over the past several months, you have journeyed with me to some of my favorite boutique travel destinations via my luxury abroad series. this month, i thought we could keep things inspirational while staying a little closer to home. after all, serene settings, exquisite cocktails, and beautifully appointed interiors can be found right here in the city, too.

the 3 locales i’m sharing with you today have been tested by yours truly (i make these sacrifices for you) and have earned the darci seal of approval when it comes to self-pampering, relaxation, and enjoying date night in a luxurious setting. if you’re looking for culinary indulgence, comfort, and a potential whiskey education, these 3 destinations deserve a spot on your list.

1. the rh guesthouse in the meatpacking district

nyc’s rh guesthouse describes itself as a first-of-its-kind hospitality experience, and i have to agree. so exclusive that social media isn’t permitted, they treat the guesthouse as their home and each patron as a guest. the restaurant alone, which you can reserve without an overnight stay, is well worth the visit. (tip: do not leave without tasting the cauliflower steak and the caramelized banana split for dessert! you’re welcome.)

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enter inside and you will be immersed in thoughtful lighting, contemporary furnishings, and an inviting, yet never overcrowded, layout. no design detail was spared. not only is the dining area beautifully appointed, but a journey throughout the impeccably lit staircase to the restroom is well worth the trip.

if you do choose to stay overnight, you can also enjoy the rooftop garden, pool, terrace, and their exquisitely appointed suites. though i haven’t seen these for myself, it promises to be a treat. each suite comes with a top-quality mattress, stocked pantries, and a gym. you know i love an establishment that pays attention to the details.

2. manhatta for modern dining with a view

perched 60 floors above the bustling streets of lower manhattan, this modern restaurant and bar is an experience not to be missed. inspired by the lively spirit of new york, manhatta is rooted in down-to-earth vibes and boasts an exceptional view of the city. and if your gaze does happen to drift away from the oversized windows, it will land on stunning interiors with original artwork.

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contemporary furnishings provide a comfortable space to lounge, while an evolving menu tempts you with only the best locally sourced ingredients and creative cocktails crafted after various nyc neighborhoods. your senses will also be treated to stunning sightlines around every bend (i tested them all), ensuring a designer-approved night to remember.

3. cocktails at the brandy library on moore st.

can you imagine sipping exquisite cocktails within a personal, intimate library of the finest brandy and whisky available? it’s easy to see why the brandy library is continually one of my top contenders. whiskey selections aside, the amber glow of the space creates the perfect ambiance for cozying up, sampling their equally delicious menu, and lounging in style.

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if you ask me, autumn and winter are the perfect seasons for a visit — the brandy library offers a cozy and sophisticated environment that will quickly warm your soul. you can also take advantage of the knowledgeable and friendly staff; they offer informative and fun tasting classes in the cellar just below the lounge. (in my opinion, this date destination would be just as fun with a friend!)

do you have recommendations?

if you share our great taste — culinary or otherwise — i would love to hear your local recommendations in the comments below. after all, experiences are what bring us together, restore us, and inspire us in new ways. and discovering new gems in and around our beautiful city is always an adventure worth having.

until next time, i wish you happy times with the people you love most.

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