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Concierge Corner: Margo Comis from The Rockaway Hotel + Spa

Concierge Corner: Margo Comis from The Rockaway Hotel + Spa

Nobody knows a city like the local concierge team. With the inside track on all the best places to dine, shows to see, and things to do, they’re a wealth of knowledge for all travelers. We talk with a top local hotel concierge in New York City to get the inside scoop on all their expert tips.

Margo Comis, Director of Guest Experiences at The Rockaway Hotel + Spa

What are your best tips for exploring NYC like a local?
Comis- Go to the beach! When people think of NYC, it’s common to think of the busy streets of Manhattan, but it takes time to go to the beach. Even in the winter! Located a quick ferry, car, or train ride away from the city, Rockaway Beach transports guests to a beachside oasis that feels a world away from the hustle and bustle.

What should be on every visitor’s “bucket list” when visiting?
Comis- Visit the Rockaways! Rockaway is a year-round beach community with so many hidden gems. Featuring restaurants with various cuisines, local pubs, nature walks, boutique and vintage shops, and the only designated surfing beach within New York City limits.

What’s an excellent spot to capture a great selfie?
Comis- If you take the Ferry from Wall Street/Pier 11 to Rockaway, go up to the top deck and get a great selfie with the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn & NYC skyline.

What is the best suggestion you can give a first-time visitor?
Comis- Talk to everyone! New York City is filled with many people, each with a unique story. Ask where they are from, what brings them to NY, and what their favorite thing to do is. You’ll meet the most interesting people you have more in common with than you thought. Even being from the city, I love to talk to people behind in line at the coffee shop or in the aisle in the grocery store.

If someone only had 24 hours in NYC, where would you send them?
Comis- To the Rockaways! If you’re coming from JFK Airport (15 minutes away) or Manhattan (one hour away), it’s easy and quick to access. Enjoy spa experiences, wellness classes, bike rides, incredible food, and a welcoming community.

Where’s the best place to take kids of all ages?
Comis- A surf lesson with Locals Surf School! Available year-round, The Rockaway Hotel partnered with Locals Surf School to offer kids and adults one-on-one surfing lessons for all levels.

For a guest looking for a night on the town, what would you recommend?
Comis- Start the night at The Rooftop at The Rockaway Hotel for a crafted cocktail at sunset featuring panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, followed by dinner at Margie’s—the anchor of the hotel’s food & beverage program featuring American classics with reinvented twists on seaside favorites. Then do it like the locals, visit coveted neighborhood spots, including Roger’s, Bungalow BarConnolly’s, and Healy’s, and enjoy live music and their signature drinks. 

Any suggestions for the best under-the-radar sites or uncommon things to do?
Comis- In the summer months, take a Sunset sail with Yacht Rock Charters. In the winter months, see what’s playing at the Rockaway Theatre and take advantage of The Rockaway’s biggest winter draw—the waves. People travel from all over the world to experience the excellent surfing conditions during this time of year. Locals Surf School offers thick, top-of-the-line 5mm hooded wetsuits with boots and gloves, and head to The Rockaway Hotel’s sauna to warm up!

What is your expert tip?
Comis- Bring a bathing suit! No matter what time of year you may need it for a plunge in the ocean, time in the saunas or a dip in the pool at The Rockaway Hotel, always be prepared.