Travel Guides

The Best Curated Luxury Travel Guide to New York City

Don’t waste your time plowing through endless best-of lists — our guide to New York City pulls out the best luxury hotels and restaurants in the city, all organized by neighborhood.


New York City has it all, but where do you start? I’ve lived and worked in New York City for over 15 years, so I have seen everything. This guide brings together all of my knowledge to help you plan the best luxury trip to New York. Even if you’re a local, you’re sure to find great restaurants and places to go. 

 If you’re visiting for fun, pick a neighborhood near your friends or somewhere new you want to explore — you don’t want to spend your time in city traffic. Traveling on business? We’ve rounded up the best things to do in Midtown and the Financial District, so you won’t have to settle for uninspired cuisine and corporate hotels. Discover the best luxury New York City travel guide here. 

Jump to Neighborhood:

Luxury New York City Travel Guide

Luxury Travel Guide to New York City
Soho has charming streets filled with shops and fabulous restaurants

Tribeca, Soho, and West Village

Each of these neighborhoods has a unique identity, but they’re close enough to each other that you can stay in one and easily enjoy the others. 

Where to Stay in New York City: Tribeca, Soho, and West Village

The Dominick Hotel is located in west Soho and has large rooms, which can be difficult to find in some of NYC’s older hotels. It has sleek, modern décor and a wonderful spa. However, it is currently across from a major construction site. Be sure to request a room that faces away from it. The Crosby Street Hotel is one of the city’s most charming properties. It has whimsical décor from Kit Kemp and a beautiful, plant-filled courtyard. It’s located on a quiet cobblestone street in Soho. 

Down in Tribeca, The Greenwich Hotel is a serene escape from the busy city. It has one of the city’s best penthouses, which features 4,000 square feet of rooftop space spread across two floors and includes an outdoor fireplace, a grill, a heated spa pool, two dining areas, and breathtaking landscaping. The hotel is home to Locanda Verde, one of the city’s most beloved restaurants. It also has the serene Shibui Spa, which blends ancient and modern healing techniques in a tranquil setting. 

Fouquet’s New York brings Parisian style to Tribeca. The hotel has 97 rooms and suites with large windows and elegant Art Deco–inspired interiors designed by Martin Brudnizki. The sumptuous Spa Diane Barrière has a large hydrotherapy pool and facials from Biologique Recherche. For fitness, you can get a true New York experience: Fouquet’s partnered with DogPound, a local gym favored by celebrities and models, to design the space and offer personal training. Brasserie Fouquet’s pays homage to the original Fouquet’s restaurant in Paris, which is an icon on the Champs-Élysées. It’s also a hot spot for trendy locals who love Pierre Gaignaire’s classic French cuisine, including dishes like Maine lobster fricassé, Dover sole meunière, beef tartare, and escargots classic. 

The Mercer, Sixty Soho, 11 Howard, and the Soho Grand are somewhat trendier hotels in Soho, but the service can be uneven and the rooms small. The Standard, High Line, is located on the border of the West Village and Meatpacking District and has a unique vibe.  

Where to Eat in New York City: Tribeca, Soho, and West Village

Balthazar NYC Food
Balthazar is known for its superb steaks and lively scene

You are truly spoiled for choice in these neighborhoods. They are home to some of the city’s most classic restaurants, packed with both locals and tourists. Raoul’s, a charming French bistro in Soho, has a delicious Burger Au Poivre and cozy ambience. Blue Ribbon Brasserie is a late-night staple — it’s open until 4am — that has an excellent raw bar and world-famous fried chicken. 

Lure Fishbar makes the most of its subterranean space with a yacht-inspired design complete with porthole-shape windows and an excellent seafood menu. Keith McNally’s Balthazar is bustling morning, noon, and night with diners savoring classic French fare, especially the steak frites. For one of the city’s best burgers, pop into the cozy Corner Bistro. The Dutch is a former hotspot now known for Southern comfort food and a great raw bar. It has a lovely bar, too. A short walk eastward, Indochine has somehow remained one of the city’s hottest restaurants for nearly 40 years. The combination of tropical décor, celebrity sightings, and French-Vietnamese cuisine creates a magical ambience buzzing with energy. 

