I find that lovely clients tend to refer equally lovely clients, and Leanne and Ralf are such a great example of this.
They reached out for assistance in organising their joint 30th birthday celebrations in the city that never sleeps last December and managed to skilfully navigate the complex entry regulations which were in place at the time to end their year in style…
I had dreamed of going to America for a long time so both Ralf and I’s forthcoming 30th birthdays seemed the perfect opportunity.
Jo came highly recommended by two of our best friends who suggested she was best person to help us organise a special New York trip in December to celebrate.
With Covid still rife, we had the additional reassurance that Jo would be on hand if anything needed to be addressed or changed.
We flew from Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic, both firsts for us too, and the flight was one of the best yet, comfort and service were spot on.
The Distrikt Hotel was our base for three nights and overall, it was nice - a little different to the photos and Instagram feed - basic but comfortable although devoid of any character or reasonable views.
Ultimately, we only needed it for a decent night’s sleep because we were exhausted each day, but it was disappointing that they hadn’t advised Jo in advance that the hotel bar was closed, despite part of our booking including a complimentary drink each night.
We tried to cram in as much as it was possible to.
Shortly after checking-in, we made our way to Joe’s Pizza for what I can only describe as an unreal pizza experience, before taking a stroll through Times Square and exploring some of the tourist spots, such as Radio City Hall, before dinner at Gallagher’s Steakhouse.
Day two, we took the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and spent the day around the financial district, walking to and over Brooklyn Bridge before heading to La Esquina for dinner.
An action-packed day three took in the Empire State Building, shopping down Fifth Avenue and Grand Central Station. I had so wanted to see the Rockerfeller Centre, but the crowds were insane, and we couldn’t get close so decided that was for a next trip. We had also intended to walk The Highline but with time in short supply, a trip to Madison Avenue to treat myself to a birthday Fendi ring won out!
We also tried to squeeze in a walk around Central Park but with darkness descending, it wasn’t easy to enjoy it properly, so we headed back towards Times Square for a last night meal at the Hard Rock Café.
On our final day, we checked out of the hotel, leaving our luggage there and took the subway to the World Trade Centre and back from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum before returning to collect our bags and take a taxi back to JFK for our flight home.
Everything had been super special and Covid-wise we felt very safe. There were lots of pop-up testing sites, especially around Times Square, and the only times we were asked to wear masks was at some of the major tourist sites.
This was a brilliant way to celebrate a milestone birthday and I can’t wait to return. Jo was awesome and we will absolutely be asking for her help again.