Built within the Villard Mansion (preserved, thankfully, by Jackie Kennedy in the 1980s), the recently refurbished Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Lotte New York Palace is a mix of both early 1900s and modern-day luxury.
Previously owned by the infamous Leona Helmsley (oh, if those walls could talk) and then the Sultan of Brunei, this Midtown East hotel is now run by Lotte, one of the largest hotel corporations in Korea.
The Four-Star Towers — a hotel-within-a-hotel boasting 176 rooms on the property’s top 14 floors — offers something special. The building has its own private check-in and updated rooms with the latest in technology and design features, including modern art, marble countertops, rain showers, cozy beds and a master control panel that allows you to customize your room, lights, curtains, TV and more, without ever leaving your bed.
In addition to the room’s elegantly refurbished interiors, here are the five things we adored about a stay at The Towers at Lotte New York Palace:
Power breakfast at Villard
Fifty is the new 40. Thursday is the new Friday. And power breakfast is the new power lunch. As an illustration, Villard at Lotte New York Palace offers a decadent start to the workday with signature items such as brioche pudding French toast.
Don’t fret if you can’t make it to this breakfast-only spot during the work week, though. Villard opens for brunch on weekends from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Rooms with a view
Many Manhattan hotels afford iconic skyline views, and the pristine city peeks at Lotte New York Palace are no exception. But the secret is to ask for a Cathedral View room on an upper floor.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in the nation, is right across the street. And whether you’re a practicing member of the faith or not, the view is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Rare spirits salon
If you’re a connoisseur of exquisite spirits and fortified wines, an evening at Rarities is a must. Located in one of the original rooms of the historic mansion (imagine a posh man cave decked out in gleaming dark wood, rich leather furnishings and gilded accents), the salon’s drink menu features a wide spectrum of spirits, from $40 to $4,000 a glass.
Additionally, the staff consists of experts who’ll guide you to the perfect tipple, even if you just drink wine.
If you want to access this exclusive den, either pay a $15,000 annual membership (which includes $5,000 in drink credits and 10 nights in the Towers) or you can simply make reservations.
Tip: Go early in the evening, say, before 7 p.m. Mostly likely, the bar will have room even if you didn’t make reservations. If not, you can probably find a spot for a drink at the hotel’s two other nearby bars: Trouble’s Trust and Tavern on 51.
Suites run the gamut of size, price and amenities. Whichever you choose, be it the 1,200-square-foot corner suite or the 3,500-square-foot art gallery-esque option, you won’t be disappointed.
However, our favorite unit is the Champagne Suite. The three-story, 5,000-square-foot penthouse is dark, masculine and downright sexy in design.
Highlights include: floor-to-ceiling views of the NYC cityscape, a Jacuzzi on the rooftop terrace and bottles of limited-edition Dom Pérignon inside the suite’s wine cave.
The Palace hosts its own piece of Broadway flair every Friday and Saturday night. Steve Cohen performs his extremely popular Chamber Magic show in the hotel’s vintage Madison Room.
Cocktail attire is encouraged at his adults-only show. The extraordinary magic (including Cohen’s signature “Think-a-Drink” trick) is an homage to early vaudevillian 20th-century entertainment.