The premier boutique hotel on the fashionable Upper East Side.
While the opulence of this time-honored enclave makes it appear suitable only for royalty, mere mortals --- or rather, well-heeled commoners --- are heartily welcomed. This establishment is a quiet, rarified gem, and quality here is high in every sense. The lobby is a crystal-and-marble fantasy, with massive floral arrangements, murals, potted palms and Louis XVI furniture. The 142 guest rooms and suites are done in "contemporary European townhouse décor" with elegant patterns, leather and rich upholstery. All rooms have Wi-Fi and plasma TVs, and the bathrooms feature ever-so-lovely amenities from Penhaligon. Kick up the decadence another notch and stay in any of eight deluxe suites with dining rooms, terraces and/or solariums, iPod docking stations and huge plasma-screen TVs. The multilingual staff includes three Clefs d'Or concierges who can arrange an exclusive night on the town. A health lounge complete with exercise machines is open 24 hours a day. The Asian-style spa offers treatments with the Valmont skin care line. A lounge in the more traditional sense of the word, The Seine is arranged in Asian and Moroccan style, and serves well-executed cocktails and light fare including its signature "Valmont - Hike in the Glacier." The lavish dining room, Arabelle, serves modern American cuisine and is a favorite for Sunday brunch.