First things first: no, the doormen do not get hazard pay for having to wear knickers and knee-socks on 42nd Street. That odd (and cruel) uniform choice is really the only misstep at this suave, new-in-2015 hotel, aimed squarely at the 1 percent. Set in a landmarked, 1902 Beaux Arts beaut of a skyscraper, the hotel makes smart use of the building’s grand bones: guest rooms all have soaring 12-foot ceilings and massive windows. The latter are set off by diaphanous, silvery curtains, allowing daylight to pour onto the zen furnishings: smoky blue and gray velvet pillows, upholstered chairs and bedspreads; smooth white oak built-ins, hiding closets, minibars and safes; and marble bathrooms, with separate bath and toilet areas. The hotel’s a lesson in the fact that, done right, there’s nothing as elegant as simplicity. On-site are two gyms (one for cardio, one for weights) and two Charlie Palmer Restaurants. Right outside is the mad scrum of Times Square, where you’ll be able to get a selfie with Elmo or Olaf in 5-seconds-flat (for all the good, and bad, that implies).
- Pauline Frommer