In fall of 2013, the Novotel completed an $85 million renovation that transformed its lobby into the set for Star Trek. Okay, not really, but your first vision of the hotel, a pulsing, purple hall that looks like the entrance to a Disney ride, is, er, a stunner. Rooms, which are now called “Next Rooms” (they’ll soon be standard across the chain), are almost as whiz-bang, with a TV entertainment system that you can control from your cellphone; truly soundproofed windows (you can’t hear the city at all); and a lighted frame on the backboard of the bed that gives the room an eerie glow. Other than that, they’re not all that odd, but quite comfortable and spacious, with excellent views, good desk space, and even better beds. Families can easily share the rooms with two double beds. The breakfast room has one of the best views of Times Square in town.
- Pauline Frommer