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The Lowell is the only hotel in New York City that puts actual wood-burning fireplaces in some of its rooms. That may seem like an odd fact to point out first, but for me it sums up the very special ambience of the place, which somehow manages to be quite homey despite being outrageously elegant. Rooms and suites are divided into two categories. The “traditional” ones have a chicly cluttered look, with antique rugs and bookshelves brimming with books. The contemporary rooms are just as lovely, but with bigger bathrooms, a dusty pastel color palette (of browns, grey-blues, tans, and greens), and slightly more modern couches and chairs. All feature exquisite works of art on the walls (a Chinese watercolor in one, a French print in another) and lovely pieces of porcelain here and there. The location is also swell, just one block from Central Park on a quiet, brownstone-lined street.