The Surrey Hotel
What's so special
Anyone visiting New York to check out the city's vibrant art scene should check into the Surrey. It is located a short walk from the Met, the Guggenheim and several other galleries, and it's filled with its own works, from a Chuck Close tapestry of Kate Moss to pieces by Richard Serra and William Kentridge.
How they rate it
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Entering the Surrey "you feel like you've stumbled into the exquisite town home of a billionaire art collector", says Douglas Rogers in The Daily Telegraph. The hotel attracts "art dealers, models [and] movie stars", drawn to its luxurious rooms and art collection. The rooms range from classic salons with fireplaces and private terraces to various sized suites. Allow time for a visit to the "exquisite" in-house spa.
Whether you are sipping cocktails in the bar, dining at master chef Daniel Boulud's Caf Boulud or gazing down on Madison Avenue from the private roof garden, "this is New York living at its finest".
A double room costs from $645. For more information, visit www.thesurrey.com, or call 00 1 212 905 1477.
What's so special
For years New York was reputed to have the most expensive hotel rooms in the world. But in recent years a growing number of mid-range hotels have been opening up for those on a smaller budget. One of the latest is Yotel, a sleek modern hotel close to Times Square.
How they rate it
If you don't like the feeling you get of being somewhat robbed at the check-in desk of many an expensive New York Hotel, then Yotel offers a pleasant, central alternative. The rooms are reasonably sized and come with all the mod cons you'd expect enormous showerheads, iPod docks, gigantic televisions and they also boast fantastic views. Through the floor-to-ceiling windows you can see all the way down to the financial district and the river. Naturally, the best views are from the higher floors try for 25 or above.
The hotel restaurant serves up sharing plates for guests with sushi, salads, noodles and seafood all featured on the menu. The restaurant lacks atmosphere though, which is a pity the city offers many better alternatives (see below) and at lower prices.
A double room at the hotel costs from $399. Find out more at the website at www.yotel.com, or telephone 00 1 646 449 7700.
What the travel writers are saying
To really enjoy your stay in New York, you'll need more than just a fine hotel you need to arrive in style, dine at the best restaurants, and know where to head to enjoy a decent cocktail.
For a great meal in New York, head to Eleven Madison Park (pictured, Elevenmadisonpark.com). It is "the finest dining experience in New York, bar none", says The Daily Telegraph's Douglas Rogers. The "soaring space" above Madison Square Park is "grand enough but the menu is really inspiring". Instead of getting a choice of dishes, you get "a diagram and a list of ingredients". The waiter will then help you create your own unique Swiss meal."Torchon of foie gras laced with cocoa, anyone? Sit back and enjoy the ride."
If you are on the hunt for a great drink, visit the Oak Room (Oakroomny.com). This "iconic Upper East Side hang-out dates back to the turn of the century, hosting greats like Dorothy Parker before going cabaret in 1938", says Mike Vilansky in The Guardian. "Jazz singers, literary heavyweights, and the international jet set have all continued to frequent the space." An excellent choice for stylish drinks: "waiters still wear tuxes and serve double martinis, and the party rarely gets rowdy".
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