Visiting This Year’s US Open Means More Than Tennis

September 5, 2018 - Novak Djokovic in action against John Millman during the 2018 US Open.

 

The world’s greatest tennis players will be competing for record paydays when they visit New York City for the US Open beginning August 26. Both the men’s and women’s singles champions will receive a check for $3,850,000, while the men’s and women’s champion doubles teams will each receive $740,000. Both totals represent not just the richest in US Open history, but also in the history of Grand Slam tournaments.

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Held each year at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, the US Open is an event unlike any other. The players represent over 40 countries and almost 700,000 fans from all over the world come to root for their favorite players. However, the majority of fans don’t come solely for the tennis. Most opt to take a few extra days to experience the sights and sounds of Manhattan. After all, the “city that never sleeps” boasts a never-ending menu of iconic attractions along with legendary cuisine that only the Big Apple offers.

As opposed to standing in long lines at the well-known attractions, visitors might want to go off-the-beaten-path in order to get away from the crowds. For a unique vantage point of Manhattan’s storied skyline, enjoy a leisurely cruise from Chelsea Piers. Bateaux New York provides a three-course dining experience on the water, with entrees such as jumbo lump crab cakes and miso-glazed cod, crafted cocktails and an extensive wine and beer list. This glass-enclosed boat offers spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and One World Trade Center and is accompanied by an acoustic trio. Specialty Spirit Cruises include a Gospel Lunch Cruise featuring a captivating performance by the New York City Gospel Choir.

The city’s hotels are in high demand throughout the two-week tournament, and most roll out the red carpet for their tennis guests. With IHG recently named the official hotel and hotel loyalty partner for the tournament, the Hudson Yards-adjacent Crowne Plaza HY36 will be offering guests exclusive U.S. Open experiences and on-property programming. Serving up tennis themed food and beverages along with tournament-watching necessities such as stylish mini binoculars, fans can enjoy an unforgettable experience. The hotel will also debut a dedicated U.S. Open Package for sports enthusiasts in town for the country’s biggest tennis tournament which comes complete with two MetroCards upon check-in along with a Coco Gauff-inspired cocoa and crème de menthe infused Grand Slam welcome cocktail.

The Sofitel NewYork Hotel is centrally located and is great option for visitors in town for the tournament. It’s a direct trip between the hotel and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, picking the 7 train at 5th Avenue-Bryant Park (just a couple blocks from the hotel) and letting off at the Mets-Willets Point stop, a short walk from the Center in Queens. This elegant midtown hotel offers a unique dining experience at Gaby serving French flair in a stylish setting.

Afternoon tea at the Lowell Hotel in its exquisite Pembroke Room is a wonderful way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city in order to enjoy a few hours of serenity. Recently voted as the best hotel in New York City by readers of Travel + Leisure, the Lowell is located in an iconic residential corridor in the Upper East Side near Central Park. After completing a Pembroke Room renovation, they created an English Garden Tea and also opened a new Pembroke Terrace with fountain and garden. The Pembroke Room upholds the tradition of proper English Afternoon Tea through the service style, and the beverages and food are served from the Dammann Frères loose leaf tea selection. Depending on the service, a glass of Champagne is available along with finger sandwiches and sweets tier, ending the service with warm scones and clotted cream and jams, one of which is from a Lowell team member who retired recently after over 30 years of service. Marty Pizzuti created a Rose Petal Jam exclusively for The Lowell and the Afternoon Tea Service.

With thousands of restaurants throughout the city, visitors are often overwhelmed when trying to decide where to eat. With a sweeping bar with a wood-burning oven along with expansive walls showcasing over 700 bottles of wine, Del Frisco’s Grille  bursts with “New York City energy.” The after-work crowd gathers here to unwind with animated conversation, finely crafted drinks, superb appetizers and delectable entrees, while tourists enjoy such lunch cuisine as a juicy Grille prime cheeseburger, with doubled stacked USDA Prime Beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, red onion, sloppy sauce, tomato and pickle. Begin your dinner with Ahi Tacos, a delightful version of Tuna Tartare with avocado and spicy citrus aioli. Scrumptious entrees include Pan-seared Scallops with goat cheese polenta, tomato chermoula and pine nut gremolata, or their signature Prime New York Strip. A sprawling patio is perfect for al fresco dining.

All in all, the US Open Tournament is a “must see” event for both ardent and casual fans of the sport who not only come to see some of the world’s best athletes compete against each other, but who also desire to get a little taste of the Big Apple in the process.

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