Hosteling International New York (891 Amsterdam Ave., between 103rd and 104th Sts., 212/932-2300. www.hinewyork.org ), occupying a block-long landmark building, is the nation’s largest hostel, with 90 clean, dorm-style rooms, each sleeping 4–8 in bunk beds, as well as some family rooms. Also on the premises are kitchens, coin-operated laundry machines, and a garden. You must be a member of Hosteling International-American Youth Hostel (202/783-6161, www.hiayh.org , adults $29, seniors $18, youths under 18 free) to stay in the hostel, and reservations should be made 2–3 months in advance. Rates are $29–40 per person for dorm rooms and $150 for a private room with bath.
The friendly Hotel Beacon (2130 Broadway, at 75th St., 212/787-1100 or 800/572-4969, $245–295) offers good value for the money. Its rooms are large and attractive and equipped with two double beds and kitchenettes. The lobby gleams with black-and-white marble and brass.
The stylish On the Ave Hotel (2178 Broadway, at 77th St., 212/362-1100 or 800/509-7598, www.ontheave-nyc.com , $270–450) is a welcome new addition to the Upper West Side . Rooms feature canopied beds, original artwork, and industrial-style bathrooms.
Downstairs at the small and stylish Franklin (164 E. 87th St., between Lexington and 3rd Aves., 212/369-1000, www.franklinhotel.com , $330–490) is a tiny streamlined lobby done up in black and burnished steel with mirrors and fresh flowers. Upstairs are 53 cozy guest rooms featuring beds with billowing canopies, cherrywood furnishings, and a fresh rose at each bedside.
First-class service and unerring good taste have made the Carlyle Hotel (35 E. 76th St., at Madison Ave., 212/744-1600 or 800/227-5737, www.thecarlyle.com , $650–1300 s or d) one of the city’s top hotels ever since it opened in 1930. The airy, spacious rooms are equipped with every conceivable amenity, while downstairs is the Cafe Carlyle, a superb cabaret.
A magnificent slice of the Old World can be found at the Pierre Hotel (5th Ave. at 61st St., 212/838-8000 or 800/749-7734, www.tajhotels.com/pierre , $600–1400). The stunning lobby is adorned with chandeliers, fresh flowers, silks, and damasks, while the guest rooms are lavishly furnished with antiques. A good way to sample the Pierre, even if you can’t afford to stay, is to stop in at the baroque-styled Rotunda for an elegant afternoon tea.