The entrance to the Lotte New York Palace.
Feature: Lotte New York Palace, NYC

By Nichole Osinski - May 17th, 2016

New York City, more specifically Manhattan, has become known for taking what is old and turning it into something that is fresh, bold and thoroughly modern. The Lotte New York Palace echoes this all while keeping its rich past at the heart of the hotel. The 5-star luxury hotel is set on Madison Avenue just across from the famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Just like the street where it is located, the Lotte is becoming a well-known destination to get a sense of what is at the core of the city. It’s a hotel that is setting a high standard for visitors and locals alike who want more than just a great rating.

The History The 19th-century landmark is one of New York’s best-kept secrets when it comes to finding accommodations with this kind of character. The hotel was commissioned to be built in 1882 by financier Henry Villard with a design that followed the neo-Italian Renaissance style. At the time, the private residence was known simply as The Villard Mansion and boasted architecturally-stunning work that included marble pillars and stained glass windows. Eventually, a two-story Renaissance-style Gold Room was added that consisted of gold gilt ceilings, walls and wainscoting.

As the years went on the building went through various design changes before eventually becoming a hotel in the mid-seventies when ownership of the land the building was located on was held by the Archdiocese of New York. It was during this time that a tower of bronze, reflective glass and anodized aluminum was added to the main building. In 1980 the hotel officially opened as The Helmsley Palace, which eventually led the historic landmark to be refurbished and turned into the Lotte New York Palace luxury hotel in the early 90s. Since then the hotel went through a $140-million renovation in 2013 turning it into the magnificent midtown hotel guests know today. Visitors can still catch glimpses of the building’s past in areas such as The Courtyard, once a carriage entrance for the mansion, and now acts as an entrance with its ornate iron gates and Florentine lanterns. Beyond this is the grand staircase that ushers guests from Madison Avenue toward the lobby where tranquil fountains and a restored marble fireplace are just a hint of what to expect in the rest of the building.

The Accommodations While the Lotte may have eschewed its 1800s furnishings in favor of more modern decor, every design change couldn’t have been thought out any better. What makes the inside of the hotel so unique is that the conceptualization behind the hotel’s renovations carefully blended past with present. The best place to start is The Towers, which occupy 41 floors and higher to give guests the ultimate views of the city while also providing a personal feel that can only be described as exclusive. This is where some of the premier accommodations are found in the residential-style Corner Suites with the choice to have modern or classical decor. But the hotel ups the ante with the Speciality Suites that provide up to 5,000 square feet of living space and views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building. Then there is the Royal Suite situated on the 45th floor with its expansive Italian marble foyer and rooms that boast Rocco rooms and French period decor.

This is an ideal suite for couples due to the his and hers dressings rooms; hers is outfitted with an oversize soaking tub, silk drapes and Grecian columns while his features an antique barber chair. The Champagne Suite and Jewel Suite quite literally bring luxury to a whole new level. The first spans 5,000 square feet across three floors and incorporates curated art alongside rich tones of black and bronze. The Jewel Suite came about after a collaboration with famous jewelry designer Martin Katz who helped turn it into the sumptuous triplex it is today. It’s elements like the private rooftop terrace, discreet in-suite elevator and Art Deco-inspired aesthetics that make a place like the Lotte New York Palace a must.

The Perks While some hotels are fine with settling for leaving chocolate on guests’ beds the Lotte is one hotel that goes leaps and bounds beyond the normal experience. Take the Jewel Suite for example. Not only did Martin Katz play a part in its design but those who stay in the suite get to leave with a piece of Katz’s work: a complimentary original Martin Katz Microband Ring at a retail value of $2,500. You can also choose to have a private design consultation with the man himself. Or, if you prefer the Champagne Suite, there is the added bonus of a fully-stocked wine cave and an exclusive tasting with a top sommelier. And because most anyone who is staying in the city will be taking trips throughout Manhattan, the hotel provides a personal Maybach car service to make it that much easier to focus on the task at hand. Of course, one of the main attractions to the hotel is its location with direct access to some of the best bars and restaurants this side of the East River.

he ever-popular Rink Bar can be found a block away on 5th Avenue while Haven Rooftop is just around the corner. But for those who aren’t ready to leave the Lotte there are more than enough options to cater to every taste from Pomme Palais with its enticing macaroons and éclairs to Tavern on 51, which is the place to go for drink specialities like the James-and-Guinness fusion of the Dublin Bishop. But whatever you choose and how you decide to do it one thing is for certain: if it’s being done by the Lotte New York Palace, it’s going to be exceptional.