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New York.

BEST BUSINESS RESTAURANT

Cipriani's. The newest incarnation of Harry Cipriani's famous restaurant follows its namesake's lead but in a downtown New York location. Classy decor, an open-air terrazzo for outdoor dining and a relaxed atmosphere are what lures business leaders. The clientele here are well heeled and cosmopolitan. Italian cuisine dominates (the original Cipriani's still draws crowds in Venice) and you'll be hard pressed to find a pasta, carpaccio or risotto that isn't close to perfection. But don't overdo it: the desserts and espresso have a following of their own as well. Cipriani's is no stranger to Latin Americans. Punta del Este, Uruguay, has one. 376 West Broadway, phone: [1] (212) 343-0999; and 781 Fifth Avenue, phone: [1] (212) 753-5566. www.cipriani.com

BEST HOTEL

St. Regis. Celebrating its centennial this year, New York's Hotel St. Reds is synonymous in New York with elegance. The hotel, holder of many of the most prestigious international lodging awards, is perfect for business and eaters to executives traveling alone as well as corporate guests bringing hundreds of clients and colleagues in tow. The St. Regis conference rooms can accommodate up to 500 people. All 315 guest rooms offer high-speed Internet connections, although Louis XVI furnishings and decor hide the high-tech trappings. Room rates begin at US$655; the biggest suites run $1,400. 2 East 55th Street, at Fifth Avenue. Phone: [1] (212) 753-4500. www.starwood.com/stregis

BEST TRAVEL AGENCY

American Express. With offices on Broadway, Park Avenue, Confucius Plaza and five other locations, the travel specialists at American Express blanket New York's business district to make it easy to find them. Once you do, they can handle nearly any travel arrangements you need, right down to the last details. American Express offers financial services designed for business travelers, including executives making international trips. The Lexington Avenue office, at the corner of 63rd Street, is open Monday through Saturdays. Phone: [1] (212) 758-6510. www.americanexpress.com

BEST AFTER-MEETINGS TRIP

Hudson Valley. The Hudson River cuts a sinuous path through the valley bearing the same name, leaving a landscape rich with visual beauty and historic importance--all just a few kilometers from metropolitan New York. The communities on the Hudson riverbank give a peek into port-city living. From Beacon to Poughkeepsie, these river towns were vital to the birth and growth of the United States; even just a lunch or dinner in one of them (better yet, a weekend stay) makes a marvelous escape from New York City. Orange County Tourism leads Hudson Valley tourism, coordinating a cooperative of 10 local associations. Orange County Tourism, 30 Matthews Street, Suite Ill, Goshen, N.Y. Phone: [1] (800) 762-8687. www.orangetourism.org

BEST CAR RENTAL

Avis. Avis operates a dozen offices in New York, has counters at both LaGuardia and John E Kennedy airports and gears many of its services to the neighborhoods most likely visited by business travelers and tourists. Service is the buzzword here. Most Avis offices are open seven days a week; the airport offices operate 24-hours a day. La Guardia Airport, Building 25, phone: [1] (718) 507-3600; John F. Kennedy International Airport, Building 305, Federal Circle, phone: [1] (718) 244-5400. www.avis.com

BEST-KEPT SECRET

Ask a concierge. It doesn't matter when you need them, the concierges at the Hotel Pierre and the Plaza Athenee hotel are invaluable sources of information. If they don't know it or can't get it in the Big Apple, no one can. Hotel Pierre, Fifth Avenue at 61st Street, phone: [1] (212) 838-8000; Plaza Athenee, 37 East 64th Street at Madison Avenue, phone: [1] (212) 734-9100.
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Title Annotation:Best of Latin America: Latin Trade readers' choice
Publication:Latin Trade
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Words:599
Previous Article:Miami.
Next Article:Lost and found.


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