There is a lot of new competition for the king of celebrity hotel haunts in New York City these days. But the undisputed home-away-from-home for the rich and famous is SoHo's The Mercer hotel. The hotel made celeb gossip headlines in 2005 when Russell Crowe hurled a telephone at a hotel employee. But beyond the Aussie-style meltdowns, The Mercer's lobby is a virtual red carpet, catnip for the paparazzi (who, not surprisingly, are always staked out nearby). Leonardo DiCaprio, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Renee Zellweger and Rihanna have all been spotted here, luxuriating in one of the 75 loft-style guest rooms or chowing down at chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's trendy The Mercer Kitchen.