There is almost nothing modest about the venerable Monteleone, family-owned since 1886. Not the ornate lobby, not the hallowed literary tradition (Faulkner, Hemingway, Capote, Tennessee Williams, and Eudora Welty slept, drank, and/or wrote here, among others), not the happy hour scene or stellar view at the rooftop pool. And certainly not the fancifully sublime, legendary Carousel Bar. Okay maaaybe the traditional gilt-y room decor, which leans toward the mumsie side of formal. The larger suites offer roomy, classic gentility, but standard rooms can be, well, modest. Some are quite petite, in fact, and those ending in 27 have no windows (though 56 and 59 are bigger and high-ceilinged). The family ownership is reflected in gracious, accommodating service (gentlemen should spring for a proper hot-towel, straight-razor shave in the barbershop here; everyone should spring for something from the pricy but very soothing full-service spa). The fitness equipment is notably good, and Criollo Restaurant is a big step up from standard hotel fare.