If you’re sick of wearing 123,098,474,545 layers lately, and are wishing for a sunny vacay, but don’t have the time (or the funds) to do so, there are several places right here in NYC to give you a taste of the tropics.
- Phyto Universe (pictured above). I’ve written a detailed review of my experience at this luxurious hair conditioning salon (read it here), but all you really need to know is the living plant wall and private Oriental themed treatment rooms will make you feel like you’ve slipped away to a spa in Bali. 715 Lexington Ave.
- Cuba. I was neighbor to this bar/restaurant for approximately two seconds, but that didn’t stop from me becoming very acquainted with their classically delicious mojitos, served with a garnish of real sugar cane. I haven’t been to Cuba (yet), but this is as close as you can get within the five boroughs. 222 Thompson St.
- Primp & Polish. From the front, this looks like a typical (albeit spotlessly clean) nail salon, and if you made the mistake of only requesting a manicure, you may not have noticed the outdoor pedicure garden tucked in the back. The comfy chairs, exotic plants, and bamboo touches will have you instantly feeling more zen. 205 N 9th St., Williamsburg
- Surf Bar. This sand bottomed, surf board lined bar/restaurant serves up tiki drinks and seafood snacks (like the mahi mahi burger) to chilly locals craving beach shacks. 139 N 6th St., Williamsburg
- No. 8 (formerly Bungalow 8). Dancing is one of the quickest ways to feel like you’re on holiday, and with No. 8’s tall palm trees and elegant Latin feel, you’ll forget it’s subzero outside. 357 W 16th St.
- New York Botanical Gardens Orchid Show – A trek up to the Bronx for the annual flower show (see my recap from last year here) inside NYBG’s beautiful crystal palace, the Haupt Conservatory, is a seasonal must do. The flower varieties and absolutely incredible to see, and the atmosphere, warmth, and humidity necessary for the flowers mimic the climate of a rainforest. While the theme every year is of course, tropical, this year it is also made topical. Sia would approve. The Orchid Show: Chandeliers opens today, Feb. 28th through April 19th.