What are giraffes like? I think of them as serene creatures who munch incessantly and yet add a note of grace to the landscape. The Hotel Giraffe is very much like its namesake. Its color scheme is taken from these elegant animals, all soothing taupes and browns with plummy red highlights on pillows and sheer drapes (that would be the creature’s tongue, I suppose). Room are tranquil in the extreme, with high ceilings, velveteen and leather furnishings, oversized bathrooms with lots of marble counter space and good-sized bedrooms (many of have small balconies, a rarity in NYC). And as for the munching, that takes place all day long in the lobby. A very nice continental breakfast is included in rate, as is coffee, tea and cookies in the afternoon, and wine and cheese in the evenings. Nearby, too, are some of the city's hottest new restaurants. You’ll get a giraffe’s eye view of the city from the swell rooftop garden.

-Pauline Frommer