In New York – that thrumming, thrilling beast – you want a hotel that’s both at the city centre and offers succour from its occasional overwhelmingness. I found mine at The Mark (www.themarkhotel.com; from $500).
This is a place with character to spare, from its beamed ceilings, monochrome bathrooms and sash windows, to its red leather and cowhide bar (which should be outré, but here somehow works) – the locus, it is said, of much match- (and tryst-) making among the beau monde of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Tell the concierge you’re off to Zitomer’s to find an elusive scent. “Oh, we’ll have it delivered for you, ma’am; we’ve got a great relationship with them,” is the chirpy reply.
Judging from the tables one can book across town as a guest here, The Mark excels at “great relationships”, though its own outpost of the Jean-Georges Vongerichtenempire (pictured), one of that chef’s most charming, makes it tempting to just stay. And perhaps consider a nightcap in the bar.
For another buzzing New York hotel, look no further than Ian Schrager’s New Edition, with a restaurant by chef du jour Jason Atherton.