When I had the opportunity to attend a FAM trip to New York I jumped at the chance as I had never experienced the destination and I’ve had several clients asking about it as a destination for incentives. To add to the excitement, it was St Patrick’s day and I had heard that the US celebrate the day in style!
The incentive experience started right from arriving at the airport to be checked in and then whisked through private security to be taken up to the Virgin Upper Class lounge at Heathrow which is impressive and a great way to start the trip. The lounge is typical of the Virgin brand that provides a cool and funky environment to relax, work or play before you set off for your flight.
Our home for the trip was the newly reborn Knickerbocker Hotel which has 330 luxury rooms and is in the heart of Midtown Manhattan by Times Square. The city that never sleeps certainly lives up to the name, a number of the shops around Times Square are open to the early hours of the morning or even 24/7…perfect for any shopping addicts!
For our first day, we were taken to the Top of the Rock that gave fantastic views over the city, a perfect first activity for anyone that hasn’t been to NYC. Our next stop was to visit the ABC studio which can host exclusive events within the studio where Good Morning America is broadcasted from. After working up an appetite we were then taken to Pinch, who are specialists in food design and catering. Their philosophy is about creating innovation within food, right down to the clever ways that its presented and served to guests. We experienced some truly amazing dishes and concepts that left you with a smile on your face.
In the afternoon, our next destination was to visit the district of Brooklyn and were taken on a tour and tasting of the Kings Distillery. Our guide gave an engaging and insightful history of whisky and bourbon production in the US. After hearing about the whisky, we then had the pleasure of sampling 5 of their different whiskies.
After consuming a large amount of whisky, we headed off to the newly opened 1 Hotel at Brooklyn Bridge to soak up the alcohol! For anyone looking for an uber cool hotel, then this is the one for you. Throughout the hotel it features a range of natural textiles, reclaimed materials and art that works perfectly and is a welcome change to the standard hotel room that we can get so used to.
Time to drink some cocktails and let our hair down, our next destination was the trendy Meatpacking District to The Standard High Line. The hotel has 338 rooms and is situated above the High Line which is a disused elevated train line that has been turned into an edgy urban public park.
Day 2 and we were off to the Ground Zero to visit the 9/11 memorial site and museum for the World Trade Center site. At first I was wondering whether it would be a suitable activity to include in an incentive and after experiencing it I would certainly put it forward. The museum is an incredible building as its housed underground in the foundations of the towers cross 8 acres.
Our last day and we travelled north to The Pierre, which is on Fifth avenue overlooking one of the most famous parks in the world, Central Park. The Pierre is one of those elegant and refined 5 star hotels that the city has to offer, with 189 rooms and suites that are luxuriously decorated. After our tour of the hotel we went for a stroll in Central Park, which brings back visions of movies or episodes of Friends as you walk around the park. For group activities, you can arrange horse and cart rides around the park, soft ball games or a cycle tour.
So, time to fly home, this is typically when you get in a coach, head to the airport and start remising of the memories you’ve just had. However, we experienced another exclusive airport experience that Delta airlines offers. We were checked in at a private check in desk so no queues and a quick security. We were then taken in a Porsche Cayenne that took us over to our Terminal to view the Delta lounge. After relaxing in the lounge, we boarded on the Delta airplane that offers a bed to fully recline down and get a good night’s sleep, capping off a fantastic trip.
To wrap up on my time in NYC, it’s made me realise why this is one of the greatest cities in the world and a perfect destination for an incentive trip. It has everything, hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, iconic sights, history, multi-cultural and uniqueness.
So, if you’re interested in NYC for your next incentive, then please get in touch for a proposal.
I’d like to thank the following for hosting the trip and showcasing what NYC has to offer! Virgin Atlantic, Delta Airlines, Just the Letter B, The Knickerbocker and Briggs Inc.