Welcome to the “locavore” hotel. Everything at the James is meant, in some way, to celebrate and reflect New York City, a concept that works in spades. So, the luxurious sheets on the beds are bought from a local manufacturer, as are the chocolates placed on the pillows each evening. The hallways are a gallery to New York City artists; simply train your cellphone at the barcodes embedded on the walls to learn more about each one. Best of all, this skyscraper hotel, custom-built in 2010, is all glass, so the “sky lobby” and every guest room has spectacular floor-to-ceiling views, bringing NYC directly into your bedroom. Other perks include a plunge pool and hip rooftop lounge called The Jimmy, an urban garden on the second floor for more outdoor lounging, and room service from star chef David Burke, whose restaurant is on the first floor.
- Pauline Frommer