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New and Improved Manhattan Hotels

With a record 50.5 million visitors to New York last year, it’s no surprise that the hotel scene is heating up.

A flurry of Manhattan hotels new and old are trying to one-up each other—at a pace even a local like myself finds dizzying. In midtown, the stodgy Roger Williams is now the Roger New York ($$). Expect tufted blue-velvet sofas and—that signifier of hip hotels everywhere—a consulting mixologist.

• A $65 million update has converted the stalwart Helmsley into the Westin New York Grand Central ($$). Look for a restaurant and bar by buzz-maker Rande Gerber.

• France-based boutique hotelier Grace Leo is the driving force behind the renovation of the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, now One UN New York ($$).

• It feels like just yesterday that the W Union Square ($$$) and the Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC ($$$) opened their doors, but they’re getting face-lifts, too—perhaps to lure the same beautiful crowds that are piling into the new Standard East Village ($$$).

• Meanwhile, the Pierre ($$$$) continues to reinvent itself as an HQ for the uptown set, adding an Adam D. Tihany–designed Sirio Ristorante (the second stint here for Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque fame).

• Two boutique debuts that I’m eyeing: the Jade Hotel ($$$), which mixes Georgian and French Deco on a leafy Greenwich Village street, and the Refinery Hotel ($$), in a onetime Garment District hat factory. Both promise a taste of old New York.

• Finally, New York gets its first gay hotel at midtown’s Out NYC ($$), proof that this city offers something for everyone.

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