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The Surrey, Upper East Side

$400 or more
New York City, New York, United States, North America: Pleiades is a sophisticated Art Deco-style lounge at the Surrey hotel with an excellent cocktail
20 E. 76th Street
Between Madison and Fifth avenues
New York City , New York
Tel: 800 978 7739 (toll-free)
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Looking down upon the particularly posh stretch of Madison Avenue, with its crisply dressed passersby and chic little boutiques visible from your perch at The Surrey, you can almost believe that the recession never visited here. After all, it was the 190-room Surrey's providential good luck to have been undergoing a thorough $60 million yearlong renovation up until last November, one that transformed a reliable if unexciting hostelry into one of the neighborhood's most desirable addresses. The new lobby's Art Deco-inspired black-and-dove gray palette is echoed in the generously sized rooms (the bathrooms are particularly large), which feature wide Duxiana beds. Not everything is an unqualified hit—in particular, the weird table lamp with a shower curtain-like shade—but there's a real vision and playful sense of idiosyncrasy at work here. The good design and cheerful, unpretentious staff aside, this isn't a hotel meant for lingering—the only public spaces are the snug lobby, the chic Bar Pleiades, Daniel Boulud's eponymous café (which also provides the room service), and the key-accessed rooftop garden—but why would you want to, anyway? One block south is the gray bulwark of the Whitney Museum, and one block west is Central Park.—2010 Hot List

Which room to book: Any of the Salons overlooking Madison Avenue. The suites, while very large, feel corporate.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.