The NYC Girl's Guide To Gathering: Valentine’s Day Special Edition

photo Hotel Dylan
It’s 2016 and long gone are the days of trading boxes of Sweethearts for Whitman’s Mini Samplers.  The real celebration this year lies in the heart of enjoying time with your #squad.  Whether you’re single or just plain uninterested in the cliché date night with champagne and strawberries, we’ve got a guide to NYC Valentine’s Day that’ll have you thinking outside the heart-shaped box.

If breaking hearts and taking names is your girl gang’s claim to fame, be sure to do it right by throwing a mega roller derby bash at an old Brooklyn warehouse or throwing a vixen valentines soiree at a Chelsea loft.  And if you’re about that outdoorsy campfire life, we’ve got a load of getaway options too.  From Bushwick to SOHO to Upstate NY, we’re hopping all over the New York map in this Girl Gang’s Guide to Valentine’s Day.

Written by Alyssa Brown
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photo Hotel Dylan

Hotel Dylan - The Hippie Girls Gathering

Road trips are always our go-to when we’re feeling like we need some good quality time with friends. Set up a sweet playlist of 1969 road tunes and gather with your babes in all your velvet-pantsed, fringe-vested glory and head out to Woodstock to check out these rockstar digs. Geared toward an artsy, musical crowd, this boutique hotel designed by TV darlings, the Novogratz family is as cozy as it is cool. The pillows feature Dylan's famous lyrics of 'Love is all you need'.. perfect for your Gal-entines gathering. Galentine's Gathering Tip: Grab a vinyl record or a board game at the front desk to take back to your room!
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The Skylark - The Madmen Girls Gathering

Every Madmen fan remembers that famous scene when Megan sings a French tune to Don in her hottest little black dress. Imagine hanging in a similar space on a night like Valentine’s Eve and spotting your next Don Draper. Bonsoir, Skylark, with your beautiful city views, creative cocktails and rooftop terrace. We are loving this lounge with its tufted couches, velvets, leather and sophisticated edginess. Zou bisou bisou!
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photo Fran Parente

Witness Apartment - The Slumber Party Girls Gathering

BRB, gotta go Pinterest every single picture of this drool-worthy venue. Vixen Valentine's Soiree, anyone? Rather than BYOB, make it BYOV and have all the girls bring their favorite vinyl album to spin. Get a bunch of fun, festive ingredients and kickoff the evening with a cocktail contest. Whoever makes the best Who Cares About Cupid Daiquiri wins a Yes Way, Rosé tote filled with girlie goodies. Can I get a witness?
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Wythe Hotel - The Urban Girls Gathering

We all know the Wythe is gorgeous and has epic views, but you really don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve danced around the neighborhood with your main Bs and crash landed in these crazy comfy beds. If you’ve got it in the budget, spring for the penthouse with the girls. It has its own rooftop overlooking the NYC skyline and it might just be the best place in NY to pop bottles of champagne with your nearest and dearests.
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The 1896 - The Roller Derby Girls Gathering

It would be hard not to fall in love with this old industrial warehouse space, aptly dubbed The 1896. The raw concrete floors lend themselves perfectly to throwing a big, bad roller derby bash with all your girls just like the team behind Patina Rentals did. Hire a hot crew of lady DJs, glitter up your vintage roller skates and throw on your glitziest spandex because this Valentine’s Day is about to get real turnt up. 

Barn at Tivoli - The Outddoorsy Girls Gathering

Loving a lumberjack probably isn’t ALL fun and games, but this woodsy barn lodge may have you thinking otherwise. This Instagram worthy loft, that looks like a backdrop you’d see while flipping through the pages of an Anthropologie catalog, sleeps up to 8. Might as well splurge and get matching valentine jammies for all the girls because this place gives slumber party a whole new level of cozy. Gal-entine's Gathering Tip: Cook a meal in the fire pit, relax on the hammock, pack a picnic and enjoy it on the deck by the creek. Whatever you do, don’t forget to look up at the stars and listen to animals.
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photo Alex Lau (Left Image) @chungalexa (right image)

The Happiest Hour - The Palm Beach Girls Gathering

A trip to Miami might not be in the St. Valentine’s cards this year, but a jaunt to The Happiest Hour in the West Village offers a quick pick-me-up for your gaggle of gals. This throwback Palm Beach-esque diner is just the kind of spot for y’all to champagne toast your commitment to undying squad love while noshing on some supreme comfort food. The night can start with a pop or end with a bang at this late night joint. Gal-entine's Gathering Tip: Whether you're a Loose Lemon or a Maid to Order, this spot has cocktails to whet your whistle, cheekily named, thusly. Email: to book a party of 6 or more!

