The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Bachelorette Party in New York City
New York: There's something about the borough's natural buzz that sets the mood for fun. Just being in the Big Apple feels like walking into the best party you've ever attended. That's what makes it the ideal destination for a bachelorette party. The city is alive, it's varied, and its many hotels, restaurants, and attractions are all waiting to embrace you and your 'maids. Who needs banners and tiaras when you can strut the sidewalks wearing Manhattan's basic black and Sex and the City-approved shoes? Compact in size, though dense with options—brimming with bars, cafes, boutiques, and more—New York is walkable, though you can always Uber it or take the subway, too.
Overall, the metropolis reminds us of an all-you-can-eat buffet. With so much to see and so many places to go, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of planning an event in the concrete jungle. You're right: Having all those options to choose from creates a big problem when it comes to nailing down the itinerary for your urban bachelorette. That being said, the plethora of possibilities ensures a successful fête with friends. To help you parse through your options, and to ensure you make the most of the legendary city, we've provided a list of our favorite spots. From rooftop pools and bars to trapeze lessons and girly champagne salons with speakeasy appeal, we offer up bachelorette party ideas that are as perfect for New York City novices as they are for city slicker residents. Your dream festivities await.
Where to Stay: 1 Hotels Brooklyn Bridge
For a stay in Brooklyn, this waterfront retreat offers stellar views of the East River and Manhattan skyline. The hotel boasts nature-inspired décor and an overall hip vibe. Plus, there's the in-house Bamford Haybarn Spa.
Where to Stay: Park Hyatt New York
Stay at the Park Hyatt for luxurious, residential-style accommodations and a location steps away from Carnegie Hall and Central Park. It's the little details—like fancy bathrobes, heated bathroom floors, and light-up makeup mirrors—that'll make the room you book worth it.
Where to Stay: The Beekman
This luxury hotel in lower Manhattan is a restored historic landmark, which means it's bursting with classic-meets-contemporary beauty. You won't be able to resist Instagramming the eccentric décor, like the Persian rugs that adorn the mosaic-floored lobby.
Where to Stay: The Carlyle
Urban elegance defines The Carlyle. Every part of the property exudes sophistication, which is everything you could ask for if Gossip Girl made you grow up idolizing the Upper East Side.
Where to Stay: The Chatwal
Quintessentially New York and steps from the city's best theaters, this intimate haven evokes Big Apple heyday romance in its newly-redone suites and the glittering vibe. Gather the girls in the penthouse Producer Suite, where a spiral staircase leads to an ample roof terrace. Enlarge the party by adding The Director Suite next door, which has a dining room wrapped with suede walls and leather-covered closets. Quench your thirst when the butler visits with a nostalgic martini cart. Massages from the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa and nibbles from The Lamb's Club complete the fantasy.
Where to Stay: Four Seasons New York
Take advantage of the on-site wedding planners and their connections with the city's top vendors at Manhattan's most prestigious hotel. Set on Billionaire's Row, this landmark hotel features everything required for an extravaganza. Take your bridesmaids on a test drive when you rent out the Four Seasons' Central Park Suite with Terrace, and let the wedding team create a trial run party. From cake tasting to china and place-setting displays, the staff can help you plan the big day—and get that nod of approval from your best buddies.
Would you prefer to lodge away from the tourists in Midtown? Try Four Seasons New York Downtown instead.
Where to Stay: Gramercy Park Hotel
This landmark hotel is as grand as they come. There's a rotating collection of 20th-century artwork, handcrafted furnishings, and plenty of history—it's housed the likes of Madonna and John F. Kennedy, so it's certainly worthy of you and your gals.
Where to Stay: Arlo Hotels
Whether you choose the SoHo or NoMad location, these boutique hotels offer playful interiors and thoughtfully-designed "micro" rooms that make the most of the space they're in.
Where to Stay: Hotel 50 Bowery
With Asian flourishes, this Instagrammable gem in Chinatown lures bachelorettes with its Hit the Town Package—a stay for four in the Manhattan Suite, which features a private terrace that overlooks the Manhattan Bridge. Toast with flutes chilled Champagne (included in your stay) while enjoying in-room manicures courtesy of Glam Squad and a 45-minute styling consultation at Rent the Runway's Style Studio. Credits for both Uber and The Crown—Hotel 50 Bowery's rooftop bar—seal the deal.
Where to Stay: The Time New York
Located in the heart of Times Square, this stylish hotel tempts with its tri-level Penthouse Suite, big enough for the whole gang. Take in the city views while enjoying the Girls Good Time IN package, a slumber party customized to suit your style. Enjoy a mixology class led by Liquid Lab, lounge about in Maison Margiela monogrammed robes, order late-night pizza from restaurant Serafina, and awaken to a themed brunch in-suite. Swag bags on exit are part of the fun.
