Standard, $249-$409; junior suite, $269-$429; standard suite, $349-$499; deluxe suite, $389-$619
6 at 51st St.; E, M at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
In 1988, artist James Knowles and his family took over this outpost of the salesman-favored chain and transformed it into a quirky boutique hotel. As artist-in-residence, Knowles makes himself visible immediately via bronze panels and busts that frame the cozy lobby and through enormous oil paintings that hang in the restaurant and the ballroom. By contrast, the 136 bright, spacious rooms and suites are more country house than artist’s loft, with Knowles’s wife and daughters hand-picking the sweet floral wallpapers and the antique desks, not to mention the paperbacks, biographies, and art tomes lining the shelves. Other than free Wi-Fi and local calls, the hotel is devoid of many high-tech amenities. TVs in standard rooms have outdated built-in VCRs, so for entertainment, you’re better off checking out the mezzanine-level screening room or the 70-seat second-floor space where open-to-the-public concerts, readings, and wine tastings take place.Pros
Comfortable, familial atmosphere; spacious shabby-chic rooms; free Wi-Fi.
Seasonal prices run high considering low-tech amenities.