Opulent, historic lodgings overlooking Central Park.
One of the grand dames of NYC hotels, the Jumeirah Essex House is as elegant as ever. An artist-in-residence program will keep things current as new works are regularly exhibited. But, as always, understatement is the key here. Nothing --- save the rates --- is unnecessary or over-the-top, and that's just the way old money patrons want to keep it. The rooms and suites retain a 1920s and '30s feel, though of course updated for the modern traveler with top-tier technology and great beds. You get what you pay for, and nothing is forgotten, be it for business or pleasure. Very plush, very European, the upper floor rooms tempt you to linger by thick double-pane windows to watch the ever-changing scene in Central Park, minus traffic noise. The coziness and soothing ambiance is certainly not an enticement to rush outside, even though nearby must-see destinations include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan, Broadway theaters and, of course, scores of good restaurants.