one photo. And don't forget to make a reservation at Peak NYC, the bar/restaurant above Edge, for a delicious meal in the sky.

"Better yet, Virgin Red US members can book their ticket using Virgin Points via Virgin Experience Gifts."

Rob, Content Marketing Executive 

Hi hi birdie  

“The birding tour in Central Park is a wonderful way to see the greatest park in the world while opening your eyes to the magical nature all around (check out whatisnyc’s hilarious animal posts for more on that).  

“There are quite a few tours now – Birding Bob – is the most famous, and they’re always led by lovely, knowledgeable folk who attract friendly people along the way. From the Hot Duck to Barry the Barred Owl, Central Park has had lots of beloved birds in the past few years, and there remains several resident owls, not to mention the wonderful wood ducks. I won’t say you’d be quackers to miss it, but guarantee you’ll have a hoot.” 

Greg, Content and Communications Director 

A slice of Italy 

“Altro Paradiso is a slice of Italy in the heart of SoHo with a delicate menu matched with high ceilings, bistro curtains, vast windows, and a curved wooden bar. 

“It’s a modern take on a classic trattoria, with pared back dishes to match. The cacio e pepe made with fresh candele was great, but then again so was everything. The wine list is several pages long so anyone who knows their vino will find something to savour with their meal.  

“If visiting during the warmer months try to nab a table outside and watch the city go by as you eat.” 

Kami, Senior Content Producer 

Vie for some vintage  

“New York City is packed with so many amazing vintage shops that whenever I visit I dedicate a day to hunting for hidden treasures in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighbourhood. 

“Awoke Vintage (16 Bedford Ave) always has incredible shirts and a huge denim collection, and since its location is right next to McCarren Park, you can find an idyllic spot to take a break and drink a latte from a local café. But when I really want to test the strength of my suitcase I head to Beacon’s Closet (74 Guernsey St).  

“An NYC institution with four locations scattered across Brooklyn and Manhattan, there’s no limit to what you can find there. It’s heaving with fur coats, silk dresses, ‘80s denim and classic knits, and if you’re lucky you could stumble upon one of their flash sales. Happy hunting!” 

Limara, Content Manager 

Whenever you visit The Big Apple both UK and US Virgin Red members can earn five Virgin Points per $1 with a stay in Virgin Hotels New York. Positioned in the heart of Manhattan, Virgin Hotels New York is the perfect base for savouring the sights, sounds and tastes of one of the most famous cities in the world. With a rooftop swimming pool and nestled among some of the city's most iconic landmarks, this is the perfect place to earn points in the city that never sleeps.

*Points based on an Economy Classic fare

**20,000 points based on an Economy Classic fare plus taxes, fees and charges

***Virgin’s exclusive travel perks are available for holidays booked between 26 February 2024 – 7 April 2024 for travel on any date.