Those looking for a bit more of an edge can check in to
in Chelsea, the first U.S. property by Mexico City's top boutique hoteliers
. The hotel makes quite a first impression with its metal sarcophagus facade by award-winning Mexican architect Enrique Norten and impressive interior design by Arnaud Montigny -- designer of Paris's ever-cool Colette boutique. Rooms are sexy and spare, with affordable entry-level spaces fit for starving artists and grander "uptown studios" with wooden platform beds and fireplaces fit for fancier patrons. With an equally hip but slightly less-tattooed crowd than the Ace Hotel, its rooftop pool and Lido eatery is also well-stocked with worthy artist muses, especially in warmer weather.
In terms of dining, look for a flurry of activity around recent James Beard nominees such as
, the uber-hip West Village gastropub recently nominated America's Best New Restaurant. One of the toughest reservations in the city, it has emerged as a popular celebrity dining scene for the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and her numerous GOOP followers. For less paparazzi glare,
is where you'll find Jesse Schenker cooking away at his nightly five- and seven-course tasting menus of bone marrow toasts, grilled octopus and roasted foie gras following his own Beard nomination as Rising Star Chef of the Year.
As for nightlife, there is only one nightclub where you will likely need to swap a Schnabel to get through the door, and that's Le Baron in Chinatown. Now in its second month, it's become the hottest nightclub to hit New York in the past decade -- and it's only getting hotter through The Armory Show, given it and its owner's popularity with the art elite. Should you be unable to crack the guest list, there's always Gramercy Park Hotel's
for a more grown-up lounge scene. Its cocktail list and pedigree crowd are ideal for a night on the town during Armory Arts Week.
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