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Top 10 New York hotels
An estimated 44 millions visitors come to New York each year and most of them end up staying in the same Midtown hotels rooms found anywhere in the world: starchy floral bedspreads, offensively bland artwork, and a corporate carpet with some sort of soporific design. But one of the best reasons to visit (and to live) in New York is that there is something for everyone. Any permutation of the human soul will be catered to here and hotels are no different.
1. For party heads
East Village Bed and Coffee: Just because you like to party like a bum doesn't mean you have to sleep in a flophouse. The East Village's Alphabet City has come a long way since the C in Avenue C stood for Chaos. Though still packed with dive bars and pizza joints, the East Village also has its share of luxury condos, boutiques and bistros. The East Village Bed and Coffee manages to preserve both the boho eccentricity of the neighbourhood while providing a safe and clean place to stay. Each room has some sort of quirky theme (Dutch, Mexican, Afghan etc.) and there's a dog named Fang II. You're minutes away from classic seedy bars like Niagara, Odessa, and the Parkside Lounge. And there's even a garden out back and a tree under which you can sleep off your hangover. What more could you want?
2. For aspiring writers
The Algonquin: Nearly 90 years ago, author Dorothy Parker and her Vicious Circle of writers and actors gathered at Midtown's Algonquin to sling witticisms and trade barbs. The group became known The Algonquin Round Table and the hotel has remained synonymous with literary greats ever since. Today the most guests at this midtown hotel can hope for is that any lurking genius in the walls of the hotel will provide inspiration through osmosis. The hotel underwent a massive renovation in 2004 so even if inspiration isn't in the air, WiFi service is.
3. For hipster Edwardian fops
The Bowery Hotel: Stepping into the lobby of the Bowery Hotel is like taking a step back into an alternative past where models and tattoo-covered musicians lounged fireside in plush leather chairs, sipping Pimm's cups, chatting on Blackberries and admiring the ornate murals. The Bowery, by far the best of the new downtown hotels, combines a neo-Edwardian hipster vibe (especially in their second floor bar) with tried-and-true hotel touches like CO Bigelow toiletries and flatscreen televisions. Check out the stuffed bulldog in the lobby bar.
4. For breast-feeding mummies and their screaming toddlers
Holiday Inn Express Brooklyn Park Slope, where this hotel is situated, is like the baby Mecca of New York. Strollers outnumber people by two to one and, unlike most of the US, breast-feeding isn't taboo. The hotel isn't bad but isn't that great either. The real draw is the beautiful tree-lined neighbourhood and all the kid-and-parent focused stores therein. Be sure to try out Perch, which has a daily story-hour, the wonderful Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company and Toy Space, a local and Edenic toy store.
5. For cheapskates who'd rather spend money shopping
The Larchmont Hotel: A New Yorker friend of ours just returned from London. He said, "the only reason to travel is to get stuff you can't get in New York." But the opposite is true, too. Shopping in New York is something of a slow-burning
6. For culture vultures
102 Brownstone: It might seem odd for a culture vulture to perch so far north but Harlem is a once-and-future culture capital. In the 20s, African-American poets writers and artists of the Harlem Renaissace tilled its fertile cultural soil. After a slope into crime, Harlem is back. The 102 Brownstone on 118th Street is a tiny hotel (set in a brownstone, obviously) that's romantic but not chintzy. It's a short walk from Museum Mile (the Met, the Goog, Cooper Hewitt) and right around the corner from the location of Art Kane's legendary photograph "A Great Day in Harlem" on 126th street.
7. For first-timers
The City Club: For virgin visitors, New York can be a scary swirling mass of angry passersby and frantic activity. At the City Club, on 44th Street, time seems slowed down and the city's edges become burnished a bit. With only 65 rooms, the hotel exudes comfort. The rooms are large, modern and almost loft-like in their capaciousness. Think of it as a loving pricey womb.
8. For old-timers
The Sherry-Netherland: Like grandparents, the Sherry Netherland has been around forever. Neither as opulent as the Waldorf nor as self-conscious as the Gramercy, the Sherry Netherland is often overlooked. It shouldn't be. The rooms have placed comfort above all and the hotel boasts a beautiful view of Central Park. The building, guilded with gargoyles and travertine marble, is a site unto itself. In the basement, Doubles, a members only club, attracts the younger socialite set.
9. For foodies
The Carlton: The NYTimes recently singled out Country at the Carlton as one of the best inhouse hotel restaurants in the city. But Geoffrey Zakarian's lauded New American restaurant is only part of the culinary draw. Located on Madison Avenue in the mid-20s, The Carlton is right around the corner from some of the most exciting foodie destinations in the city: The Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, the highly-rated Gramercy Park Tavern, the new-BBQ joint Hill Country and the Union Square Greenmarket are just a few of the neighborhood restaurants.
10. Just get a room
The Liberty Inn: You might check into the Liberty Inn for it's affordable rooms or for its location in the heart of the bustling Meatpacking District. But most people check in for a couple of hours for another reason entirely. The Liberty Inn is one of the last unabashed New York "love hotels". That said, the décor while not quite as "romantic" as claimed by the website, is at least clean and you can rest assured you'll meet a lot more interesting people here than you would at the nearby Hotel Gansevoort.
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