Executive room from $865; Classic room from $875; Superior room from $945; Deluxe room from $1,080; Grand Deluxe room from $1,190; Suites range from $1,800-$9,050
F at Lexington Ave.-63rd St.; N, Q, R at Fifth Ave.-59th St.
Valet parking is $53 for cars and $64 for SUVs.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
First opened as the Hotel Alrae in 1927, then transformed into the Hotel Plaza Athénée (no relation to the one in Paris) in 1984, this Upper East Side classic reemerged from a multimillion dollar reboot in 2010. To the relief of its legions of regulars (including low-key celebrities and many second- and third-generation guests), the place still retains its elegant European feel, with marble floors, canvas murals, and gilded sculptures in the small lobby, not to mention the gold-domed ceiling in the cozy Arabelle restaurant. Most of the changes can be seen up in the 142 rooms and suites, which were redesigned to evoke a posh residential townhouse. Gleaming cherrywood floors, French beaux-arts-style furnishings, and rich fabrics in soothing yellows, greens, and ruby-reds are accented by plasma TVs, deep soaking tubs, Penhaligon products, and Italian linen–topped beds that rank among the best in town. Several suites boast fully equipped kitchenettes; balconies or terraces; and—in a truly unique touch—charming, glass-enclosed solariums with panoramic city views. A 24-hour gym and four-suite spa are open to hotel guests only. And on the lobby level, there's a complimentary Business Center, plus the popular Bar Seine, with its leather floors, Moroccan-inspired décor, and menu of cocktails and small bites.Pros
Classic NYC setting; buzzing bar scene; top-notch spa and 24-hour gym; intimate, apartment-style vibe; solariums or terraces with sweeping views in some suites.
Charge for WiFi in rooms (though it’s free in the lobby); breakfast not included; DVD players only in select rooms.
Boasting an Asian-inspired décor of teakwood floors, grasscloth wallpaper, and bamboo accents, the spa's four luxe suites each have a private dressing area and steam shower. For a spa this intimate, the menu is extensive: Facials use products from Swiss-based Valmont or Germany's Babor; body treatments include wraps and scrubs; and massages are available Swedish, Shiatsu, hot stone, and traditional, mat-based Thai styles. With most treatments running at least 90-minutes, and food available from a spa cuisine menu, many guests just book large blocks of time and spend the day here.