1. See the pretty side of winter on a weekend upstate
Winter in New York City is brutal – soot-encrusted snow, skyscraper wind tunnels in Midtown, shoes soaked through with slush. Get back in touch with how beautiful winter can be on a trip to upstate New York. A few hours north of the city, snow is gentle, silent, and white, and strong wind is something you watch from inside, next to a wood-burning fireplace.
Find an AirBnB or HomeAway rental (like this grand farmhouse or this chalet), take a crisp, short winter hike, and then seriously consider spending the evening with your friends relaxing over some hot cider or mulled wine. Book a sprinter van there and back, and forget logistics for a few days.
2. Take a nice hot mudbath – on a spa weekend
The NYC area is littered with spa resorts tucked into bucolic settings, designed to serve harried city slickers. Perhaps the most well-known and luxurious among them, Mohonk Mountain House offers sprawling grounds with elegant rooms, plentiful spa services, daily meals and snacks included for all guests, and, if you’re feeling inspired, activities like ice skating, snow tubing, and snowshoeing.
If you’re looking for something a bit more laid-back, try the Buttermilk Falls Inn, where you can bond over group spa treatments. Try hydrotherapy at the Roosevelt Baths and Spa, or focus on alternative wellness at the Cooperhood Retreat and & Spa. Book a limo to get out there – you deserve this.
3. Go historic-house-hopping in the Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley is full of history, including dozens of grand old estates now open to the public. Curate a weekend of historic sightseeing, and offer your friends a chance to be transported to another time. Pick your favorite styles and stories from a long list of homes, and spend a few days house-hopping. When you’re done admiring and touring, retire in the evenings to your own grand residence at the Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown. You’ll feel like a titan of industry in another era – just make sure you book your chauffeur as well. An executive coach seems appropriately grand.
4. Enjoy peaceful Montauk in the off-season
Craving sun and sea in the middle of dark and windy winter days? Visit the super-luxurious Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa in the off-season. You might even find you prefer their huge, heated saltwater indoor pool to the open ocean. Enjoy the peace of their seawater baths, their saunas and steam rooms, and spa services, and the drama of the winter water views – without the summer crowds around. Forget high-season travel woes on the way there and back – on a Sprinter van with comfy seats and big windows.
5. Atlantic City… the opposite of natural beauty
All this too mellow for you? Sometimes you just have to throw relaxing in the trash and go to a casino resort. Visit the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City and treat yourself to more luxury than you can actually absorb in a weekend. They have five pools, five restaurants, and 85 poker tables, so you can dive in, wear sequins and say things like, “luck be a lady!” – if you’re into that. And if you’re not interested in table stakes, move on to the Borgata’s nightclub mur.mur, or post up at one of their twelve bars. Obviously take a party bus out there to set the tone.