Though it’s still an Art Deco masterwork, the Waldorf no longer has quite the cache of, say, the Plaza. It’s a numbers game: The Waldorf simply has many, many more rooms to fill, so it often plays “Let’s Make A Deal” with guests. For example, as I write this, a would-be visitor can upgrade from a standard room to a suite for just $150 and that upgrade will entitle them to a 50-minute massage at the Guerlain spa (a $200 value). I was assured there’s no end in sight for this promotion. So what else do you get if you stay here? A lot of eye-candy architecture and decor. The rooms are all generously proportioned (even the standard queen rooms), and feature molded ceilings, fine antique furnishings (like bureaus of inlaid wood and marble tops), and attractive, large bathrooms. Those who stay in the Waldorf Towers (suites only) get butler service and an even higher level of opulence. And just walking through the lobby here, with its elaborate tiles, murals, and iconic central clock, is a thrill.
- Pauline Frommer