Concierge.com's insider take:
The Astoria's neighbor got a total makeover in 2003, courtesy of Olga Polizzi, sister of Sir Rocco Forte and designer of his divine grands. That's because Sir Forte took over the management of this five-star, instantly making these 193 rooms some of the most desirable in the city. Guests here get the same great Isaac Square location, plus signing privileges at the Astoria's facilities, and decor that's almost as lovely. Here are parquet floors; heavy drapes and matching armchairs in burgundy, grey, or cream; Volga linens; and dark-stained wood. There's satellite and cable TV, but the marble-tile bathrooms aren't so attractive—and you have to graduate to the Club Floor or a suite before you get a robe. The Italian Borsalino Restaurant (gnocchi, osso buco, tiramisu) is very pleasant, and Caviar, a ground-floor Russian bar with panoramic views of Isaac Square, opened in December 2006.
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