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Mast Brothers Chocolate - The Chocolate Lovers Girls Gathering

A couple of hot dudes who make chocolate and then make even better things with chocolate in them, the Mast Brothers have acquired quite the cult following over the past few years. If chocolate is at the top of your must-have list on Valentine’s Day, be sure to pop by this bastion of chocolate bliss. Tour, taste, sip and savor, but don’t be too greedy because this is a great shop to grab delicious, design-savvy gifts for friends - like The Mast Brothers x Marc Jacobs collab, HELLO. Gal-entines's Gathering Tip: Schedule a private tour! If you can’t make it to the shop in person on V-Day, check out Mast Bros. Chocolate: A Family Cookbook.  Was Russell Stover even a real person anyway?
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photo No. 8

No. 8 - The Disco Girls Gathering

Grab your finest disco diva friends! When that hotline bling, it could only mean one thing – time for a late night dance sesh with the hottest of ladies.  Throw on something that makes you glow and head to the Meatpacking District’s No. 8. With décor as glam as your squad, this sultry secret lounge is sure to light up when you and your girls walk in the room. Take a cue from dreamboat Drake and get those glasses of champagne out on the dance floor. Gal-entine's Gathering Tip: Order the 'Classic Disco Fries' and 'Watermelon Martini'. 
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The Musket Room - The Modern Girls Gathering

Looking to escape NY without actually leaving Manhattan? Nolita’s hot little number, The Musket Room, feels more luxe-countryside than city-cray. This modern setting with greenery dripping from every wall will have you and your best buds feeling rejuvenated in no time. Oysters and lobster are front and center for the Valentine’s Day tasting menu, likely to be chased with their Glass Half Full cocktail (a mix of cognac, vanilla, salted orange, yuzu, and sherry). Sharing this ambience and an amazing meal with your besties? Half full, indeed.
Make your reservations for the 6-course tasting menu here: $150/person
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Norwood Club - The Gossip Girls Gathering

For any of you gals looking for a new scene in the new year, consider joining this members-only community of artists, musicians and creatives. The historic 18th century townhouse is a five-story landmark with a restaurant, 3 lounges with their own bars, a screening room, and a private dining room. Oh, and there’s outdoor space too. Beyond being an incredible place to throw a party, Norwood Club is a breeding ground for meeting new, interesting people from around the globe.
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Spin NYC - The Sporty Spice Girls Gathering

Spin NYC is the go-to for Ping Pong enthusiasts. Rather than sitting at a bar for Valentine’s Day, pick up the paddles and challenge your besties to a little healthy competition. With 17 Ping Pong courts and a bar and restaurant, this place really turns up the volume on the weekends. And hey, let’s face it, people would pay to see your #bodsquad in action. Gal-entine's Gathering Tip: On Feb.12th join Spin NYC for "Heartbreak Hotel" Experience interactive games, a “Slam Wall” to bash your ex, cupids hand-delivering prizes (may or may not be x-rated), a “Psychic Corner” with a famous oracle reader to predict your dating destiny, a temporary tattoo station to brand your feelings, and many surprises throughout the night. They'll also be crowning a Pong King and Queen! Tickets are $15 here.
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Roberta's - The Pizza Party Girls Gathering

As far as we’re concerned, there’s really nowhere else in Brooklyn to spend hours gabbing with girlfriends, noshing on pizzas and plowing through wine. Sure, there are plenty of pizza spots in this city, but Roberta’s does setting best, especially with their gorgeous outdoor garden. Since it’ll probably be too cold to sit out there in February, take advantage of the people watching inside. You’re bound to see at least a couple of babes walk through those doors. Standard ressies aren't taken, but for groups of 10-16 people, click here and family-style dining will be yours!
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photo Donna

Donna - The Dance-All-Night Girls Gathering

Ever the beauty, this music-centric cocktail bar is a fave of the late-night scene. With its rustic wood floors, cool cement bartop, high vaulted white ceilings and eye-catching art collection, it’ll be easy to whittle away a few hours swearing off your last valentine in this space. Just be sure you bring the right crew of Donnas to dance it off with. Gal-entine's Gathering Tip: Order up some guacamole or nacho shares, family-style, and wash it down with hand-crafted cocktails like "Image of a Prince" or "Riverboat Gambler." On your way out? Grab a cup of tea, to-go.
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Blooming Hill Farm - The Brunch Bash Girls Gathering

As you may have noticed from the most memorable celebrity weddings of 2015 (most held out in the country, on vineyards or farms), farm life isn’t just for the birds these days. Blooming Hill Farm up near Monroe is hosting a Sunday brunch of epic proportion on Valentine’s Day and all your cronie crushes are invited to take a seat in their wood-stove heated barn. Definitely worth the zipcar rental, the drive is as gorgeous as the grounds are at this organic veggie centric farm and restaurant. Start handing out your veggie-themed valentine invites now! Gal-entine's Gathering Tip: BYOB encouraged, babes! V-Day Brunch Feb. 14th: 10a-2p  Email for reservations. 
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Todd English Food Hall - The Fabulous Foodie Girls Gathering