More Restaurants to Try

Torrisi, Carbone, Sant Ambroeus, Charlie Bird, Via Carota, Locanda Verde, and Osteria Morini serve up delicious Italian food. Don’t miss the famous salad at Via Carota. Tokyo Record Bar has a lively, dinner-party atmosphere and menus that change almost every week. Lola Taverna has one of transports you to the Mediterranean with its Greek fare. Sushi Nakazawa has some of the city’s best sushi — you may remember the chef from the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jack’s Wife Freda blends food of Israel and the African Diaspora at its two locations and is a favorite for brunch. Be sure to order the shakshuka or the halloumi with grapes (seriously). If you can get a reservation, 4 Charles Prime Rib appropriately has the city’s best prime rib. It also makes an amazing burger — it was opened by the owner of Chicago’s Au Cheval, which now has a location in New York, too. Burger fans will love Hamburger America, a restaurant by George Motz, who is considered one of the top burger experts in the country. It’s styled after an old-school lunch counter, but that’s part of the charm.

What to Do in New York City: Tribeca, Soho, and West Village

Tribeca | Luxury New York City Travel Guide
Tribeca is known for its beautiful architecture and historic buildings

These neighborhoods are made for leisurely strolls, popping into charming boutiques and art galleries to shop, as well as stopping in local restaurants for a snack and a glass of wine. The charming cobblestone streets are lined with historic buildings, such as Soho’s cast-iron buildings and the West Village’s brownstones. It’s well worth taking a walking tour if you’re an architecture buff. Little Italy is charming, but very busy and full of tourist traps. Unless absolutely necessary, stay far from Broadway, where big chain stores abound. Children will love to visit the New York City Fire Museum and the Color Factory. Additionally, they’ll have fun waiting in line for a famous Cronut or a cookie shot at Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Midtown Manhattan

Central Park
Central Park is an oasis among skyscrapers

Midtown Manhattan isn’t the trendiest place to visit in New York City. However, it’s home to Penn Station and recently renovated Grand Central Station, making it one of the most convenient places for many business travelers. It also hosts some of the city’s most historic and opulent hotels, and it has fabulous shopping and world-class restaurants, if you know where to look. To be in the center of it all, there’s no better place to stay than Midtown.

Where to Stay in New York City: Midtown Manhattan

Baccarat Hotel in NYC Grand Salon
Baccarat Hotel’s gorgeous Grand Salon is filled with crystal chandeliers and objets d’art

Baccarat Hotel is one of the city’s newest hotels, and it’s certainly unique. This opulent hotel is a homage to the famed crystal maker and all things French. It has decadent furnishings and immense crystal chandeliers. The hotel is sleekly decorated in neutral shades, with lots of black and white punctuated by the house’s signature red. The Grand Salon is one of the most gorgeous spaces in New York, perfect for afternoon tea or a leisurely lunch. The Bar is a moody take on French glamour, with natural wood walls covered with artwork, a barrel-vaulted ceiling, and crystal everywhere. The 60-ft bar is the focal point, and, naturally, it serves all of its craft cocktails and wine in Baccarat glasses. Dining is inspired by Alsace, France, and overseen by two-Michelin-starred chef Gabriel Kreuther. Don’t miss Spa De La Mer, a jewel-like space with fabulous facials and a gorgeous underground pool.

Fifth Avenue

St. Regis NY Hotel Exterior | Luxury New York City Travel Guide
The St. Regis New York City

The Plaza, The St. Regis New York, and the Peninsula New York are three of the city’s most storied hotels. They opened in the early 1900s — the Peninsula originally opened as Gotham Hotel — and have maintained their sumptuous style and traditional décor ever since. These hotels have opulent designer suites with beautiful moldings and details, luxurious finishings, bespoke furnishings, and impeccable service. 

