The original “Marmara” is an inland sea entirely enclosed by the country of Turkey. Its namesake has that same chicly Eurasian vibe, its high ceilinged lobby filled with cave-like architectural touches (oddly shaped check-in desks, a curvy chimney to a fireplace—are we in Cappadocia?), vaguely tribal works of contemporary art, and lots of lanterns and blown glass. Rooms are a bit more straightforwardly contemporary, with wood floors and area rugs, but in their size (generous) and appointments (leather couches, kitchens in many units, deeply piled beds, all NYC products in the mini-bar and bathroom) they feel more like apartments than hotel rooms. Many have balconies—a rarity in this town—and upper floors have views of both the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. In the basement, a lovely indoor pool helps wash away the stresses of hours of city walking. Nearby, you'll find tons of busy Korean restaurants to choose from, and Macy's is a 10-minute walk west.
- Pauline Frommer