Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park 800/241-3333 or 212/308-9100; www.ritzcarlton.com; doubles from $425. The good people at Ritz-Carlton spent four years swaddling the 33-story former St. Moritz in Frette and brocade, outfitting the 277 rooms with flat-screen TV's and DVD players, installing a La Prairie spa, and acquiring a Bentley to whisk guests around. The views of Central Park's green glory, however, needed no embellishment (telescopes are provided).
Sofitel Chicago Water Tower 800/763-4835 or 312/324-4000; www.sofitel-chicago.com; doubles from $179. The city of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright is atwitter about its latest architectural landmark, a 32-floor wedge of glass and aluminum that slices through the skyline like a knife. One block west of the Magnificent Mile, the 415-room Sofitel brings a touch of modern Gallic style to the Midwest: a café with updated French-Med food, guest rooms done up in beechwood and richly colored fabrics, and a bar lit by fiber optics.
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel 323/856-1200; http://www.renaissancehollywood.com; doubles from $149. Part of the new Hollywood & Highland mega-entertainment complex, this 22-floor, 637-room tower may be the ultimate Tinseltown creation: feel-good plot (Down-at-heel neighborhood cleans up its act!), marquee names (Wolfgang Puck runs the catering!), ambitious production values (Mid-century furniture!), even glamorous cameo possibilities (The Oscars are held right next door!). Perfectly framed views of the hollywood sign provide the happy ending.