I'm not often visiting hotels in New York, since I live here in the city. However, I had the good fortune recently of attending a function presented by Central Europe Experience, a marketing organization that promotes tourism to the region, at the lovely Library Hotel. A charming, upscale boutique property nicely situated at 41st and Madison, the Library’s within easy walking distance to many midtown restaurants, popular sights, and excellent transportation (two blocks away at Grand Central Station). The design is classic-contemporary style, which I love. There's a wonderful lounge (really, a library) on the second floor for reading or taking a snack that feels like a plush living room. On the roof is another, where, when the weather is nice, one can take a drink outside and enjoy the sparkling lights from surrounding buildings. The bar food is excellent, as is the service, which adds to the Library's effortlessly cool vibe. At the same time, the space is comfortable and warm, which I think is very important to travelers who want a posh yet relaxing place to return to after a day of sightseeing.
It's no surprise that the fanciful theme of the hotel is that of a library -- a quaint nod to the beautiful main branch of the New York Public Library located just down the street. The 10 floors correspond to the major categories of the Dewey Decimal System, while each of the rooms are themed according to over 50 subjects -- architecture, politics, music, etc -- with mini-libraries to match. So there really is an room for everyone -- and with so many books on hand, you might not ever want to leave yours!
All in all, if friends were asking me for advice on a New York hotel, I would point them straight to the Library. It’s a comfortable, attractive property and smartly priced for those seeking an upscale experience at a reasonable rate in Manhattan. Click here for our Sherman's Expert review and read more about the hotel.
Finally, I want to comment on the Central Europe Experience event, which highlighted the abundant travel opportunities available in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, and Poland. For Americans, it makes great sense to consider touring these countries' highlights, as they are currently some of the world's best-value destinations. Classical Vienna and Salzburg, charming Prague, cool Berlin, majestic Budapest (also one of our Top 10 Value Destinations for 2010), quaint Bratislava, and dynamic Warsaw will all give you great bang for your buck, and it's easy to train-hop from one place to the next. Plus, most are reachable via direct flights from New York.