Ask a concierge: New York City

Tips for business travel to the storied city that never sleeps.

At the Kimpton Muse in New York City, concierge Daniel Mitchell has spent four years advising visitors on where to go, what to do and where to dine in Manhattan. Here he offers advice for business travelers.

What’s the most important thing for business travelers to pack?

Business travelers should bring comfortable clothes and shoes to explore Manhattan like a local. You’ll want to be on foot to see the best of what our marvelous city has to offer. Also, be prepared for all types of weather—so bring a small umbrella and a waterproof jacket. If you’re coming to New York City as the seasons change, pack for unpredictability. It could be warm or cool.

What are your top recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?

A favorite restaurant close to our hotel is Chazz Palminteri Italian Restaurant, named for one of its owners—the actor behind A Bronx Tale. It serves up made-from-scratch pastas and sauces. The ambiance and service are excellent. For some of the best steak and seafood in the city, go to Benjamin Prime. It’s near Bryant Park, so the location is great. And the atmosphere and service are top-notch. The restaurant’s private dining rooms are perfect for business gatherings.

What’s something that surprises visitors about your hotel?

The Kimpton Muse is located right at the heart of New York’s theatrical district. We are half a block from Times Square, a few steps from the historic Barrymore Theatre and next to the high school where the 1980 film Fame was set. Some dance scenes were filmed in front of our building.

If business travelers only have a short time for leisure, what must they see in New York?

You must see a Broadway show. At least 20 shows run at any one time, and most are about two hours long, so any visitor to the city should be able to fit the theater into their schedule. Another must-do that takes even less time: Make your way to a rooftop restaurant or observation deck atop one of Manhattan’s skyscrapers. The best way to fully appreciate the splendor of the city is to see it from up high.

What’s the best option for outdoor exercise?

New York’s famous Central Park is great for walking, running, biking or just people-watching. Ask your concierge for a park map and recommendations for bicycle rental vendors.​

Concierge Daniel Mitchell’s top tips for getting business right in New York City:

  1. Get familiar with the city and public transportation options before your meetings. It’s impolite to arrive late, but New Yorkers also don’t show up early for appointments.
  2. If you’re unsure where you’ll be dining, dress appropriately for any situation. For men, a blazer and slacks with dress shirt and shoes will be accepted at any restaurant in the city—but it’s not too formal for a neighborhood eatery. For ladies, pants or a skirt with a blouse is perfect. Flats are fine.
  3. Be prepared to tip for almost any service. The standard is generally 20% of your bill before taxes.

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