The Park Hyatt Hotel in Midtown is directly across from the Russian Tea Room and Carnegie Hall, and on any given day it draws a lot of foot traffic. But this week was different. Along with the usual tourists and office workers, there was a steady stream of Tibetan Buddhists, many of them wearing traditional dress and carrying prayer beads or wheels.

The devotees were outside the hotel because of who was inside: Tenzin Gyatso, better known as the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan spiritual leader had been staying at the hotel for days while recovering from knee replacement surgery, according to statements from his representatives. For some in the community who have been closely following his health, it made the hotel a very special place.

“This hotel is the happiest hotel for all of us,” said Jackson Heights resident Jampa Yangkyi, who like many other worshippers walked around the block Wednesday praying for the Dalai Lama’s health.

The spiritual leader has visited the city regularly for decades. In 2003, he drew a crowd of 65,000 to Central Park and spoke about the need for compassion and nonviolence. He continues to inspire the city’s Tibetan community of about 9,000. His image can be seen in many Tibetan restaurants and at cultural events, such as the weekly “Gorshey” dance events that take place on Wednesdays, a holy day for many Tibetans.

Although some outside the hotel expressed concern about the Dalai Lama’s health before his June 28 operation, they were reassured afterward by a statement from his staff, who noted that the procedure at the Hospital for Special Surgery had gone smoothly.

“His Holiness the Dalai Lama underwent total knee replacement surgery this morning, which was very successful,” said a statement Friday from Dr. Tsetan D Sadutshang and Tenzin N. Taklha, the Dalai Lama’s personal physician and secretary, respectively. It was not clear how long the Dalai Lama would remain at the hotel.

Occasionally, Buddhist monks in crimson robes could be seen walking in and out of the Hyatt. For some Tibetan Buddhists, the timing was especially auspicious, as the Dalai Lama turns 89 on Saturday. To mark the occasion, one group organized an online fundraiser to sponsor a billboard in Times Square wishing him a happy birthday.

Around the corner from the Hyatt, Yang Zom was walking down Seventh Avenue with a friend, both holding prayer beads.

Zom, who was from Astoria, said her husband had come over earlier in the day but had to rush home to feed the dog. Zom said she walked around the hotel three times before heading to nearby Central Park to meet a prayer group before returning to walk around the hotel a few more times with a friend.

“I have a knee problem, but I’m still getting there and I said, ‘I can do it. I can do it,’” she said.

Because she hosted “His Holiness,” as she called the Dalai Lama, Zom said the hotel had become a sacred place.

“This is like our temple,” Zom said. “He is everything to us.”

Zom said she chanted a healing prayer known as the Buddha Medicine Mantra, as did Dolma Choephel, who arrived from her Woodside home at 9:30 a.m. A few hours later, she said she had walked 11 laps around the block.

“He is our leader, we were worried, emotional and happy at the same time because he is coming to the city and we have the opportunity to get his blessing,” said Choephel, who works as a babysitter. “Now we are very happy because the operation was successful.”

Yangkyi, who is from Jackson Heights, saw the event as fortunate, as it had been seven years since the Dalai Lama last visited the city and she now expected to receive a blessing from him “very soon.” She said she prayed for him every day at home.

“Every morning we pray to God, and we offer the pure water on our silver bowl, and then we pray to His Holiness and all the gods and goddesses,” Yangkyi said.

While most of the devotees outside the hotel were Tibetan, one exception was Janice Wilde, an East Village resident. Wilde said she first encountered the Dalai Lama in the 1980s, when she heard the story of his exodus from Tibet as a young man in 1959.

Since then, she said she has seen the Dalai Lama in person “many times,” at the Beacon Theater, Central Park and Radio City Music Hall.

“Every time his teachings touch my heart,” she said, after kneeling outside the hotel, Yangkyi at her side. “He is so special, and I am grateful for him.”