New York: The swank W Hotel on Lexington Avenue has topped as the preferred spot in New York for an extramarital fling, according to a survey ranking the top 10 city hotels where cheaters go to break their marriage vows.
With the exception of the Holiday Inn on West 57th Street (No. 2), all the hotels on the cheaters' list are among the city's most luxurious and include the Four Seasons (No.7) and the Sofitel (No.10) - a favourite of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the sex-scandal-plagued French politician.
More than 3,000 members of Ashley Madison, an online dating service for cheaters took the survey.
Twenty-nine percent of the respondents named W as their favourite, putting it ahead of the far less glamorous Holiday Inn.
"I wonder if that was just a stand-in for cheaper places for people on second or third dates," the New York Post quoted Ashley Madison founder Noel Biderman as saying.
He said that first-timers usually opted for pricier rooms.
"It looks like people believe that if they're going to have an affair, they may as well get a hotel that makes an impression," he said.
The hotel staffers are also aware of the affairs and admit they try to protect their "regular" customers.
"I see men come in here all the time to cheat on their wives," a Sofitel doorman said.
"It happens all the time. I've seen wives have their husbands followed, and I've seen private eyes across the street taking pictures of them," he said.
He said he had once even tipped off a regular cheater whose wife had followed him and was hiding in a car across the street.
"He ended up waiting inside with the girl until his wife left and then sneaking out," the doorman said.
"Who am I to judge him? He's a dog, for sure, but he's a customer, and we all turn a blind eye to these kinds of things," he said.
At the W, a doorman recalled nearly getting fired over a customer's affair.
"A couple of years ago, I almost got someone in trouble," the doorman said.
"There was a man, who was having an affair with someone, who had come in that week and then came in later again with his wife. I said something like, 'Good to see you again,' and she looked at me really weird," he said.
He estimated the average for cheater customers is three stays a month, "but sometimes once or twice a week."