New York City hotels
New York's hotel scene leaves travelers as spoiled for choice as they are in every other aspect of life here. The myriad hotel options range from super-swank to shoebox, and everything in between. While key luxury markers like service, amenities, and views are world-class, sleeping in the city that never sleeps also involves curbing your expectations, at least when it comes to size: At 325 square feet, the average New York hotel room is substantially smaller than what you'll find in other cities.
Manhattan hotels tend to fall into two different camps. In one corner, there are the establishment, Louis XVI-furniture-and-gilt joints on which this city built its reputation—the Peninsula, the Plaza, the St. Regis. In the other is the new guard: intimate, clubby hideaways like the Gramercy Park Hotel and the Library Hotel.
Lodging in New York may be notoriously hard on the hip pocket (the average hotel-room price is $320, but good luck getting that), yet there still are bargains out there, like Greenwich Village's Abingdon Guest House. Fancy more of the pied-è-terre experience? Urban Living (www.urbanliving-ny.com), an agency that specializes in vacation rentals in New York City, can set you up in a furnished one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea for around $240 a night.
Manhattan is very much a series of villages, with scenes to match: The higher-end, more traditional hotels tend to be clustered around Midtown and Central Park, while below 14th Street you'll find more fashion-forward accommodation. If you plan to spend every night dive-hopping downtown, opt for a buzzy newcomer like the Crosby Street Hotel, or Bowery Hotel. If high-end shopping and Broadway shows are your scene, stick to Midtown. But don't let ZIP code be your only guiding principle: Manhattan is compact, eminently walkable, and stocked with enough cabs to make location a minor concern.