Where to Stay: Hotel Hayden
New York natives know that Chelsea's a style hot-spot, so it's only fair that this modern hotel is high fashion-inspired. The boutique spot has its own rooftop bar, plus in an-house bistro to boot.
Where to Stay: Public, an Ian Schrager Hotel
This LES property offers luxury at an affordable price. Its website describes the hotel as "refined, sophisticated, smart and simple, yet flamboyant and provocative, all at the same time." We'd have to agree.
Where to Stay: The Whitby Hotel
Perched toward the top of Midtown, this comtemporary property is in a prime location, surrounded by some of the city's best restaurants, galleries, and museums, including the close-by MoMA. Splurge for rooms with private terraces to soak in the skyline.
Where to Stay: The William Vale Hotel
Local artists' work is hung throughout this chic hotel, which also has its own park. Bonus: The Vale pool is the largest hotel pool in Brooklyn. Enjoy the water or sit beside it on the adjacent, landscaped Vale Terrace.
Where to Stay: Wythe Hotel
This factory-building-turned-hotel getaway sits on the water in Williamsburg. The place is known for celebrating the culture of the borough it's located in.
Where to Eat: Augustine
The brunch menu at Augustine is absolutely divine, featuring dishes like ricotta pancakes with bananas and maple syrup, or French toast with caramelized apples and bourbon syrup. There are also fresh-pressed juices (to nurse any hangovers) and elegant morning cocktails.
Where to Eat: Bobo
This intimate West Village restaurant has delicious brunch and dinner menus, plus a bar and garden space.
Where to Eat: Blacktail
Make the trip to Battery Park City to sip on one (or more!) of eight amazing punches—a specialty of the bar.
Where to Eat: Decoy
Come to Decoy for a family-style Peking-duck feast. The cozy setup in the dining room is ideal for groups.
Where to Eat: Egg Shop
It's an egg-cellent place for brunch. Boasting a new location in Brooklyn, this all-day egg-stravaganza jumpstarts the day with frosé, stellar Bloody Marys, and other breakfast-all-day-long beverages. Feeling hangry? Go for The Beast—eggs, layered with pulled pork carnitas, bourbon ketchup, and pickled onion, on a French bun.
Where to Eat: Le Coucou
For delectable French cuisine in a charming, elegant setting, Le Coucou is an excellent choice.
Where to Eat: Maman
Head to Maman Soho to satisfy your sweet tooth. The menu includes White Chocolate Cherry Rose Cookies and Pistachio Chocolate Croissants—yum.
Where to Eat: Ms. Yoo
This American-Korean gastropub has a menu full of Korean-inspired bites and drinks. The venue itself is absolutely beautiful, and will make you and your crew feel so classy.
Where to Eat: Old Rose
This café, restaurant, and bar is located in the West Village's Jane Hotel, right beside the Hudson River. The spot offers seasonal Italian food, local craft beers, natural wines, and more.
Where to Eat: Pizza Loves Emily
Visit the West Village shop for amazing—you guessed it—pizza. What you might not expect, however, is that the burger is even better.
Where to Eat: The Polo Bar
The Polo Bar screams classic New York, and draws inspiration from the famous Ralph Lauren. It's located in Midtown East, and serves refined (read: fancy) main courses, mouthwatering desserts, and a long list of booze.
Where to Eat: Public Kitchen
This Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant has a dreamy outdoor space, and prides itself on reflecting NYC's melting-pot personality with its diverse menu.
Where to Eat: Rubirosa Ristorante
This restaurant's logo is a pizza angel—what more could you want to bless your life with? Munch on a pie or go for one of the property's other Italian-American offerings, all available at its SoHo location.
Where to Eat: Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa
If you and your girls want sushi, get it here. Do note that this Flatiron District spot doesn't take reservations—it's a risk we'd personally be willing to take.
Where to Eat: Sunday in Brooklyn
We suggest the Malted Pancakes (with hazelnut maple praline and brown butter) at this Williamburg spot. The hip, chic venue can also be booked out for events, like a private bachelorette meal with all of your friends.
Where to Eat: Tavern on the Green
Iconic Tavern on the Green, nestled amid Central Park, got a makeover when co-proprietors/husbands Jim Caiola and David Salama took over in 2014, reimagining the renowned eatery with celebrations in mind. Gather in the outdoor area for a festive happy hour, and watch the world jog by as you tipple pitchers of red or white sangria. Prefer brunch? Follow that stroll in the park with culinary head turners, such as Brioche French Toast with fresh strawberries or Maple Brown Sugar Bacon with sherry vinaigrette.
