Four Seasons Hotel New York
Raising the opulence bar—even for a Four Seasons property—this soaring, sleek, I. M. Pei-designed tower epitomizes the cool high life in this coolest of American cities. The spare stone façade leads to a cavernous marble lobby, where the voices of arriving guests echo among angular stone columns and vaulted skylit ceilings. Fifty-two stories high, the hotel has 364 rooms with views overlooking the midtown skyline (if you're facing north) and Central Park (to the south); the higher you go, the better and more expensive the vantage point. The average 600-square-foot size is massive by NYC standards, and all rooms are kitted out with clean-lined wood furniture; velvety fabrics in shades of champagne and cream; and spacious marble baths, many with soaking tubs that fill in 60 seconds. The amenities include a spa offering rose-petal foot soaks and the sublime L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon restaurant.
Tip: Book a counter seat at L'Atelier—order small plates off the left-hand side of the menu.
Room to Book: Corner rooms on the 28th and 29th floors have great views at lower-floor rates. If price is truly no object, the Ty Warner Penthouse Suite is a 4,300-square-foot palace with 25-foot cathedral ceilings, a private elevator, a grand piano, and an indoor Zen garden (approximately $30,000 per night).
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.