Where the Elite Vacation in Manhattan · Lotte New York Palace
I spent my 30th birthday near the top of the World.
Close to Central Park on Madison Avenue, in one of NYC’s most prestigious neighborhoods, resides the modern iteration of the historic Villard Mansion. This 1882 icon combined with the modern 55-story Towers is known today as the Lotte New York Palace. It’s no surprise that familiar faces of royals, world leaders, and sports champions stay here.
As a guest of the Lotte New York Palace, on the 41st floor of the Towers, I felt like royalty. The hotel is not only a historic landmark, but one of the most luxurious and sizable hotels in Manhattan. All of my expectations were fulfilled by the amazing staff who made every experience memorable and incredibly personal.
Here’s where I recommend to stay ↓
- Champagne Suite are among the most extravagant and luxurious accommodations in Manhattan, inspired by the exquisite taste of luxury champagne, such as Dom Perignon. With three floors of breathtaking vistas and spectacular décor.
- Jewel Suite by Martin Katz in The Towers. The triplex magnificently opulent suite merges romance and abstract elements of nature in a luxurious and luminous setting. Its earned its title as one of New York’s most imaginative and extraordinary spaces.
- Tower Corner Suites for an exceptional residential-style floor plan with dual exposure windows and sweeping skyline views.
Here’s my insider’s look into our experience ↓
When I walked into the hotel, I was greeted with a glass of Veuve Clicquot and friendly staff who recognized me, making the check-in process so much easier. I was struck by the the architecture of the lobby and the impeccable decor. The Palace really lives up to its royal name. I felt like I stepped into the home of a king.
We were shown to our room that was plush and spacious with one of the best views of Midtown Manhattan I’ve seen. Our room had a view of St. Patrick’s Cathedral that kept me in awe, especially during the sunsets. The crisp white bedding and accents made me feel like I was a princess. One day, I hope to stay in one of the 87 ornate suites where I can feel like a Queen.
Since I have a major sweet tooth and it felt like a good time to indulge, we ordered room service of tea and their delightful Granny Smith Apple Pie “A La Mode” — after all, it was my birthday weekend!
Afterwards, my husband and I dressed up to go to the Metropolitan Opera and dinner at Jean Georges. As we were leaving we were greeted cheerfully with balloons and treats from their bakery Pomme Palais. I’m talking cake, chocolate covered strawberries, and truffles! It was a true delight and the sweetest strawberries I’ve had all year.
The Dining ↓
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Villard, is a must. Situated in the mansion’s music room, the menu is curated by Chef Granados and has some of the most inventive American fare in the city. Chef Granados also comes with an impressive background. Inspired as a child by his Uncle Yuri, chef of the famed St. James Hotel in Beverly Hills, Chef Granados presided over kitchens in some of the world’s leading hotels and resorts: including The Ritz-Carlton New York, BLT Steak in The Ritz-Carlton San Juan Puerto Rico, and the legendary Tonga Room at The Fairmont San Francisco.
My friends and I enjoyed an intimate birthday brunch sharing the Lemon Mascarpone Pancakes, Billionaire Bacon, Avocado Toast, Steak & Eggs, and more. Every bite tickled our tastebuds as we enjoyed the variety of goodness that was placed before us.
We toasted the last day of my twenties with unique brunch cocktails of Pineapple Pulley and Wild West Bloody Mary, and their famous flight of juices. The staff once again went above and beyond to surprise me with my own chocolate birthday cake from Pomme Palais.
While we’re on the topic, I must recommend Pomme Palais’ vibrant colored macaroons, warm house-made croissants and mouthwatering eclairs.
Here’s where I recommend you imbibe ↓
- Trouble’s Trust exciting selection of hand-crafted cocktails, such as “The Pampered Pooch” and the “Queen of Mean,” are cheeky concoctions paying homage to Leona Helmsley and her pup, ‘Trouble’, in which the bar is playfully named after.
- Tavern on 51 stands as one of the best cocktail bars in New York City, offering a creative spin on specialty and vintage cocktail lists.
The Exclusives ↓
Rarities is an intimate 25-seat salon within the mansion that lives up to Villard’s original vision: To create an atmosphere where industry leaders can entertain associates and friends in private.
One of the highlights of my time at The Palace was visiting Rarities, the hotel’s elite cocktail bar. If you’re an enthusiast of the finest spirits, then consider trying to get a reservation, or even a membership. The 25 seat salon boasts a wide variety of rare and valuable spirits dating back before prohibition. What better way to impress your biggest client than to treat him to a glass of Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Rare Cask cognac for $3,120?
If you’re looking to try something you’ve never seen before, this is the place for you. Every drink is served with an ice sphere etched with the hotel’s crown logo and served by a smiling bartender. You will feel like you are sipping drinks in the era of Gatsby.
Members and invited guests enter through a secret entrance off the courtyard. It’s been called the World’s Most Exclusive Hotel Bar by Conde Nast. Membership will cost you $15,000 a year and comes with a personal key, 12 bottles of rare wine or champagne and 12 nights at the hotel. You can make a reservation in advance, but priority is given to members and tower suite guests.
When I visited Rarities with Jeff, we were greeted by Justin Lorenz, the Wine and Beverage Director. He gave us a tour of the bar and told us about the history of some liquors. He showed us to our seat, with the best view in the place. It felt like a quiet, elegant getaway I could enjoy for hours on end.
The Entertainment ↓
Another highlight is Steve Cohen, known as ‘The Millionaires’ Magician, Cohen is the star of ‘Chamber Magic‘ which takes place in the historic Madison Room. A site which once entertained kings, queens, world leaders, and those of the utmost prestige, has opened its heavy golden doors to Steve Cohen and his guests.
What I loved most was Cohen’s witty and humorous personality. Surrounded by history in an intimate setting, Cohen unraveled and decoded some of the world’s lost magic. The show features conjuring, mind-reading, sleight of hand, and an astonished trick called Think-A-Drink. You really must see it to believe it.
The regularly sold out show is a favorite among notables like Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, Martha Stewart, and David Rockefeller. By word of mouth alone, over 500,000 people have attended his show.
In addition to the amazing staff and unparalleled amenities, the hotel itself is a historical masterpiece. It’s a gem brimming with character and every nook and cranny tells a story. From the live jazz offered by Acute Inflections, a duo of upright Bass and voice, to the high end restaurant in the old study of railroad financier Henry Villiard. You will feel like you have been transported back in time.
This lovely duo, Elasea Douglas [vocalist] and Sadiki Pierre [bass], are both stunning and vibrantly beautiful from the inside out. Douglas has a voice that fills one’s heart and together with the talented Pierre, they have found their way into being one of the top 5 Jazz performers I’ve had the pleasure to encounter. You can read more about them.
If you’re looking for a luxury experience in the heart of Manhattan, the only place you’ll find such history with rare touches with contemporary elegance is the Lotte New York Palace Hotel.
Pro Tip: If you book directly though their website, you may be more likely to get perks once you arrive.