NYC’s Best Hotel Lobbies

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The timeless constraints of New York real estate make building a grand, sprawling hotel lobby tough to do. But options abound in young boutique and venerable classic hotels for public places in which to cool your heels–and not worry about hourly rates.

1 The Bowery Hotel

The Bowery's transformation from skid row to catwalk is old news. But stepping into this hotel's low-ceilinged, well-lit lobby with its distressed Victorian decor and knockout cocktails at the bar still comes as a pleasant surprise and a reason for everything to stay put.
335 Bowery

2 The Carlyle

This lobby of this 82-year old Upper East Side citadel of sedate luxury is flanked by two jazzy cultural gems: the Café Carlyle, whose Marcel Vertes murals were restored in 2007, and the relatively unassuming Bemelmans Bar (pictured), with its own impressive wall decoration (by Ludwig Bemelman) and entertainment legacy.
35 E 76th St.

3 Conrad New York Hotel

A jagged set of stairs lead up to the second-floor lobby of this Financial District newcomer. But it's the sixteen-story atrium (dominated by a mind-bending Sol LeWitt mural) you gaze up at once you get there that sets the tone of your stay, or visit to what will be three Danny Meyer restaurants.
102 N End Ave.

4 Gramercy Park Hotel

The scene here quieted down as Rose Bar's fortunes declined, and that's not a bad thing. You've still got Danny Meyere's rustic-Italian gem Maialino just off the lobby, and fireplaces and a warehouse's worth of Julian Schnabel-designed decorations within it.
2 Lexington Avenue

5 Ace Hotel

Not the lobby to crash if you're after relaxation, Ace eternally buzzes to the beat of 100 young, chic tourists' (and locals') laptops. But no matter: the joe at Stumptown coffee and heart-stopping offal available at April Bloomfield's The Breslin should jolt you awake.
20 West 29th St.
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