Dining options are more limited at these hotels and are better suited to breakfast or tea. However, they do have fabulous bars steeped in history. Stop by the Champagne Bar at The Plaza for caviar and Champagne. Or savor a cocktail at King Cole Bar at the St. Regis, which was the first bar in the US to whip up a Bloody Mary, here called the Red Snapper. Grab a seat at the dark wood bar so you can marvel at the enormous mural of King Cole by Maxfield Parrish, or reserve Table 55 for a curated chef’s menu and access to a special wine list. 

For stunning views, head to Salon de Ning at the Peninsula, the hotel’s gorgeous rooftop bar and restaurant. It has two outdoor terraces and an indoor bar where you can order shared plates from its small menu — better for a snack, not dinner — and inspired cocktails, such as the Pop Fashion, which infuses popcorn into Maker’s Mark. 

Billionaire’s Row

Located on Billionaire’s Row, Mandarin Oriental has sleek rooms and modern design and is among the best luxury hotels in New York City. Mandarin Oriental is located at the top of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. Four Seasons New York is currently closed but is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2024. 

Central Park

Central Park in New York City | Luxury New York City Travel Guide
Central Park in New York City

For something more contemporary, check into Park Hyatt New York or 1 Hotel Central Park. Park Hyatt is noted for its incredible art collection, tranquil Spa Nalai, and gorgeous 65-ft indoor swimming pool with triple-height glass windows overlooking Carnegie Hall. The pool plays music underwater from the renowned concert hall, a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Wellness addicts will love 1 Hotel Central Park, which styles itself as a nature retreat in Midtown. It has organic cotton sheets and mattresses; natural wood ceilings; cozy reading nooks; a three-story living green façade; and casual, healthy dining options. 

The Langham Fifth Avenue is a little further south, closer to Herald Square and Bryant Park. It has wonderful dining, including the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Ai Fiori from chef Michael White.

Where to Eat in New York City: Midtown Manhattan

Le Bernardin Restaurant in New York City
Le Bernardin, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, is known for its exquisite seafood

Midtown is home to many Michelin-starred restaurants, including Per Se, Masa, and Le Bernardin, three of the city’s five restaurants with three stars. There’s also Jean-Georges, Aquavit, The Modern, and Gabriel Kreuther, which each have two stars. These fine-dining restaurants are some of the best in New York City. Both Jean-Georges and Daniel Boulud recently opened exquisite new restaurants in the area: Four Twenty Five and Le Pavillon. Caviar Russe has one Michelin star and serves a great tasting menu centered around — what else? — caviar. The downstairs bar is great for cocktails, small plates, and caviar service. 

For something more casual (but still delicious), head to Empellón for tacos and inventive desserts. Casa Lever is the spot for power breakfasts and alfresco Italian lunches. The Grill offers a taste of old-school New York and superb steaks. Le Jardinier is a must for exquisitely plated vegetable-focused dishes in an absolutely gorgeous space. Sushi Yasuda serves a fantastic omakase meal in a serene environment. If you want to see the sun set over Central Park, have drinks or dinner at Darling or Robert, which have stunning views. 

Rockefeller Central has undergone a complete culinary transformation in recent years. It brought in some of the city’s best chefs to create new restaurants that have become destinations themselves. There are plenty of casual spots for a quick bite, but even locals make the trek to some of these new spots. Le Rock brings Tribeca cool to Midtown with divine French classics in a beautiful setting. Lodi has great Italian foods in an Art Deco space. Pebble Bar serves cocktails and small plates in a dimly lit, sexy space. Naro brings Korean fine dining from the Atomix team to the famed ice skating ring. 

What to Do in New York City: Midtown Manhattan

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

Midtown is home to the Museum of Modern Art, one of the world’s finest modern art museums. For something a little more niche — and less busy — head to the Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle, which has fabulous exhibitions of objects ranging from jewelry to crystal to works of stained glass. 
There’s plenty of shopping on 5th Avenue and 57th Street, with many brands’ flagship boutiques, as well as famed department stores, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. One of the best times to visit the area is during the holiday season when shoppers can enjoy elaborate window displays. For jewelry and watches, there’s no better place to be. Wempe and Tourneau are great multi-brand destinations, and many watch brands have their own boutiques. Harry Winston and Cartier have stunning mansions (Harry Winston is under renovation), and Saks Fifth Avenue has The Vault, which curates a unique selection of independent designers. For one of the best views of the city, head to Top of The Rock, the observatory atop Rockefeller Center. If you want to avoid crowds of tourists, you can get the same view at Rainbow Room.

