Right around the corner from Times Square, Room Mate Grace is a fun and funky hotel that offers a surprising bonus: an indoor pool with a swim-up bar right in the lobby. And the location is ideal: You'll be within a 10-minute walk of dozens of Broadway theaters. Wake up early and stroll 3 blocks to Rockefeller Center to see a live broadcast of The Today Show or take a tour of NBC Studios. (If you're visiting in winter, lace up some rental skates and take a spin around the famed ice rink, while the giant Christmas tree sparkles above.) Central Park, 1 mile north, is great for long walks or romantic horse-and-carriage rides.
Owned by celebrity hotelier Andre Balazs, the international Room Mate chain puts location first and foremost, with a staff that can help you make the most of your trip. Each hotel is given a different name representing its distinct personality. A big draw at the Grace is the lobby pool. Take a plunge and listen to underwater tunes, or grab a seat above water in the 24-hour lounge, where DJs spin modern music 5 nights a week. You can also relax in the sauna or the spacious steam room, both in the pool area.
Before heading out for the day, fuel up with a continental breakfast (surcharge), served until noon. After catching a Broadway show, head back to the bar for a quick cocktail, or stay and make a night of it, with music playing into the wee hours. The bar features windows that look out on the pool area, creating a unique see-and-be-seen atmosphere. While the Grace has no onsite restaurant, there are plenty of options within a short walk--from upscale sushi to burgers and beers, and all the famous New York street food in between.
When you're ready to rest those walking bones, you'll return to a stylish room that puts comfort first. Beds are outfitted with pillowtop mattresses, down duvets, and down pillows. Catch up with friends or get down to business via complimentary wireless Internet access. Make use of the minibar or watch a late-night show on the flat-screen TV, complete with DVD player. And, with a bedside iPod clock radio, you can awaken to your own playlist. Turndown service available.