Katrina Gomez is a friend now that started off as a colleague who worked in New York while I worked for the same company in Abu Dhabi a whole 13 years ago. I have always known Katrina as a bubbly, positive, great fun and full of energy type of person. She is also one of those women who do not need to do anything to look glamorous, it just comes naturally, and has unquestionably exquisite taste.
So I thought she would be the perfect Destination Mum to start this series with, in a fabulous destination. A series that I hope brings lots of inspo to mums travelling to all these exciting destinations, with tips on things to do, where to eat, shop and stay.
Katrina was living in L.A. when life events took her to New York in 1992 where she ventured with her girl friends. She instantly fell in love with the vibe of the city and has made it her base since. She is now mum to a gorgeous 3 –year old boy, Kai, and wife to a charming Cypriot she met in a lounge in Chelsea also 13 years ago. She is also the Regional Director of Sales, The Americas, for Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s collection of retreats located in the most scenic spots around the world. Click HERE to dive into the fabulousness of their retreats and luxury hotels in the most secluded and inspiring locations.
So here are Katrina’s favourites in NYC (click on the words in bold for links to the respective websites for more information):
I like the Crosby Street Hotel in Lower Manhattan’s SoHo. Every room is different and was designed by the co-owner of the hotel who is also the Design Director. It’s very quirky and the level of service is superb.
The Americano in West Chelsea, where we have been going with Kai since he was 7 months old - on Sundays, there is a Cuban band that he loves!
DINNER DATE WITH HUBBY
There are a few in Chelsea and West Village that we really like: Kappa Totto and Morimoto for Japanese, Jung Sik for Korean, Cosme for Mexican and Perry St by the renowned Jean-Georges and Cedric Vongerichten
A gift from my husband was a spa membership at Exhale, in the Meat Packing district. I go every month, and that’s my alone me-time.
My job requires that I look my best all the time, especially with all the events, so I go to Drybar - no cuts, no color; just blowout so you can be in and out in 30 minutes.
My favorite is Bloomie's in Chelsea. Thank heavens for gel mani and pedi, it can last a month!
We live close to the Hudson River Park at Chelsea Piers 61 and 62, so that is our favorite park. It’s by the water, they have a carousel and it feels like you are not in the city.
INDOOR PLAY AREA
This is a challenge for NYC but found a few close to where we live. Chelsea Piers has a toddler gym and they have great facilities for drop in classes like gymnastics and soccer with ample space which is rare for NYC. The facility also has a skating rink, bowling and rock climbing.
Kai loves Museum of Mathematics in the Flatiron district. It is really good for the entire family.
THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS IN THE CITY
NYC has a lot to offer, even by just walking in the streets. I see Kai soaking in all the different sights, sounds and smells, which I know will become wonderful memories when he grows up.
Bookshops are becoming scarce in New York but there is a childrens’ bookshop in Chelsea called Books of Wonder where they have rare, classics and new books for children.
Union Square Greenmarket sell seasonal flowers - it’s such a treat to go there with Kai on the weekends, he loves flowers!
METHOD OF TRANSPORTATION AROUND NYC WITH KIDS
We love taking the bus, subway and any of the car services that are convenient in NYC
ABSOLUTE MUST-DO WHILE VISITING NYC
Definitely expose kids to museums and Broadway shows!
DAY TRIP FROM NYC
A trip to the North Fork on Long Island is a great weekend getaway. This is where many vineyards are located too. They have a main street where the whole family can stroll and enjoy specialty shops, and a park with a carousel. Another fun weekend trip is the Hudson Valley. There is new website listing a curated guide to upstate lodging, restaurants, shops and many more.
TIME OF THE YEAR TO BE IN NYC
Summer is a great time to be in the New York, so you can wear just one layer of clothing and have more freedom to do more activities with your children. Also most New Yorkers leave the city, so it’s a great time to explore without the crowds.