With its grand Beaux Arts façade, The Carlton Hotel easily fits in with the pinstriped ad men of Madison Avenue. But step through its revolving door, and you'll find a welcoming, thoroughly modern hotel with the flairs of yesteryear. A 2-story waterfall in the lobby reveals an oversized vintage photo of the hotel, which was built in 1908 and renovated for its centennial in 2008.
The Carlton Hotel's Madison Avenue address makes it a great base for exploring the Big Apple. About 6 blocks from the hotel, the Empire State Building looms 102 stories. Get there early, though--the lines are almost as legendary as the views. When you're back on solid ground, walk 2 blocks farther to the flagship Macy's Herald Square, one of the world's largest department stores. Prefer the nightlife? Broadway theaters and Times Square are just a short cab ride away from the hotel.
For dining, the Carlton has you covered: at the French brasserie Millesime, you can savor Duck Confit Hash & Eggs in the morning, choose from 5 preparations of mussels for lunch, then return in the evening for Lobster Pot-au-Feu. After dinner, head downstairs to Salon Millesime, and sip an artisanal cocktail while you enjoy live music or DJ-spun tunes, depending on the night. The Carlton's low-lit lobby bar provides a more subdued setting for a quiet nightcap.
If you indulged in too many profiteroles at Millesime, burn some calories at the hotel's state-of-the-art fitness center, then cool off with a refrigerated towel. The center has equipment for all kinds of workouts and is accessible via room key 24 hours a day.
After a day of meetings or sightseeing, retreat to your elegant guestroom and sink into a bed with crisp Frette linens and a plush down comforter. Watch a movie on the TV, or dock your iPod on the clock radio and relax to your favorite tunes. Check email with wireless Internet access (complimentary throughout the hotel). Finally, wash away the stress of the city with indulgent Molton Brown bath amenities.