In 1886, the French gave New York City the Statue of Liberty as a token of friendship. At the turn of the millennium,in the same spirit, the French gave New York the Sofitel. Its location? Midtown, at the heart of the city – an elegant 30-storey, luxurious, towering building, with some quintessentially NYC (ok, French – are you seeing the link yet?) Art Deco flair in limestone and glass, just a hop, skip and jump away from hustle and bustle of shoppers’ heaven, Fifth Avenue. This is New York with a French accent, quite literally, as the French-speaking staff actually greeted us with a friendly ‘Bonjour’ as we stepped into their rich, polished, marble lobby, and skirted past their collection of contemporary art – hung proudly on shiny, teak-panelled walls. Even the framed photography throughout the building captures the romance of travel between Paris and NYC. Our lower-floor corner room came complete with Hermes and L’Occitane amenities, but was on the bijou side of what we’re used to in NYC, and lacking in a city view – instead offering a voyeur’s dream panorama of someone’s apartment. That said, it was well appointed, and adequate for our jaunt to the city.