Other Things to Do

Hudson Yards entices visitors to the far west of Midtown Manhattan for shopping, picture taking at the Vessel, and art at the Shed. It’s also home to Edge, a 100-story-high sky deck with unbelievable views of the city. It’s the highest sky deck in the Western Hemisphere and has 360-degree views, angled glass walls that let you see the city below, a glass floor for the daring, and a Champagne bar. If you haven’t already, you should check out the open-air Observatory at the Empire State Building. You can purchase tickets for the main deck on the 86th floor or the top deck on the 102nd floor. Both options offer breathtaking views of landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Central Park.

If you’re interested in seeing a performance that isn’t a Broadway show, Radio Music City Hall famously hosts some of the best comedy shows. Home to the Rockettes, it’s located in Rockefeller Center.

The Financial District and Lower Manhattan

The Oculus | Luxury New York City Travel Guide
The Oculus is a new landmark downtown

Downtown Manhattan used to be a ghost town at night and on the weekends — but not anymore. The area has been revitalized with stunning architecture, two upscale shopping malls, countless skyscrapers, and luxury hotels and restaurants.

Where to Stay in New York City: Financial District and Lower Manhattan

Four Seasons Downtown
There are plenty of cozy spaces at Four Seasons Downtown

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown is by far the most luxurious, full-service hotel in the area. It has large, well-appointed rooms, Cut by Wolfgang Puck, and a sprawling spa that spans an entire floor. The spa features indulgent treatments, such as a caviar facial and a four-handed massage. There’s also an Instagram-worthy lap pool. The Beekman New York is located in a historic 19th-century building with a soaring, nine-story atrium, Victorian wrought-iron railings and balustrades, and a notable art collection. The Bar Room in the atrium is one of the most beautiful places in the city for a drink. Tom Colicchio operates two restaurants in the hotel, the rooftop Temple Court on 10 and Temple Court. For a truly unique stay, book one of the two Turret Penthouses West, which give you a bird’s-eye view of the city and have private rooftop terraces.

Where to Eat in New York City: Financial District and Lower Manhattan

The Fulton NYC | Luxury New York City Travel Guide
The Fulton in the South Street Seaport has a gorgeous view of the Brooklyn Bridge

Danny Meyer’s Manhatta is located on the 60th floor of 28 Liberty Street, giving it enviable city views. The three-course menu includes classics like foie gras terrine, matzah ball soup, squab en croute, and apple tarte tatin. The Dead Rabbit, crowned the world’s best bar many times, has inventive cocktails and an amazing whiskey selection. There’s also a menu full of Irish favorites like corned beef, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and fish and chips.
Cut by Wolfgang Puck has superb steaks, including a 50-day dry-aged porterhouse and A5 Japanese Wagyu sirloin, as well as an excellent wine list. South Street Seaport has undergone a massive transformation in recent years. It now has some great restaurants, including Tin Building by Jean-Georges,  The Fulton, Barbalu, Industry Kitchen, and Momofuku Ssäm Bar. They can be quite touristy, but the views are unmatched. The Greens, located atop Pier 17, changes from a winter wonderland with cozy, private cabins to a sun-soaked spot for games and rosé in the summer.

Related: How to Taste Wine

What to Do in New York City: Financial District and Lower Manhattan

Lower Manhattan Skyline
The downtown skyline

If you haven’t done it yet, head to One World Observatory atop the One World Trade Center —formerly the Freedom Tower. This high-tech wonderland will delight children and adults with its elevators that whiz up 102 stories in just 47 seconds. At the top, the Observatory has unbelievable skyline views with iPad guides. There’s also a restaurant, if you want to soak up the views for a longer time. Explore Brookfield Place for shopping and the Oculus, a soaring architectural masterpiece from Santiago Calatrava with shops, restaurants, and a major transportation hub. The Financial District is full of important historical sights, both new and old. You can visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, and see Trinity Church Wall Street, where Alexander Hamilton is buried. 