Where to Party: Air's Champagne Parlor
"Champagne brings the fun," says Ariel Arce, owner of Air's Champagne Bar in Greenwich Village. A sanctum for bubbly, the shabby chic den exudes a speakeasy feel. Go with your girl gang to imbibe bountiful quantifies of Champagne from a list that includes many hard-to-find brands, including some by female winemakers. Buy out the joint for Parlor Hour, which happens daily. For $30 a person, expect a flight of three Champagnes, each paired with an appropriate delectable.
Where to Party: Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
If you want a classy wine experience, this is the place to get it. The midtown location isn't pretentious, though—it's actually got a laid-back vibe.
Where to Party: Bemelmans Bar
Support your inner child (and have at least one bridesmaid keep her eyes peeled for glitterati) at this heart-warming bar. A nook amid the Carlyle Hotel's grandeur, this small place on the Upper East Side has walls painted by Ludwig Bemelmans, the artist and author of the beloved Madeline books for children. Belly up to the bar and order a round of Manhattans for all.
Where to Party: Booker and Dax
Learn from the master. At Booker and Dax your friends will feel like they've entered a gastronomic laboratory. Owned by alchemy upstart David Arnold, the founder of the Museum of Food and Drink, this East Village bar puts forth the most creative, scientific cocktails in town. Adult beverage aficionados will love watching the passion behind the bar.
Where to Party: Campbell Apartment
Remember Serena and Nate's scandalous tryst in Gossip Girl? That scene was filmed at Campbell Apartment, a "secret" bar in Grand Central that'll make you feel as invincible as the fictional Upper East Side teens.
Where to Party: The Happiest Hour
Where to Party: King Cole Bar
Put on your white halter dresses, slab on some red lipstick, and channel the spirit of Marilyn Monroe, who loved to hang out at this elegant bar. Beneath the watchful eyes of Maxfield Parrish's historic mural of King Cole and his fiddler's three, imbibe classic cocktails; many believe the Bloody Mary was invented here.
Where to Party: Library of Distilled Spirits
Brides-to-be can let their besties vote for the wedding's signature cocktail after an interactive tasting at newly-opened Library of Distilled Spirits, located just south of Union Square. Led by beverage director Kyle Tran, the sampling draws from the bar's outrageous collection of more than one thousand spirits, all catalogued in a multi-volume encyclopedia, and housed in a dramatic 16-by-20-foot, floor-to-ceiling, library wall. While you tipple, peruse the massive collection of seminal cocktail and beverage books—many of which are signed copies.
Where to Party: Mother of Pearl
For a bit of tiki-kitsch, try Mother of Pearl. Split Big Drinks (cocktail for multiple people) and enjoy the flavorful décor.
Where to Party: Sel Rrose
Millennial-pink doors sit open for you to enter this rustic-chic spot with a French-focused cocktail list and oyster bar.
Where to Party: Westlight
Pop culture aficionados will recognize the William Vale Hotel's bar from Master of None. The rooftop space features a skyline-showing terrace and a lounge encompassed in glass.
What to Do: Spa It
There are so many places to relax in NYC, it'll be hard to pick just one. For a traditional Chinese-medicine experience, try the spa at Mandarin Oriental. The Red Door is an iconic, classic choice, while Joanna Vargas is where celebs go for pre-red carpet pampering. Another must try? The Guerlain Spa, located in the iconic Plaza Hotel.
What to Do: Bake It
Cupcake domination. It's a skill set everyone needs in life. And, even if yours don't look pretty, there's a good chance they'll taste great after this group tutorial session. Take to the kitchen for a cupcake cooking class at Butter Lane, which holds entertaining, two-hour baking lessons, perfect for your gaggle of sweets-craving amigas.
What to Do: Sail It
Manhattan's an island, so why not board a boat? Sailo, the Airbnb of boats, has abundant craft, including captain and crew, to take your fiesta out to sea. With a number of vessels on the menu, Sailo also has a personal concierge that can organize the set-up, from rosé tastings to musical entertainment.
What to Do: Sip It
Once upon a time, you played tea party with your best friends. Now, you can dress up and sip from china cups like an adult. Afternoon tea at The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, is legendary. Scones, pastries, sandwiches and a variety of teas (not to mention a flute of Champagne or two) add up to make this a rite of passage.
What to Do: Swing It
Admit it. You always wanted to join the circus. So, bring your friends and fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Sometimes going to the edge will bring you closer. With several locations, Trapeze School New York puts on soaring soirees sure to build confidence and memories alike.