Not that it matters (ahem), but the Duane may well have the handsomest staff in Manhattan: suave young fellows with vaguely European accents and just the right amount of stubble. The rooms in this slim hotel (just 26 feet wide) are just as dashing, if petite at the lower price categories, with high ceilings and shiny black walls offset by sleek blond wood built-ins (all designed to maximize the space) and cool pieces of art here and there. Such niceties as rainfall showers and iPod docking stations add to the plush vibe. Among the other pluses: free Wi-Fi, workable in-room desks, and cookies 24 hours at reception.
- Pauline Frommer