Go Slow: A Wellness Tour of New York

Explore the slower side of New York City with some wellness-focused experiences
Explore the slower side of New York City with some wellness-focused experiences | © Patti McConville / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lucy Thackray
17 March 2021

Hop over the Hudson to cycle beyond the city limits and dial down the pace with massages and more on this om-inducing tour.

The image of the “city that never sleeps,” where time zooms by in a “New York minute” is no myth: this is a frenetic, constantly evolving city. But gradually, visitors to NYC are learning to slow down, take time out and look beyond the classic diversions. As Melanie Rousselet, founder of calm-inducing candle brand, Artisane NYC, puts it: “As much as we love the city, even us locals have moments when we’re looking for a breather, for some peace and quiet.” She recommends exiting Manhattan and heading to Brooklyn or Queens for the day, or hopping on a ferry. “It costs about two dollars, and it’s a great way to photograph the city and discover up-and-coming areas, like Long Island City.”

So, whether you’re cycling upstate or simply exploring a satellite neighborhood, it’s worth getting to know the real New York – the one beyond the cloud-piercing skyscrapers and Times Square touts. We’ve scouted three standout experiences to help scratch the city’s more serene surface, as well as a hotel that’s made for luxuriant long stays, all bookable on Culture Trip…

Passengers on a ferry from New York City
Brooklyn Bridge
Melanie Rousselet, founder of Artisane NYC Courtesy of Melanie RousseletA ferry is an inexpensive way to explore New York City © CharlinX USA Collection / Alamy Stock PhotoHead across the Brooklyn Bridge to discover NYC beyond Manhattan © Pere Sanz / Alamy Stock Photo

Where To Stay: The Hotel

Lotte New York Palace

Map View
Courtesy of Lotte New York Palace / Expedia
Just off shopping-heaven Fifth Avenue, “The Palace” feels like a particularly palatial apartment building: discreet and polished, a place to put your feet up. Here, you can spend lazy mornings reading the papers at historic, wood-paneled brunch spot Villard and sip coffee in the dappled light of its regal courtyard in the summer. There are two buildings – the Towers and the Palace – with chic apartment-style rooms in the former, expensively furnished crashpads in the latter and squishy sofas in both that entice you to dial down the pace. Our tip? In the Palace, try to bag a view of the ornate, Gothic Revival turrets of St. Patrick’s Cathedral next door, to achieve a true state of near-religious serenity. Staff are incredibly switched on and able to make magic happen: the Towers’ front desk, in particular, feels like having a top-notch personal assistant, taking all the stress out of your city break, so you can focus on seeing New York in style.

What To Do: The Experiences

Our methodology

Culture Trip compiled these recommendations based on insights from our global community of travel experts and local insiders, combined with search data from millions of users around the world to understand interest in these destinations.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"