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We round up the places we visted on our 2013 trip to New York.

The Lowell

Where to stay in New York - The LowellWhere is it? 28 East Sixty Third Street (Between Madison and Park Avenues).

Nearest subway station: Lexington/63rd Street

The rooms: Rooms range in size from a deluxe double ($750 a night) up to an astonishing two bedroomed penthouse suite ($9,275 per night). We had a look at all of the room categories and thought even the basic doubles were a good size. A very popular room is the double on the top floor that can be made part of the penthouse suite, but when it isn't is good value for a top floor room in this part of town. We stayed in the Lowell Suite - the kind of room you'd expect to see as a set in Gossip Girl. It had a huge bedroom with two closets, a massive bathroom with roam around in rather than simply walk-in shower stuffed with Bulgari products, a dining table, office space and lounge area and fully fitted kitchen.

But the best bit as far as we were concerned was the tiny terrace with table and chairs for us to sit and gaze out at the Manhattan rooftops. A lot of the rooms also feature a working fireplace - the Lowell is the only hotel in New York where you can sit by a cracking wood fire in the privacy of your own room. Design wise, the Lowell was quietly stylish. To be perfectly honest, if we won the lottery we'd like to live like this.

Service: one of the nicest things of staying in a boutique hotel like The Lowell was the personal touches. They knew our name whenever we swung by reception to pick up our keys and as soon as we arrived, two glasses of champagne materialised in our room.We really felt like this was our home from home.

Food: The Pembroke Room on the second floor is open for breakfasts (see our account of our breakfast there) and has a reputation for being an excellent place to have afternoon tea. Alternatively next to the lobby is the Post House steak restaraunt (which is closing in August for a six month refurb). 'Clubby but not snooty' is how New York magazine describes it which we agree with. If we'd had more time we'd have loved to try it.

We thought: It's the very definition of a boutique hotel on a lovely quiet residential street.

Find out more: Lowell Hotel website

The Carlyle

Where to stay in New York - The CarlyleWhere is it? 35 east 76th st.

Nearest subway station: 77th Street

The rooms: Room start with classic and range right up to the Empire Suite, a three-bedroom duplex on floors 28 and 29 with views over Central Park and its own art collection. We stayed in a twin bedroom with a relatively traditional decor. The bathroom was shower only, but there was a separate kitchenette and a feeling of spaciousness.

Service: Probably the memory you'll really take away from this hotel is the fact that each of the lifts features a uniformed attendant - no pressing the buttons for pampered guests here.

Food: We enjoyed a traditional buffet breakfast in the Carlyle Restaurant the morning we were here (click here to read our account). But there's also the Cafe Carlyle where Woody Allen plays his clarinet regularly and literary lunches are held by the likes of Maya Angelou.

Drinks: One of the best bits about The Carlyle is Bemelmans Bar where the walls are covered with original illustrations by  Ludwig Bemelman, creator of the Madeline books for children. It's a very popular cocktail bar, with a pianist playing in the evenings. Our martini may have cost $21 dollars but it came with a little pot on ice filled with enough alcohol for two servings.

We thought: A very grand hotel in the classic Upper East style.

Find out more: The Carlyle website

Intercontinental Times Square

intercontinental times squareWhere is it? 300 West 44th St

Nearest subway station: 42nd Street/Port Authority

The rooms: This large midtown hotel has 607 guest rooms and suites. We got upgraded to a Sky Room which meant our floor to ceiling had a great view over New York's skyline we found hard to tear ourselves away from.

Service: Despite the size of this hotel, service was always friendly with reception staff remembering us and room service responding very promptly to all queries.

Food: On the ground floor is a bistro, Ca Va by chef Todd English which we didn't get round to trying, but by far the best selling point for us was the Times Square Shack Shack which was just a few feet away from the hotel entrance.

We thought: luxurious modern hotel right in the heart of things.

Find out more: The Intercontinental Times Square website

Hot Dinners stayed as guests of the Lowell and Carlyle and we enjoyed a media rate at the Intercontinental Times Square.


The Hot Dinners 2013 guide to eating and drinking in New York

Find out more with our full guide to where we ate, drank and stayed on our 2013 trip to New York.

Read the guide

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