Our Favorite Travel Essentials of the Year
Everything you need for your 2023 travel: our editors’ picks for on-the-road...
Finding the Keys
Michael Carroll examines the literary history and enduring allure of Key West.
A bed. A window. A washroom. That’s all there in a hotel room. Three simple things, and yet so much more. New York City is a town of great hotel rooms, so we set out to identify the very best of the best. Not the most opulent suites, but, rather, those standard rooms that exceed themselves. We started with a list of about 50, which we managed to narrow down to about 30, and then visited each and every one. We saw more than 100 rooms all over the city—from Central Park West to the Bowery and back. We jumped on beds, tested showers, crawled around looking for electrical outlets, opened and closed blinds, found ourselves standing in darkened rooms with strange men in order to test the blackout shades, tried on robes and gazed wistfully out windows. But what stood out most was the philosophy of hospitality that each hotel exhibited. It was the incomparable Amy Vanderbilt who said, “Good manners have much to do with the emotions. To make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them.” Ultimately, it is the sincerity and graciousness of a hotel’s staff that make the rooms feel like home—or something better.