Checking In from N.Y.C.

The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park

The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park debuted in January just five blocks from Ground Zero—the first major new business to do so post-9/11. The location is breathtaking: on the water at the island's tip, overlooking the Statue of Liberty. The best views are from the nine Liberty Suites. The best sounds are more egalitarian: the muffled horns of tugboats drifting through any waterside window. Cityside rooms look toward, but not into, Ground Zero. The appealing decor is less traditional Ritz than Four Seasons: nubby beige fabrics and lamps of stacked silver shapes in place of the familiar chintz and crystal chandeliers; blond wood furniture; and works by New York artists. The restaurant, 2 West, and the Asian-influenced hors d'oeuvres at the 14th-floor bar, Rise, are good enough to encourage dining in, though Financial District and TriBeCa restaurants are nearby. A caveat: In a visit two months after the opening, service was too often enthusiastic and well-meaning rather than professional, but this will likely improve with time. And given the circumstances, one wants to be a bit more forgiving, at least for a while. Rooms, $325-$4,500. At 2 West St., New York; 800-241-3333, 212-344-0800; fax 212-344-3804;

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