New York City,
Tel: 212 505 9100
Undeterred by the nearby flophouse and Salvation Army shelter, rock band managers, film directors, and other entertainment industry folk have been flocking to the Bowery Hotel since its opening last spring. And it's no wonder: With the influx of Whole Foods, luxe condo developments, and the flashy New Museum of Contemporary Art, this stretch of the Lower East Side is quickly shedding its infamous grit. Inside the 17-story faux-factory building, the look is stylish Jekyll-and-Hyde, with the dark lobby's faded old-world tapestries and mounted deer antlers standing in stark contrast to the 135 guest rooms' floor-to-ceiling window and knockout views, and to the obliging staff (not a mad scientist in sight). Strategically positioned mirrors mask the smallness of some rooms, and large marble baths with brass fixtures make up for the lack of space. The Lobby Bar can get crowded with trendy young things, but the outdoor lounge is a welcome refuge—as long as you aren't squeamish about the adjacent cemetery. Italian restaurant Gemma has a rustic atmosphere and serves well-made dishes like roasted branzino and traditional pizzas that complement the hotel's cozy disposition.