In the past few years, Midtown has undergone a subtle evolution from the land of corporate offices and tourists to a neighborhood New Yorkers actually want to hang out in. It’s all thanks to a smattering of stylish new cafés, restaurants, and hotels. The Whitby, which opened last spring, has been a big part of the revival. The property is part of British-based Firmdale Hotels (the brand’s downtown Crosby Street Hotel is a fashion-world favorite) and displays founder and designer Kit Kemp’s signature aesthetic—bright, boldly patterned fabrics; floor-to-ceiling windows; colorful floral headboards and wallpaper; and tasteful, contemporary artwork everywhere. Fittingly for a hotel with roots in the UK, afternoon tea is a major draw, and this one offers a selection of gluten- and dairy-free options.

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