NEW YORK — In the rooms at the Standard Hotel, a letter from the general manager alerts guests that everyone outside can clearly see "activity" in your room through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
"We appreciate your consideration of the patrons of the High Line public park and surrounding neighborhood below," the letter says.
This is either an invitation to bare all or a warning to close the curtains, but whatever it is, it is sexy. The Standard, a 2-year-old high-rise in the trendy Meatpacking District, has an attitude so hip that anyone over 35 may feel like a doddering ancient.
Its 337 rooms have retro furnishings and see-through showers located next to the bed (the toilet, thank God, is in its own room). They have slinky black robes for guests. The elevator walls have little psychedelic dioramas — kind of like little aquariums of heaven and hell — that are so riveting you could ride the elevator for 3,999 floors and not notice.
This downtown area of Manhattan is full of fashion designers and youthful zeal. The Standard's workout room on the 17th floor looks out over the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty one way, to the Empire State Building the other way.
(Rates start at about $285/night depending on date and month; 848 Washington at W. 13th St., www.standardhotels.com, 212-645-4646.)
Meanwhile, up in Midtown near Central Park, wrap yourself in classic relaxation at the Hotel Elysee.
On 54th Street between Park and Madison avenues, it is walking distance to everything that's classy — museums, parks, Tiffany's.
Substantial classic furnishings make you feel as if you are staying in a rich friend's comfortable apartment. Smaller rooms are street-side; suites have furnishings like leather-covered mahogany desks and crystal chandeliers over the beds.
This 100-room hotel offers a lavish free breakfast on the second floor, plus an evening wine reception.
The best thing about the hotel? The service, which makes you feel as if you are the most important guest in town.
(Rates start at about $240/night depending on date and month; 60 E. 54th St., www.elyseehotel.com, 212-753-1066.)