It is not enough to pick out a hotel in advance by name only. You must also know the exact street number. There are frequently two places of the same name or very similar, but of an entirely different character. None of the first-class hotels in the vicinity of the Grand Central or Pennsylvania Terminals would think of such a discourtesy, and one of them has an entire floor reserved exclusively for women.
The Martha Washington is wholly patronized by women and is open all night. This is the one hotel which was especially built and is meant for women exclusively. Men cannot stop here nor visit above the first floor.
New York has hotels of the first class, with 50,000 rooms for guests. There are as many smaller hotels. The oldest is Fraunces' Tavern, at Broad and Pearl Streets, opened in 1762. The Biltmore, with 1,000 rooms and many restaurants, serves more than 2,000,000 meals a year, and uses nearly 600 tons of meat and poultry, 2,500 barrels of flour, and all the milk that 300 cows furnish.
There are other accommodations at all sorts of prices, and if the length of your stay is at all dependent upon your pocketbook you can arrange accordingly. Very few hotels include meals with the price of the room. You are expected to eat where you choose. This is much the better, as you need not return to the hotel till bed-time, if you so desire. You are very apt to be quite a distance from it at luncheon, for instance, and the time lost returning would be considerable.
A room with bath in a good hotel centrally located can be had from $40 to $100 a day. The hotels of international reputation, like the Biltmore. Waldorf, Commodore, Astor, etc., are about double those figures for an ordinary room; but, of course, there is practically no limit to what you may pay for a special suite.
Dining at these hotels is on an equally expensive scale; but the service is good, the surroundings are enjoyable, the music and dancing very entertaining. All this adds to the expense of the food, and your share is included in the check which is handed you at the conclusion of your repast.
Life in these wonderful hotels is as much a source of amusement as any other attraction in New York, and to those to whom it is unfamiliar the indulgence is well worth the cost. It certainly permits a glimpse of cosmopolitan New York at its best, and to many persons is far more interesting than the average theatre.
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