Lotte New York Palace

New York

Business Traveller (India) - - TRIED &TESTED -

BACK­GROUND The ho­tel stands on the his­toric spot of The Vil­lard Man­sion, the res­i­dence of Henry Vil­lard, a renowned Amer­i­can fi­nancier. It was re­stored be­fore open­ing as The Helm­s­ley Palace in 1980, when a lot of its in­te­ri­ors were re­con­structed, in or­der to re­tain its age-old charm. Kore­abased LOTTE Ho­tels & Re­sorts as­sumed own­er­ship of the prop­erty, and re­launched it as Lotte New York Palace in 2015.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The 55-storey ho­tel’s in­cred­i­ble ar­chi­tec­ture and his­tory makes it one of the most sought-after lo­ca­tions in the city— es­pe­cially The Court­yard at the Palace. It is the ho­tel’s aes­thetic en­trance on Madi­son Av­enue, through iron gates em­bel­lished with a Floren­tine lan­tern. The Court­yard at The Palace in­cor­po­rates 15th cen­tury Ital­ian mo­tifs, in­spired by the nearby St. Pa­trick’s Cathe­dral. I en­tered from the other gate that di­rectly leads to its two-storey mar­ble lobby. You can use its grand stair­case to ac­cess the sec­ond level of its lobby that features Vil­lard Ball­room, The Reid Sa­lon (meet­ing space) and Vil­lard (break­fast restau­rant and meet­ing space).

It’s a 909-key prop­erty that has di­vided its rooms be­tween Lotte New York Palace — with 733 guest rooms and The Tower at Lotte New York Palace — a ho­tel within a ho­tel con­cept that oc­cu­pies the top 14 floors of the ho­tel with 176 rooms (wifi is free only here). Since I was stay­ing at the lat­ter, my check-in took place at the ded­i­cated re­cep­tion of The Tow­ers that felt like an ex­clu­sive wel­come with a Les Clef d’Or concierge team. The ho­tel’s Tower rooms, Ex­ec­u­tive, Tower and Spe­cialty suites are housed here. I par­tic­u­larly liked the Jewel suite by Martin Katz that’s cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the epony­mous jew­ellery de­signer and features jewel-in­spired in­te­ri­ors.

WHERE IS IT? In the heart of mid­town Man­hat­tan, walk­ing dis­tance from St. Pa­trick’s Cathe­dral and Rock­e­feller Cen­ter. JFK Air­port is 45 min­utes away.

ROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES The first thing that struck me upon en­ter­ing my Tower room on the 52nd floor of The Tow­ers was the mag­nif­i­cent view of St. Pa­trick’s Cathe­dral and sur­round­ing sky­scrapers. It’s a large room by Man­hat­tan stan­dards at 43 sqm. De­signed in sub­tle shades of sand and oys­ter, the room is el­e­gant with a sep­a­rate seat­ing area that features a leather arm­rest chair and a glass-top table with a lamp and a tele­phone. The ho­tel had placed a lovely dessert plate with truf­fles and a white choco­late bar with an ed­i­ble pic­ture of its iconic stair­case on my work desk. The mar­ble bath­room on the left of the en­trance features Molten Brown toi­letries. There is

a mini­bar on the right be­side a closet that has a safety de­posit box and um­brel­las that came in handy with New York’s un­pre­dictable weather. The room’s mas­ter switch, but­ton-con­trolled cur­tains and lights were bless­ings on jet lagged nights. I con­nected my phone to a Bose mu­sic sys­tem be­side the bed, where I also charged my phone via con­ve­nient power sock­ets. RESTAU­RANTS AND BARS

Vil­lard’s av­o­cado on toasted brioche with crispy pro­sciutto and “the New Yorker” pizza with smoked salmon are must-tries. I was awed by its in­te­ri­ors that rem­i­nisce the Gilded Age, a term coined by Mark Twain for the lat­ter part of the 19th cen­tury. This was de­fined by its elab­o­rate golden ceil­ing and sus­pended bal­cony at the north end of this cham­ber that was once a mu­sic room. There is also a reser­va­tion-only 25-seat sa­lon called Rar­i­ties that features a colo­nial bar-style am­bi­ence with por­traits, and houses rare wines and spir­its. Tav­ern on 51, ac­cessed di­rectly from 51st Street, serves vin­tage cock­tails. Trou­ble’s Trust, with innovative cock­tails, pays homage to Leona Helm­sey’s puppy Trou­ble — the bar’s name­sake. Pomme Palais’ sig­na­ture items in­clude colour­ful mac­arons and eclairs. The Court­yard at The Palace is a great spot for out­door cock­tails. BUSI­NESS AND MEET­ING FA­CIL­I­TIES Fea­tur­ing 2,787 sqm, its meet­ing spa­ces are spread across four floors of The Vil­lard Man­sion. Some of its land­mark event venues in­clude Madi­son Room with light green mar­ble walls and fire­places, and the two-storey Re­nais­sance-style Gold Room that also houses Vil­lard.

LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES There is a spa and a gym.

VER­DICT Old-world el­e­gance in the heart of the city. Ideal for busi­ness trav­ellers who en­joy a touch of lux­ury on their cor­po­rate trips.

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