The Upper East Side

The Upper East Side

This tony neighborhood is one of New York City’s most elegant areas. It’s full of luxury shopping, charming restaurants, wonderful museums, and, of course, hotels with fantastic service. And, of course, you’re right by Central Park. The Upper East Side is a great destination for families, but younger visitors looking for more of a trendy scene may want to stay downtown. 

Where to Stay in New York City: Upper East Side

Atrium in the Penthouse of The Mark NYC
The Penthouse of The Mark has a gorgeous atrium with views of the New York City Skyline

Many luxury hotels in the Upper East Side focus on keeping classic design elements when updating their properties, which can sometimes feel a bit stuffy. Sometimes, like in The Pierre’s stunning Rotonda or Bemelmans Bar, it’s brilliant. The Mark took a different approach, daringly reimagining the historic hotel. From the moment you step into the bold, black-and-white-striped lobby, you know you’re in for something different. 

The Mark has a fabulous restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Caviar Kaspia (get the baked potato), a chic bar with wild cow-print furniture and orange carpets, a boutique salon from Frédéric Fekkai, and The Mark Penthouse, one of the largest and priciest suites in Manhattan. If you’re looking for a more traditional feel, we love The Pierre, Hôtel Plaza Athénée, and The Carlyle. They are considered among the best luxury hotels in New York City.

Where to Eat in New York City: Upper East Side

Daniel is one of the best restaurants in New York City. It’s well worth the trip even if you aren’t staying in the Upper East Side. The two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Chef Daniel Boulud’s flagship, is known for its classic French tasting menu, impeccable service, and extensive wine list. Be sure to enjoy a drink at  Lalique Bar before or after your meal. If you’re looking for something a little more casual, head to Café Boulud, which offers the chef’s refined cuisine in a slightly less formal setting. Don’t miss the brunch; it has decadent pancakes, according to local JJ Owens, founder of Daily Grail

Also, there are wonderful sushi spots on the Upper East Side. If you’re looking for a special omakase menu, head to Sushi Noz, which has one Michelin star, and Sushi Seki. Further, Sushi Seki is known as a late-night spot — it doesn’t close until 2:30 in the morning. Don’t miss the tomato salmon nigiri. NR serves great cocktails and ramen in an intimate setting. 

J.G. Melon is an Upper East Side institution with an amazing burger and cottage fries. It also serves up classic salads and sandwiches and makes a mean Bloody Mary. J.G. Melon is a cash-only restaurant, so come prepared. Café Sabarsky is tucked into Neue Galerie New York, a museum for German and Austrian art well worth a visit. It recreates a classic café in Vienna and serves fabulous Austrian cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hoexter’s is a traditional neighborhood bistro with great comfort food. Don’t miss the famous gorgonzola garlic bread, chopped salad, and short ribs. You can walk off your meal afterward in Central Park.

What to Do in New York City: Upper East Side

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City

The Upper East Side has incredible shopping. Every — and we mean every — luxury brand on Earth has a boutique here or around 57th Street and 5th Avenue, just a few blocks down. Once you’ve finished shopping, visit one of the Upper East Side’s many museums. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a work of art in itself — it is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous buildings and is a National Historic Landmark. Inside, it features an extensive collection of early Modern and contemporary art. 

More Museums

The Frick is a charming and manageable museum — you can spend just an hour or two perusing the collections and not miss a thing. The historic Gilded Age mansion is under renovation, scheduled to reopen in 2024, so the collection is temporarily being exhibited at the Marcel Breuer Building. The collection focuses on Old Masters and includes many mediums, from paintings to sculpture to furniture and objets, including some sensational clocks and textiles. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most famous museums in the world, and for good reason. The historic building overlooks Fifth Avenue and Central Park and has more than two million works of art that cover over 5,000 years of human history. You can easily spend an entire day here, but don’t expect to see it all. To avoid being overwhelmed, pick an exhibition or two to focus on so you can truly enjoy and appreciate the experience. Online reservations are currently required to visit.

