How to Travel to N.Y.C. for Business Like a Grown-Up

Lower Manhattan
Photo: Getty

Traveling alone to New York City for work can be a stressful experience, especially if you’re still relatively green in your career. The pressure to “act professionally”—whatever that really means, right?—can leave you feeling like a total phony.

But here’s the truth—even the most seasoned pros feel that way sometimes. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to help combat those all-too-common bouts of insecurity. When planning your trip—whether you’re visiting for a few rounds of interviews or a series of meetings to pitch your product or idea—you should think about creating an experience that’s conducive to your best work. Read: no more crashing on your friend’s couch for two weeks.

Just think about it. Your old college friend might be gracious enough to lend you her sofabed, but she also has two roommates who keep odd hours and a cat that seems to think your Club Monaco blazer is a litter box—and to top it all off, you just realized you forgot to pack a lint roller. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. And while you might save yourself a little money couchsurfing, the stress of your temporary living situation could potentially be sabotaging your big presentation or interview.

The solution? AKA Wall Street. It’s not a hotel, but it’s not your friend’s 5-floor walk-up, either. It’s a new luxury extended stay residence in the heart of N.Y.C.’s Financial District, which is once again bustling thanks to some new additions to the neighborhood like the Westfield mall, Brookfield Place, Le District, and Eataly. AKA Wall Street is close to all the subway lines you could possibly need, and you don’t have to worry about your safety walking around FiDi at night—Lower Manhattan has lots of police presence, especially near One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Museum & Memorial.

But AKA Wall Street’s appeal goes beyond the neighborhood—the actual amenities and accommodations are some of the best I’ve ever experienced in N.Y.C. The first thing I did upon my arrival was take a shower in my suite’s luxurious, super-sized bathroom. While I was lathering up with the complimentary Bvlgari products and reveling in my sophistication, I accidentally cut myself shaving, which totally ruined the moment. Thankfully, the staff at AKA quickly delivered some bandages and antibiotic ointment to my room so I didn't have to run out to Duane Reade with sopping wet hair. I snapped this pic for Instagram before my little mishap.

The rest of the suite was just as beautiful, clean, and well maintained. I was pleased to find the kitchen fully stocked with pots, pans, and even a Keurig for my morning coffee. The bedroom boasted a lush king-size bed and massive TV, and there was ample closet space throughout the apartment. Some other helpful items I found tucked away were an iron, safe, and robe. If you venture to the second floor, you’ll find a laundry room, business center, and gym—basically everything you could possibly need right at your fingertips.

But my absolute favorite thing about AKA Wall Street is the incredible private rooftop with a direct view of the Freedom Tower, where residents can sit and work on their laptops or sip a cocktail while enjoying the outdoor cinema. That’s right—AKA Wall Street has the only outdoor cinema in the Financial District. Needless to say, I wanted to extend my stay forever.

I woke up the next morning well rested and ready to face the day. You might not think it’s possible to get a good night’s sleep in bustling downtown Manhattan, but you can’t hear a single sound from the street below thanks to AKA Wall Street’s sound-proof windows.

Of course, you don’t want to spend your entire trip snoozing in your apartment. AKA Wall Street has partnerships with a number of local businesses as part of their LiveIt! program, which is designed to help out-of-towners experience everything N.Y.C. has to offer. I took advantage of their partnership with Physique57, a resistance-based barre studio located just steps from AKA. Making time for a full-body workout during your business trip is a very adult-like thing to do, and your mind and body will thank you.

Here are some of my other favorite places in the neighborhood that you should definitely check out while you’re in town:

Where to have a drink with your boss or team: The Capital Grille
A staple of the financial district and a thowback to the glory days of Wall Street, The Capital Grille is usually packed with important people and business bigwigs. The price tag isn't cheap, but one bite of their filet mignon and you'll understand why.

Where to eat alone: Da Claudio
When you can walk into a restaurant alone, book in hand, and say with the utmost confidence, “Table for one, please,” that’s when you know you’re a true adult. Da Claudio attracts plenty of solo diners, most of whom opt for a spot at the long, unassuming bar at this authentic Italian eatery.

Where to watch the sunset: City Vineyard
This amazing new wine bar is a bit of a hike from AKA, but it's well worth the walk. Brought to you by the same owners of City Winery in Tribeca, it's situated right on the Hudson River at Pier 26, directly across from Jersey City. Grab a table on the rooftop, order the hummus, and watch the sun set over the water.

Where to get your nails done: Tenoverten
Tenoverten is a luxurious oasis in the middle of a briefcase-toting desert. Treat yourself to a relaxing, non-toxic mani/pedi here after a successful job interview. You've earned it.

Where to get a coffee: Le District
Grab a cup (or two) at this French food hall and wander outside to Brookfield Place’s Waterfront Plaza to watch the yachts go by because, #goals.

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