24-hour room service: TriBeCa Grand, New York

The best thing about the newly opened TriBeCa Grand (that's Triangle Below Canal Street by the way) isn't its sense of style (understated chic) or its superb facilities (free fax and e-mail in every room, a screening room in the basement and lots more) but the staff: cheerful, helpful and each one seemingly hand-picked from the nearest model agency. If you haven't found anything to question - which is likely, given that every room comes with a chunky guide to the surrounding area as well as the hotel - you'll try desperately to think up a problem just as an excuse to chat. Compact, comfortable and utterly functional rooms are reached by a smooth glass lift and doors off a central, eight-storey atrium. Below all this is the church, which operates as both a lobby, a bar and a restaurant and is the real
piÿce de résistance of the hotel. Here, in the evening, with the candles, the cocktails and the cool music, the atmosphere is enough to make even the most resigned wallflower feel sophisticated. Don't

The best thing about the newly opened TriBeCa Grand (that's Triangle Below Canal Street by the way) isn't its sense of style (understated chic) or its superb facilities (free fax and e-mail in every room, a screening room in the basement and lots more) but the staff: cheerful, helpful and each one seemingly hand-picked from the nearest model agency. If you haven't found anything to question - which is likely, given that every room comes with a chunky guide to the surrounding area as well as the hotel - you'll try desperately to think up a problem just as an excuse to chat. Compact, comfortable and utterly functional rooms are reached by a smooth glass lift and doors off a central, eight-storey atrium. Below all this is the church, which operates as both a lobby, a bar and a restaurant and is the real piÿce de résistance of the hotel. Here, in the evening, with the candles, the cocktails and the cool music, the atmosphere is enough to make even the most resigned wallflower feel sophisticated. Don't give the game away by flinching at the price of a drink - my two glasses of wine came to a rather too sophisticated $28, which, with the pound hitting a six-year low against the dollar this week, brought them too close to £10 each for comfort.

Location, location, location

TriBeCa Grand is at 2, Avenue of the Americas, New York (tel: 0800 028 9874, fax: 001 212 519 6700, www.tribecagrand.com). In the midst of trendy TriBeCa, at Manhattan's southern end, the hotel is ideal for media and film guests who want to be close to the dual urban necessities of picturesque warehouses and hip restaurants.

Transport

Many of the city's sights are within easy walking distance of the hotel, including the fashionable shops of NoLita, Soho and West Village, the touristy heights of the World Trade Centre and the ferry stop for trips to the Statue of Liberty. To get further afield, Canal Street subway station is directly behind the hotel. A cab to Kennedy airport will cost you about 60 minutes and exactly $30 (plus tip and toll). If you have less money but more time, there is also a bus ($13) or you could try an underground/ bus combination for less than a couple of dollars.

Are you lying comfortably?

Rooms are more good sense (Frette sheets and two modem points) than gimmicky but don't let that stop you from enjoying the passion stimulator drink in the minibar, the TV screen set into the bathroom wall, the Dean & Deluca nibbles or the afficionados' film selection. Freebies: luxury toiletries from Kiehl's, the famous New York cosmetics company, an in-house CD, a copy of The New York Times and freshly brewed coffee from a little booth on each floor. Keeping in touch: all mod cons really does mean that here. You think of it, you got it.

The bottom line

Doubles start at $399 (around £270) and suites from $649 (around £430) and remember that doesn't include taxes which add a punishing 13.25 per cent.

I'm not paying that

The cheap and cheerful Chelsea Star Hotel on Eighth Avenue (001 212 244 7827, www.starhotelny.com) has, yes, star-themed doubles from $82 (£55).

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