You really can’t go wrong spending Christmas in Manhattan. But the best way to experience New York during the holidays is to stay in the heart of it all at The Omni Berkshire Place—my New York home away from home—at 52nd and Madison.
There’s just so much to see and do within a few block radius that it really takes the hassle out of New York City, no matter what the weather’s like.
Two blocks down and over is Radio City Music Hall, and the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Two blocks up and west is the MoMA. If you’re lucky you’ll be there on a Monday and catch the grilled cheese food truck on 6th Avenue!
Our room at the Omni Berkshire Place—suite 712—had everything my husband Cam and I needed: a great view down Madison Avenue, a mammoth bathtub in a marble bathroom, a large King bed with European style bedding, and a beautifully designed grand living area with pull-out couch if needed.
During the holidays, the Omni Berkshire has the best eggnog anywhere in New York. As Chef Ron Ulzcak explained, the eggnog they serve at the Berkshire is a twist on traditional eggnog, which is egg yolks, cream, and sugar heated up and then cooled with rum and bourbon.
The Mexican, Omni Berkshire version has everything the traditional eggnog has but also includes coconut milk—topped with nutmeg of course. The Coquito eggnog is so delicious that you will make the Omni Berkshire part of your holiday tradition and never, ever, buy store-bought eggnog again.
Fortunately, Chef Ron shared his recipe with us, which you can find below.
Friends and I visited “The Tree” and then went over the St. Regis’ King Cole Bar which features the mural made more famous by the movie “The First Wives’ Club” and has really special cocktails like Astor Midnight, a blue martini with Stoli Blueberi vodka and limoncello.
If you just want to hunker down and stay put in the Omni Berkshire, the Fireside Restaurant has a satisfying menu. We loved the sliders, fries and hand-mulled Ginger Cosmos while we watched the game on four large TV’s that formed one really large one. The bar has a cozy living room atmosphere, unusual for a New York City hotel. In fact, the people who work at the Omni Berkshire have a warm welcoming attitude, from the Polish housekeeper Elsbeth, to Robert Deniro look-alike Chef Ron, to the front desk staff and doormen. You’ll want to call the Omni Berkshire your Manhattan home away from home too–especially during the holidays.
Coquito Eggnog, from Chef Ron Ulczak
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
2C coconut milk
1C Carnation milk
1C condensed milk
1C brandy or cognac
1/2t vanilla extract
Blend eggs and yolk in blender with the alcohol until they lighten in color. Add remaining ingredients and blend. After blending put on ice to chill.