From Manila to Manhattan, we check out where to check in
DESIGN NOTES: A $60 million “re-creation” in 2009 included a sepia-tone reception area that’s part Empire State Building, part Soho gallery. A huge tapestry portrait of model Kate Moss stares out from beyond the elevators, one of the hotel’s 30-odd edgy artworks.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND JUST OUTSIDE: The Upper East Side, a neighborhood that always seems like a romantic-movie version of itself: uniformed doormen greeting immaculate women and their equally immaculate dogs; the stately façades of apartment blocks; yellow cabs crowding along the straight-edge avenues.
BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT: Although The Surrey overlooks leafy Central Park, its lavender-scented roof garden is the real pastoral scene. There’s plenty of city to see up here, but close your eyes and you could be in a lovely meadow—just you, a cocktail and a few drowsy air-conditioning units.
UNEXPECTED TREAT: An hour in The Surrey’s gauzy Cornelia Spa leaves you wafting around like a large, dazed cherub, an effect that can be furthered via a private mixology lesson back in your room (the blackberry-mint margarita is astounding).