EMPIRE STATE BUILDING Unveils New 102nd-Floor Observatory

Floor-to-Ceiling Windows and a Glass Elevator 380 metres above New York City.

The Empire State Building has launched the third phase of its top-to-bottom re-imagined Observatory Experience with its newly 102nd floor Observatory.

The 102nd floor features floor-to-ceiling glass windows where visitors can step right to the edge of the world’s most famous building.

Visitors experience their first ‘wow’ moment when they enter an all glass elevator on the 86th floor and ascend 16-stories through a newly-renovated glass shaft to the 102nd floor. On that journey they experience a never-before-seen look at the inside of the tower’s mast and a glimpse of its world-famous tower lights.

The Observatory itself is an enclosed, climate-controlled, all-weather observation deck with 360-degree views of the city and beyond through 24 crystal-clear, eight-foot-tall windows.

“The 102nd floor Observatory is the crown jewel of the Empire State Building. We’ve removed all the obstructions and obstacles, giving Guests access to a view that is centrally-located and unrivaled in New York City,” said Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust.

This third phase follows the successful openings of the Observatory entrance at 20 West 34th Street and the immersive second-floor galleries.

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WE KNOW: New York City

David Thompson, Manager – Sales & Client Experience at The Travel Authority Corporate in Sydney knows the Big Apple inside and out.

New York City has always been his favourite city, and he had the very great fortune to live there for two years, not so long ago. He visited again earlier this year.

New York moments.

His biggest tip for visitors—particularly first-timers?

“Divide and conquer,” says David.

“Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs are ENORMOUS, so you need to have a plan. On my recent trip, I chose to stay in three separate hotels so I could explore the areas around the hotels without spending half of my time in cab, Ubers and the Subway,” advises David.

Brooklyn Bridge; The Chrysler Building; David’s favourite spot in New York—the rooftop at The Met.

Here’s how his most recent trip played out.


I stayed at the fab Hotel on Rivington, located right in the middle of my favourite area in New York. This hotel features floor to ceiling windows that give breathtaking views of the area.

The East Village, Soho, West Village and Tribeca are all walking distance. Some of the best food and bars in the city can be found here. Try Clinton St Baking Co. for all-day brunch, Sel Rrose for oysters and Champagne, or Death & Co. for award-winning cocktails.

Oysters and cocktails at Sel Rrose.

A must-do is 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Located right on the spot that World Trade Centre building once stood, it is deeply moving and fascinating. Pre-book as the lines can be enormous.


Brooklyn is the new Manhattan. There are loads of new restaurants, bars and boutiques, with more opening every day.

I stayed at the Tillary Hotel which is located within an easy walk of Brooklyn downtown with its amazing factory outlets, and the Brooklyn Centre for concerts and basketball.

The Tillary Hotel, Brooklyn.

The impressive Brooklyn Museum is a must-do, too—the building alone is worth the walk. The Tillary hotel is also a short walk to Dumbo (Down under the Manhattan Bridge), which is a refurbished and hugely popular area that runs from the Manhattan bridge to the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Be sure to take a ferry (every 10 mins) from Brooklyn Bridge Pier to Williamsburg.

Williamsburg is THE place to go in New York. Full of on-trend fashion stores, very cool bars and restaurants and fantastic people watching. Go to the William Vale hotel rooftop for some of the best views of New York you have ever seen. Head to Brooklyn Bowls for food, drinks, live acts and even a game of bowls—very Williamsburg.


Try to avoid the chaos of staying right in the middle Times Square. Look to stay a few blocks away, in any direction, and things calm right down.

I stayed at the fabulous Intercontinental Barclay—a very short walk from Rockefeller Plaza, Grand Central Station and Times Square. This 1926 grand dame has been completely refurbished with modern twists and all the mod cons and exceptional service you would expect from a 5-star New York hotel.

Intercontinental Barclay

From here check out MoMA for one of the best collections of Modern Art in the world. Then head up to the ‘Top of the Rock’ which, as the name suggests, is at the top of Rockefeller Plaza.

Jump in a cab to WholeFoods at Columbus Circle grab some picnic supplies and head across the street to Central Park—the huge green space in the middle of Manhattan. Find somewhere nice to sit and watch the world go by.

Walk across to the Metropolitan Museum (The Met)—the world-famous Museum that holds countless priceless works of art and artefacts from all over the globe. My favourite spot in the whole of New York City is the rooftop on top of the museum.

This incredible space has jaw-dropping views across Central Park, and on to the ever-growing Manhattan skyline and beyond. You can buy a drink and sit and soak up the sun or check out the artworks that change regularly on the rooftop.

David’s room at Hotel on Rivington; elegant interiors at The Times Square EDITION Hotel; and Intercontinental Barclay.

We think David has the Big Apple licked.

Are you ready to divide and conquer on your next visit?

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GET TO KNOW: Equinox Hotel New York City

The first hotel from the luxury fitness brand, Equinox, has opened in New York City—a hotel that The Wall Street Journal has called “the fittest hotel on Earth.”

Located on the west side of Manhattan, Equinox Hotel New York City sits in the heart of Hudson Yards — New York’s newest neighbourhood.

Just outside is the celebrated High Line and more than 100 shopping and dining experiences.

The new hotel spans floors 24 to 38 of a 92-story building, with rooms revealing stunning views of the city and Hudson River, while also offering soundproofing, blackout blinds, and a tech-controlled climate experience.

The hotel’s 212 rooms and suites are described simply as “Dark. Quiet. Cool.” Uniquely, Equinox offers the services of certified sleep coaches.

“Equinox New York looks sublime”, said The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

“The Hudson Yards neighbourhood is one of the most exciting New York developments in a long time. We expect this Equinox, and the ones to follow, to change the way hotels approach and incorporate wellness into their offering”, added Hosper.

There is a 60,000-square-foot fitness club with a saltwater lap pool and two plunge pools. Guests are also invited to participate in the Vessel Run—a cardio class with Equinox instructors that involves walking and running to the top of the Vessel, the large public artwork made up of interlocking staircases at the center of Hudson Yards.

More Equinox hotels are in the pipeline, with Seattle expected to open in 2019, Houston and Los Angeles in 2021, and Chicago in 2022. Aligning with 25 years of the Equinox brand’s innovations in movement, nutrition, and regeneration, each hotel is designed with “your performance in mind.”

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