“Everything in the room is for sale,” the bellman told me as we entered the room. And my first thought was “that’s a smart side business. I bet they make a lot of money that way.” I, for one, would love to have the nubby, putty-colored couch, or the Scandinavian-chic, lacquered black bed—they give the room such élan. The entire bedroom, in fact, was unexpectedly attractive, with blond wood floors, scads of air and light, and a vibe that’s distinctly Californian. A surprising aesthetic choice as the hotel is set the landmark Radiator Building, a 1924 skyscraper, that, because of its black brick facade, spiky towers, and gold trim, has a distinctly Goth look. But not once you’re inside. And evil-doers would never approve of all the freebies the hotel gives away: free valet parking on weekends, a free happy hour at the bar each night from 5pm to 6pm, and free Wi-Fi. The gym is also unusually nice. And you can’t beat those Bryant Park views!
- Pauline Frommer