The Carlton Hotel
A 1904 Beaux-Arts tribute to 19th-century New York opulence has been pared down for the present, undergoing major renovations in 2008. The Murray Hill boutique hotel seamlessly weaves old—the restored grape-and-trellis-motif Tiffany stained-glass dome, for one—with new, such as a two-story waterfall wall in the lobby. All is tightly tailored, not least in the 317 rooms, in dusty blues and browns, with white crown moldings, ivory leather headboards, and symmetrically arranged pillows atop extra-comfy beds. Nab a Madison Avenue–facing suite for the best views.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.