Most romantic hotels (2011)

Get a room—sexy interiors and amenities will put you in the mood.

  • Akwaaba Mansion

  • The Bowery Hotel

  • Gramercy Park Hotel

  • Library Hotel

  • The London NYC

Akwaaba Mansion

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Akwaaba Mansion
Housed in an 1860 Italianate pile, this deluxe B&B, run by husband and wife Glenn Pogue and Monique Greenwood, combines elegant original features such as an enclosed wraparound porch, high ceilings and carved marble fireplaces with African artworks. Three out of the four spacious rooms have double Jacuzzi tubs, and turndown service includes running your bubble bath for a sensual soak. While the Jumping the Broom room, with its lace-canopied four-poster, is popular with honeymooning couples, the simple sophistication of the Ashanti room—with its king-sized carved wooden bed and his-and-hers bathroom sinks—is a more suitable setting for a raunchy night. A complimentary cooked breakfast, featuring the signature French toast with cinnamon pears, is served in the stately paneled dining room. 347 MacDonough St between Lewis and Stuyvesant Aves, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn (718-455-5958, $175--$190.

The Bowery Hotel
This fanciful boutique hotel from prominent hospitality duo Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson is the capstone in the gentrification of the Bowery. Shunning minimalism, they have created plush rooms that pair old-world touches (oriental rugs, wood-beamed ceilings, marble washstands) with modern amenities (Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, DVD library). Floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the neighborhood's historic tenements, and the property includes an antique-looking trattoria, Gemma. 335 Bowery at 3rd St, East Village (212-505-9100, $325--$725 double.

Gramercy Park Hotel
The Gramercy Park Hotel occupies one of the most romantic spots in New York, overlooking the park that was modeled after a London square in the 1830s. Like other Gramercy Park residents, guests have access to a coveted key to the tranquil patch of green. The 1924 hotel, which has hosted everyone from Humphrey Bogart to David Bowie, reopened in 2006 after an overhaul by hotelier Ian Schrager. The lobby retains its boho spirit, with ruby-red banquettes, an enormous Venetian chandelier and working fireplace, and artwork by Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Richard Prince and Julian Schnabel (the hotel's art director). The eclectic elegance continues in the spacious rooms, which include tapestry-covered chairs, hand-tufted rugs, mahogany English drinking cabinets and a Pre-Raphaelite color palette of deep reds and blues. Guests can lounge on the roof deck, get a facial at the in-house spa, or sip cocktails at the Schnabel-designed Rose and Jade bars. Danny Meyer's new trattoria, Maialino, has bumped up the attractions. 2 Lexington Ave at 21st St, Gramercy/Flatiron (212-475-4320, $545--$675 double.

Library Hotel
This bookish boutique hotel is organized on the principles of the Dewey decimal system—each of its ten floors is allocated a category, such as Literature, the Arts and General Knowledge, and each elegantly understated room contains a collection of books and artwork pertaining to a subject within that category. Add a cozy bookish bar, the 14th-floor Bookmarks, which combines a paneled den outfitted with a fireplace and sofas and a romantic glassed-in roof terrace, and you have the perfect thinking person's seduction spot. The Love room (interestingly, filed under Philosophy) has a king-sized bed, an ivy-clad balcony overlooking the New York Public Library and reading matter ranging from Ovid's The Art of Love to Dr Ruth Westheimer's The Art of Arousal (the veteran sexpert is honorary curator of the room's book collection). 299 Madison Ave at 41st St, Midtown East (212-983-4500, $239--$599 double.

The London NYC
Designed by David Collins, the interior wizard behind some of the British capital's most glamorous restaurants and bars, guest quarters at the London NYC resemble a jet-setter's Kensington pied--terre. Suites (either open-plan or divided by French doors into sleeping and lounging areas) are the epitome of cool sophistication, with limed-oak parquet flooring, embossed-leather travel trunks at the foot of the beds, handwoven throws and ingenious coffee tables that adjust to dining-table height—perfect for a private dinner deux. The room service menu was devised by fiery British chef Gordon Ramsay, who helms the hotel's fine-dining restaurant and less-expensive eatery Maze. In the bathrooms, the showers are built for two, with double rain showerheads, and upper-floor Vista Suites command thrilling city views. 151 W 54th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, Midtown West (866-690-2029, $279--$494 double.