Old New York is well preserved on stylish Club Row.
Old World sophistication resides in this quiet spot steps from Grand Central Station. Once a residence for gentlemen bachelors, the 1904 hotel has preserved many of its original details. Just look to the intricate ironwork of the balustrades, the winding mahogany railings of the twelve-story oval staircase, the original terrazzo floors in the hallways and the sixteen-foot coffered ceiling in the lobby for evidence. But if it’s space rather than charm you’re after, look elsewhere. Most of the 126 guest rooms are small with armoires in place of closets. As for comfort, the beds are just right; 300-count Belgian linens and soft lighting help guests slip into a good night's rest. Bathrooms are also small but outfitted with marble floors, quality fixtures and Aveda bath products. The more spacious suites are downright sexy, especially the duplex suite with its loft-style bedroom, whirlpool tub and twenty-foot-high ceilings. The Club Row Suite is worthy of the splurge. It is large with dark hardwood floors throughout and etched-glass French doors that separate the living room from the bedroom. Details that draw visitors include the extensive collection of CDs, complimentary Wi-Fi, the 24-hour espresso machine, a yoga loft and, best of all, the Club Room, once the parlor, now a classic library arrayed in wood and leather with a fireplace, a quiet study where a complimentary continental breakfast (pastries, toast, fruit and cereal) is served in the morning and specialty drinks are offered come evening. It is also the site for recreation with polished wood chessboards and other traditional games arranged on tables beckoning guests to test their skills. M Bar attracts locals who come for sassy weeknight jazz and the Beaux-Arts ambience. The bar menu offers more than finger food, though there is popcorn on the menu (seasoned with truffles). Over old-time cocktails like Rusty Nails and Stingers, you can snack on portobello panini, Moroccan sausage and hamachi sashimi with rice foam and yuzu-wasabi emulsion.
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