Foodie gals will all be pleased at Todd English’s Food Hall in the Plaza Hotel. From charcuterie and cheese boards to sushi bars and fresh-shucked oyster counters, this Euro-style food hall offers cuisines from around the world in a setting that’s a real treat for any holiday. Group text a couple of your closest babes and head to this gourmet paradise for a few hours with the ones you really love. Gal-entine's Day Gathering Tip: Even if it's "cafe-teria style" dining, it's still the Plaza so dress accordingly! Don't forget to shop for some Eloise goods, from Kay Thompsons famous book. Remember she lives at the Plaza! 
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Charlie Bird Restaurant - The Artsy Girls Gathering

A day packed with art gallery visits and SOHO shopping with gal pals sounds like a V-Day well spent. Round out the afternoon with a meal at Charlie Bird Restaurant, a setting that’ll complete your day of girl gang giddiness. The handmade pastas here are out-of-this-world delicious, as is just about every single thing on the menu at this 60-seater gem. A great meal served family style in a setting this dreamy can bring any group of friends together in style. Email: to book.
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photo The Broome, SOHO

The Broome - The French Girls Gathering

Talk about Cupid making your heart melt. This architectural beauty is at the top of our NYC boutique hotel crush list. The French café and outdoor atrium will make you feel like your staycation is in another city altogether. And if a penthouse experience with your main lady-loves is calling your name, The Broome has that experience dialed down to a T, rooftop terrace included. Pack your overnight bags and plan to peace out to this chic home-away-from-home.
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Breathe Inn - The Yoga Girls Gathering

If you’re looking to totally check out with your besties this Valentine’s weekend, book a room or two at the Breathe Inn upstate. This 7-room Victorian Inn is relaxation central with its on-site yoga studio, infrared sauna, firepit, tipi, and wraparound porch. This peaceful little property will have you feeling reset in no time. Be sure to bring a stack of good magazines, Cards Against Humanity and plenty of wine for a weekend full of belly laughs.
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photo American Cut

American Cut - The 'Steak Over Cake' Girls Gathering

We can’t come up with one good reason that you shouldn’t go out and enjoy an amazing meal on Valentine’s Day, whether it’s with your best friend or your current squeeze. Between the 3,000 bottle wine cellar and the copper ceilinged rooms, this upscale Art Deco steakhouse has some major swag. Located in the heart of Tribeca, American Cut will have you feeling fancy fance in no time. Cheers to you for opting for steak over cake! Girls Gathering Tip: Order the 'Plank Smoked Old Fashioned' with wild turkey bourbon, caster sugar, house bitters, in a maple wood smoked glass. 
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Crosby Street Hotel - The High Tea Girls Gathering

Gather your gaggle and head to HIgh Tea at The Crosby Street Bar at Crosby Street Hotel, a place so glam even Diane Von Furstenburg would be jealous of your squad. Celebrate V-Day at Crosby Street Hotel by joining them in The Crosby Bar for ‘Valentine’s Afternoon Tea’ with a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé ($60/person) or attend a special screening of Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s by ‘Valentine’s Film Club’ at 8PM  Gal-entine's Gathering Tip: Enjoy dinner before the movie for $55 per person, or enjoy a cocktail and bar plate before the movie for $35 per person.
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photo Photographed by Arthur Elgort, Vogue, November 2003

Di Palo’s - The Pretty in Picnic Girls Gathering

Little Italy
Instead of dropping all your cash on a crazy weekend of Valentine’s bouquets and chocolate soufflés, take a walk back in time to Little Italy. The shopping around this neighborhood never loses its charm and it makes for a Sunday well spent with your amici. Check out a few different purveyors and put together the ultimate smorgasbord of meats and fresh cheeses and head to the park on Chrystie Street for a proper picnic. Duck into Di Palo’s to pick up the best fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheeses on your way!
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Grand Central Oyster Bar - The Oyster and Rose Girls Gathering

If you’re feeling a strong love affair with NYC these days, grab your babes and head to Grand Central for oysters and rosé. Of course you’ve speed walked through these terminals no less than a gazillion times and you’ve undoubtedly been starry eyed under the constellation concourse. But if you haven’t eaten at the oyster bar, you’re really missing out on a quintessential NY experience. Besides, it’s a fab excuse to get dolled up with your favorite peeps. Gal-entine's Gathering Tip: Check out their super special Feb.13th V-Day menu, filled with all kinds of taste treats!
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Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle - The Madeline Book Girl's Gathering

Upper East Side
Named after the creator of the classic children’s book series Madeline, Bemelmans Bar is as much a place of nostalgia as it is a hidden New York gem. Located inside The Carlyle, this throwback to 1940s life on the Upper East Side provides a peaceful respite from the craziness of the city sidewalks. If you’re able to get in on an evening with live piano, your sweet friends may want to tag along for a timeout and reset with a glass of wine and some mural ogling. Bemelman painted the walls in exchange for a year and a half rent-free in The Carlyle’s luxury residence. Girls Gathering Tip: Bring copies of Madeline and turn it into a fun drinking game with glasses of the famous 'The Carlyle Punch'. 
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