When considering a New York honeymoon, the first thing you need to ask yourselves is: Are you an uptown or downtown type? Some couples prefer the Central Park views and storied museums and restaurants of Manhattan's Upper East Side for their NYC getaways. But those who want more up-and-coming neighborhoods should consider downtown Manhattan’s financial district. In the wake of 9/11, this business epicenter remained a desolate, undeveloped reminder of that tragic day. Now, following the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, One World Trade Center, and the Oculus—pillars of culture and commerce, tourism and transit—the financial district has become one of the most vibrant and romantic neighborhoods in New York City. This neighborhood is proof of the fact that this dynamic culture capital isn’t just the city that never sleeps—it’s also the city that never stops changing. Whether you want to dine in buzzy new restaurants, shop at the latest designer outposts, or take in the sunset from bustling waterfront bars, this three-day mini-moon itinerary guarantees you’ll experience downtown New York like hip, sophisticated urbanites.
What’s one of the best indicators that a destination has made it onto the global radar? When a Four Seasons Hotel or Resort opens. The second Four Seasons property in New York City, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown (rooms from $599), made a big splash when it debuted late last year with 189 rooms and 157 residences—in case you’re shopping for your first home together (wink, wink). Towering above its neighbors at 82 floors high, this city enclave oozes sleek, sexy honeymoon vibes. From the neutral palette in the lobby to the dimly lit hallways and the luxe guest room finishes (marble vanities, rain showers, deep soaking tubs, crystal barware), expect something shiny to catch your eye at every turn.
After settling into your room (but first, a soak in the tub), head a few blocks north to explore tony Tribeca before the sun sets. Take a turn down the picture-perfect cobblestone streets and pop in for beers at down-home joints such as Tribeca Tap House. For dinner, good luck choosing just one spot: This trendy residential neighborhood is filled with ever-popular restaurants like Andrew Carmellini’s Locanda Verde (serving rustic Italian cuisine—the sheep’s milk ricotta with sea salt and herbs and "My Grandmother’s Ravioli" will blow you away) and Marc Forgione’s namesake farm-to-table American outpost (the chicken under a brick is not to be missed). A word to the wise: Peruse the menus before your honeymoon and make a reservation at least three weeks in advance.
Guest rooms at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown are like chic caves—blackout shades belie the shining, morning sun; thick, soundproof windows shield you from the noisy city beyond. Get a leisurely start to your first full day of your New York honeymoon; sleep in, relax with the paper in bed, and order what will assuredly be one of the most memorable room service experiences of your life. (Our dishes of choice: the eggs Benedict, avocado toast, açai bowl, and—of course—New York City bagels.)
Once you’ve had your fill, head across the street into Santiago Calatrava’s architectural marvel, the Oculus, where you’ll find more boutiques than you can count in the Westfield shopping center. Pick up affordable basics at COS, wear-everywhere sandals at Stewart Weitzman, and dress shirts for him at Charles Trywitt. If hunger sets in, take the underground walkway (beneath the West Side Highway) and pick up an easy lunch at Hudson Eats, where you’ll find everything from Umami Burger to Dos Toros and Sprinkles Cupcakes.
Pop back to the hotel for a quick change before heading to South Street Seaport for cocktails at Pier A Harbor House. With a vibrant crowd, easy bar bites, and mix of cocktail- and beer-menus, this 28,000-square foot three-story megaplex is the perfect spot for alfresco sundowners overlooking the Hudson River. Or, if the weather is less than ideal, walk a few blocks east to the new Beekman Hotel, home to two of the city’s buzziest new restaurants. Have drinks at the Instagram-worthy bar, beneath a Victorian-era atrium, inside chef Tom Colicchio’s Fowler & Wells restaurant, followed by classic French dishes at Keith McNally's Augustine.
New York City can be a stress-inducing metropolis, so by this time you’ll likely be due for some R&R. Luckily, the Four Seasons has one of the most extensive spas in downtown Manhattan. First, there’s the 75-foot indoor lap pool, with impressive floor-to-ceiling windows; then, there’s the state-of-the-art fitness center; and a couples’ treatment room for indulgent massages. Or go your separate ways (it's only for a little while, we promise) and try the 80-minute Collagen Firming Facial, which uses a VitaSkin Ultrasound device to stimulate collagen production for intense anti-aging, while he does the Men's Urban Retreat, a wellness package that includes an 80-minute Therapeutic Deep Tissue Massage, Detoxifying Moor Mud Back Treatment, 50-minute Omorovicza Gentleman’s Facial, plus the Collagen Firming Facial.
To mix-and-mingle with New York’s hip downtown set, head to the Dead Rabbit, an Irish-inspired restaurant and cocktail joint that was named the World's Best Bar in 2015. Expect a leather-bound, book-length menu of such concoctions as the "Eye Candy," a balanced blend of Irish whiskey, Armagnac, peach, cinnamon, fig, cardamom, chamomile, and lemon. If you want to tuck in early (we don’t blame you, since en-suite flat screen TVs are Netflix-enabled), return to the hotel for dinner at celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s first restaurant in NYC, CUT. The onyx-hued flagship restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown serves up unique starters like Wagyu Beef Sashimi, followed by steaks aplenty (American Wagyu, grass-fed Angus, and two types of USDA prime) plus lighter fare like steamed Atlantic black bass in a Thai basil-broth and market vegetable sides.