Wonderful, $299-$679; spectacular, $375-$799; urban suite, $550-$850; E-Wow suite, $4,500
1 at 50th St.; N, Q, R at 49th St.; C, E at 50th St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Sophisticated and sexy, the flagship W is a destination for more than just its guests: Sushi and jazz favorite Blue Fin, party hotspot The Whiskey, a screening room, a trendy designer store and the state-of-the-art gym and spa keep even the local crowds coming. Overnight visitors pass through the lobby—enveloped on all sides, including the ceiling and floor, by panels of water—and check-in at the seventh-floor Living Room, a large, sleek lounge arrayed with hanging lamps, white leather stools and conversation nooks. Boasting a clean, modern design, the 507 rooms and suites are tricked-out with a "floating" desk; TV with CD, DVD and infrared keyboard; mini-bar with local microbrews; high-speed Internet; Aveda or Bliss beauty products; snack-filled "Munchie Box"; and sweeping city views. The W's "Whatever/Whenever" policy provides extra fun: Want a peanut butter and fluff sandwich at 2 a.m., a laser printer stat or a bed covered with 2,000 daisies? The staff insists they'll do it. Of course, it’s all for a price; the 57-floor W is neither cheap nor personal, but there's a reason stars like Ashanti stay there for weeks at a time. And while the hotel may overload on services to compensate for the notoriously small rooms, upgrades to larger rooms are often available for just $30 more.Pros
Despite the swankiness, the W is not snobby. The hotel welcomes a population of business people, dog owners, fashion designers and fanny-packed tourists alike.
Too caught up in its image, the W can sacrifice function for fashion. Most rooms come with European showers, which have just one glass panel instead of the usual two, leaving some guests to feel like awkward exhibitionists.