Along with a successful TV and Radio career, Australian personality, Sami Lukis has added a new string to her bow and branched out to provide unique New York travel experiences for female travelers.
"New York is my favourite city and I'm convinced it's THE perfect holiday destination for women. New York provides the best of everything we love – incredible sightseeing, world famous landmarks, fabulous Broadway Shows, ridiculously good dining and unbelievable shopping (it's the only place in the world where you'll find a department store with a shoe department so big it's got express elevators and it's own postcode!)"
Sami has created some unique "New York with Sami" tours so she can share her passion for travel to this exciting city. "New York is such an intriguing, exciting city and it's certainly very seductive, however it can also be a little intimidating for women – especially if they are travelling alone," she says.
Each tour allows women to explore the very best of New York, safely, in a small group and are popular with single ladies who don’t want to travel alone and married women and busy mums desperately craving some 'me-time'.
"After noticing an increase in demand from more mature ladies who’ve always dreamed of visiting New York, I’ve also created a separate tour designed specifically for energetic women aged 55 and over," she explains.
"I host daily walking tours through all my favourite neighbourhoods (Soho, West Village, Chelsea, Meatpacking District, Flatiron, Harlem, Williamsburg). I show the ladies how to ride the Subway like a local … and all the best places to shop (including New Yorks' best kept secrets for shopaholics). We experience the soulful power of a Harlem Gospel Choir and a private outdoor yoga class in Central Park – now that’s something you don’t get to do back home! Each night I host the ladies for drinks at some of Manhattan's breathtakingly stunning rooftop bars and dinner at the City's favourite foodie hot-spots (including a restaurant that provides patrons with free champagne in the ladies toilets … brilliant!!!)."
"I've been visiting New York regularly for 20 years and I STILL find something new and exciting to do every time I visit. This last visit I saw the Rockettes Xmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall for the first time and it was beyond fabulous … crazy sets, spectacular costumes and plenty of high kicks."
"One thing I love to do every time I visit New York is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It's one of the most scenic walking routes in the world, and it's free. I prefer to take the subway across to Dumbo and then walk back across the Bridge towards Manhattan – the NYC skyline always takes my breath away, no matter how many times I've seen it!"
"I have to see a Broadway show every time I’m in New York. I always recommend Kinky Boots – it’s one of the best Broadway Musicals you’ll ever see. One of my other favourite shows was the Play “The Commons of Pensacola” with Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner. There’s something really magical about watching these mega-stars performing in such small intimate theatres."
"Another MY must-do is a visit to the “Don’t Tell Mama” Piano bar in Times Square – where you’ll find out-of-work Broadway grade actors and singers working the bar – providing live music and non-stop entertainment all night. It’s a really unique NY experience that will leave you humming show-tunes for the rest of your stay."
"I always love a quick trip out to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. It's the best outlet shopping mall in the world (and trust me, I've been to plenty!). The bargains will leave you speechless. So just hold onto your credit card and prepare for a seriously amazing shopping experience."
A trip to New York would not be complete unless she dined on some of the following...
* The Grilled Corn at Cafe Habana – I dream about this dish!
* The Edamame Dumplings at Buddakan – they are "melt in your mouth" amazing.
* The Cacio e Pepe at La Pasta Eataly – simply perfection on a plate.
* A Red Velvet Cupcake at Eleni's – the best buttercream frosting on the planet.
* The frozen yoghurt at Forty Carrots Café in Bloomingdales – for the perfect mid-shop sugar hit.
As a bonus she adds "if you've got time to visit The Hamptons, you won't be able to resist the Lobster Rolls at "Lunch" in Amagansett. They are CRAZY DELICIOUS.)"
To finish we had to ask where she stays.
"My favourite hotel in New York is the Trump Soho. It’s an uber glamorous, super luxurious five star property on the fringe of Soho – recently voted one of the top 10 hotels in New York by Conde Nast Traveller. The rooms are really big (which is a rare find in NYC) and the location is spectacular … some of the City's best shopping and dining is right there on your doorstep! It also guarantees you some A-grade star-spotting – my ladies shared elevators with Jessica Alba, Denzel Washington, Mel B and Jane Lynch during our last stay."
Sami is also the 2015 REDFEB Ambassador www.redfeb.com.au
1. The tour includes a private outdoor yoga class in Central Park – now that's something you don't get to do back home!
2. A walk across the famous Brooklyn Bridge is one of Sami's must-do New York experiences … and it's free!
3. Sami takes her groups to Dumbo in Brooklyn for breathtaking views back across to the Manhattan skyline.
4. During the tour, Sami personally hosts daily guided walking tours of her favourite New York neighbourhoods … including Fifth Avenue, where you come face to face with many of the New York icons you’ve heard so much about – including The Plaza Hotel, The Pulitzer Fountain, FAO Schwarz, Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany & Co, Saks Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center.
5. The group enjoys nightly "drinks with a view" at New York's favourite rooftop bars, including "230 Fifth"