The Library Hotel
Although nonbibliophiles may find it a tad precious, it's hard not to be charmed by the schtick of this bookish hotel. In a nod to the nearby New York Public Library, rooms are named after literary genres—"Erotic Literature" is one of the most popular, along with "Mysteries" and "Fairy Tales"—and stocked with hardcover tomes to match. The second-floor reading lounge is a genuinely pleasant place to flip through some volumes, and the 60 rooms are quietly elegant, with lots of mahogany, fabrics in banana yellow and sage green, and bathrooms with grain-washed granite floors (each unit has a bamboo plant, which adds a colorful fresh touch). Not feeling literary? Rooms come with DVD players, and the front desk has a selection of free movies. Don't worry—they won't judge you.
Tip: The covered rooftop—a popular happy-hour spot—has bars for all seasons: the Poetry Garden, with orchids, wicker chairs, and a greenhouse roof; and the Writer's Den, a cozy space with chocolate-colored sofas and a fireplace.
Room to Book: One of the eight junior suites, whose bay windows offer uninterrupted views up and down Madison Avenue. "The Love Room" is the only room in the hotel with a terrace.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.