The Upper West Side 

This cozy neighborhood is one of New York City’s most family-friendly areas. Nestled between Riverside Drive, which runs along the Hudson River, and Central Park, the Upper West Side is known for its elegant brownstones and renowned performing arts venues. It is also one of the greenest parts of the city, having the second-most tree coverage in all of Manhattan. If you enjoy exploring the residential side of city life, the Upper West Side is for you. 

Where to Stay in New York City: Upper West Side

While it’s one of the best residential neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Upper West Side has no true five-star hotels. The closest option is the Mandarin Oriental, which is conveniently located at the nearby Columbus Circle. It offers elegant guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views of the Hudson River or Central Park. The spa offers treatments that are inspired by the hotel’s eastern roots, such as the famous Oriental Qi body massage. It also includes a 6,000-square-foot fitness center with a 75-foot lap pool, all sitting 14,500 feet high above the city. 

If you’re looking to soak up the surrounding greenery, then The Wallace is another fine option. This four-star boutique hotel is located near Central Park and offers small but quaint rooms. The Wallace Lounge has a cool atmosphere at night, hosting live music performances and serving a menu of cocktails, charcuterie boards, and caviar. Because it sits toward the center of the Upper West Side, it’s a convenient place to stay if you’re interested in exploring the area. 

Where to Eat in New York City: Upper West Side

The interior of Essential by Christophe

Tucked inside a charming townhouse, Essential by Christophe is a Michelin-starred restaurant offering modern French cuisine. It has three-, four-, and seven-course menus that feature delicacies, such as quail and foie gras, blue prawns, and duck. The interior is simple but elegant, with gorgeous lighting, and the restaurant will open a 16-seat outdoor patio later this year. Jean-Georges is another exceptional restaurant offering a French fine dining experience, having earned not one but two Michelin stars thanks to excellently crafted dishes, such as the black sea bass and charred duck. It also has a menu that specifically highlights truffles as well as a six-course vegetarian option. 

Wau is a great upscale Southeast Asian restaurant with plenty of rice dishes inspired by its Malaysian roots. For Italian cuisine with Mediterranean influences, Noi Due Carne is an excellent kosher option that’s known for its authentic Florentine steaks. Another great Italian restaurant in the area is The Leopard at des Artistes, located in the historic building of Hotel des Artistes. 

Nice Matin is a popular French brasserie with great service and an excellent wine selection. An additional casual dining option is La Pecora Bianca, an Italian restaurant with regional wines and apéritifs on tap. Sushi of Gari is a reliable sushi spot with a location on Columbus Avenue. Chick Chick offers well-rounded Korean-style comfort food, earning it a Bib Gourmand nod in the 2023 Michelin Guide

What to Do in New York City: Upper West Side

The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center Plaza at night

The Upper West Side is home to several cultural institutions, most famously the Lincoln Center. There, you’ll enjoy world-class performances in music, theater, and dance. The New York City Ballet and The Metropolitan Opera offer unforgettable shows that change depending on the season, all inside beautiful venues featuring mid-century modern architecture. 

The American Museum of Natural History is the largest natural history museum in the world. It has more than 40 exhibition halls, each dedicated to unraveling the history of all facets of the known universe. The Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals explores the different species of rare gemstones and the advent of stunning jewelry. The David Family Butterfly Vivarium and the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life are both permanent exhibits, the former featuring various species of butterflies and the latter highlighting ocean life. If you’re interested in learning more about our solar system and the conditions that make life on Earth possible, the museum’s screening of Worlds Beyond Earth is open until the end of 2024. 

The Shops at Columbus Circle is located inside Deutsche Bank Center and has a relaxed shopping scene, as well as fabulous restaurants and bars. The Ascent Lounge and Bar Masa are situated on the building’s fourth floor, both known for their imaginative cocktails and modern interiors. Bad Roman is a lovely Italian restaurant on the third floor with playful, lively decor, making it a perfect change of scenery after an afternoon of shopping. It’s also home to Per Se and Masa, two of the city’s restaurants with three Michelin stars. 

Additional reporting by Meyme Nakash

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