The travel editor replies to a reader's query about a knockout New York hotel for his wedding anniversary.
Ask the Expert: the best of New York's new hotels
I'm planning to take my wife to New York for our 10th wedding anniversary this autumn. We both know the city well and have visited it more than six times. Can you recommend any really impressive new hotels?
You are in luck. New York has seen dozens of new hotels open in central Manhattan locations in the past two years, and prices have come down as competition has increased. By checking the hotels' websites and sites such as lastminute.com, you should be able to get a great deal.
Next week, look out for our review of the new Gansevoort Park Avenue (www.gansevoortpark.com) in Midtown Manhattan. The hotel's 249 rooms average 44 square metres, which is larger than normal for the city. The hotel's website is currently offering rates from US$450 (Dh1,650) per night, plus taxes, for November. Also in Midtown is the Andaz Fifth Avenue (www.andaz.com), which is part of the Hyatt brand and opened last year. Its current rates for November start at $445 (Dh1,634), excluding taxes. Close by is The Setai (www.setaififthavenue.com), a large new block managed by the Capella group. It's a little stark and businesslike, but its rooms are large, the location is excellent and the views from the high floors bring you up close to the excitement of the area - some look straight out at the Empire State Building. Double rooms here cost from $773 (Dh2,840), plus taxes. If you really want to splash out, take one of the apartment suites from $1,750 (Dh6,427) per night, plus taxes.
Also in Midtown, but in the theatre district area, is the Chatwal (www.thechatwalny.com), an 83-room refit of the Lambs Club, a former thespian hangout, as well as being part of the Starwood group. Its cosy 1920s interiors hark back to a more glamorous era. Doubles start at $760 (Dh2,790) per night, plus taxes.
Exciting new properties are also blooming in Manhattan's more fashionable downtown districts. In Soho, the best recent opening is probably The James, which has a sister property in Chicago (www.jameshotels.com). It's slick, smart and stylish with a brutalist exterior, an impressive rooftop pool terrace and apartment-like interiors. Doubles here cost from $318 (Dh1,170), plus taxes (the cheapest rooms are also the smallest, at 26 sq m). Fortunately, the design goes a long way towards making up for lost space.
Just this week on West 27th Street in arty, gritty, but still-industrial Chelsea, the Mexican design hotel group Habita opened Hotel Americano (www.hotel-americano.com), a 10-storey building with 56 rooms designed by architect Enrique Norten. The glass building has a mesh cladding and an exterior lift taking guests to the rooftop restaurant, and pool interiors are by Parisian Arnaud Montigny. Rooms start at $395 (Dh1,450), plus taxes, for the smallest (20 sq m) rooms. July saw the opening of the funky 55-roomed Nolitan (www.nolitanhotel.com) in NoLita ("north of Little Italy", between Soho and the East Village). Among other quirky services, staff can lend you a skateboard or book a bath for your dog. Rooms from $330 (Dh1,212) per night, plus taxes, in November. And, if you fancy a trip to Brooklyn, Starwood (www.starwoodhotels.com) has opened a new, no-nonsense Aloft hotel there with rooms from just $228 (Dh837) per night, plus taxes.