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Before World War II, this hotel was two: the Washington and the Jefferson. Each was a home-away-from-home for the performers who worked in the area, and today the WJ still retains that, well, homey feel thanks to the helpful, happy-seeming staff and the simple rooms, which clearly no designer had a hand in creating. About half the hotel was renovated in 2017, so some rooms will be spiffier than others. Some can also be quite small, so ask to move if you’re not happy. You likely won't have to worry about noise, as the hotel is on a quiet, tree-lined block, near to the bustling restaurant scene of Hell's Kitchen on one side, and Times Square on the other.

-Pauline Frommer