Built in 1916, the Van Gilder is both the oldest and the most charming hotel in town. A compact, three-story building with no elevator, the Van Gilder has been thoughtfully restored to something like how it might have looked in its youth, with flocked wallpaper, hanging light fixtures and plenty of other Edwardian-era trimmings (lace curtains, pedestal sinks). Like many old hotels, it’s also got balky water pressure, especially in the morning when everyone's showering, and the rooms are smaller than today's hotel rooms, as if the people back then were smaller too. But the big brass beds have pillow-top mattresses, soft sheets and comforters, and plenty of room for modern-sized people. Some rooms have private baths—with either modern showers or claw foot tubs—and some share a shower and old-fashioned water closet. The first floor has a sitting room and a communal kitchen, where you’ll find coffee, bagels, and other guests to talk to in the morning. The second and third floors have histories of murder (in rooms 212 and 312), and now ghosts, according to local lore. (Ask at the front desk when they’re not busy, and you may learn more than you wanted to know.)