City Club Hotel

There's a reason the lobby at the City Club Hotel is so small: first-time hotelier and Manhattan royal Jeff Klein wanted it that way. Why? To prevent posing and gawking. It's a private luxury hotel, he reckoned, not a nightclub, and the society set doesn't want to be stared at while checking in, thankyouverymuch. Such discretion likely takes it cue from the 1904 building’s former identity as a gentlemen's club. Klein and his 'small, luxury hotel' (he doesn't like to call it a 'boutique hotel,' because that would be cliché) made waves when the space opened directly in front of the Royalton, easily one of the city's trendiest boutique hotels. But Klein wasn't daunted: his legion of important friends like Irving Berlin's granddaughter and cosmetics heiress Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer have both done their fair share of campaigning on behalf of the hotel. Interior designer Jeffrey Bilhuber decorated the spacious 65 rooms in a club style, featuring a combination of cork floors, taupe furnishings and chocolate marble-and-chrome bathrooms. After dashing into the hotel unnoticed, order room service from star chef Daniel Boulud (at DB Bistro Moderne), plop down on the feather bed and watch the TV hidden behind mirrors that become transparent when turned on. Congrats, you're officially a member of the club. — Nick Divito

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