Manhattan’s Tropical Retreats
As the temperature steadily rises in the city, our wanderlust seriously sets in. Our office hours are distracted with daydreams of jetting to a white-sand beach, where we soak up the sun with an island cocktail in hand, while Bob Marley tunes mix with the sound of the surf. Luckily, there are plenty of places in New York where a quintessential tropical experience awaits—one that doesn’t require a struggle with the TSA. So put on your favorite sunnies and head to these spots to kick back and enjoy city life on island time—Manhattan is an island, after all.
Our pick for the most transporting venue in New York, La Marina, feels more Saint Barts than uptown Manhattan. This massive waterfront venue features an actual sand beach with lounge chairs and daybeds where the city’s A-listers have soaked in breathtaking views of the Hudson River. La Marina’s resort vibe comes complete with a Caribbean-inspired seafood-heavy menu; and while a solid cocktail menu exists, we recommend ordering a rosé or sparkling wine to complement the beachy atmosphere. The restaurant also offers a lively brunch on the weekend, so pack your sunscreen and prepare yourself for a mimosa-filled day.
Hidden underneath the hustle and bustle of Hell’s Kitchen, Réunion Surf Bar is the epitome of, well, a surf bar. Named after an island off the coast of Madagascar, Réunion is the brainchild of the hospitality vets Thomas Wilson and Eugene Ashe. This lively spot is festively decorated with numerous surfboards, an aquarium, and shrines to its patron saint, Big Wave Dave. Although the bar is full-on kitschy, it is serious when it comes to drinks. The cocktail menu is broken down into Frozen, Tropical, Double Strong, and House Original libations, while a respectable beer and rum menu offers less-sweet alternatives.
If you like your tropical beaches more Bond than Buffett, head to Salon De Ning on the rooftop of the swanky Peninsula Hotel. Sultry glamour will seduce you the moment you arrive, thanks to the establishment’s East-meets-West decor. Enjoy the cool breeze above Fifth Avenue while sipping signature cocktails like the Ning Sling (Absolut Mandarin, Soho lychee liqueur, fresh mint, lychee and passion-fruit juices) or the Ningroni (Farmers organic gin, Aperol, Martini and Rossi sweet vermouth), or you can savor the smoke from a Davidoff or Avo cigar (also offered on the menu). The vibe at Salon De Ning is upscale and urban, so dress to impress.