By Stephen Brookes
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:45 PM
There's no dearth of hotels to choose from in Manhattan; the only problem is rates that can defy all reason. We had great luck at the recently-opened 6 Columbus, a hip, super-friendly little place on Columbus Circle within easy walking distance to MOMA, Lincoln Center, Central Park and subways. Its 88 rooms tend to the small side, but the modernist décor is a gas, the service fantastic, and we were able to snag an off-season rate of $199 a night -- a steal by any standard. There's a Japanese restaurant on the first floor called The Blue Ribbon (212 397-0404) which also provides room service, and for breakfast there's a Starbuck's next door -- or try Le Pain Quotidien a block away (58th St. at 7th Ave).
6 Columbus Circle, NY NY 10019
If you prefer to be in walking distance to the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan and the Whitney, expect to pay for it. A reliable bet is The Carlyle, where advertised rates start at $700 a night -- and are reportedly worth it.
The Carlyle (a Rosewood Hotel)
35 E 76th. 10021
212 744 1600CHELSEA
The heart of New York's art scene is Chelsea, and the heart of Chelsea is the famous/notorious Hotel Chelsea. It's a bit run down now and has lost some of its character, but everyone from Frida Kahlo to Claes Oldenburg has passed through there at some point. Go if you're interested in the scene, but it may not be ideal for families (depending, of course, on your family). Advertised rates start at $189 a night.
The Hotel Chelsea
222 W 23 between 7th and 8th
Soho's one of the most fun neighborhoods around, even if it's not the hotbed of art that it once was. The Soho Grand Hotel has 363 rooms modeled on traditional Soho loft spaces, with expanses of windows and a sophisticated ambiance. Rooms start at about $550 and go up from there. The Mercer, a good place for celebrity spotting, is also a good (but pricey) bet, as is the cool but comfortable 60 Thompson.
Soho Grand Hotel
310 W. Broadway, NY NY10013
147 Mercer Street, NY NY 10012
60 Thompson Street, NY NY 10012