Ask Oyster: Seductive staycation, NYC. What hotel will win you sexual favors?

Question: Mr. E., New York City It’s my lady friend’s bday this weekend, and I’m taking her to the Ballet, and afterward I want to take her to a hotel where I can finally get to second base. I am willing to spend a good chunk of change on her birthday (and live in personal poverty for the rest of the month) because it will allow me to get away with tons of neurotic nonsense for months and months to come. Any suggestions? Think: chic, luxury, romantic. I’m also debating dropping down the price of the night’s stay to allocate money to a spa treatment/food and booze. Help.

Answer: Will Begeny, Oyster’s Senior Editor Thank you, Mr. E., for your candor. Here’s your answer, defined by just how much “personal poverty” you can endure.

If you’re willing to sell your blood plasma to pay the phone bill…

Royal Suite at the New York Palace Hotel

Royal Suite at the New York Palace Hotel

In the spirit of ballet, of regal French seduction, of so much silk on skin, the Royal Suite in the New York Palace is like no other hotel room anywhere on this side of the Atlantic. Sure, you might blow a grand on this level of luxury, but in a room this big, you can bring that couples massage up to the room—and afterward, straight into bed. To dine, there’s Gilt downstairs—one of the most revered and elaborate mood-setting eateries in the city. As for putting up with your neuroses, your lady might just tolerate your wearing a tin-foil helmet well into 2010.

If you’re willing to forego the bar for rotgut whiskey in your apartment…

Queen Superior Room at the Thompson LES

Queen Superior Room at the Thompson LES

The Thompson LES, set in seedy turned bohemian arts, turned “affordable chic” climate of the Lower East Side, packs so much style into its rooms, you really don’t need anything more than the down-coated bed (set just inches off the floor, for safety’s sake) and, perhaps, the glass-enclosed slate shower with a rainfall head. And yet you still get a spa—a nice one, too—and a hip outdoor bar (heated, this time of year). While the in-house restaurant, Shang, offers some well-praised Asian fusion, there’s a great many high-quality affordable restaurants in the hood. All told, you’re looking at a dent of about $400-$500. (I’d lay down an extra $20 to get a room with a king bed, by the way.)

If you’re willing to shop with coupons…

A view from the bed at the Liberty Inn

A view from the bed at the Liberty Inn

If your lady can be swooned by free pornography on the TV, slightly clean sheets, and very tasteful mirrors on the ceiling—the Liberty Inn is the place to be, and it’s a bargain at only $70 for three hours (yep, it’s by the hour). There’s no spa to speak of, but you’re close to the chichi dining and drinking of the Meatpacking District, and you can always study Massage for Dummies (the gift that keeps on giving).

Have any other travel or hotel queries? Ask Oyster! Send your questions over to askoyster@oyster.com. We’ll select a few to answer and post ‘em up as part of our recurring Ask Oyster feature.