A grande dame of early twentieth-century New York hotels.
A Manhattan institution since 1931, this Hilton-owned legend recently underwent a complete $300 million renovation. It's really rather amazing how elegant the hotel remains considering that, at times, the lobby is choked with gawking tourists, business executives and travelers who honeymooned here more than 40 years ago. The staff works valiantly to keep things moving along, and it shows: service is smooth. To enhance the personal touch, the 1,232 rooms --- including 197 suites --- vary considerably, some resembling large closets and others ballrooms with Texas-size marble bathrooms and Art Deco motifs. The Astoria rooms offer added amenities, including a lounge serving complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and hors d'oeuvres. Among the many restaurants, the Deco-inspired Peacock Alley provides creative New American fare, the Bull & Bear serves hearty steaks and chops, and Oscar's has a menu heavy on salads and sandwiches. Guerlain Spa Fitness Center on the nineteenth floor offers personal trainers. For the pampering to follow, Guerlain Spa also features an impressive fourteen treatment rooms, and the Kenneth salon gives guests high-end sprucing up without leaving the hotel --- especially convenient given the fact that the Waldorf is a popular venue for weddings and other functions. The hotel's 60,000 square feet of event space includes a ballroom with four-story-high ceilings.