When you walk down the steps from 63rd Street to the Lowell's small lobby you feel as if you're coming home from the storm of the city. The desk people are welcoming, the concierge is knowledgeable and "wired," the doorman and porters greet you pleasantly. When you get to your suite, assuming you have treated yourself to one, you wonder if you'd just as soon stay for a loong while. We've been coming to the Lowell for a few decades, and the place has maintained a delightfully high level of service all that time. The rooms have been refurbished more than once during that period. The latest do-over was A+ with respect to the bathroom in our last suite -- a very worldly friend commented, on seeing the bathroom, "I want a bathroom just like this!" Our bed had about 10 pillows on it, making choosing just the right one a snap. Usually higher rooms are hotter (hot air rises, after all) but to our delight our suite on the 14th floor was not unpleasantly warm. The hotel only has two tiny elevators, one of which is not infrequently out of service, which is inconvenient, but the only fly I can identify in this particular ointment -- or, rather, balm.