Peace and Quiet
Affinia Dumont's Murray Hill location is upscale and quiet, yet well-lit and safe. The hotel gears its services toward adults rather than families, so there won't be many squealing tots around to break your reverie.
Get the most for your money
This 258-room outpost of Seattle's Ace Hotel mini-chain diverges slightly from the original model, folding some New York grit into the plaid-and-flannel Northwest grunge aesthetic. Guests are an eclectic crowd who appreciate all the vintage details. It's super-casual on the surface, and accommodating and knowledgeable at the core. The Ace's employees don't offer traditionally formal service, but they do help guests with everything they need, and more. Plus, the rooms are spotless -- even the vintage furniture and tiled bathrooms are dirt- and dust-free.
Completely renovated in 2008, the Hilton Garden Inn has new fixtures and is very well-maintained. For a clean -- and affordable -- hotel in Times Square, this Hilton is an excellent option.
Bask in trendy luxury
Donald Trump's first hotel in downtown New York has the attention to detail and hands-on service you'd expect from a Trump property, but the slightly hipper vibe and great SoHo location cater to a younger set. The exclusive, celebrity-filled Kastel bar, pricey Quattro restaurant, luxurious spa, and seasonally open pool are the hotel's main features.
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.
Seek and you shall find
This hidden gem is rare to find. Library Hotel is a homey, 60-room, literary-themed boutique, located down the block from New York's famous Public Library, and among Midtown East's corporate skyscrapers. It's one of New York's best values, mostly because of the perks: an upscale bistro on the ground floor, a lively bar on the penthouse floor, free Wi-Fi, free gym passes, and free daily pastries, wine, and cheese.
Work from home
The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park is one of the most popular hotels in the city for business conferences and corporate events, thanks to its six large meeting rooms, state-of-the-art boardroom, and solid business center with a fax machine, color copier, and high-speed Internet connection. The hotel even has a special "Conference Concierge," as well as an in-house audio-visual department to help ensure that presentations go smoothly. And the Financial District location is quiet and convenient.
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.
Fill 'Er Up
With enormous doors, carved ceilings, glittering chandeliers, and a modern sculpture in the bar area, Gilt at The New York Palace is so visually stunning that you might suspect that cuisine takes a back seat. Quite the contrary: This is one of the few two-Michelin-star restaurants in New York, and dishes like spot prawns with avocado, coconut, and pomelo and suckling pig with olives, cardoons, and cipollini onions -- as well as a wildly popular truffled grilled cheese inspired by Gossip Girl -- are perfectly executed. The wine cellar has more than 1,400 bottles, with many selections mercifully priced under $100.