This virtually flawless 88-room TriBeCa newcomer (opened in 2008 by Robert de Niro, among others) offers large, homey rooms, breathtaking design, and very attentive service. Even better: free Wi-Fi; free minibar snacks; and free Wii video games by request. Better still: an underground pool; a standout Japanese spa; a premier gym; and the new Locanda Verde restaurant.
Peace and Quiet
Sleep is taken very seriously at the Benjamin. In addition to the "sleep concierge" and pillow menu, white noise machines, satin sleep masks, slippers, "sleep snacks," and a dream dictionary are available to make sure guests sleep through the endless sounds of the city.
The Coziest Boutique
The Bowery Hotel is pure faux-vintage luxury inside the outstanding rooms. Floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable Serta mattresses, bathrooms to die for, and great views of the city are all standard. On-site Italian restaurant Gemma and the lobby bar are both very popular, even among the mercurial downtown set.
Since its complete renovation in 2008, the Palace hotel is absolutely spotless. Both public areas and every nook of the guest rooms are extremely clean. Even minor things, like a room service tray in the hallway, are cleared within minutes.
The Best Deal
Opened in 2008, this modern 226-room Holiday Inn is a great value. Rooms are small but clean and all have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and comfy beds. The on-site gym and business center are bonuses at these prices. And the location in artsy Chelsea is a 20-minute walk, or a ten-minute cab or subway ride, from the popular tourist draws like Times Square (to the north) and Soho (to the south).
Tourists often overlook the lovely, residential Upper West Side--which is a shame. The 250-room Lucerne, in a tony red-stone building, gives tourists a taste of the local experience, and is close to great kid-friendly attractions like the Museum of Natural History and Central Park. Warm European decor and traditional, attentive service -- including 24-hour room service and a concierge who really knows the area -- make this a great pick for the price. The 1 subway line, which heads to Times Square, is only a block away
Work from home
Enormous, 700 square foot suites equipped with personal fax machines make this 192-room boutique a favorite among extended-stay business travelers -- especially diplomats and politicians, thanks to the hotel's proximity to the U.N. The Secret Service has been known to bunk here, and a senator (the staff wouldn't name names) was in-house during our reporter's visit. And travelers of every political and national affiliation can get behind the cheap Wi-Fi -- it's free in public spaces and only $7.95 a day in-room. A stunning penthouse meeting space can be rented out for large meetings or events and is equipped with high-speed Internet, a PC/Laser Jet printer, fax machine, copy machine, and conference table.
Top Notch Service
Formal's the word at the Carlyle: everyone from the porter to the elevator operator addresses guests with the utmost formality, calling back to a genteel age in Manhattan. Bell staff in suit jackets are posted outside the Carlyle's entrance 24/7, waiting to open doors and greet guests at all hours. They're quick to carry luggage to rooms and familiarize guests with the switches, closets, and technology. The staff is also famous for its discretion -- one of the reasons the Carlyle is a celebrity favorite. The concierge is available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., room service is available 24 hours, and housekeeping comes twice a day.
The name may be lowercase but this Upper West Side sleeper serves decidedly grown-up fare -- and has notched a Michelin star for its efforts. Chef Ed Brown is a master of locally sourced ingredients and his nouveau American menu ebbs with the seasons; expect to find, if not these exact dishes, entrees like Long Island duck breast with kabocha squash, butternut squash, fennel, and kumquat or Nantucket Bay scallops with sweet potato risotto and Swiss chard.