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Smaller Hotels With Presence In The Big City

January 13, 2008|John Horn


373 Fifth Ave.


(212) 213-3388

www.hotel373.comDoubles from $229

If a visit to the Empire State Building is on your New York itinerary, Hotel 373 couldn't be more convenient. Near Fifth Avenue and 35th Street, the 2-year-old, 70-room Hotel 373 is close to the iconic skyscraper, Midtown shopping and the Garment District. The disadvantage of being a 15-minute walk from Times Square and a longer trek to the Upper East Side is balanced by affordable rates for comparatively upscale (although small) rooms. There's nothing elaborate here, but the beds are comfortable, the rooms quiet, the wireless service free, the staff gracious -- and there's even a Starbucks in the lobby. A great bargain.


370 4th Ave.


(718) 625-1500

www.hotellebleu.comDoubles from $189

With its cool color palette, stark furnishings and you-better-look-great-naked showers (whose clear glass walls face the bedroom), Hotel Le Bleu feels far more Miami Beach than New York City. An early settler in a gentrifying neighborhood, the 48-room Le Bleu recently opened in Brooklyn and is being pitched as the borough's only boutique hotel. The rooms are spacious (a standard king has 300 square feet), and about a quarter offer patios overlooking lower Manhattan. The immediate area is not swank, with a taxi depot and an auto shop just yards away. But the subway into Manhattan is right up the street.


130 Duane St.


(212) 964-4600

www.duanestreethotel.comDoubles from $345

Everything about this brand-new hotel feels intimate: a six-seat bar, a 40-seat restaurant, a 45-room property. The focus on snug carries to the rooms, which may offer high ceilings and loft windows but are mighty tight (220 square feet for a superior room). The Duane Street provides in-room massage, but it's unclear where a soigneur could possibly unfold a rubdown table. What Duane Street lacks in spaciousness, though, it makes up for in care (twice-daily maids, 24-hour room service) and location: At Duane and Church streets, it's in the heart of TriBeCa, meaning your fellow hotel guests will be far skinnier and cooler.


6 Columbus Circle


(212) 204-3000

www.thompsonhotels.comDoubles from $545

Directly opposite the Time Warner Center and a stone's throw from Columbus Circle, this new 88-room hotel may be decorated with 1960s furniture, but the vibe is very much modern-day. The uniforms for the front-desk staff reveal some toned midriffs, the elevator is finished in black pony skin and relatively spacious rooms (275 square feet for a superior) have iPod docking stations. In a smart space-saving move, the hotel added drawers underneath its cushy beds. The price tag for being near one of New York's swankiest corners is steep, but you could spend a lot more having dinner at Per Se across the street.

-- John Horn

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