The Gotham Hotel
16 East 46th Street
212 490 8500

It's almost as though The Gotham Hotel was trying to replicate for visitors what living in Manhattan is actually like. Checking in at this pint-sized loungey lobby is just like walking into a doorman building. The front desk is hidden away so the process involves a clipboard and a welcome glass of wine (a fabulous touch). Upstairs, Klaus Ortlieb's 66 simply decorated rooms reflect the kind of unfussy living locals have: idealising a perfect, giant, comfortable bed, the sort-of tiny closet space found in most apartments, installing gorgeous rainfall showerheads in smallish bathrooms, a delightfully voyeuristic view of one's neighbours, a fridge of Orangina and sparkling water, a stash of amenities (nail polish wipe pads, loofahs, tights) one might secure at Ricky's or Sephora. Even the cable channels are exactly what the locals see. Breakfast included with the room involves those Manhattan standards: bagels and croissants, the newspaper, and of course coffee and an espresso bar. And the staff seem like they could accurately tell you what the latest hot band out of Brooklyn might be. Of course the Gotham has one major thing only truly lucky New Yorkers get: enormous terraces. There's small luxuries that certainly your local building management company isn't going to provide; fresh fruit such as peaches with the turn-down service but for those who don't like to be fussed over, and want the true experience, this extremely well-situated spot (midtown central, seconds away from Grand Central) couldn't be more authentic.


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