Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
This historic hotel is divided into two parts—the Pantlind building (designed by Grand Central Station architects Warren & Westmore), which originally opened in 1913, and the Glass Tower, a modern 1981 addition. The hotel has 682 rooms and a lot to brag about: the lobby has the largest gold-leaf ceiling installation in the U.S., as well as Duncan Phyfe and English Adams period pieces. Guest rooms—285 of which are under renovation until October 2014—are outfitted with crown moldings and beds with pillow-top mattresses. While the central city property is within walking distance of bistros and microbreweries, in-house dining options also entice. Cygnus 27 serves Nuevo American cuisine, and the recently added Ruth's Chris Steak House is a reliable alternative. There's also a full-service spa and 47,000 square feet of meeting space.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.