Travel

Insiders Guide: The Hotels

Illustration: Christopher Silas Neal

After all the NYC dealmaking, wining and dining -- often going later than in L.A. -- Hollywood power players need to decompress in comfort. And while Manhattan has a seemingly endless choice of great hotel rooms, for an extra-special occasion or special client, these are the top! That means butlers, en suite steam rooms, grand pianos, even a room decorated in that exact shade of Tiffany blue. So tick off your amenities, from luxury to kickback (such as the in-room guitars at the Ace Hotel), on our scorecard of Manhattan's most-coveted rooms.

The Four Seasons
Ty Warner Penthouse Suite, 57 E. 57th St.
Ideal For: Business moguls, A-list actors
Spotted: Aaron Sorkin, UTA'S Peter Benedek, WME's Ari Emanuel, Sandra Bullock

The 4,300-square-foot, nine-room penthouse ($35,000/night), named for the Beanie Baby founder, the hotel's owner since 1999, might be the most lavish in the known universe. "A true VIP experience, with 360-degree views and a butler thrown in for good measure," says Byron Carr of A-list travel management company The Appointment Group. It flaunts dramatic chandeliers, an onyx bathroom with crystal sinks and a zen garden. Views from the 52nd-floor terraces allow for those special "King of the World" moments.

The Crosby Street Hotel
The Crosby Suites, 79 Crosby St.
Ideal For: Industry Anglophiles
Spotted: Ewan McGregor, Patricia Clarkson, Disney's Rich Ross, DreamWorks Animation's Bill Damaschke

London's boutique hotel maestros Firmdale made their U.S. debut with this stylish gem in 2009. Harvey Weinstein has hosted screenings in the intimate basement theater, and the Euro-y Crosby Bar is a great place "for a very good pizza washed down with Veuve Clicquot," says Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy. The 1,100- to 1,550-square-foot suites ($3,750/night) evince a sort of drawing-room chic, and the floor-to-ceiling windows look over Soho's turn-of-the-century skyline. "The suites are spacious and beautiful. I love all the whimsical design touches in the living-room area," says Project Runway producer Jane Cha Cutler.

Greenwich Hotel
N. Moore Penthouse, 377 Greenwich St.
Ideal For: Actor's actors
Spotted: Zoe Kravitz, Tom Cruise, Christina Hendricks

Only guests are allowed on-site at this discreet Tribeca hotel that's co-owned by Robert De Niro. Its duplex penthouse ($6,250/night) has Moroccan tiles, leather couches and its own steam room. Says Carr, "The dramatic wall of windows in the living room, along with the stone fireplace, really adds character."

Mandarin Oriental
The Oriental Suite, 80 Columbus Circle
Ideal For: Privacy-obsessed stars
Spotted: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Freida Pinto

Skip the Presidential Suite and opt for the opulent one-bedroom 52nd-floor Oriental Suite ($9,500/night), done in rich hues of gold and blue and offering a separate study, dining area and $100,000 Bang & Olufsen A/V system. The 1,800-square-foot space floats spectacularly above the hotel's Columbus Circle location with views across Central Park. Says travel expert James Densmore of CTS Travel, "My clients love the kitchen en suite, as many have specific foods or drinks they enjoy." The hotel's private garage assures protection from paparazzi.

W New York Downtown
Extreme Wow Suites,123 Washington St.
Ideal For: Next big things, young turk execs
Spotted: Miranda Kerr, Riley Keough, Orlando Bloom

It's hard not to love this one-year-old hotel's Living Room Bar with its epic, wraparound terrace. As for the most coveted rooms, the 1,058-square-foot, one-bedroom Extreme Wow Suites ($3,500/night) are tributes to the color white, with Philippe Starck chairs, massive windows framing Wall Street's skyscrapers and, our favorite, a full, marble-topped wet bar.

The St. Regis
Designer Suites, 2 E. 55th St.
Ideal For: Label lovers, fashionistas
Spotted: Elton John, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen

Despite some modern additions (Alain Ducasse opened Adour in 2008), the Beaux Arts-style St. Regis, built in 1904, is one of the last grand bastions of old New York. Its new one-bedroom, 1.5-bath Designer Suites ($9,500/night) channel the glamour of those days. The 1,700-square-foot Tiffany Suite, created in collaboration with the brand, is done up in lavish modern baroque touches, with signature blue as a common color accent. The similar-sized Dior Suite -- convertible to two bedrooms -- has an atelier feel, appointed with French-style antiques upholstered in the house's signature soft gray. Kelly Katz, wife of jeweler-to-the-stars Martin Katz, loves that "on every floor of the hotel, you'll have your own butler."

The Peninsula
Peninsula Suite, 700 Fifth Ave.
Ideal For: Producers with a blockbuster track record
Spotted: Jane Fonda, Kim Kardashian

In June, the hotel is set to unveil its newly renovated Peninsula Suite ($16,000/night), which occupies almost the entire 19th floor. The two-bedroom, 3,300-square-foot space will have polished plaster walls, marble floors, a leather-paneled library, a grand piano and a dining room seating 10.

Andaz Wall Street
Buttonwood Suite, 75 Wall St.
Ideal For: Producers seeking financing
Spotted: Josh Brolin, Michael Douglas

Opened just two years ago, this 253-room property sits smack in the middle of the Financial District. The Rockwell Group's design brings style to the staid locale, extending to the loft-like Buttonwood Suite ($3,300/night). The sparsely furnished one-bedroom, two-bath space is finished with oak floors and bleached wood accents. The property's Wall & Water bar has become a top power-cocktails spot.

The Ace Hotel
Loft Suites, 20 W. 29th St.
Ideal For: Indie darlings
Spotted: Karen Elson, Kirsten Dunst

Loved by rockers and actors of a hipper sort, the hotel features comparatively modest 711-square-foot Loft Suites ($1,600/night), with hardwood floors and claw-foot tubs. Don't be surprised if yours comes with a turntable or, even better, a guitar. "There's always a scene downstairs in the lobby if you're in the mood," notes Sundance Channel executive producer Jim McMahon.

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THE APPLE'S BIG ART HAPPENINGS

You've already taken in the Cindy Sherman retrospective at MoMa (if not, catch it through June 11) and thelatest iteration of the Whitney Biennial (through May 27). Where else to head this spring? From May 4 to 7, London's always jammed Frieze Art Fair, which draws the likes of Valentino, Elle McPherson and Gwen Stefani, will set up a new satellite on the East River's Randall's Island in a temporary snake-shaped structure featuring more than 170 galleries. On the same dates, Miami's emerging-artist-focused NADA fair also hits New York (Center 548, 548 W. 22nd St.). And, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, "Impossible Conversations," opening May 10, compares and contrasts the fashions of contemporary superstar Miuccia Prada and early 20th-century, surrealist-inspired designer Elsa Schiaparelli, whose clients included Mae West and the Duchess of Windsor. (Carey Mulligan co-hosts the Institute's star-studded annual ball May 7.) – Gary Baum and Degen Pener

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